Live Auctioneers Gets an F from the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau gives LiveAuctioneers.com a big F. Live Auctioneers received the most complaints out of all the 11 auction companies in the industry.

Live Auctioneers LLC

Phone: (212) 947-4427
220 12th Ave Fl 2
, New York, NY 10001

RATED:
BBB® F Rating
On a scale of A+ to F

An Industry comparison chart shows that LiveAuctioneers.com had the most complaints filed in the Auctioneers industry. Out of 11 different businesses in the industry, they were the one ranked with the most complaints. See the chart below:
# of businesses with NO complaints in the past 36 months 7
# of businesses with 1-4 complaints in the past 36 months 3
# of businesses with 5-25 complaints in the past 36 months 1 Live Auctioneers LLC is in this range.
# of businesses with 26-99 complaints in the past 36 months 0
# of businesses with 100 or more complaints in the past 36 months 0
Total # of same relative size businesses in the BBB database in this type of business 11

LiveAuctioneers.com Auction House Reviews

This is an article from a blog on blogspot named LiveAuctioneersRevies and it lists many different auction houses that the blogger dealt with on LiveAuctioneers.com. It’s his own opinion and your experience with some of these auction houses might be different than his. It details the good, the bad and the ugly of buying through LiveAuctioneers.com: After reading this post, please share your own experiences.

ALPHABETICAL ORDER

Note: This blog is here to protect and inform buyers and consignors. Reports are kept factual and we try not to get too personal about things.

Antique Supermarket, 59 SW 12 Ave #102, Dania Beach, FL 33004, United States
Beware of Fraud. Won an item during an auction, paid them with CC within 7 calendar days. They “offer in house shipping”. A week later finally got a hold of them over the phone to find out where is my painting, and they told me that they refunded my money because consignor took painting back. I am an active customer at Liveauctioneers for many years, and this is first time I have seen anything like that. THIS IS FRAUD, BEWARE, NO LIVE PREVIEW, NO SHOWROOM, NOT EVEN A WEBSITE, NO MESSAGE ON ANSWERING MACHINE. JUST HORRIBLE. WON’T EVER DEAL WITH THEM or suggest them to anybody. 8/07/2013 Reported by: Ubidantiques

Auction Farm
Very over-priced items. Most items pass and they save them for a future auction. Appears to be Chinese sellers who sell reproductions under half-American names working out of Canada.

Auctions Imperial, LLC, 9909 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Suite 157, Chatsworth, CA 91311
This company is only on the naughty list because they require credit card information up front which isn’t exactly bad. We personally feel uncomfortable with this. The company emailed first, then much later, called us for the information again. That was nice of them to call, but we didn’t provide the information. 2/23/2013

Bertoia Auctions, 2141 DeMarco Drive, Vineland, NJ 8360
Be careful. We bid on an item that was labelled as “pristine condition”. That was not so. The item had damage and they did not include a photo of the damaged side. If a photo is missing, it is most likely for a reason. If a makers mark is not shown, there is probably a reason as auction companies usually like to showcase a marking. 4/9/2013
We bought from this company again. You can receive a discount on the premium if you pay by check, but then there is a wait while it is in transit. The shipping charges are reasonable. We bought 2 small items and the shipping came to $26.85. 02/04/2014

Bill Hood & Sons Art & Antique Auctions, 2925 S. Federal Highway, Delray Beach, FL 33483
Things went smooth at first. Here is some helpful information regarding the shipping process: Pack on the Go will ship a fine, medium sized porcelain piece for $67.47 insured using FedEx. The UPS Store quoted $91.34 and wouldn’t quote on a commercial address. They didn’t care either way. Obviously we went with Pack on the Go as our shipper of choice. The lady from Pack on the Go had a pleasant voice…like Delilah (the radio show personality) and was very professional. She got back to us within an hour. The UPS Store didn’t get back to us as they said. We had to call them the next day to get the quote and they had it laying right in front of them. Pack on the Go even said they would ship the item out the same day…talk about quick service. The reason why this auction company is on the naughty list is because they did not report damage to the porcelain item. We paid over $400 for the piece and it actually had missing parts and had a large reglued piece. The missing parts were not in the tissue paper wrapping (damage did not occur during shipping). We did not receive a response to our email or voice message regarding the damage and found that this item had sold just last month to someone else (it may have been returned for the same reasons). A response was received a few days later requesting photos of the damage and repair. Photos were sent. They agreed to an $80 refund which is good. They said they would email back the within the next day or two and did not regarding the credit. They did not. I called back 5 days later to find out the verdict. They said the refund went through. They took care of the problem and are not extremely naughty. 3/1/2013

Blanchard’s Auction Service, 1891 Morley-Potsdam Rd Potsdam, NY 13676
No hassles, calls you for payment, cheap shipping!

