I was going through the many online complaints filed against Liveauctioneers.com. Here’s one that caught my attention, and that I agree with:
“I’ve been buying coins for almost 30 years through every method. The salesmen (I don’t call them auctioneers because I bet most aren’t licensed) are obviously manipulating bids through shill bidding. Their prices, not even including the exorbitant bidders premiums and S&H, are always much higher than eBay. And I don’t mean for high value items – I mean a lot of basic items that wouldn’t be counterfeit. The issue I have with them setting a minimum price for their auctions is that this is NOT clear to the bidders who think this is a live absolute auction. What the sellers are effectively doing is setting a reserve price and all the bidders think it’s other people bidding.
I have contact Live Auctioneers and they have confirmed that they do nothing to detect or deal with shill bidders (fake bidders that just bid up the price). There are MANY technological solutions that would add transparency to the process and protect the bidders. They just choose not to implement them. This is disingenuous at best, fraudulent at worst. I’m actually going to look up the auction governance body and attorney general for the state in which they operate and file formal complaints. I believe the FTC may also have jurisdiction.
And with regards to the seller that likes the way they operate and says eBay is going down because they protect bidders – duh. Of course you’d like an unfair advantage. The complaint here is that the LiveAuctioneers people are manipulating prices behind the scenes and not transparent to the bidders. This is what hurts the auction industry – and why it is not allowed in real live auctions.”