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danmckee
02-16-2012, 10:26 AM
How could this have happened? A non paying bidder from the catalog auction maybe?? The auction just ended though.

Ok , got my response from my long time friend Bill Huggins

"House of Cards was the winning bidder in the auction. Is this the first item you have seen on ebay under House of Cards that was in one of our auctions? HOC wins stuff in almost every H&S auction. We pay the same buyers premium as everyone else. We do have a slight advantage in shipping charges!!!"



http://www.ebay.com/itm/1952-Topps-B...item4ab40abec4


http://www.hugginsandscott.com/cgi-b...l?itemid=41648

Leon
02-16-2012, 11:15 AM
Hey Dan
Sounds like you have a good question but what is the item?

frankbmd
02-16-2012, 11:19 AM
I concur.

danmckee
02-16-2012, 01:59 PM
ok I reposted

Fred
02-16-2012, 03:01 PM
Readers may not understand the thread unless they know the assocation between H&S and House of Cards.

Edited to add name: Fred C()w1e$

rainier2004
02-16-2012, 03:16 PM
Readers may not understand the thread unless they know the assocation between H&S and House of Cards.

Id be one of those readers...

glchen
02-16-2012, 03:54 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Bill Huggins owns both the auction house (Huggins and Scott) and the card shop (House of Cards), which also sells on ebay.

ScottFandango
02-16-2012, 04:01 PM
very interesting indeed

ScottFandango
02-16-2012, 04:16 PM
i'd hate to be bidding against HOC in a H&S auction!

slidekellyslide
02-16-2012, 04:30 PM
At least they don't hide it...not sure what difference it makes when he says they still pay buyer's premium...I'm sure they are separate businesses, but it's still the left hand paying the right.

FrankWakefield
02-16-2012, 04:48 PM
It is wrong... the left hand will know whether to bid again or leave something alone. It's wrong for both hands. It should stop. Or folks should stop bidding...

Jaybird
02-16-2012, 05:16 PM
It certainly makes me uncomfortable.

How is this not shilling? Bid an item up by HOC and then backoff or end up owning it and put it on ebay. Either the item gets bumped up to a higher price and they win or it gets bid up to a higher price and they win by getting a higher premium from the winner.

Not great...

honus94566
02-16-2012, 05:20 PM
WTF? OK I am not going to be bidding at huggins and scott anymore. This really makes me mad. I have bought a few things from them and spent a significant amount of money. I have sent them an email requesting an explanation.

I just don't know about this hobby. As much as I enjoy it I am just getting sick of the dishonesty and fraud.

ScottFandango
02-16-2012, 05:44 PM
At least they don't hide it...not sure what difference it makes when he says they still pay buyer's premium...I'm sure they are separate businesses, but it's still the left hand paying the right.

Looks like a pure shilling account....

Wow and they admit this?

Griffins
02-16-2012, 06:00 PM
This is just plain wrong. Not the first time I've heard of something there that has raised an eyebrow, and I'm disappointed.

Anthony Nex

honus94566
02-16-2012, 06:19 PM
Looks like a pure shilling account....

Absolutely... and they have the audacity to claim "We pay the same buyers premium as everyone else"

Except for the general public pays the premium to you, while you are paying it to yourself.

This.is.so.wrong.

I am sure your consignors might not mind, but they might start thinking twice when realizing that H&S will lose BIDDERS over this. Fewer bidders = lower realized prices for the consignors. I for one am not going to do business with H&S and their shilling account anymore.

Bugsy
02-16-2012, 06:38 PM
This is incredibly unethical!!! He profits on items where he bids and doesn't win the item. This is the same a shill bidding. I will have to think long and hard about ever doing business with them again.

danmckee
02-16-2012, 06:45 PM
I spoke to Bill on the phone tonight, he guaranteed me that they cannot see who is bidding or how much. It is just a misunderstanding.

Like if he or one of his employees bid, they really couldn't see the bid history or the ceilings, they would just be like another bidder.

Dan

Runscott
02-16-2012, 06:53 PM
Serious question: Not that this issue shouldn't be discussed, but it's gotten me curious - are there any auction houses that pass the 'integrity' standards of this board? I'd like to see someone's list of 'the good guys', and then see if any of them survive the scrutiny of other board members.

Looking at the list of auction houses that I bid have bid in, the Burkes are the only one I know of that have never been ripped apart on here before.

Edited to add: I've ripped apart several myself, no not trying to be a hypocritical

honus94566
02-16-2012, 06:55 PM
I spoke to Bill on the phone tonight, he guaranteed me that they cannot see who is bidding or how much. It is just a misunderstanding.


Nice try.

No, it's not a misunderstanding at all. We understand exactly what is going on. You can try to spin this, but in the end a pig with lipstick on is still a pig.

Reality: The house account that is "bidding" is driving up prices for the other bidders.

Reality: "they would just be like another bidder" umm.... no. They would NOT be just like another bidder. Because they are not paying the buyer's premium like everyone else (OK, they are, but if they are paying the premium to themselves, they are not really paying it at all. Them claiming they are paying it is pure baloney.) So for a house account bidding, the playing field is not level. The house account is getting essentially a 17.5% discount on all items, since they do not pay the premium. Definitely dishonest and unethical.

danmckee
02-16-2012, 06:55 PM
The Burks are as honest as can be, there auction just doesn't picture items very well. No backs pictured and minimal descriptions.

Bugsy
02-16-2012, 06:57 PM
I spoke to Bill on the phone tonight, he guaranteed me that they cannot see who is bidding or how much. It is just a misunderstanding.

Like if he or one of his employees bid, they really couldn't see the bid history or the ceilings, they would just be like another bidder.

Dan

Misunderstanding? Bullsh*t! It does't matter. The fact the he or any employees are bidding is a complete conflict of interest and incredibly unethical. Let's say I enter a max of $1000 on a item and it is sitting at $400. He could jump in and bump it to $600. He is making a profit on the buyer's premium from that $2000 bump. None of the other bidders are in a position to generate revenue from bidding.

Bugsy
02-16-2012, 06:59 PM
Nice try.

No, it's not a misunderstanding at all. We understand exactly what is going on. You can try to spin this, but in the end a pig with lipstick on is still a pig.

Reality: The house account that is "bidding" is driving up prices for the other bidders.

Reality: "they would just be like another bidder" umm.... no. They would NOT be just like another bidder. Because they are not paying the buyer's premium like everyone else (OK, they are, but if they are paying the premium to themselves, they are not really paying it at all. Them claiming they are paying it is pure baloney.) So for a house account bidding, the playing field is not level. The house account is getting essentially a 17.5% discount on all items, since they do not pay the premium. Definitely dishonest and unethical.

Well said! This is my point exactly.

Leon
02-16-2012, 07:11 PM
Everyone needs to have their full names in their posts in this thread. Either put them in, delete your comments, or I will put it there. Just the rules and I really wish I didn't have to say this so often. Nothing personal. (say whatever you want to, just put your name by it)

btw, you can put a period or hyphen in your name to keep it out of Google searches...this is not a punitive thing, it's so people know who others are when they are giving opinions of someone or a company.

ksabet
02-16-2012, 07:40 PM
As a former employee of Huggins and Scott about 5 years ago, I just wanted to say that in my two years there, Bill, John Scott, Josh Wulkan and the gang showed nothing but the highest standards of ethics I have been around. Many times I witnessed them take a loss in order to make a "hobbyist" happy. These men respect the hobby and the collectors and its hard for me to see (despite what it looks like) them looking to cheat anyone.

Kiya Sabet

Jaybird
02-16-2012, 08:17 PM
Even if they are not attempting to cheat anyone, by bidding against their customers, they ARE cheating them.

edited to say: Maybe I'm not seeing the other side of this one. I don't want to keep railing... someone help me understand how this can be ethical. I say this with all sincerity and honesty.

danmckee
02-16-2012, 08:18 PM
WOW that is cool, how long did you work there? I don't remember ever meeting you. Dan

ksabet
02-16-2012, 08:23 PM
WOW that is cool, how long did you work there? I don't remember ever meeting you. Dan

I detect a bit of sarcasm, but to answer your question it was around 2005-2007.

I am not debating the topic you brought up, just the fact that I believe these gentlemen to be stand up guys.

danmckee
02-16-2012, 08:24 PM
No sarcasam whatsoever, I think that is neat that you worked for them and odd that I never met you since I am there several times a year.

Hey, they wouldn't hire me so you have one up on me.

Dan

painthistorian
02-16-2012, 08:27 PM
Say it ain't so Dan, Say it ain't so!

I always felt Huggins and Scott were in same category as REA & Sterling & Clean Sweep regarding running a top notch & ethical auctions...

I am very surprised about this and would love to hear a response from Bill or Josh as they have been very good to work with, it does seem a conflict having a retail company that you own bidding on their own auction's material...

danmckee
02-16-2012, 08:27 PM
I forgot to mention that you are very welcome to debate what I have posted, I think I have posted strictly facts.

ksabet
02-16-2012, 08:42 PM
No sarcasam whatsoever, I think that is neat that you worked for them and odd that I never met you since I am there several times a year.

Hey, they wouldn't hire me so you have one up on me.

Dan

They kept me in the basement most of the time. No seriously my desk was in the basement, kinda like Milton. I wrote for the catalog and traveled to shows with Bill.

Its really a matter of trust, so there is no debate. I trust that despite him bidding on items for his store, that no shill bidding takes place as they do not see max bids. Obviously we live in a society where trust comes at a premium especially in this hobby so there is no sense in me trying to convince you as you are not in a position to trust as I am.

glchen
02-16-2012, 08:47 PM
I just wanted to say that I don't think Huggins and Scott is alone in doing this. Other auction houses have also been known to do this. I can't remember the thread, but I thought I remember that one of the auction houses gave the excuse that if the lot was going for a really good value, they would also look into purchasing the lot for themselves.

I think the auction house with the best integrity would again fall back to REA. No hidden reserves, no employee bidding, no employee owned lots (unless fully disclosed), etc. I think that they are still the gold standard.

Bugsy
02-16-2012, 09:00 PM
I trust that despite him bidding on items for his store, that no shill bidding takes place as they do not see max bids.

It doesn't matter whether they know the max bids or not, it is still shilling. His participation in the bidding is raising the final prices and therefore increasing Huggins & Scotts' profits on those lots.

Consider this. If I were to bid on my own eBay listings, I don't know what the high bidder has entered, but my participation would still alter the final price.

It is a clear conflict of interest to participate in any bidding when you stand to financially benefit from the outcome of the sale. I don't see how anyone can argue otherwise.

benchod
02-16-2012, 09:13 PM
As a former employee of Huggins and Scott about 5 years ago, I just wanted to say that in my two years there, Bill, John Scott, Josh Wulkan and the gang showed nothing but the highest standards of ethics I have been around. Many times I witnessed them take a loss in order to make a "hobbyist" happy. These men respect the hobby and the collectors and its hard for me to see (despite what it looks like) them looking to cheat anyone.

Kiya Sabet

Care to explain how they took a loss to make a hobbyist happy?

Craig. Lipman.

ksabet
02-16-2012, 09:57 PM
Care to explain how they took a loss to make a hobbyist happy?

Craig. Lipman.

No not really

Cat
02-16-2012, 10:00 PM
Sometimes in my stream of consciousness totally unrelated thoughts flow through my mind........ Anybody seen Lichtman lately?

MikeU
02-16-2012, 10:19 PM
How could this have happened? A non paying bidder from the catalog auction maybe?? The auction just ended though.