Bluegrass Appraisals and Auctions, 1387 E New Circle Rd, Lexington, KY 40505
Reported by blog viewer: won bid for group of Haviland china for $70.00. Condition reported as good condition overall, some gold trim loss, few minor chips. When items were picked up, four tea cups were missing. Auctioneer refunded $20.00. When the items were inspected the condition was 75% damage and too far gone to even be sold at flea market. 4/8/2014

Bruce Kodner Galleries, 24 S Dixie Hwy Lake Worth, FL 33460
Does not mention chips to porcelain items unless you specifically send an email and ask if there are chips. No close up photos to show damage.

B. S. Slosberg (Barry S. Slosberg Inc. Auctioneers), 2501 East Ontario St, Philadelphia PA 19134
BE WARNED
I’m leery about purchasing from this company. They will list a condition, but fail to report important information such as, “will not wind properly”, or “have not tested”. We were smart enough to ask more questions before placing a bid. You would think if a condition was given that they would report it all, but they don’t. For instance, here is the condition they gave on a tin toy, “Condition: minor paint loss and wear from age”. I asked if it functions and they said, “Does not wind properly”. They should have told everyone this because there are 3 bids on this item and days to go before the auction begins. I asked if they would test a tin toy and they would not. Well then, we are not placing a bid. It is that simple. 02/12/2014

Carlsen Gallery, Inc., 9931 State Rd. 32, Freehold NY 12431
Must pay by check (United States customers) within 10 days after auction. No credit cards or PayPal…say goodbye to possible credit card rewards points!

Conestoga Auction Company, Inc., 768 Graystone Road, Manheim, PA 17545
This auction company has its good points and its bad points. On one hand, they are easy to deal with. On the other hand, they have messed up paperwork in the past paying the wrong consignor for the wrong goods, etc.
They have easy bidding by phone and from a consignment view of things, very easy to do business with. However, this was the only consignment where we went in the hole losing just about half of our money…so they don’t bring in the bucks. Also, they forgot to add some of our consignments to the auction and we had to inquire about that. We had to pick the items up. They placed stickers on old silk and it caused the silk to be torn, even when the tags were carefully removed.
From a buyer’s perspective, you can pick up some deals since things tend to sell low. However, you might not always be getting what you thought you were paying for. For instance, we purchased a mask that was listed as having real horns and glass eyes when in reality the whole mask was carved from one chunk of wood. No horns or glass eyes were involved at all. We drove quite a ways for the pickup, so we asked for $10 back since our lot was incorrectly listed. We thought this was fair, but they wouldn’t go for it even though we are regular customers who have spent roughly $20,000 at their establishment within about a 2 year period. As of this date, we are no longer customers, but are open-minded. If they auction off an awesome item, we may be interested in bidding. 03/18/2013, 06/01/2013, 10/10/2013, 2/3/2014

Copake Auction Inc., PO Box H – 266 Route 7A, Copake NY 12516
Smooth sailing. Decent shipping charge. 06/22/2013

Cowan’s Auctions
Easy checkout, shipping a bit high…but okay.

Creighton Davis Gallery
We won 2 very small items and they charged $40 for shipping. We call this is taking advantage.

Crescent City Auction Gallery, 1330 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130
We were approved to bid on an item. We put our bid in over 2 weeks in advance. The item ended up selling for half of what our bid was. We did not win. Something did not go right because the morning of the auction we noticed that they disabled our bid on this item and then after the item sold, they made the bid active again. This is a curious and strange situation that we have not come across before. 05/19/2013

Dirk Soulis Auctions, MO
Won lots of stuff, but had to bid on a lot. Easy shipping, fair rates, you can request parcel shipping as well…but not at Christmas time. Bought many items which were listed as in very good condition, but they had chips all over. We are not happy about that.

