Jump to content

Auction shenanigans


kirispupis

Recommended Posts

  • Benefactor

I've hesitated in writing this in order to avoid ruffling some feathers, but IMHO my observations below may help save others here some money.

To put it simply, a number of popular auction houses play games from what I've seen. The games they play vary. Note that these are just my observations and opinions from taking part in numerous auctions.

Shill Bidding 

As has been pointed out before, most auction houses include a statement in their terms that they may bid on their own listings. What I've come to realize, though, is that some auctions do this often. There's one particular auction that will bid just up to your max bid. I unfortunately learned this the hard way. It's a Biddr auction that doesn't allow proxy bids and so the routine is simple.

The mitigation for this type of shill bidding isn't difficult. If you bid live, you can often obtain great deals.

 

Highest Shill Bidding

This one has a bit different signature because the auction house I've seen who does this the most often uses a set auction time with a highest bid. Whereas on Biddr it's not possible to snipe someone, on this auction it is: just enter a high bid at the last moment. However, the auction house enters another bid just below that highest bid. My strong suspicion is that some/all of this bidding is automated. That means there may not be much to gain from bidding live. It may help you win the coin, but you're still going to pay a premium.

Mitigating this type of shill bidding requires a bit of psychology. It also depends on whether the coin is common or not.

  • If the coin is common, I've had success just going back to previous auctions to see what the type goes for. I'm unsure whether these bids are from the auction house itself, or by some reseller, but many common coins have a kind of hidden reserve. You can see it from the past sales. For example, I used this method to purchase my Hyspaosines below. I determined the "reserve price" and then I bid exactly that amount for my max bid. I won the coin at that amount. Bidding any higher will result in paying more. Sometimes someone else will bid higher, in which case you just move on and try again the next auction. I do not bid live here because I don't want someone else bidding the reserve price first.
  • If the coin is uncommon, you have a tough choice. You need to bid high enough to obtain the coin, but not too high to be bid up. In these cases, I bid live and pay attention to what's happening. I'll still keep my bid on the low side in order to avoid being fleeced, so I often lose these coins.

 

Outbid Shill Bidding

There's another auction house I'm aware of that I believe will outbid some early bids. They'll do so by just one level in order to get you to pay more. If they happen to win the coin, it will wind up in one of their later auctions, or sometimes at another nearby auction house.

The mitigation here isn't difficult: bid live. Actually, for this one house I've learned I don't need to truly bid live. I just need to bid after the live auction has started. I suspect they use manual bidding and come auction time that person is too busy.

 

No Shill Bidding

Not all auctions practice the above. Those who don't are my favorites to bid with and I'll usually be more liberal with my bids because I know my max bid will only be used when it's truly necessary.

 

Hyspaosines.jpg.6bad6de50e5b0fd19d17b2d63ca4d6f8.jpg

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

It's a Biddr auction that doesn't allow proxy bids and so the routine is simple.

Naumann is more of a high secret minimum then shill bid to maximum house, imo. I've been underbidder for coins that have gotten relisted on several occasions

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor
1 minute ago, Hesiod said:

Naumann is more of a high secret minimum then shill bid to maximum house, imo. I've been underbidder for coins that have gotten relisted on several occasions

Actually, I've had a good experience with Naumann. I don't bid often there, but when I do I've won nowhere near my max. The auction house I was referring to is a different one that isn't mentioned as often.

To be truthful, there's only one auction that I deal with that I distrust on Biddr. There are some others that have been mentioned as sketchy who I ignore. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I simply hate playing these auction games. I'd rather buy the coin at retail stores, given I don't see much difference in the price if you include all the buyers fee and hidden costs. Is the $50-100 difference worth your time and sanity? unless of course it depends on the coin itself. However, I haven't encountered a coin at an auction I need so much to warrant participating till now. Even on Ebay I don't like waiting days on end for the auction to end, just so I could put in my last minute bid, I'd rather choose buy it now or offer my best price if the seller has that option.

Edited by JayAg47
  • Like 3
  • Yes 3
  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, JayAg47 said:

I simply hate playing these auction games. I'd rather buy the coin at retail stores, given I don't see much difference in the price if you include all the buyers fee and hidden costs. Is the $50-100 difference worth your time and sanity?

I'm cherrypicking one of my own coins that I consigned to Naumann here but this is a frequent occurrence for many auction houses (both those on biddr and not) as well as dealers who buy from auctions and list on MA-Shops/Vcoins.

Screenshot2023-11-10at11_22_49.png.974e75486a9305ecb284e5e13547a8bb.png

Screenshot2023-11-10at11_22_55.png.124e340cbdb0cfd14de5c5f1fc10e7bc.png

An easy way to think of it is like this: if there wasn't a markup for coins from auctions being listed at retail, the dealer/auction house would be making no money from flipping the coin and thus have no reason try and flip it. Probably the only times that you will pay less than auction are when someone lists a coin that hasn't recently appeared at auction and the listed price is less than the current market value (in which case it will be snapped up immediately), or the coin has been sitting in their inventory so long the dealer is willing to let it go for cost or slightly less.

It may not be as much of an issue for some coin types but, for example, if I tried to build my Alexander III tetradrachm collection from only retail buys, I'd probably have half the number of coins (since so few interesting ones get listed at retail) and have paid 50% more for them. I still buy retail when I have the opportunity, it's just very infrequent these days as so much retail stock is ex. recent auctions.

  • Like 9
  • Yes 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor
4 hours ago, velarfricative said:

I would strongly recommend looking at price histories before bidding on any coin anywhere, blindly bidding will result in a very sad day when you eventually consign

Price histories work for common coins, but it's unreliable for most of my targets. These are rare coins that often have only a few recorded sales. It therefore boils down to how much both I and others who want it are willing to pay. I do obviously check price histories for all coins, but more often my bid is based on what I think the type will fetch based on my recent experience at that auction.

Also, I never bid based on retrieving the amount when I consign. I collect coins for my own enjoyment. I have no intention of selling any during my lifetime.

  • Like 6
  • Clap 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have Leu at the top of my shit list and am now very conservative or don’t bid at all with them in their auctions.  The shill bidding patterns are quite disturbing.  The price will nearly always hit one step below your max or thereabouts, and only seems to happen if you bid more than a minute or so before closing meaning someone is responding in real time.  The irregularity of it also to implies that this is not a software routine but someone deliberately pushing your bid up manually.  Good numismatists but dishonest.  Biddr is very on the level in my experience but I strongly suggest you bid live or at least proxy.  CNG is also honest and as it is supposed to be.

Edited by Aleph
  • Like 3
  • Mind blown 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...