Ok , got my response from my long time friend Bill Huggins

"House of Cards was the winning bidder in the auction. Is this the first item you have seen on ebay under House of Cards that was in one of our auctions? HOC wins stuff in almost every H&S auction. We pay the same buyers premium as everyone else. We do have a slight advantage in shipping charges!!!"



http://www.ebay.com/itm/1952-Topps-B...item4ab40abec4


http://www.hugginsandscott.com/cgi-b...l?itemid=41648

What auction houses do absolutely none of the following?:

1. Sell their own items.
2. Have hidden reserves.
3. Mechanisms/ways to get to hidden reserve.
4. Bid on items in their own auctions.
5. Let employees bid on items.
6. Let employees sell their own items.
7. Let employees bid on their own or colleagues items.
8. "Prepare" cards for grading.

Fred
02-16-2012, 11:14 PM
First off, I'm a bit dumbfounded about this. For obvious reasons common sense dictates that you shouldn't bid on/up items in your own auction. That's not to say I believe the guys at H&S / HOC are dishonest.


What auction houses do absolutely none of the following?:

1. Sell their own items.
2. Have hidden reserves.
3. Mechanisms/ways to get to hidden reserve.
4. Bid on items in their own auctions.
5. Let employees bid on items.
6. Let employees sell their own items.
7. Let employees bid on their own or colleagues items.
8. "Prepare" cards for grading.


Mike,

I don't have an issue with an auction house:

1. Selling their own items
6. Let employees sell their own items
8. Prepare cards for grading (assuming they are not altering them).

I do think its unethical for an auction house to:

3. Mechanisms/ways to get to hidden reserve.
4. Bid on items in their own auctions.
7. Let employees bid on their own items

I think it's poor business practice to:

5. Let employees bid on items.
7. Let employees bid on their colleagues items.


One of the most recent auctions I bid in had a pretty neat item. I bid on it the last day and expected it to get jacked up in price (which I would have been happy to pay). My bid was never increased. I'm comfortable with that auction house because of that.

glchen
02-17-2012, 02:38 AM
OK, one other auction house that does something similar is Heritage. The link to the thread where this was discussed is here: Link (http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=128465)

According to that thread, Heritage states that what they do is "placing house bids" and that this is distinct from shilling. From that thread, they state:

"1) Placing house bids in one’s own auction. This is what Heritage does. We place bids on material at the price we would be willing to pay if someone came up to our table at a card show wanting to sell. This is done a week before the auction closes, long before the competitive final bidding has even begun. We bid in our competitors’ auctions as well. We win very little because we only bid wholesale prices. "

I do not want to misquote or take Jonathan's (from Heritage) statement out of context, so please see the link about for his complete statement on Heritage's policy. It is Post #9 in that thread and further clarified in Post #44.

I do not know if what Huggins and Scott does is the same or similar. However, I did want to point out that what they do is not unique. There are many other auction houses that also have an online store. I do not know what their policy is on bidding on lots in their auction. I think REA is the only auction house with really impeccable ethical standards, but I'm not an expert in this area. calvindog would know much better than I do here.

jmk59
02-17-2012, 06:56 AM
Auctions are unique in that you can be a valuable customer without ever having spent a dime with the AH. This is because as long as you bid, you raise the overall level of prices and interest. Even if you don't win, someone else has to pay more than they would have if you had not bid. Non-winning bidders are as important to final prices as the eventual winners.

So an AH bidding on its own auctions may do more to help the bottom line when it loses an item than when it wins. That's why it's wrong for an AH to bid in their own auctions, even if they have some intent to try to win and the bidding is done through a technically separate business.

Not that I will stop bidding in H/S. :)

Jo.ann K!ine

Matt
02-17-2012, 07:01 AM
I just wanted to say that I don't think Huggins and Scott is alone in doing this. Other auction houses have also been known to do this.

I believe Hunt Auctions bids on items with a house account if they believe the sale price is below market.

danmckee
02-17-2012, 07:26 AM
They kept me in the basement most of the time. .

This was funny, though I know what you mean as I know the set up there well. But still a funny statement if you don't really know the set up there. :)

danmckee
02-17-2012, 07:32 AM
I believe Hunt Auctions bids on items with a house account if they believe the sale price is below market.

Hi Matt, Hunt's always had a bidding house account at their live auctions. They were there live like I was and couldn't see who the phone bidders were. Not that it is any better and not that H&S can see who is bidding or ceilings left, but it does seem a bit strange for the need to do this. Just set higher minimums maybe?

Dan

honus94566
02-17-2012, 09:34 AM
So which auction houses don't engage in shill bidding?

REA it seems...?

What about Goodwin, Legendary, Mile High etc?

Bicem
02-17-2012, 09:57 AM
Care to explain how they took a loss to make a hobbyist happy?

Craig. Lipman.

There was one guy that they decided not to shill.

Jeff-Priz ner

dstraate
02-17-2012, 09:58 AM
If the related businesses wanted to "transfer" items, buy them outright, or trade inventory, that is fine.

In an auction, it is totally unacceptable for all of the reasons that been previously mentioned. It's truely sad that there's so much dishonesty in the business. I'm blessed to be surrounded by children in my line of work, where the dishonesty generally centers around how strong their dad is, or the existence of unicorns.

Fred
02-17-2012, 11:51 AM
I'm sorry, I just don't agree with an auction house bidding up items because the auction house doesn't want to sell an item below what they feel is a fair market value. Why don't those stupid SOBs that practice this either get out of the auction business or start the lots off where they feel they don't have to SHILL the frigging price up on the general public.

Also, hidden reserves are BULL $HIT. Why bother with a hidden reserve? Just place a minimum starting bid on the item. If it doesn't sell then the geniuses should figure out that their assessment of fair market value may be a bit off.

Funny story - A while back I saw a card that I've been wanting for a LONG time (on feebay). To me the dealer had a price that was a bit too high so I just kept watching the card. Then I saw the card exchange hands because another dealer had the card and it was at an even higher price than before (on feebay). I continued to watch the card and it didn't sell. Just recently the dealer had an auction and this card was in the auction. There was just one bid on the card. I placed a bid with a much higher ceiling bid, expecting more bidders to jack up the price. To my surprise the card received NO further bids and I picked iup the card for less than half the price that the first dealer was asking for it. I trust that auction house!

tbob
02-17-2012, 12:07 PM
I have bid on and won auctions with both Heritage and Huggins and Scott and have never had any problems, but this is troubling news.
I would second that the Burks never cause me any concern with their auctions nor do Lew Lipset, Dave (Bagger) or the often lamented loss of Barry Sloate's auctions.
I bid frequently in Goodwin's auctions and haven't ever had a problem with them, do they keep employees etc. from bidding in their auctions?
Bob M@rquette

Runscott
02-17-2012, 12:51 PM
I have bid on and won auctions with both Heritage and Huggins and Scott and have never had any problems, but this is troubling news.
I would second that the Burks never cause me any concern with their auctions nor do Lew Lipset, Dave (Bagger) or the often lamented loss of Barry Sloate's auctions.
I bid frequently in Goodwin's auctions and haven't ever had a problem with them, do they keep employees etc. from bidding in their auctions?

Barry, Lew, and the Burke's were my favorites. Hunt, Heritage and Legendary have each given me great customer service when I had even small issues.

barrysloate
02-17-2012, 01:33 PM
Thanks guys for still remembering me!:o

danmckee
02-17-2012, 01:36 PM
Barry, you are unforgettable!

barrysloate
02-17-2012, 01:41 PM
Barry, you are unforgettable!

:)

hugginsandscott
02-17-2012, 02:04 PM
Board Members:

First, this is certainly not an easy situation to deal with and I do want to apologize to anyone who is upset. I have worked for Bill Huggins (originally with House of Cards) starting in 1985. We began Huggins and Scott Auctions in 2003 and I am part-owner and Vice President of the Company. The one thing I can tell you about Bill and this company, is that we pride ourselves on honesty, integrity and upholding the highest standards for this hobby that we all love. When an item’s authenticity is questioned, we pull them from the auction if we can’t confirm they are legitimate. When someone has a problem with a lot, we do everything we can to make it right for the customer including offering returns and refunds, which is unusual for auction houses, since rule #1 is “Everything is sold as is.”

I can tell you that House of Cards is an entirely separate entity from Huggins and Scott Auctions. They have no advantage over any other bidder in our auctions, other than they are physically closer to the lots and can view them – but so can anyone else who wants to view every lot in the auction. They also do not pay shipping charges – but neither does anyone else who wants to come to our offices and pick up their winnings. In fact, the original poster in this thread has come to the offices to preview lots and comes to the office to pick up his winnings – the exact same advantages as House of Cards has.

hugginsandscott
02-17-2012, 02:04 PM
The way our auction system is developed is that NO ONE can see who is bidding on which lot, nor can they see how much they are bidding. Only those who place the bids know what and how much they are bidding. From a “code” standpoint, items that are active in the auction have a “0” code. As soon as the lot ends, it is converted to a “1”, which opens the bid history for us to see, however the lot is CLOSED at that point and nothing else can be done by anyone (in house or out) to modify it.

The fact that our honesty and integrity has been questioned (and in some cases, not questioned, but deemed “guilty of fraud”) is troubling, to say the least. I can assure each and every one of you, that no illegal activity has taken place in any of our auctions, nor will it ever take place. Bill Huggins, our President, has told me that if ANYONE would like to discuss this personally with him, he would be more than happy to do so, in a phone conversation during business hours. He is currently at the show in Somerset, NJ, but will return to the office on Monday and if you would like to ask him anything about this situation, or our company, he would be happy to have a conversation with you. He can be reached toll free at 1-866-462-2273. If you would like to have the conversation with me, I would also be more than happy to discuss this with anyone. You can contact the office and they will get the message to me and I will contact you back.

Thanks for reading.

Josh Wulkan
Vice President
Huggins and Scott Auctions

Exhibitman
02-17-2012, 03:05 PM
Hidden reserves are used for an entirely legitimate purpose in some auctions that is unrelated to shilling. If a consignor wants to get a certain dollar for an item that the auctioneer does not think it will fetch sometimes the item will be offered with a hidden reserve to test the market to show the consignor what the item is worth. Some consignors will then authorize the auctioneer to offer the high bidder the chance to purchase the item at the max bid even though it did not reach the reserve.

Bugsy
02-17-2012, 03:51 PM
NO ONE can see who is bidding on which lot, nor can they see how much they are bidding.

Josh, it doesn't matter whether or not you or Bill know the amount of the max bids, it is still shill bidding. Bill's participation in the bidding not only inflates the final sale prices, but also increases the house's take on the buyer's premiums. Every time Bill bumps a lot, it increases how much Huggins and Scott pocket on the buyers premiums. That is exactly the point.

Bugsy
02-17-2012, 04:00 PM
Also, consider this. I am selling a card for my father on eBay. I list it for a starting bid of $0.99 and plan to let it run a full 7 days. Now let's say it has a book value of $1,000. I have no idea what other bidders have entered, but I would consider it a bargain at $800, so I enter my own bid. If I win, I can try selling it at some point down the road. Can anyone else see the conflict on interest?

At least if I were shilling this acution, it would be eBay (a third party) enjoying the increase off of the final value fees...they wouldn't be going into my own pocket.

slidekellyslide
02-17-2012, 05:16 PM
Who is the owner of Huggins and Scott auctions? Who is the owner of House Of Cards? If the answer is the same person then it is shill bidding.

steve B
02-17-2012, 05:49 PM
If you check the websites the only common employee is the primary owner.

And I would think both are incorporated.

While some may not like it that's not necessarily shilling.
The employees of one business are bidding in an auction run by a second business is generally not shilling. I can own stock in Sothebys, and at the same time consign items from an antique business and bid on items from that same business in sothebys auctions.

If the two businesses had the exact same employees and location then yes it would probably be improper.