DuMouchelles, 409 East Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
We called to pay a few days after the sale and they said that they were not ready to be paid and to call back tomorrow. 4/23/2013
We asked for detailed shots of a repaired porcelain piece and instead they told us they were not ready to send photos, about a week later they just sent us the listing description. We asked again for detailed shots of the damage and they told us the auction was now over. Waiting until the last minute to take care of things loses bids and makes for unsatisfied potential customers. 02/17/2014

Dreweatts Bristol Auction Rooms, Baynton Road, Ashton, Bristol, BS3 2EB, United Kingdom
Very hard to pay with a wire transfer. Must send the funds in sterling. But if you tell them that you can’t send sterling, then they will give you another bank account that allows you to send US dollars. Another thing to note is that they do not mention the complete condition. Our lot had a large glued piece and large chip that was not mentioned anywhere in the listing. 5/9/2013

Elite Decorative Arts
This company said we didn’t pay through Live Auctioneers and filed a dispute against us. We paid immediately and had proof of it. A man admitted he forgot…there was not even a sorry.

Here is the most recent system for paying. You need to fax a payment form in and a shipping form. There is one suggested shipper: Eagle Pack and Ship. The estimate for shipping a single, non-delicate bracelet was $35.20 through Eagle Pack and Ship. In house shipping is not an option…not even for a single paper clip as we were told. We called a second shipping company that was suggested for smaller items at less cost, but the quote came to $40.00. The shipping company was Pak Mail. 4/16/2013

Embassy Auctions, PA
From a consignment perspective…takes on consignments quickly and easily. However, didn’t stick to the reserve prices as noted on our contract and even cut them in half. This was very upsetting until we found out that the auction company got stuck buying back these items (in their own words). Instead of passing on an item, they buy the item back from the winning bidder so really the reserves were not cut in half. Only some of the items sold a bit under the reserve causing us to go in the hole a bit. Some items went for descent money though. It took several contact attempts asking for payment for it to finally come. It took just about 3 months to receive the final payment. We had to make several phone calls to date. Emails were not answered in the beginning, so we made a personal call and they admitted that they had received the emails regarding payment…but apparently they chose not to respond. We noticed that they did not include important keywords in the title of a listing or in the description of an item and suggested that they add them. The representative we spoke to felt that they didn’t have enough time to add these important words to bring in more bidders (it would have taken a matter of minutes). However, a few minutes later they did add the details (must have decided that it was a good idea)…so we are pleased about that. We also sent in professional photos of one of our items since their photos didn’t do the item justice, and they still didn’t use the more appealing photos. This auction company also did not offer to ship a somewhat larger item which resulted in a lower sale price since the only option was local pickup. We had to pick up the items that did not meet the reserve and they had the items waiting for us just as requested. 03/18/2013

Fox Auctions, PO Box 4069, Vallejo, CA 94590
Things went terribly wrong. Both items we purchased had flaws worse than the requested condition report stated. One item was completely missing parts not shown in the photo (porcelain broken off and chip/crack not mentioned). Our card was charged too much. Our partial refund to help cover repairs never arrived. Over a month later, we reminded the gruff lady and she said it slipped through the cracks and she’ll send a check. I don’t know why she can’t credit our card since we paid with it. Also, she answers the phone in a way that does not sound professional. We told her that we would like the credit within one week. Then she said that she just sent it through PayPal. We do not see the credit and she doesn’t even have our account email nor did she ask for it (we originally paid with a credit card). 08/01/2013, 08/05/2013

Frasher’s Doll Auction, MO
Good prices, reasonable shipping charges…Descent place.

Great American Auction Service Inc., 4390 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538
Many modern Chinese items (not old originals). Thought we saw a chip on a porcelain item, so we asked the condition and they said it was in perfect condition. Then we pointed out that there appeared to be a chip at the top and they replied that indeed there is…they missed it. But then they didn’t add it to the listing for other potential bidders. 05/16/2013

