Posted by Stan Willis on July 04, 2001 at 13:52:26:
In Reply to: Re: ebay auction-berliner type cuffs posted by Barry on July 04, 2001 at 13:40:31:
You seem to making a false assumption that all involved are honest. I've been to many live auctions where a collector or dealer will discuss a piece out loud with his friend and find fault with a piece, in order to discourage other bidders. This is a criminal act in Ohio, as is any type of bid manipulation, but it's hard to prove and seldom enforced.
: An "efficient" auction brings together knowledgeable buyers and sellers. When dealing with items whose intrinsic value is negligible (such as collectibles), expert opinion is important especially as it relates to fungibility and grading.
: IMO, asking for opinions re a particular item, is no different from the murmering heard in the sales rooms of the major auction houses, either before, or during an auction. If the buyers and sellers are honest, then the rise or fall of sale prices is a natural consequence of this process.
: I do have a major problem, however, with buyers/sellers who attempt to short circuit the auction process for their own advantage by trying to arrange a private sale while the auction is in progress. I agree completely that this is unethical.
: For an interesting discussion of these subjects, read the book, "Auctions: The Social Construction of Value" by Charles W. Smith.
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