By some of the defenitions I've seen here any bidding that isn't the winning bid is shilling. (Yes, it's possible to shill bid and not be either the seller or auctioneer.)

Steve B

Bugsy
02-17-2012, 06:02 PM
While some may not like it that's not necessarily shilling.

I couldn't disagree more.

When the OWNER of the auction house is bidding on lots in HIS OWN AUCTION, resulting in prices increasing, what else would you call it?

Maybe we should start a poll. I would suspect the majority of this board is not okay with this practice.

Jaybird
02-17-2012, 06:07 PM
And owning a few shares of stock in a company is hardly the same as owning a company. Your analogy doesn't hold water.

FYI - Addresses of both entities are the same and if you go to the website they are both under the same banner. They are the same.

HOUSE OF CARDS
900 Silver Spring Ave, Silver Spring, MD, 20910 * 1-866-HOC-CARD or 301-608-0355 * Huggins & Scott Auction

HUGGINS AND SCOTT
Huggins and Scott Auctions LLC
900 Silver Spring Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910


These addresses are taken directly from their own websites.

http://www.hugginsandscott.com/cgi-bin/vp.pl/contact.htm
http://www.houseofcardsmd.com/huggins.html

William Todd
02-17-2012, 06:58 PM
I'm not OK with it...

Sterling Sports Auctions
02-17-2012, 10:04 PM
I see that painthistorian has Clean Sweep (Steve Verkman) on his good guys list, do a search in the archives about them and you might have a change of heart change your mind.

As far as auction houses I have dealt with and have no worries Sterling, REA, Goodwin and Baggers.

As far as this situation, I see no good coming of a situation where employees can bid on their own auctions. Kind of why they make your for contests that employee and there families can't enter or win.

One thing that always bugs me about auction house and ebay sellers getting busted for shill bidding is the responses you get supporting them and saying how they have never had a problem with them. Well, how many times were you a victim of the shill bidding? You will never now and how much money they stole from you.

By the way, I see the ebay auction is gone. The Burke name gets named quite often in the thread, did they have an auction house? I can't believe I have not heard the name in my 30 years in the hobby.

Lee

Runscott
02-17-2012, 10:08 PM
The Burke name gets named quite often in the thread, did they have an auction house? I can't believe I have not heard the name in my 30 years in the hobby.

Lee

They are 'Collectible Classics'

http://www.auctionscc.com/

Wymers Auction
02-17-2012, 11:18 PM
Online is a strange arena. At a live auction (with a crowd) I can bid on consignors items as long as it is not often and it is no problem. If I bid on my own items in my state in a live auction I have to disclose this to my crowd. I do not like to compete with bidders, because even if you do it with integrity it gets misunderstood.

egbeachley
02-17-2012, 11:30 PM
Josh, it doesn't matter whether or not you or Bill know the amount of the max bids, it is still shill bidding. Bill's participation in the bidding not only inflates the final sale prices, but also increases the house's take on the buyer's premiums. Every time Bill bumps a lot, it increases how much Huggins and Scott pocket on the buyers premiums. That is exactly the point.

You keep making the assumption that the bids raise the price and they don't win. If they win the lot they essentially lose the house take and need to pay the consignor out of their own cash.

Eric

mordecaibrown
02-17-2012, 11:58 PM
Im confused by why some people think this is an alright practice. Ill try to lay out an example to illustrate how Huggins and Scott can only win by bidding on items in their own auction.

For example, if Huggins and Scott is auctioning off an item that they determine has a "market value" of $500 from previous sales; however, the item is only currently being bid at $200.

The buyer is about to purchase the item for $200 + $39 (buyers premium - 19.5%) = $239. Huggins and Scott are going to make $39.

Huggins and Scott decide that this is below retail and decide to put a bid in for $300 (even though they do not know max bid). Here are the two scenarios that occur:

1) Huggins and Scott win auction and have bought an item at a good price (relative to determined retail) and can sell it through House of Cards for a profit. And they bought it for $300 because they are not paying buyers premium.

2) Other buyers max bid is greater than $300 and the new high bid in the auction becomes $330. Now the buyer is buying the item for $330 + $64.35 (buyers premium) = $394.35. By making a "feeler" bid Huggins and Scott just made themselves $25!

Huggins and Scott can ONLY benefit by placing bids on items in their own auction!

And they can continue to do this. They could then toss out a bid of $400 and increase their profits if the other buyer has put in a higher maximum bid.

I do not know if they are alone in this practice or if other auction companies also do this, but I do not see how it is anything other than a conflict of interest by the auction house.

Andy Ken-nedy

painthistorian
02-18-2012, 12:06 AM
Hi Lee- I do agree Baggers and Goodwin are excellent auction houses. I do find that even though there were issues in the past from the archives as you mentioned with Clean Sweep, I believe that Steve does not have anyone bidding on his or any consigned lots from his retail company, he runs an ethical auction. He may have made mistakes but it was not the same as having his retail company bidding on their own auction material. As much as I really like & enjoy H&S and their auctions, I am surprised & concerned on what was stated in this thread.

I do respect your opinion and I do transact with almost every auction house, each has its + and -, REA is still the best overall since I know he does not own any of the material he auctions.

Bilko G
02-18-2012, 02:09 AM
wow, this is not right at all.

seablaster
02-18-2012, 05:00 AM
For example, if Huggins and Scott is auctioning off an item that they determine has a "market value" of $500 from previous sales; however, the item is only currently being bid at $200.

The buyer is about to purchase the item for $200 + $39 (buyers premium - 19.5%) = $239. Huggins and Scott are going to make $39.

Huggins and Scott decide that this is below retail and decide to put a bid in for $300 (even though they do not know max bid). Here are the two scenarios that occur:

1) Huggins and Scott win auction and have bought an item at a good price (relative to determined retail) and can sell it through House of Cards for a profit. And they bought it for $300 because they are not paying buyers premium.

2) Other buyers max bid is greater than $300 and the new high bid in the auction becomes $330. Now the buyer is buying the item for $330 + $64.35 (buyers premium) = $394.35. By making a "feeler" bid Huggins and Scott just made themselves $25!

Huggins and Scott can ONLY benefit by placing bids on items in their own auction!

And they can continue to do this. They could then toss out a bid of $400 and increase their profits if the other buyer has put in a higher maximum bid.



Andy could not have stated this more eloquently.

I have bid in several H&S auctions and have been very pleased with their customer service and the manner in which they conduct their auctions, but I find this information concerning.

My thoughts drift back to all the auctions I have participated in with numerous auction houses and I think of how much more aggressively I could have bid had I had essentially what amounts to a ~20% discount on the final price of the item. I feel this gives certain bidders an unfair advantage.

I am interested in seeing what develops from this discussion.

ScottFandango
02-18-2012, 06:29 AM
In the SMR H and S runs a huge one page ad..on the top it says

Huggins and Scott IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE HOUSE OF CARDS....
Clearly one company's ad, impossible to separate the two based on their own advertising...

It makes no difference if an auction house SEES the current max bids or not...
A bid by an auction house drives up the final price..simple stuff really...

Read REA's disclosure page in their auction...at first it seemed long winded, but it seems they were explaining things that go on in the auction world that they do NOT DO...they couldnt point fingers at other houses but that's what that disclosure seems to do.

buymycards
02-18-2012, 06:51 AM
Hi James, thanks for putting in your view from an auctioneers standpoint. Personally, when I am at a live auction it really pisses me off when the auctioneer is bidding. If I think I am going to get something for $50 and the auctioneer runs the price up on me - I am not happy.

Whether or not it is legal doesn't matter. Don't bid against your customers. Yes, the bidders are your customers as well as your consigners.

Rick

sports-rings
02-18-2012, 06:53 AM
Read REA's disclosure page in their auction...at first it seemed long winded, but it seems they were explaining things that go on in the auction world that they do NOT DO...they couldnt point fingers at other houses but that's what that disclosure seems to do.

Recently I met Rob Lifson, owner of Robert Edward Auctions when I consigned some items for his upcoming auction. He showed me some amazing items that will be in his upcoming auction. I asked him what he collects and he confessed that he no longer collects anything in our hobby. He went on to explain that no auction house company who also is a collector or seller can remain 100% impartial and objective. He's right.

Wymers Auction
02-18-2012, 07:40 AM
Rick I see your point and really I cannot remember the last time I actually bid on an item it was several years ago and the item was not bringing any bidding. At my online auctions I never bid there is too much room for unethical behavior. I run on proxybid a lot and I cannot even see the high bid. I can request that information if I want to, but I think only bad things happen when the auctioneer views the high bids.

Wymers Auction
02-18-2012, 07:41 AM
Rick you are right bidders are the foundation of our business.

Bugsy
02-18-2012, 07:56 AM
You keep making the assumption that the bids raise the price and they don't win. If they win the lot they essentially lose the house take and need to pay the consignor out of their own cash.

I am making the assumption that he has been outbid on several items over the course of this activity. That is shilling. Doing it even once, is wrong.

ChiefBenderForever
02-18-2012, 08:54 AM
This is the hobby we live in, you want to get the best deal when buying a card and the best deal when selling. If a consigned card is at a low price and the house wants to purchase card for further resale down the road why wouldn't they? More money for seller and yes more money for house but just like a casino and anything else in life the house always wins right ? If you want nice stuff sometimes you have to pay more, sometimes you get a deal and without a set price or guideline impossible to have a balance. If you really have problems with this then don't bid in auction houses, quit the hobby, or be like my brother who loves this as much as anyone but only collects reprints . Johnny s t e f a n I c h

vintagechris
02-18-2012, 08:59 AM
Im confused by why some people think this is an alright practice. Ill try to lay out an example to illustrate how Huggins and Scott can only win by bidding on items in their own auction.

For example, if Huggins and Scott is auctioning off an item that they determine has a "market value" of $500 from previous sales; however, the item is only currently being bid at $200.

The buyer is about to purchase the item for $200 + $39 (buyers premium - 19.5%) = $239. Huggins and Scott are going to make $39.

Huggins and Scott decide that this is below retail and decide to put a bid in for $300 (even though they do not know max bid). Here are the two scenarios that occur:

1) Huggins and Scott win auction and have bought an item at a good price (relative to determined retail) and can sell it through House of Cards for a profit. And they bought it for $300 because they are not paying buyers premium.

2) Other buyers max bid is greater than $300 and the new high bid in the auction becomes $330. Now the buyer is buying the item for $330 + $64.35 (buyers premium) = $394.35. By making a "feeler" bid Huggins and Scott just made themselves $25!

Huggins and Scott can ONLY benefit by placing bids on items in their own auction!

And they can continue to do this. They could then toss out a bid of $400 and increase their profits if the other buyer has put in a higher maximum bid.

I do not know if they are alone in this practice or if other auction companies also do this, but I do not see how it is anything other than a conflict of interest by the auction house.

Andy Ken-nedy

If I could Andy, I would like to fix a couple of things in your equation. Let's not forget that in addition to the buyers premium, they are also getting more commission from the seller. I don't know what they charge but let's just say 10%.

So in your example # 1 they would be getting the item for $270 instead of $300, thus giving them even more "wiggle room" or advantage.

Now in your example # 2, if HOC puts in a bid of $300 and someone else outbids them and the bid goes up to $330, not only do they make the extra money for the buyers premium, they also make an additional $13 from sellers commission based on charging the seller 10%. Now this is only on a $200 item. You take a $2000 item and you just multiply those numbers by 10. That starts to become some pretty significant numbers and that is only making one bid on an item. What about auctions where they make more than one bid?

I personally don't see how anyone can defend this practice or how an auction house can think this is acceptable.

So it would almost seem that they are working with an almost 30% buffer or advantage to other bidders while also allowing them should they choose to take more chances bidding on items and therefore getting paid more on the backside should they not win the item.