Gordon S Converse & Co.
BE WARNED
Stay away! They don’t even have an auctioneers license (heard straight from the source). This company broke one of our items (the best one) and lost another item. They also sell out of their home (We know because we picked the items up). They don’t test to see if items are working, but don’t mention this in the auction listing. We also noticed that an item will sell at an auction and then be listed again in the next auction. They could bid up their own goods and then if they get stuck with them, they can just re-list them again.
Update: We also noticed that you have to look carefully at their photographs online. I saw what appeared to be a crack and then asked if there was damage. There were several areas that were broken and glued back together. They relied on the photos to tell the story. That is not good enough for us. We feel that is pulling the wool over the eyes of the buyer. On a positive note, they updated the one listing after we asked the particulars. We also asked if an item had the key and they responded that they believe the key is with it. Could you just go check for sure. Gee whiz. You didn’t answer the question, believing isn’t enough when it comes to this. With another item, we saw a split in the wood and asked the condition. It turns out the whole leg was detached (not shown in photos). It is good we asked. They updated the listing after we asked. 02/12/2014

Harrison Auction, FL (NIGHTMARE ALERT)
This company lets you pay with PayPal…that is pretty awesome and a good start to things. But we paid and they still asked for payment at least 3 or 4 times. They even sent us an invoice for someone from all the way across the country. The shipping for our item was more than the item’s value. We called and said we already paid 2 days ago. They said they would check…they were driving a car at the moment. Then later they called asking for payment. We said, we just spoke, the guy said sorry hun. He forgot we had just talked. (Later)…The package finally came. It was a porcelain item broken into about 100 pieces. We called the man and left a message. He called me back asking if we called and said his name (he must have thought it was a friend calling). He was driving a car once again. He said he would send us the insurance claim form and we could file it from our end to get the payment back. We said that should be his job. We are shippers and take care of claims for our customers. He should do the same. He said that he is not going to pay for something that is the fault of the post office. The package was marked insured though and he was aware of that. So he literally does not have to pay…we think he just does not want to be bothered with the problem. Who does? The box did not have enough peanuts in it. The pieces were able to move freely around the interior of the box. The top of the box had a dent most likely due to the space that was void. There was not enough bubble around the objects either. The man said he would get back to us shortly when he is done driving to let us know if he will indeed handle the claim himself. We let him know that we write a blog reviewing auction companies thinking we would give him a chance to correct the problem and save his name. It didn’t phase him. He responded that he did not wish to handle the insurance claim. He probably knew that the claim would not go through since the damage was the result of his pack job. We retorted that we would file a chargeback with our credit card and return the broken item to him if the refund was not made by tomorrow. He said he would have to let the original owner know what happened (meaning he won’t be the one going in the hole if the insurance claim doesn’t come through…the unfortunate owner will pay the price for his mistake). We sent him photos of the damage and he sent us a refund (but had trouble finding our payment records in order to complete the refund…he couldn’t find our name). We helped him with that and it was all settled. 2/12/2013

Well, we decided to try giving this company another chance. This time the item is a glass vase. We’ll see if it gets here in one piece. We are hoping so as we don’t want a big ordeal. One good thing is that the premium is only 16%. The shipping was automatic and came to $23.35. 08/05/2013

Hassinger & Courtney Auctioneers, 3442 Heister Valley Rd, Richfield, PA 17086
You can possibly find some good deals at a live sale if you are patient and sit through the entire auction. Things go high (good for the consignor). Stay away from electronics or items with motors. Both items we purchased would not function. No response received to our email regarding returning the items so that we do not have to dispose of them (we mentioned that we were not even asking for our money back, we just wanted return them at the next sale for disposal…they were not part of a dollar box or junk lot…they were purchased singly). 5/18/2013

Helm Auction
Bought masks with glass eyeballs. Received masks and the eyeballs were just painted on the wood. There was nothing glass-like about them. Had to return the lot.

Hyde Park Country Auctions, 323 Hibernia Rd., Salt Point, NY 12578
We noticed that there is no condition report given for the online auctions. You will have to go by the photos provided. We looked closely at the first lot we were going to bid on and saw many cracks to the porcelain. So use your eyes well or ask the condition. Easy to pay and they have the shipper call you. 4/6/2013

John Moran Auctioneers
Quick to respond and sends photos on request.