Very disturbing indeed.

ch..r i-s. shr..e-v..e

ChiefBenderForever
02-18-2012, 09:05 AM
I hear you Chris but it's just the way it is, what can you do ? Here's what you can do, decide your max price and don't go over it, or don't bid at all. You are not forced to do this, no one is holding a gun to anybodys head and saying 'bid on this card or else !!' This hobby is an addiction, but atleast you can get a return on your fix if you play the game. Johnny s t e f a n I c h

vintagechris
02-18-2012, 09:18 AM
Sadly Johnny, what seems to be more addicting is the greed of auctioneers.

You know what is going to be real interesting? We have an example going right now where we will be able to see just how they may benefit from what they are doing or to see if they lose $ on this deal, assuming they let the auctions on ebay run. Of course, if they don't let them run I will assume like many others will assume, that they are hiding something.

Lot # 55 in their last auction for 4 HIGH 1952 Yankees ended at $700. Let's assume they charge a 10% fee to the seller. HOC actually gets the lot for $630.
The McDougald has already sold for $202.50 http://www.ebay.com/itm/1952-Topps-Baseball-HI-372-Gil-McDougald-RC-ROOKIE-CARD-/320844083267?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item4ab3cc3043

And the other three are currently running on ebay.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1952-Topps-Baseball-HI-384-Frank-Crosetti-Card-Yankees-SGC-/360433901666?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item53eb88e062

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1952-Topps-Baseball-400-HIGH-Bill-Dickey-SGC-/360434980245?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item53eb995595

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1952-Topps-Baseball-HI-373-Jim-Turner-RC-ROOKIE-CARD-/320848182980?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item4ab40abec4


ch..r i-s. shr..e-v..e

Peter_Spaeth
02-18-2012, 09:23 AM
Sometimes in my stream of consciousness totally unrelated thoughts flow through my mind........ Anybody seen Lichtman lately?

He's in Chicago waiting on the grand jury. 4 years and counting!!

Sterling Sports Auctions
02-18-2012, 10:16 AM
Johnny is right about the auction environment and sadly us in the hobby are just as guilty because many will continue to bid if the it its an item they are interested in or the price is low enough. The one I do not understand is why people continue to consign to these auction houses. The one that really comes to mind is Mastro, they continued to have strong auctions even after the word had got around that they were not on the up and up.

Lee Beh.rens

cobblove
02-18-2012, 05:31 PM
..

Leon
02-18-2012, 07:53 PM
As stated before in this thread, everyone posting in it needs to have their full name by their post(s). That means everyone please. Thanks

rainier2004
02-19-2012, 11:46 AM
Wow...absolutely digusted by this. Theres goes my business as well and I was a big fab of Huggins and Scott as I have always been pleased and the cards were as described.

Is it me or does it seem the big boys get to make/change the rules as they go and use different rationale as to why their situation is valid...kinda like an 8-yr-old. I feel the auction houses should be the examples in the industry setting the highest stamdards for honesty and integrity. Being honest and acting with class is rarely fiscally benefical in the short-term but lays the foundation for long-term growth and evelopment both as a business and hobby. Im just sick of this and will slink back to the bay and fend for myself. 1 week, a bad reference and another bad auction house experience and yes im talking to you heritage...

Steven William Frickin' Suckow

forazzurri2axz
02-20-2012, 07:17 AM
Recently an auction house owner who has been around quite a while told me that some of the software used by the different auction houses DO enable them to see the bids.....and if not, one can easily get the software to be able to do so......so if they "shill bid" items we are bidding on, it is difficult to believe they do not see our bids as well.

Furthermore , logic tells me that if you bid $2000 on an item and THEY win the item, does anyone here think they pay $2200 plus the juice????. Maybe their final prices show $2200 but my guess is that the "employee" pays $2001 or so, just sayin'

danmckee
02-21-2012, 07:25 PM
Let it be known that H&S lost money on this endevor so they just weren't buying for a good deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peter_Spaeth
02-21-2012, 07:33 PM
If the house, or an affiliate or employee, is bidding to win and not to run up max bids it can see (i.e., to shill), then I have no issue with it.

Jaybird
02-21-2012, 09:04 PM
If the house, or an affiliate or employee, is bidding to win and not to run up max bids it can see (i.e., to shill), then I have no issue with it.

The problem is one of intent and motive. Since we cannot judge intent and motive from where we sit (i.e., since we don't know these folks), the prudent thing to do would be for them to refrain from bidding altogether.

Also, bidding to win and then resell in their store lines their pockets. If they win, they get it at a discount (buyer's premium paid from one hand to the other). If they lose, they increase the buyer's premium paid on that lot to them.

Win-win = lose for bidder

Bugsy
02-21-2012, 09:12 PM
If they win, they get it at a discount (buyer's premium paid from one hand to the other). If they lose, they increase the buyer's premium paid on that lot to them.

This entire issue can be reduced to that single sentence.

It is also incredibly simple to remedy; don't bid on your own listings.

slidekellyslide
02-21-2012, 09:55 PM
If the house, or an affiliate or employee, is bidding to win and not to run up max bids it can see (i.e., to shill), then I have no issue with it.

I sell stuff on ebay for a few local guys...sometimes they bring me stuff that's pretty cool and I wouldn't mind having it....is it okay for me to create another ebay account and bid on that item? What if I don't win it and I'm the only other bidder? Is it still okay?

Jaybird
02-21-2012, 10:01 PM
I sell stuff on ebay for a few local guys...sometimes they bring me stuff that's pretty cool and I wouldn't mind having it....is it okay for me to create another ebay account and bid on that item? What if I don't win it and I'm the only other bidder? Is it still okay?


I know this is a rhetorical question but I'd only answer it to say that I would be OK with you making an offer before it hit ebay. It saves them the selling fees, shipping, waiting, etc. Same thing with H&S. If they want an item, make an offer to the consignor for the price you want to pay. If they don't want to do it and want a true auction, then let's do that. A true auction without the dealer's hand in play.

vintagechris
02-21-2012, 10:03 PM
I'm not real familiar with prices for 1952 Topps cards. Am I the only one that thinks that lot would be an odd one for someone to buy to try and make money on, at least at that price. Although they are high #'s, they were all graded authentic.

Peter_Spaeth
02-21-2012, 10:17 PM
I sell stuff on ebay for a few local guys...sometimes they bring me stuff that's pretty cool and I wouldn't mind having it....is it okay for me to create another ebay account and bid on that item? What if I don't win it and I'm the only other bidder? Is it still okay?

Then your consignor is happy, and the winner who paid what he wanted to is probably happy too.

HRBAKER
02-21-2012, 10:29 PM
Ignorance is bliss in a non-arms length transaction.
Willing to pay and had to pay could be two different things.

slidekellyslide
02-22-2012, 12:09 AM
Then your consignor is happy, and the winner who paid what he wanted to is probably happy too.

Is it still okay if I'm only bidding on it because I think it's going too cheaply and I might be able to sell it in a different venue for more money?

Jaybird
02-22-2012, 12:16 AM
Then your consignor is happy, and the winner who paid what he wanted to is probably happy too.

Let me know your ebay handle so I can be sure to stay far away should you decide to sell anything ;)

atx840
02-22-2012, 01:31 AM
I think you are missing a key piece to this.

If someone pays me a buyers premium of $20, I'm up $20 for my efforts.

If my daughter wins and doesnt pay me the $20, (highly likely as she is 3 and always broke) I'm out my $20. She saves on the front but together we are even, so now she has to flip them for more then the cost plus the $20 I'm out. Not always easy to do.

So if HOC wins and doesnt pay H&S, H&S are out 20% of the previous bid, as that was a guaranteed BP to be paid before HOC bid up. Now who know if HOC hadnt bid up if someone else would. That's their biggest risk if it's borderline a good price, loose the BP and make it on the flip.

Now if HOC slowly bumps up that BP managing their risk on not winning too many lots then they can create a significant amount of profit for H&S to compensate for the lots they do win and have to flip. Now celing bids, if ones been entered it likely could be accessed but I won't go there.

Peter_Spaeth
02-22-2012, 07:19 AM
Is it still okay if I'm only bidding on it because I think it's going too cheaply and I might be able to sell it in a different venue for more money?

That sounds like a hidden reserve, which I personally don't mind. How is it any different than starting the auction at a minimum bid? Granted, the latter would be cleaner.

To be clear, I think shill bidding -- that is, placing a bogus bid whose only purpose is to bump a different bidder to a higher level -- is wrong.

is it a perfect distinction? No, probably not. Can one posit examples where the effect is going to be similar? Probably. But to me intent does matter, and placing a bid with intent to win feels different from placing a bid with the intent to run someone else up.

slidekellyslide
02-22-2012, 08:03 AM
That sounds like a hidden reserve, which I personally don't mind. How is it any different than starting the auction at a minimum bid? Granted, the latter would be cleaner.

To be clear, I think shill bidding -- that is, placing a bogus bid whose only purpose is to bump a different bidder to a higher level -- is wrong.

is it a perfect distinction? No, probably not. Can one posit examples where the effect is going to be similar? Probably. But to me intent does matter, and placing a bid with intent to win feels different from placing a bid with the intent to run someone else up.

Okay, but just remember that Huggins and Scott has dibs on the bargains.

mordecaibrown
02-22-2012, 08:07 AM
The difference between the ebay scenario and H&S scenario is everyone is NOT playing under the same rules!

In the ebay scenario, we are all playing under the same rules - no buyers premium!

When H&S places a bid in their auctions (as HOC) and does NOT have to pay the buyers premium they are at an advantage over the other bidders. When you make a bid in an auction, you like to believe that the other bidders are making the same considerations as you: bid amount, buyers premium, any other fees - essentially, do I feel comfortable at this TOTAL price. When HOC makes bids they do not have to consider these other variables: H&S $200 bid = $200, other bidder $200 bid = $239 (with buyers premium) - those are not the same amounts; therefore, thats an advantage!

When H&S increases the bid amount, they directly increase the buyers premium; therefore, directly increase their profits - even if they dont win the item. Its a conflict of interest.

In the ebay situation, the seller (with the new user ID) can make a bid and increase the amount. The other bidders are playing under the same rules: seller $200 bid = $200, other bidder $200 bid = $200 - same amounts, no advantage gained. The seller does have a conflict of interest in this case because he likely is charging the individual who consigned the item a fee (higher it sells for - higher fee amount); however, in this case, the seller is taking more money from the consigner - NOT the other bidders.

I see numerous people spinning this a variety of different ways and using different comparisons, but this is a conflict of interest. Any auction company that bids on its own items should have it clearly listed right under the buyers premium - "we bid on our own things and dont have to pay buyers premiums!"

An.dy Ke.nn.edy

Orioles1954
02-22-2012, 08:19 AM
1.) HOC pays the Buyer's premium on each lot they win.

2.) They bid on a small fraction of lots in the auction. Primarily for the needs of their storefront or frequent customers with wantlists. There is no nefarious plot to artificially drive up prices so that no one can't get good deals.

3.) Peter Spaeth is correct. It's all about intent and motive. It is also about trust. If you think something is amiss (which I assure you in this case there isn't), place a maximum bid (as stated earlier in this thread) and stick with it.

For those who are truly interested and want to discuss this in a cordial manner, the owner's have generously offered to discuss this personally. The phone numbers are posted earlier in the thread.

James Feagin

mordecaibrown
02-22-2012, 08:25 AM
James -

Thank you for the information.

One question:

House of Cards is owned by Huggins and Scott, correct? So, they are essentially paying the buyers premium to each other? The left hand is giving the right hand the money; therefore, its not really paying the buyers premium.