Kamelot Auctions, 4700 Wissahickon Ave, Suite 107, Philadelphia, PA 19144
We placed bids through this auction house. Then they went through the auction 8 days prior to the start and raised the starting bids. I don’t know if this is to get people’s attention at the start and then hope they raise their bids to the new starting bid. It was strange. We did not raise our bids to meet the new outrageous amounts. 10/11/2013
We made another purchase. This time we picked the item up, but had a very hard time finding the place. We called and the employee didn’t know how to get us there. It took several phone calls and speaking with several people. At least they were a real establishment and we finally made it after lots of driving around. 02/04/2014

Keystone Auction LLC, PO Box 3308, York, PA 17402
Warning! If picking up, items may be missing. We picked up our items and noticed that not everything was there. The man said we could pay for shipment. We said we drove hours to avoid the shipping cost. The man had us search a storage room for them. They were not there. The storage room was what appeared to be a rented space. The man told us to follow him about 20 minutes to his home which was out of our way making us lose another 40 minutes. His home was very nice and I was wondering in my head why my items were at his house where things could get broken by young children. Anyway…the man had boxed items up quickly so that we could not inspect them. We should have insisted on inspecting every item, but were running late for our journey back. Several things had losses and even chips. One item was missing all (real) gems as if someone had picked them off. They were clearly shown in the photographs. When we called the man the next day he said anything could happen between the time the photos are taken and the time they are auctioned off. Many people have access to them and can take things off of them (that’s not our fault). Be careful because we are not even sure this is a legitimate auctioneer. It appears to be someone working out of their home. Why else would some of our items be inside of it? 5/2/2013
We have done more business with this company. The location is the same, a rough warehouse facility. I think you can find a good deal with this company now and then. We will continue to do business with them. The lady that helped us with the pickup was so helpful and kind. It is hard to find this place as it is unmarked. 02/04/2014
Something we didn’t enjoy this time were the changes that were made to auction listings just a few hours before the start of the auction (such as stating damages such as hairlines etc.). One reason we bid ahead is because we are too busy to bid during the auction. So if they make changes to a listing the night before, we do not know about them. This doesn’t seem fair, but I’ve seen this before. Damages should be stated up front (not the night before or hours before). 02/17/2014

Kodner Galleries Inc., 45 South Federal Highway, Dania Beach, FL 33004
Shipping is too pricey in our opinion.

Langston Auction Gallery, Bobby Langston Antiques, Inc., 2620 US Hwy 301 S, PO Box 7024, Wilson, NC 27895
Easy payment. Two quotes for shipping. Porcelain item valued at $161 through Navis Pack and Ship (919)832-9006 was quoted at $88, UPS Store #4108 was $30.18, however UPS changed their quote to $39.73 when we went to pay and we had to ask the new total or I do not think they were going to mention the difference/change in price. We received the item and it had a huge chunk missing out of the porcelain. The auction company tried to say that it happened at UPS, but we proved them wrong when we pointed out the small area that was just visible in the rear of the listing photo. You could tell by the silhouette that the piece was damaged before shipment occurred even though the damage was not obvious in the photo. They admitted that the auctioneer checked the item and must have overlooked it. We even asked the condition before we won the item. They are planning to refund us $50 to cover the damage. We will buy from them again because they resolved the situation quickly and had good communication. If they make another error, then we will most likely not continue to purchase items from this auction house. 06/03/2013

Leighton Galleries, Inc., 6 Pearl Ct, Suite C, Allendale, NJ 07401
I wish all transactions went as smoothly as this. All around easy. Shipping done through UPS store #3490 for a good price. The small item’s total charge for shipping was $23.59. Not too shabby. 1/29/2014

Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales Ltd., 620 Cornerstone Court, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Requires a credit card prior to approving to bid online at Live Auctioneers. 6/17/2013

Leonard Auction, 1765 Cortland Ct, Addison IL 60601
We were going to bid on a vase, but researched it first. We noticed the rim of the vase was not glazed. I asked if several inches of the top had been ground off. They replied that it was and that it was sharp. This was not listed in the condition. They added it to the condition after we informed them of the problem. 02/17/2014