If what I wrote above is wrong, I apologize, but please clarify. Earlier in this thread, it was stated that both businesses are run from the same address and operated by the same individuals.

An.dy K.enn.edy

Orioles1954
02-22-2012, 08:35 AM
Andy,

Although operated from the same address by the same owner, I am not privvy to the finances other than Mr. Huggins runs them completely as separate businesses. I am an employee of H&S and NOT of HOC. There are also multiple employees of HOC who do not work for H&S. That's what I can tell you from that end.

James

slidekellyslide
02-22-2012, 08:39 AM
1.)
2.) They bid on a small fraction of lots in the auction. Primarily for the needs of their storefront or frequent customers with wantlists. There is no nefarious plot to artificially drive up prices so that no one can't get good deals.



So why did they need the 52 Topps lot of Authentic graded cards? Obviously not a store need since they threw them up on ebay, and obviously not a frequent customer wantlist filled.

Orioles1954
02-22-2012, 08:43 AM
Dan,

You can always call HOC and ask. They have an "open door" policy when it comes to those questions. I have nothing to do with HOC, so I don't know why they bid on those. Perhaps they had a wantlist customer who fell through? I can only hazard a guess.

James

slidekellyslide
02-22-2012, 08:44 AM
Dan,

You can always call HOC and ask. They have an "open door" policy when it comes to those questions. I have nothing to do with HOC, so I don't know why they bid on those. Perhaps they had a wantlist customer who fell through? I can only hazard a guess.

James

The solution to that would seem to me to be to register these customers who have wantlists with HOC for the auction.

mordecaibrown
02-22-2012, 08:51 AM
Thanks James.

Essentially, the same individual owns the same company; therefore, the owner of House of Cards pays the buyers premium to the owner of Huggins and Scott (who are the same person).

All of this comes down to this:

Huggins and Scott occasionally bid on items in there own auction as House of Cards. As a bidder in their auctions, you never know if the item you are bidding on is also an item they are bidding on. Personally, I think that should be stated under their rules section, but thats simply my opinion.

If you dont feel comfortable with this possibility, then you should not bid on items in Huggins and Scott Auctions; however, if it does not bother you or you are willing to take the risk, then continue to bid.

But it would really make me upset, if I lost out on an item and then saw it posted on ebay by House of Cards.

An.dy K.enn.edy

iggyman
02-22-2012, 08:56 AM
2.) They bid on a small fraction of lots in the auction. Primarily for the needs of their storefront or frequent customers with wantlists. There is no nefarious plot to artificially drive up prices so that no one can't get good deals.

James,

If I'm to understand what you are saying, House of Cards had a "storefront need" for "four" Topps 1952 high numbers. Thus, they placed a bid and ultimately win the cards. Regrettably, after receiving the items from Huggins and Scott they have buyers remorse and feel the cards no longer serve their "storefront needs." Thus, a decision is made to sell the cards on eBay. Yeah, okay; I'm good with that explanation :eek:.

By the way, the four Topps 1952 high numbers sold for:

$202.50 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $181.75
$100.00 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $89.60
$371.00 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $333.23
$138.50 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $124.20
------------------------------------------
$812.00 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $728.78


One question that really needs to be asked. Can House of Cards consign items to Huggins and Scott???

Lovely Day...

Orioles1954
02-22-2012, 09:17 AM
Regrettably, after receiving the items from Huggins and Scott they have buyers remorse and feel the cards no longer serve their "storefront needs." Thus, a decision is made to sell the cards on eBay. Yeah, okay; I'm good with that explanation :eek:.
Lovely Day...

That is not even close to what I wrote and takes a leap that was never mentioned. Should further questions arise, please contact the owners. As much as I would like to hang out on Net54, I do have an impending publication deadline to meet.

James

t206hound
02-22-2012, 09:19 AM
James,
By the way, the four Topps 1952 high numbers sold for:

$202.50 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $181.75
$100.00 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $89.60
$371.00 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $333.23
$138.50 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $124.20
------------------------------------------
$812.00 *minus eBay/paypal fees = $728.78


Based on the H&S lot selling for $822.50, I believe the final bid was $700. So the "profit" was $28.78? Had they let the previous bid of $650 take the auction, they would have received $113.75 in juice.

Or is my math off here?

vintagechris
02-22-2012, 09:19 AM
Andy,

Although operated from the same address by the same owner, I am not privvy to the finances other than Mr. Huggins runs them completely as separate businesses. I am an employee of H&S and NOT of HOC. There are also multiple employees of HOC who do not work for H&S. That's what I can tell you from that end.

James

Does that mean there are employees who work for both companies? If so what would be the purpose of that?


Chr...s Sh..-re..v-=e

iggyman
02-22-2012, 09:25 AM
Erick,

It's tough to speculate, because we are waist high in murky water. For example, did House of Cards place the $600 bid? Thus, the $650 second place bidder might have conceivably won the lot at $550.

Lovely day...

vintagechris
02-22-2012, 09:28 AM
The solution to that would seem to me to be to register these customers who have wantlists with HOC for the auction.

I think Dan B has hit it on the head. If they are buying things because of a storefront need or for customers with want lists, why not just have them register and bid on the H&S auction?

Secondly, if you don't want these customers bidding in the auction for some reason, why not just sell directly to the customer instead of putting it on Ebay?

Ch...s Sh..-r-..ev..e

Jaybird
02-22-2012, 10:47 AM
Erick,

It's tough to speculate, because we are waist high in murky water. For example, did House of Cards place the $600 bid? Thus, the $650 second place bidder might have conceivably won the lot at $550.

Lovely day...

I agree. Very murky at this point. To me, it doesn't even matter anymore. The murkiness is all brought about by the fact that one entity owned and operated by the same person is bidding on items owned and operated by that same person. It's murky because it's murky.

Only way to clean up the waters is to have H&S (employees, subsidiaries, owners, etc.) stop bidding on their own auctions.

atx840
02-22-2012, 10:49 AM
Based on the H&S lot selling for $822.50, I believe the final bid was $700. So the "profit" was $28.78? Had they let the previous bid of $650 take the auction, they would have received $113.75 in juice.

Or is my math off here?

No Erick you are correct. H&S will always be out the profit of the previous increments BP amount if HOC wins.

Im 99% certain H&S would make HOC pay the BP as each lot required effort to scan, detail, receive, ship and process the funds.

HOC then is in the same boat as all of us, paying a 20% premium on lots and have to find a way to make a profit on the flip. Now maybe its just a risk they take while trying to bump up auctions and occasionally win but I doubt this as your one example shows a significant loss of profit.

Jaybird
02-22-2012, 12:03 PM
Even if I were willing to accept the notion that one hand paying the other is not a competitive advantage (which I don't), what about all the auctions that they bid on and don't win. Those lot prices are driven up putting more Money in H&S hands. They could look at the lots they win as collateral damage

ValKehl
02-22-2012, 12:40 PM
Josh & James - It's nice of you to attempt to do "damage control" for H&S and HOC, but it would be much more meaningful for Bill Huggins to address these issues himself on Net54, rather than inviting anyone who is concerned (MANY Net54ers are CONCERNED!) to call him to discuss.

It has long been my assumption that pretty much the same individuals own both H&S and HOC, with Bill owning a majority interest in both companies. FWIIW, I have known Bill since the mid-1980s, and I have always believed him to be a person of high integrity.

I would prefer that auction houses, their retail affiliates, and/or their employees be precluded from bidding in their own auctions. But, personally, I have no problem with auction houses, their retail affiliates, and/or their employees (1) putting their own items in their auctions, and (2) bidding on items (except their own) in their auctions, PROVIDED this is very clearly made known to us bidders. By this, I mean that each item so owned should be clearly noted, both in the auction catalog and online; and furthermore, each lot on which the auction house, their retail affiliate, and/or their employees bid should be clearly noted online during the course of the auction along with whether or not the auction house, their retail affiliate, and/or their employee is the current high bidder. This could still lead to shill bidding by auction houses, especially on those lots with higher maximum bids, but I seldom leave maximum bids because of this concern.
Val

atx840
02-22-2012, 12:47 PM
Yes collateral damage is the risk they could be taking.

I can't seen any advantage in paying a BP from one hand to the other. Keeping it simple.

You have $20 in your right hand.

Right hand gives the $20 to the left hand, you still have $20.
Right hand does not give $20 to the left hand, you still have $20

-$20 spent + $20 made = $0 profit
$20 saved + -$20 earned = $0 profit

ValKehl
02-22-2012, 12:55 PM
Paying the BP from one company to the other obviously affects how much profit each company makes at the end of the day/month/year. Even if the same individuals own both companies, this will make a difference in each individual's profit, unless each of the individuals owns the same percentage of both companies, which I doubt is the case.
Val

mordecaibrown
02-22-2012, 01:16 PM
Chris -

I mean no disrespect, but I think you are over simplifying this and not looking at whole picture.

1) Does H&S take a percentage from the consigner? Lets just assume its 10% (as I have no idea if they do and if so, what the percentage would be - simple assumption for illustration purposes).

They bid $600 on it, but it only cost them $540, because they got $60 from consignor. All of a sudden that profit Erick showed earlier just grew from $28 to $88.

2) When HOC bids in a H&S auction, the only possible scenarios is H&S benefits.

Either - they increase the bid amount; therefore, directly increasing the buyers premium. If current bid is $200 (H&S makes $39 - 19.5% buyers premium). If they make a bid of $300 and are outbid by another bidder max bid, the new high bid is $330 (H&S makes $64.35 on buyers premium). They just made $25 by simply making a bid. Do you make $25 (or any money) by making a bid in the auction? This profit amount increases with the value of the item.

OR - they win the item at a discount versus other bidders. If they win an item at $200 and pay the 19.5% buyers premium and receive a consignors fee of 10%, then total cost = $239 - $20 = $219. Also, this assumes that they do pay the buyers premium, if you dont think they do because the two places are owned by the same person - then the savings increase!

When a bidder can only benefit from bidding in an auction thats a conflict of interest.

Any.y K.enne.dy

Jaybird
02-22-2012, 01:24 PM
Yes collateral damage is the risk they could be taking.

I can't seen any advantage in paying a BP from one hand to the other. Keeping it simple.

You have $20 in your right hand.

Right hand gives the $20 to the left hand, you still have $20.
Right hand does not give $20 to the left hand, you still have $20

-$20 spent + $20 made = $0 profit
$20 saved + -$20 earned = $0 profit

0 profit but they have a $20% advantage over the person bidding next to them. So, if they get any item at a 20% discount, how do they not win that battle? And why would I play a game where the house has a 20% advantage? This isn't vegas and the potential to "win big" isn't even there.

They are able to own an item at a 20% savings over anyone else. If they take the next increment over anyone, bidding it up 10%, they still get the item at 10% less than previous bidder. Not a level playing field.

In math terms, the item is $1000 (bid by outside bidder). He stops because he knows he has to pay $1200. Auction house bids up to $1100. Since they don't have to pay premium, they still get it at $100 less than previous "REAL" bidder.

atx840
02-22-2012, 01:43 PM
Im keep it simple on the BP side only as to clarify there is very little advantage to not paying a BP.

In theory HOC gets a lot for 20% less but then H&S is out that 20% buyers fee that every 3rd party bidder pays or would pay if they win.

So if H&S gets 10% of the hammer price from the consigner, who do you think pays that on the lots that HOC wins? HOC, so its not profit, either they get 10% from me or they get it from HOC. If they don't take their 10% and no BP then yes HOC gets the cards for 90% of the hammer price and a 20% BP savings. But now H&S is out that 10% and the 20%. I think its all even.