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, 1338 West Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60607
BEWARE
Will not provide condition reports on items valued less than $300. We will not be buying unless we know the condition of an item. If there is only one photo shown, you have to guess the condition of the reverse side which is hidden. They will not give any information out as to the condition. We asked the condition on a lot that was valued over $300 and it is a good thing because the item had a break and repair. Another high end item we purchased had internal broken/missing parts. But this was mentioned nowhere in the listing. We sent an email inquiring about the item before we made the purchase and the condition was not mentioned. A phone call revealed that they did not know how the item was supposed to function so they did not know it had missing a part. They would not refund the money for to or from shipping or for packing fees even though the fault was theirs. No credit cards accepted and must remove property within 7 days or there will be a $5 fee per lot. The invoice wasn’t sent out until 3 days after the auction. This does not leave much time to get a check in the mail. A written authorization must be sent to their office, but they don’t give it to you. You have to search for it on their website. We have just come to the conclusion that it works out very well on their end when you have to pay with a check rather than a credit card. You can not get your money back when you receive the defective merchandise. With a credit card you are protected and can file a chargeback. Maybe that is a main reason they do not accept credit cards. However, if they do make a mistake, they will offer to refund your money upon receiving the item back. But you will be out the money for the to and from shipping, packing, and materials. 5/20/2013

Manor Auctions, 2415 N Monroe Street, #260, Tallahassee, FL 32303, 850-523-3787
Both porcelain pieces that we purchased had undisclosed damage. I could see how they might overlook these things. Another damaged part was mentioned in the listing…that it had been repaired. They didn’t mention that the repair was horrible. Someone took a piece of ribbon and coated it with paint to look like porcelain. The shipping was also high. They use the UPS store for shipping. Shipping came to $74.20. We thought that was high. 02/04/2014

We made another purchase. One of the two items arrived damaged even the packing job wasn’t too shabby. Also we bought items listed as Jade, but they were a soft stone that was easily scratched. They said this was Nephrite Jade and that is why it scratches. We told them that Nephrite does not scratch when scraped with steel. They issued a $20 refund for this error. We asked if they would be listing soft stone as Jade in the future and they did not answer the question. I suppose we can not by Jade from this seller any longer. 2/24/2014

Michaan’s Auctions, 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501
$110 shipping for a small tin toy. This is no joke. Will not be buying again or we will bid $100 less than we would have to compensate for the jacked up shipping. 2/14/13

Mid-Atlantic Auction, PO Box 4365, Wilmington, DE 19807
Heads up! Don’t forget to ask the condition of items. They do not mention missing parts, cracks, or flaws in their auction listings. On another note, they are very flexible and easy to work with as far as pickup is concerned. 4/9/2013

Mohawk Arms, NY
Smooth transaction, super shipping rate! A+++

Morphy Auctions (PA)
Did not describe a lot well. If an item is broken, they may not mention it and arrange items in the photos in a way that masks the problem. They did not respond to us until they thought the 30 day return period was over and then said that we could not return it because the 30 days was up. We corrected them and told them it was not 30 days and they still did not do anything to correct the situation. In another instance, a listing for a lot stated, “very good” for the condition…but we noticed something strange in the photo and asked if one of the items was missing a part. They responded that the entire lot of items did not function properly. 08/02/2013

Bought an item that was listed as excellent to near mint with only minor scuffs. Item had damage and repair that was unacceptable. Cracking and unprofessional repairs. You have to keep on them to talk about problems. In the end, we made a personal trip to their company and walked away with a $100 credit which we used towards something else. The original lot was $500 plus the premium. 10/09/2013

Consignor view of things: Very difficult to deal with. Responses are slow to be received. We arranged to travel on a certain day to consign and they were not ready even though we sent photos and descriptions well in advance. We had to leave all items because an expert was not available as planned. Then the items that they do not want will have to be picked up within a certain time period which means another day of travel. Not convenient and also this company is very picky on what they will accept (which is odd because we have seen low end items in their auctions). We inquired about this and they said that when they take on a million dollar consignment, they will take lesser items with it. We did not feel welcome as we have at many other auction houses. The building is very clean and organized though and they have lots of great items. Our consigned item went for less than the expected price range that the auction house set (it also went lower than our expected price range (and historical sales range) even though it was in Morphy’s specialty area and catalog auction…could be by chance). 3/18/2013

Was happy with our purchase(s). 2/17/2014, 3/11/2014

We attempted another consignment and this time it went easier. However it did take several emails, an online form, and a phone call before we received a response. The phone call sped things up rapidly. They were not picky this time and we felt welcomed. We even brought several of the same items as last time and they took them without a flinch. We will see what kind of return this consignment brings in and consider consigning again. 4/3/2014

Mosby & Co. Auctions, 905 West 7th Street, #228, Frederick, MD 21701
Easy to do business with (very easy) and shipping is very reasonable and automatically placed on your invoice. We were happy with every item we purchased thus far. 7/1/2013