Now if they bid up and up and still don't win, then yes HOC is making H&S a profit on the 10% hammer price and the 20% BP for every increment they can raise it by.

vintagechris
02-22-2012, 02:15 PM
Chris -

I mean no disrespect, but I think you are over simplifying this and not looking at whole picture.

1) Does H&S take a percentage from the consigner? Lets just assume its 10% (as I have no idea if they do and if so, what the percentage would be - simple assumption for illustration purposes).

They bid $600 on it, but it only cost them $540, because they got $60 from consignor. All of a sudden that profit Erick showed earlier just grew from $28 to $88.

2) When HOC bids in a H&S auction, the only possible scenarios is H&S benefits.

Either - they increase the bid amount; therefore, directly increasing the buyers premium. If current bid is $200 (H&S makes $39 - 19.5% buyers premium). If they make a bid of $300 and are outbid by another bidder max bid, the new high bid is $330 (H&S makes $64.35 on buyers premium). They just made $25 by simply making a bid. Do you make $25 (or any money) by making a bid in the auction? This profit amount increases with the value of the item.

OR - they win the item at a discount versus other bidders. If they win an item at $200 and pay the 19.5% buyers premium and receive a consignors fee of 10%, then total cost = $239 - $20 = $219. Also, this assumes that they do pay the buyers premium, if you dont think they do because the two places are owned by the same person - then the savings increase!

When a bidder can only benefit from bidding in an auction thats a conflict of interest.

Any.y K.enne.dy

Hi Andy,
I'm not sure what you mean by over simplifying or the point that I am over simplifying is, but I agree with everything you are saying. For the record, I am of the opinion that this is a major conflict of interest and I am skeptical as to why HOC would buy those 1952 Topps cards to try and resell as they say.

Maybe I didn't do a good job of explaining how I feel about this, but I think I am seeing the big picture. To me, it is a big conflict of interest and I personally don't buy the two different businesses they are trying to sell to people on the board.

Ahhh, I see you were talking about Chris B

ch...s Sh..-re-v..e

Jaybird
02-22-2012, 02:23 PM
I think I'm done beating this horse. Last point other than to say that I won't be bidding at H&S anymore.


Bottom line, an item is worth a certain amount of money. H&S bidding on their own items allows them to bid up items close to that value. If an item is too low, they bid it up until it gets closer to the real value. If they lose, great. They get all the fees, etc. On the other side, if they win, they still get an item near the value of the item and then resell it on HOC. Even if they break even or lose at HOC, they can declare that loss or break even. I'm sure they make up any break even or loss (of which I don't think there is any) by all of their "losing" bids.

Let me make it clear that I don't know how many items they are bidding on. But I'm sure it is judicious and calculated. They aren't going to go crazy and win items way over value. They are going to get them right up there near the value that they think they can sell them for on HOC. But, if they can get a $1200 item for $1100 and then resell it for $1200, they make $100. If a buyer wins the item at $1000 (one increment lower), he breaks even.

I don't see how this can be a level playing field and I ain't playing on it anymore.

pgellis
02-22-2012, 02:31 PM
How about these 2 lots?

http://jan12.hugginsandscott.com/cgi-bin/showitem.pl?itemid=41124

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-JGA-Japanese-Complete-Set-54-54-Sadaharu-Oh-/360434977856?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item53eb994c40

mordecaibrown
02-22-2012, 02:41 PM
Vintage Chris - sorry for the confusion, yes we agree and I was referring to the other chris.

Jaybird - summed it up PERFECTLY.

In this case, maybe they took a shot and only made a little. The damage is in the lots that they place on the lots they DONT win. In those cases, they increased the bid price and therefore the buyers premium - making themselves more money. And you have NO idea - you think your in a bidding war with another bidder, but it could be the auction house.

There is no way of ever knowing when HOC is putting bids in on an item unless its the last winning bidder and then you see the cards on ebay in their store. How often do they bid on an auction raising a price to what they feel is acceptable and you never know?

A.ndy Ke.nned.y

atx840
02-22-2012, 03:11 PM
Thanks guys, I think we are in agreement that it can be quite shady and yes if they bump but don't win they WIN on the consigners fee + the BP. We will never know.

one tiny thing Jason - "if they can get a $1200 item for $1100" how would they get something at $1100 that you and I couldnt? Saving on the BP or consigners fee? If they are then that savings hurts H&Ss profit by $100, so no advantage.

all around they should just stay out of it, go bid on everything else out there.

slidekellyslide
02-22-2012, 03:12 PM
How about these 2 lots?

http://jan12.hugginsandscott.com/cgi-bin/showitem.pl?itemid=41124

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-JGA-Japanese-Complete-Set-54-54-Sadaharu-Oh-/360434977856?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item53eb994c40



From the same lot:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-1985-Mizuno-Japanese-Oversized-PETE-ROSE-Promo-Card-/360436537124?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item53ebb11724#ht_2329wt_1185

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-1973-Japanese-Move-Over-Babe-Ruth-Here-Comes-Henry-HANK-AARON-Record-Sleeve-/320846339709?pt=Vintage_Sports_Memorabilia&hash=item4ab3ee9e7d#ht_2332wt_1165

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1970s-Tokyo-Yomiuri-Giants-Postcard-Set-5-5-w-Sadaharu-Oh-Original-Folder-/320849414592?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item4ab41d89c0#ht_2766wt_1165

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-c-1960s-Sadaharu-Oh-Tile-Puzzle-Game-ORIGINAL-BACKING-WOW-/320848779021?pt=Vintage_Sports_Memorabilia&hash=item4ab413d70d#ht_2664wt_1165

Jaybird
02-22-2012, 03:31 PM
Thanks guys, I think we are in agreement that it can be quite shady and yes if they bump but don't win they WIN on the consigners fee + the BP. We will never know.

one tiny thing Jason - "if they can get a $1200 item for $1100" how would they get something at $1100 that you and I couldnt? Saving on the BP or consigners fee? If they are then that savings hurts H&Ss profit by $100, so no advantage.

all around they should just stay out of it, go bid on everything else out there.

I guess we're just nitpicking now since we all agree that it ain't right, or at least some of us agree.

The advantage is that they now have the item. Profit isn't realized until that item is sold. We'd have to track the item until it is finally sold to decide where the profit was won or lost.

Exhibitman
02-22-2012, 04:55 PM
You don't need to be a professional ethicist to know that what H & S is doing with HOC is dishonest. Owning a few items at net bid cost with no real BP, no real commission and no shipping is a small price to pay for all of the added bid increments--i.e., added BP fees and commission fees, since both are % calculations--that SHILLING through HOC permits H & S to make. It is crooked as the day is long, in my humble opinion, and no amount of clever talk will get around it. I don't have a problem with an auctioneer selling its own stuff but an auctioneer should not be bidding on items in its own sale, period, regardless of whether done directly or through a related entity. The appearance of impropriety is too great.

I'm Ad@m W@rsh@w and I approve this message.

hugginsandscott
02-23-2012, 11:45 AM
So look, we at Huggins and Scott have ALWAYS tried to do the “right thing.” Certainly none of our actions are meant to hurt, deceive, show any dishonesty or lack of integrity. While we could show you auction invoices with hammer prices and buyers premiums, along with matching cancelled checks, just to prove that EVERYONE pays the 17.5% buyers premium, it just doesn’t seem that it would really do any good at this point.

In light of your voices that have spoken loudly, we have have instituted the following policy effective immediately: No one who is currently employed with Huggins and Scott or House of Cards may bid on any items in any Huggins and Scott Auctions. I can assure you, none of this will happen again with our auctions.

Bill Huggins
President
Huggins and Scott Auctions
www.hugginsandscott.com
1-866-462-2273
auction@hugginsandscott.com

uyu906
02-23-2012, 12:12 PM
Wow - Power to the Net54 People!!

So look, we at Huggins and Scott have ALWAYS tried to do the “right thing.” Certainly none of our actions are meant to hurt, deceive, show any dishonesty or lack of integrity. While we could show you auction invoices with hammer prices and buyers premiums, along with matching cancelled checks, just to prove that EVERYONE pays the 17.5% buyers premium, it just doesn’t seem that it would really do any good at this point.

In light of your voices that have spoken loudly, we have have instituted the following policy effective immediately: No one who is currently employed with Huggins and Scott or House of Cards may bid on any items in any Huggins and Scott Auctions. I can assure you, none of this will happen again with our auctions.

Bill Huggins
President
Huggins and Scott Auctions
www.hugginsandscott.com
1-866-462-2273
auction@hugginsandscott.com

tbob
02-23-2012, 12:30 PM
That's great Bill, I have always enjoyed bidding in your auctions and clearing this up means I will continue to do so.
Bob M@rquette

Peter_Spaeth
02-23-2012, 12:35 PM
"Certainly none of our actions are meant to hurt, deceive, show any dishonesty or lack of integrity."

This point seems lost on the Net 54 lynch mob, unfortunately.

Jaybird
02-23-2012, 12:43 PM
Thank you, Bill. It means a great deal when a company is willing to take a look at their customers and give them what they want.

Bugsy
02-23-2012, 01:00 PM
I appreciate the change and will continue to buy and sell through you in the future.

Chris

tiger8mush
02-23-2012, 01:40 PM
In light of your voices that have spoken loudly


Thanks Bill! I've been pleased with my H&S winnings in the past and will continue bidding w/them in the future.
Rob
:)

danmckee
02-23-2012, 02:06 PM
Bill Huggins is a long time good friend which I stated to start this post. I have known Bill and John for almost 40 years now.

I had to think long and hard before starting this thread but I was really upset to see the items I was bidding on surface on ebay 2 weeks later.

I think we have all gotten through to a long time hobby veteran who heard our cries and answered the call. I have full confidence and absolutely no doubt that this new policy will be enforced at H&S and HOC.

This excellent change couldn't have happened without the many voices here on NET54! And even though many of us do not spend billions of dollars on baseball cards each year, we are all still customers and Bill really came up to the plate for us!

I encourage anyone who may have pulled their names from the bidder list to get added back on as I will personally back the validity of this new policy.

A very special thanks to: Bill Huggins, John Scott, Josh Wulkan, James Feagans who contributed here. And of course a very special thanks to the NET54 family and Leon for making a difference in OUR hobby.


Sincerely,

Dan Mckee

rainier2004
02-23-2012, 04:39 PM
Good job Bill!

Its refreshing to hear someone use some common sense and put their customers forst when they speak. I will continue to purchase from h/s and after my prdeal with heritage auctions will have more money coming your way.

Steven Suckow

edhans
02-24-2012, 09:13 AM
Kudos for doing the right thing, Bill.

ScottFandango
02-24-2012, 10:29 AM
thanks

ullmandds
02-24-2012, 11:26 AM
Wow...what a forgiving lot?!?!

Not even an apology? We're listening to what our customers want...meaning for HOC/HS not to shill their own auctions and basically rob their customers of their hard earned cash?

And from this moment on...we're not going to steal your $$$ anymore?!?!

And many of you are ok with this...end of story? WOW!

ullmandds
02-24-2012, 07:24 PM
I must admit this silence is deafening to me.

rainier2004
02-24-2012, 07:53 PM
Peter, I know from your posts you are a much more educated and overall experienced collector than myself. But for me, I am tired of not being listened to with legitimate concerns such as the one with h/s auctions. Bill changed his policies and apologized...my inexperience leaves me somewhat historically uneducated, but at this point I was happy Bill changed. If the cards I want are at a good price, I have no reservations on bidding.

Steven Suckow

Kenny Cole
02-24-2012, 08:26 PM
Legitimate point, but, as you know, stuff triumphs over everything else. EOS.

Runscott
02-24-2012, 08:46 PM
Steven, I will defend the way Chris handles his customers at Heritage - I can guarantee you that he goes overboard trying to resolve issues, and I didn't see anything in your posts here or your PM's with me that indicated otherwise. If I had known that he was going to get attacked repeatedly after trying to resolve your situation, I would never have suggested you contact him. You apparently did so with your line drawn in the sand, and any response by him that fell short of what you demanded was going to result in your taking the issue to this board, and then apparently never letting go of it. I don't think that's fair.

I'm sure I'll regret not avoiding this train-wreck.

iggyman
02-24-2012, 09:16 PM
KRAMER: What did you go up there to heckle her for?

JERRY: Because she came down to the club and heckled me! Give her a taste of her own medicine!

KRAMER: Oh, YEAH! You gave her a taste of medicine, alright.

JERRY: Well, I didn’t want her to have an accident.

GEORGE: What accident?

KRAMER: Well, after he heckled Toby, she got so upset, she ran out of the building and a street sweeper ran over her foot and severed her pinky toe.

GEORGE: That’s unbelievable!

KRAMER: Yeah! Then after the ambulance left, I found the toe! So I put it in a Cracker Jack box, filled it with ice, and took off for the hospital.

GEORGE: You ran?

KRAMER: No, I jumped on the bus. I told the driver, “I got a toe here, buddy – step on it.”

GEORGE: Holy cow!

KRAMER: Yeah, yeah, then all of a sudden, this guy pulls out a gun. Well, I knew any delay is gonna cost her her pinky toe, so I got out of the seat and I started walking towards him. He says, “Where do you think you’re going, Cracker Jack?” I said, “Well, I got a little prize for ya, buddy – ” – knocked him out cold!

GEORGE: How could you do that?!

KRAMER: Then everybody is screamin,’ because the driver, he’s passed out from all the commotion…the bus is out of control! So, I grab him by the collar, I take him out of the seat, I get behind the wheel and now I’m drivin’ the bus.

GEORGE: You’re Batman.

KRAMER: Yeah. Yeah, I am Batman. Then the mugger, he comes to, and he starts chokin’ me! So I’m fightin’ him off with one hand and I kept drivin’ the bus with the other, y’know? Then I managed to open up the door, and I kicked him out the door with my foot, you know – at the next stop.

JERRY: You kept makin’ all the stops?

KRAMER: Well, people kept ringin’ the bell!

GEORGE: Well, what about the toe? What happened to the toe?

KRAMER: Well! I am happy to say that the little guy is back in place at the end of the line.

GEORGE: You did all this…for a pinky toe?

KRAMER: Well, it’s a valuable appendage.

Lovely Day...

rainier2004
02-24-2012, 09:18 PM
Scott - No trainwreck, pm sent. Won't happen again.

Runscott
02-24-2012, 09:28 PM
Scott - No trainwreck, pm sent. Won't happen again.

Thanks Steven, and thanks for the PM. No problem - this is definitely the place to air your concerns.

Peter_Spaeth
02-24-2012, 09:55 PM
Wow...what a forgiving lot?!?!

Not even an apology? We're listening to what our customers want...meaning for HOC/HS not to shill their own auctions and basically rob their customers of their hard earned cash?

And from this moment on...we're not going to steal your $$$ anymore?!?!

And many of you are ok with this...end of story? WOW!

There was no shill bidding here. Shill bidding is placing a bid for the purpose of bumping a bidder who has a max bid to a higher level. You are wrong to accuse Bill Huggins of unethical conduct. You may have a legitimate disagreement with him about the practice of house accounts bidding to win, but to leap from there to accusing him of being unethical is just wrong. It is unfortunate that others who agree with me will not speak up.

Kenny Cole
02-24-2012, 10:00 PM
There was no shill bidding here. Shill bidding is placing a bid for the purpose of bumping a bidder who has a max bid to a higher level. You are wrong to accuse Bill Huggins of unethical conduct. You may have a legitimate disagreement with him about the practice of house accounts bidding to win, but to leap from there to accusing him of being unethical is just wrong. It is unfortunate that others who agree with me will not speak up.

Peter.

Facts speak louder than words. Not accusing H&S of anything nefarious, but the fact remains that every time they bid a lot up, they screwed the other bidders. Glad that he's stopped it, but it doesn't change the fact that it happened. End of story.

Peter_Spaeth
02-24-2012, 10:03 PM
Peter.

Facts speak louder than words. Not accusing H&S of anything nefarious, but the fact remains that every time they bid a lot up, they screwed the other bidders. Glad that he's stopped it, but it doesn't change the fact that it happened. End of story.

I don't agree Kenny. If someone is willing to pay more than I am, I don't feel screwed, I feel outbid. It doesn't matter to me if the higher bidder is inside or outside, if the bid is legitimate.

Kenny Cole
02-24-2012, 10:21 PM
Peter,

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, although the posts and the response seem to indicate that it is in the minority. Everything that I would say has already been said, but my thought is that if I'm outbid by an actual bidder, then I'm outbid. If I'm outbid by the house because it didn't get what they were hoping for, or I won it for more than I should have paid because I got bid up by the auction house, then IMO, I got screwed. Most posters here seem to agree

Peter_Spaeth
02-24-2012, 10:33 PM
Kenny I have no doubt that I am in the minority in terms of being OK with house bidding (to win, not to bump), but also no doubt that others who are unwilling to post see it my way. In the end, it is just as you say, a matter of opinion. My main point is to clarify that whatever H&S was doing, it was not -- as far as we know -- shill bidding as that term is commonly used and understood.

Kenny Cole
02-24-2012, 10:59 PM
And that is where we will have to agree to diverge, opinionwise, because I don't think it is OK at all. When the bid to win is because the prior bid seems too low, or when the bid to win ends up simply being a bump on the way to a higher bid, I view that as a problem. If you seriously don't, then I suppose that's fine. When I decide to personally auction some of my stuff, remind me to make sure you know about it. :D

T206DK
02-25-2012, 12:29 AM
Peter.

Facts speak louder than words. Not accusing H&S of anything nefarious, but the fact remains that every time they bid a lot up, they screwed the other bidders. Glad that he's stopped it, but it doesn't change the fact that it happened. End of story.

I'm stunned that there are collectors who apparently think this is no biggie and now that the policy has changed everything is ok. Has anyone asked whether or not House ofcards does the same type pf thing with their Ebay auctions.
In my opinion it is certainly unethical for an auction house to bid on their own auctions.

Dave Krabal

T206DK
02-25-2012, 12:32 AM
Peter, I know from your posts you are a much more educated and overall experienced collector than myself. But for me, I am tired of not being listened to with legitimate concerns such as the one with h/s auctions. Bill changed his policies and apologized...my inexperience leaves me somewhat historically uneducated, but at this point I was happy Bill changed. If the cards I want are at a good price, I have no reservations on bidding.

Steven Suckow

Does anyone wonder whether the change would have been made had this thread not been started ?

freakhappy
02-25-2012, 12:51 AM
Does anyone wonder whether the change would have been made had this thread not been started ?

Of course everyone knows that this "issue" wouldn't have changed b/c in their eyes, they were doing nothing wrong. Things like this or just things in general don't get changed without people pointing out the possible wrongdoing effect it will have on their business and/or the community.

How does anything with possible unethical implications get changed? Through the masses voting it to change or peer pressure or mind changing in general. I'm just glad that the President of H&S was listening and made the proper adjustments...I give him full credit for that.

For the record, I do believe it is wrong to bid on their auctions like they were doing, but I can honestly see both sides of the spectrum.

Mik/e C.a.vv.e.

slidekellyslide
02-25-2012, 01:02 AM
Kenny I have no doubt that I am in the minority in terms of being OK with house bidding (to win, not to bump), but also no doubt that others who are unwilling to post see it my way. In the end, it is just as you say, a matter of opinion. My main point is to clarify that whatever H&S was doing, it was not -- as far as we know -- shill bidding as that term is commonly used and understood.

Every time they bid and don't win it is no different than a shill bid, and how would anyone here know that they were bid up essentially by the house? They wouldn't. I don't care what their intent was if the auctioneer is bidding it is illegal, and I don't really care for the legal technicality that HOC and H&S are separate businesses, they are owned by the same person.

Peter, I think you are in a bigger minority than you think you are...what would keep anyone from speaking up for H&S if they thought it was okay? I actually think more people are not speaking up who believe that it was shill bidding because they don't want to lose their bidding privileges...if H&S is as thin skinned as the folks from Heritage that's a real possibility.

barrysloate
02-25-2012, 05:40 AM
I know that bidders hate when an auction house bids in their own auction, but I wonder how consignors feel about it. My guess is they just might be okay with it.

ScottFandango
02-25-2012, 06:15 AM
I don't agree Kenny. If someone is willing to pay more than I am, I don't feel screwed, I feel outbid. It doesn't matter to me if the higher bidder is inside or outside, if the bid is legitimate.


Hi POLLYANNA

rainier2004
02-25-2012, 06:19 AM
Does anyone wonder whether the change would have been made had this thread not been started ?

I guess my whole point is/was I was glad he was listening and made the change...probably wouldnt have made the change otherwise. As far as HOC goes, I have never won a lot there, and still do not agree with those practices and will not bid.

Kudos to Dan for the thread in the first place and initiating change. Lots of things bother me in this world...I dont know Mr Huggins personally, but Id like to believe he'll keep his word. Just my opinion.

Peter_Spaeth
02-25-2012, 07:02 AM
Every time they bid and don't win it is no different than a shill bid, and how would anyone here know that they were bid up essentially by the house? They wouldn't. I don't care what their intent was if the auctioneer is bidding it is illegal, and I don't really care for the legal technicality that HOC and H&S are separate businesses, they are owned by the same person.

Peter, I think you are in a bigger minority than you think you are...what would keep anyone from speaking up for H&S if they thought it was okay? I actually think more people are not speaking up who believe that it was shill bidding because they don't want to lose their bidding privileges...if H&S is as thin skinned as the folks from Heritage that's a real possibility.

Dan -- fear of backlash. I know this from private communications. EDIT TO ADD If H&S were really "shilling" HOC wouldn't be winning anything -- it would just be a house account used to bump other bidders to their max bids.

Peter_Spaeth
02-25-2012, 07:07 AM
Hi POLLYANNA

LOL that is refreshing, as I am so often accused of being cynical. Thanks!! :D

vintagechris
02-25-2012, 07:43 AM
Dan -- fear of backlash. I know this from private communications. EDIT TO ADD If H&S were really "shilling" HOC wouldn't be winning anything -- it would just be a house account used to bump other bidders to their max bids.


I disagree with you Peter. You are basically saying if someone is shilling auctions, the shill account never wins. That is just simply not true. As for the change in bidding rules now, IMO they basically had no choice, So i guess I am in the boat of they didn't do anything so great by changing to this.

I feel like what they did in the beginning was wrong. I believe H&S and HOC are the same company, and for them to have been bidding on items was running bids up against loyal customers who have been doing business with them for years.

Call me old school, but I am also in the camp that when someone owns a business and there is a problem with a customer, the business owner should apologize to the customer, there was never an apology for this or really an explanation as to why they felt this was right, other than HOC pays the buyers premium as well.

I had what I felt like was a major issue with H&S once, when I called to voice my concern, there was no apology from the person who answered the phone, to me, he didn't seem to care about the issue at all, he did allow me to send the item back for a refund and when I asked if they could cover what it would cost to ship it back, the person helping me seemed irritated that I would even ask that because as he said, it only costs $15 to ship.

Well, that didn't exactly make me feel like a valued customer. Not only did I feel like I had irritated this person for bringing this issue up, but there was never any explanation for how this could have happened in the first place and no assurance was made to me to make me believe it couldn't or wouldn't happen again.