Neale and Sons, CA
Shipping included right away, very good shipping rates. Very easy transaction. A++++++ on that! However, it took very long to receive the items and the two porcelain pieces we received were chipped (even an object literally broken off and missing…not in the tissue paper wrapping). The condition report given did not include this information. We also had a wooden item with a large chip right out of the front (not visible in the online photos). We emailed the auction company and did not receive a response. We called the auction company and were told that the owner would call back. Instead, we received an email the next day that said they would send a $20 check in the mail. So far we have not received the check. 2/23/2013

Nest Egg Auctions, 30 Research Parkway, Meriden, CT
Everything went smooth, except for a few small chips that were not mentioned in the auction and a large repair (re-glued area). It seemed like a good shipping price through “We Pack and Ship”. 13 small items for $47.76. 4/20/13

New Orleans Auction
Thing went pretty smooth at first. Just the UPS store forgot to ship my items. But that isn’t the auction companies fault. However, when we finally received our lot of 15 items, they were chipped and missing about 90% of the rhinestones (not mentioned anywhere in the listing and not visible in the photos). We will be very cautious when purchasing from this auction house in the future. They responded that we would have needed to ask for a condition report. This is another auction house who either doesn’t want to be bothered with conditions in the listing due to time restraints or is being deceptive knowing that their fine print covers them as they noted in their email to us…”refer to our conditions of sale, section 2.” 2/14/2013

Nico Auctions, 4023 Kennett Pike, Suite 248, Greenville, DE 19807
Quick to respond with details about auction items. 2/14/2013

Noel Barrett
Items go high (a bit of a downer, but not for the seller), medium shipping charges, discount for paying by check.

Oglethorpe Auctions, 106 Redfern Village, St. Simons, GA 31522
Starting price is higher than the value of the item for the first couple pieces that we looked at. We stopped looking after the first couple of pieces since they were overpriced and we did not wish to waste our time any further. 3/25/1013

Old Barn Auction, Steve Eaton, 10040 state Route 224 West, Findlay, OH 45840
Very easy checkout. Invoice is sent through email, then you call in to pay. Shipping is included automatically on your invoice. Smooth as it should be. Oh, and shipping is reasonable (not over-inflated).

Philadelphia Auction International, 938 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
BEWARE
Don’t let this auction house fool you. They specialize in Asian items and the company is run by Tao Yun. If you are bidding on their $1 absolute auction where everything starts at $1, and you actually win, don’t expect to actually receive the item (in our case we did not). After the auction was over, they cancelled the $1 item that we won and said it was due to a “clerking error”. Is this what they told everyone who won an item for $1? We sat through the entire auction and found that after the first couple of items passed or sold for $1, suddenly floor bidders started appearing jacking the pricing up. Many items sold to floor bidders or maybe the floor bidders were not real. We do not know. Almost all items towards the end of the auction that we bid on suddenly had a floor bidder back out so that we received our bid as precedence. That was quite strange as if they were testing the waters to see how high they could go without getting stuck with an item. We researched several items in this sale and found that they were in past sales and were unsold. Could Tao Yun be getting the items direct from China? They don’t appear to be consignments due to the re-listing. Though there may be nothing wrong with that. We personally do not trust this company and will not be purchasing again. They wasted our valuable time. 12/19/2013

Pook and Pook, Inc. Review, 463 East Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335
BEWARE
This company listed a lot without any condition report. It turns out the lot was not as described (not to mention was very musty). After pleading nicely for some time, they still would not issue a refund. They offered to offer the lot to the underbidder, but would not refund the difference which means a loss. Or they said that they could resell it for us in a future auction and only charge 10% commission. Right now, we are out almost exactly $1000 and nothing to show for it. They said we would have had to ask the condition even though other items in their auction had damages listed. The owner, James Pook said, “I’m not going to bow down to you because you didn’t ask the condition.” We never asked for him to bow down, we asked kindly for our money back and even traveled far for pickup. James said that he can’t have his consignor wonder why the item didn’t sell. I said, “Tell the consignor that you made an error in the listing”. He said, “I made an error?”. I said, “Yes”. The consignor would not be as upset as we were right then. That is for sure. We told him that we would not be buying again in the future and he didn’t flinch. We really can’t understand why they would break a relationship without any remorse especially when we bid up items over the $10,000 value and spent thousands in one auction. It’s a nice building. Unfortunately, it seems that they make their money through dishonesty. James said that they do not report damage because it takes too much time…that they sell too many items to be able to list damage. Then don’t sell as many items or get more staff! 3/22/2013