In all fairness, it was not Josh or Bill that handled this issue, maybe they would have handled it better. I don't know if they ever even knew of the issue. I would think they would have been informed of it. To me, it just seemed like no one there really cared too much that there was what I felt was a major issue and to me it had a feel of being swept under the rug.

Chr....s S-hr.. e--ve

slidekellyslide
02-25-2012, 08:00 AM
Dan -- fear of backlash. I know this from private communications. EDIT TO ADD If H&S were really "shilling" HOC wouldn't be winning anything -- it would just be a house account used to bump other bidders to their max bids.

That's not true..their software is set up to not show max bids, but it may not be anonymous and they may know the bidding patterns of their customers..some guys are win at all cost, and others are cautious, and wait until extended bidding to do their work. They IMO were looking at lots that they believed they could make money on with their ebay account..they may have been bidding to win, but in the process the house was running up bids...which is illegal regardless of intent.

At first I couldn't tell if you were playing Devil's Advocate or looking for work. :D But now I think you're being serious that you see nothing wrong with what they were doing. I just don't understand how anyone could look at the situation and be okay with this.

ullmandds
02-25-2012, 08:03 AM
Yes Dan...agreed?! WTF is wrong with everyone?!

Peter_Spaeth
02-25-2012, 08:09 AM
I am being serious. I don't consider placing a bid with the hope of winning the lot to be running anyone up. It's a different issue if you don't believe that's what H&S was really up to, but that's more a factual than a philosophical question.

Dan, do you object to hidden reserves also? Or consignors buying back their own cards? Just curious.

Bugsy
02-25-2012, 09:19 AM
Dan, do you object to hidden reserves also? Or consignors buying back their own cards? Just curious.

A hidden reserve is a static target placed on a lot before the auction opens, which is very different than the scenario with H&S.

Owners bidding on their own lots is also shill bidding. Are you ok with owners bidding on their own items?

Peter_Spaeth
02-25-2012, 09:31 AM
My instinct is against consignors bidding on their own lots, but on the other hand what is the difference I wonder between a hidden reserve of X on a lot and the consignor placing a bid of X-1 increment? Either way, you can't win the card for less than X, and the consignor gets it back if the bidding doesn't go that high.

Of course in a sense none of these things we are debating matter much. If an auction house wants to, it can ask a friendly third-party to do its bidding, and if a consignor wants to, he can ask a friend.

Bugsy
02-25-2012, 09:44 AM
My instinct is against consignors bidding on their own lots, but on the other hand what is the difference I wonder between a hidden reserve of X on a lot and the consignor placing a bid of X-1 increment? Either way, you can't win the card for less than X, and the consignor gets it back if the bidding doesn't go that high.

Of course in a sense none of these things we are debating matter much. If an auction house wants to, it can ask a friendly third-party to do its bidding, and if a consignor wants to, he can ask a friend.

I have to agree with all of that. My thought is that it boils down to the principle. One is a static target placed at the outset while the other is a bit more arbitrary in that it can be adjusted as the auction unfolds (at least my understanding is the hidden reserve is not adjusted after an auction has begun). In the end, I'm not sure it matters much because the hammer price can be manipulated in many ways. Discussing principle is one thing, but policing reality is completely another.

mordecaibrown
02-25-2012, 10:05 AM
Personally, I always assumed that auction houses (or employees of the house) were not allowed to bid on the items due to a potential conflict of interest. This whole thread got me thinking, is Huggins and Scott the only auction house that WAS allowing employees to bid on items.

I know many on here often mention REA as the gold standard of auctions and on their website they clearly state that, "The auction house should not own any of the material, set any secret hidden reserves, permit its employees and executives to bid in the auction, provide inaccurate descriptions, make undisclosed restorations to the material, or intentionally not disclose any conflicts of interest."

http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/about/index.html

I did a real basic search of some other auction house rules and I had a hard time finding any statements concerning the topic of employee bidding - either way, allowed or not. I was surprised by this - only one auction house (that my admittedly caveman search found) addresses this topic...

Does anyone on here know factually where some of the other auction houses stand on this topic? If so, I think it would be good information to share with everyone.

A.ndy K.en.n.edy

rainier2004
02-25-2012, 10:16 AM
Does anyone on here know factually where some of the other auction houses stand on this topic? If so, I think it would be good information to share with everyone.

A.ndy K.en.n.edy

6. Subject to exceptions relating to credit considerations, all qualified bidders in good standing are eligible to bid on any lot in the auction. Legendary Auctions as a Company, as well as all of its employees (including executives and principals), are ineligible to bid in our auctions. Passive outside investors are eligible to bid.
15. Although Legendary Auctions employees, executives and principals are prohibited from bidding in the auction, from time to time they will own items that are consigned to the auction. In those cases (1) It will be clearly disclosed and (2) On these particular items customers will have a 7 days “no questions asked” return policy.
http://legendaryauctions.com/rules.aspx

I searched both Sterling and Brockelman & Luckey Auctions and found nothing in writing per web sites pertaining to employee bidding in writing but I thought Leon has repeated they cannot bid in their auction I believe...
http://www.b-lauctions.com/terms.html
http://www.sterlingsportsauctions.com/rules.aspx

kcohen
02-25-2012, 10:57 AM
Wow...what a forgiving lot?!?!

Not even an apology? We're listening to what our customers want...meaning for HOC/HS not to shill their own auctions and basically rob their customers of their hard earned cash?

And from this moment on...we're not going to steal your $$$ anymore?!?!

And many of you are ok with this...end of story? WOW!

Now that Mr. Huggins has responded to forum opinion and changed the policy, what more of true substance can he do to correct the situation? Submit to flogging? Cut off his ear and send it to you? Just curious.

ullmandds
02-25-2012, 11:31 AM
Well Golly Gee...an apology would be nice?

ullmandds
02-25-2012, 11:35 AM
Admission of wrong doing would be nice?!

ullmandds
02-25-2012, 12:25 PM
I'm done with this "discussion!"

It seems I am in the minority here of those that expect more from the businesses we deal with in this hobby and beyond. I expect honesty and integrity...and when someone F$cks up...I expect an apology...and then I can and usually do...move on!

I used to go to house of cards when I lived in MD back in the 90's and I always enjoyed my experiences there. Personally...H & S hardly ever offers anything in their auctions that I'm interested in...so I will most likely never bid in their auctions anyway.

I'm just a bit sick and tired of the mentality that has been propogating that businesses can rip people off at will...until they get caught...and then they just stop without any repercussions.

So I'll just group H&S/HOC with the Madolphs...and the banks...and most of the finance world that basically raped the country of their money...with nary a slap on the wrist!

God Bless America!

kcohen
02-25-2012, 12:28 PM
I said "of substance." Such window dressing changes nothing. Reasonable people are satisfied with a resolution to a problem. Declare victory and move on.

Peter_Spaeth
02-25-2012, 12:58 PM
So I'll just group H&S/HOC with the Madolphs...and the banks...and most of the finance world that basically raped the country of their money...with nary a slap on the wrist!

God Bless America!

Occupy Huggins & Scott!!!

sox1903wschamp
02-25-2012, 12:58 PM
The first two words out of the President of a Major Auction house's mouth to his Customers were "so look'. What was the movie....Jerry Maguire I think that had a great line in the movie of "you had me at hello".

When I read his first two words, he did not have me because it sounded like he was "put off" in having to deal with this issue. I am in sales and if I sent out a mass note to my irate customer base and started my note the same way, I would expect to lose numerous customer's in the near future.

Don't get me wrong, its good the issue appears to be fixed but the communication came across (IMO) about as "sincere as a spider" and as loyal customers of his auction house, we deserved more respect.

Michael S*%@tee@le

Fred
02-25-2012, 01:10 PM
I understand where some people are with this.

Ok, somebody got busted with their hand(s) in the cookie jar and after saying it won't happen again we're all just supposed to pretend like it never happened. I think the point a few people are trying to make is that this is something that shouldn't get swept under the carpet and forgotten about. This is something that impacts our hobby and hobbyist.

The way I figure, this is going to be on the minds of people after this thread goes to the bottom of the forum page and then off the main forum page. I'm guessing HOC and H&S would just wish it went away.

Maybe they ought to try and figure a way to smooth things over (monetarily). Drop he BP on the next auction to 5% (or something like that). Show the BUYERS/BIDDERS in their auctions that this is thier way of making amends for the MANY that felt slighted on this. There's nothing unethical about giving back to the hobby (and hobbyist) in a show of appreciation and gratitude.

vintagechris
02-25-2012, 01:41 PM
The first two words out of the President of a Major Auction house's mouth to his Customers were "so look'. What was the movie....Jerry Maguire I think that had a great line in the movie of "you had me at hello".

When I read his first two words, he did not have me because it sounded like he was "put off" in having to deal with this issue. I am in sales and if I sent out a mass note to my irate customer base and started my note the same way, I would expect to lose numerous customer's in the near future.

Don't get me wrong, its good the issue appears to be fixed but the communication came across (IMO) about as "sincere as a spider" and as loyal customers of his auction house, we deserved more respect.

Michael S*%@tee@le

I'm with you Michael. To start out with "so look" seemed very put off to me, much like I was treated for an issue I had with H&S last year, there was nothing about the issue I had last year or this issue that made me really think they were sincerely sorry. I am with Peter also, A sincere apology would have been at least a start instead of starting it with "so look". That just sounds very stand offish.

Chr...s Sh-- r e...ve

frankbmd
02-25-2012, 01:45 PM
The first two words out of the President of a Major Auction house's mouth to his Customers were "so look'. What was the movie....Jerry Maguire I think that had a great line in the movie of "you had me at hello".

When I read his first two words, he did not have me because it sounded like he was "put off" in having to deal with this issue. I am in sales and if I sent out a mass note to my irate customer base and started my note the same way, I would expect to lose numerous customer's in the near future.

Don't get me wrong, its good the issue appears to be fixed but the communication came across (IMO) about as "sincere as a spider" and as loyal customers of his auction house, we deserved more respect.

Michael S*%@tee@le

+1

smotan_02
02-25-2012, 02:38 PM
Interesting that this thread is happening as the Legendy Auction is kicking off. Makes me wonder...

T206DK
02-25-2012, 03:37 PM
Admission of wrong doing would be nice?!

yeah, I agree. an admision and an apology would be nice. It almost seems like they are mad that this was discovered....like someone ruined their good thing

Exhibitman
02-25-2012, 03:53 PM
Now that Mr. Huggins has responded to forum opinion and changed the policy, what more of true substance can he do to correct the situation? Submit to flogging? Cut off his ear and send it to you? Just curious.

Leave the ear. Send cannoli.

sb1
02-25-2012, 03:55 PM
We do not bid on any lots in our auction(could have sworn we had that in print, but I guess not), the statement has been made previously and still holds true. And since we don't have any employees, you don't have to worry about them either.

Also, we use the same software provider/auction platform as REA. So you can feel equally comfortable on our auction venue as well.


Scott

Leon
02-25-2012, 04:15 PM
We do not bid on any lots in our auction(could have sworn we had that in print, but I guess not), the statement has been made previously and still holds true. And since we don't have any employees, you don't have to worry about them either.

Also, we use the same software provider/auction platform as REA. So you can feel equally comfortable on our auction venue as well.


Scott


It is under our Market Strategy section and has been there since day one on our website, http://www.b-lauctions.com/market.html . As we recall we started our auction company in the heyday of some investigations. As far as I know we have the only written rule allowing for auditing of our records by a third party, if there ever is any question as to our auction bidding. I knew we had that rule concerning auction house bidding and missed it in our our "rules" page too.. I will work on getting a section added there in addition to where it is now. But again, been set in writing since day one. regards

danmckee
02-27-2012, 08:55 PM
Huggins Ear? No thanks, I want his liver!