It is a hassle to have to fill out a credit card form up front. They also send you a receipt showing a $1 charge to approve you for the auction. This happens with future auctions as well. It is not something you have to do just one time. Also, when they do not provide a condition report and you ask the condition by emailing their Live Auctioneers email address, they will respond with an email that says to email conditions@pookandpook.com. Then you have to try to remember what question you asked in the first place and rewrite the whole thing…another hassle. Why don’t they just forward the email to themselves? Why make the customer do the work? If the condition report department isn’t allowed to read the online emails, then the company should just forward it to the correct department instead of causing confusion. 3/6/2013

As an added note: There is a 3% fee for using a credit card. There is no discount for paying with cash. 3/20/2013

Richard Opfer Auctioneering, Inc., 1919 Greenspring Dr., Timonium, MD 21093
They are open Monday through Friday from 9-5. They say you must spend over $200 to be eligible to not pay taxes if you have a sales tax license. Checkout was easy. They have one shipper (UPS Store) that calls you shortly after payment and ships quickly at a competitive price. We are satisfied. 3/13/2013

Ron Rhoads Auctioneers, PA
Quick to respond to questions. Very pleasant. 2/14/2013

Schwenke – Woodbury Auction LLC, 710 Main Street South, Woodbury CT 06798
BEWARE
This company will change an online description at night before the auction (in our case at 9:26 PM). We placed our bid the afternoon before the auction and after we placed the bid, they added more damage and a note that the damage is not shown in the photos. We did not receive the email of this update until after the auction was over and we were the winners since we did not check our email after 9:26 PM. We confronted the auction company about the description change showing damage. Only after telling them that we spoke with them on the phone the afternoon before the sale, they finally admitted that the piece had been dropped during preview. They should have updated the listing immediately instead of right before bed. It feels like a scam. They agreed to pay $45 for the damages, but wanted us to pay in full first. Then they would send a check for the $45. That makes no sense. Why not just remove it from the bill? Maybe because they do not plan to pay the $45. We spent over $300. If you are just starting out with online bidding, get ready to have a hold placed on your card. They want to know exactly what lot you are bidding on so that they can temporarily charge your card for the low estimate. If you do not wish to tell them the exact lot (for privacy reasons), they will be pretty forceful about it unless you mention that you can just tell them the estimate. Get ready to feel unwelcomed. As a note for any buyer, also be prepared to pay using cash, money order, cashier’s check, or wire transfer (but no PayPal, credit cards, or personal checks). This assures them that they receive and keep their money even if they send you faulty goods. 6/11/2013

With this same purchase, we were also informed that one of our items had been stolen. Therefore, we will be waiting for a check to cover this amount that had already been paid. 7/26/13

Skinners
We placed bids in advance. Then the night before the auction, they added damage reports on our items without informing us. We were the high bidders. They said we should have asked if they changed anything on the day of the auction. We said, what is the point of an absentee bid. We were not available the morning of the auction…that is why we placed absentee bids. They have fine print that covers this sort of thing.

Slawinski Auction Company, PO Box 67059, Scotts Valley, CA 95067
This auction company requires references to bid so be sure to have purchased from other auction houses recently to use on the form you have to fill out. You need more than one auction company reference or you can not bid online. So beginners are not going to be able to bid online. Also, you may only pay by check or wire transfer and payment must be submitted the day after the sale according to their form. So wire transfer is the option to go with if you are an out-of-towner. Too much of a hassle in our opinion. We have since contacted the auction company regarding this and they said they will allow 5 days for payment and even if it does not get there in time, you can still send it. No word as to if there would be a penalty. 5/23/2013

Stephenson’s, Pennsylvania
Cheap shipping…but watch out. They gave false information. We bought a reproduction tin toy that they said was marked “Japan”, but it was not. Lost a lot of money on that deal. We also bought a Mountain Dew item, but it was just a lousy sticker someone placed on the item…it was not a “Mountain Dew” item. When we told them this through email, there was no response. On a positive note, the Philadelphia Mailroom who ships their items is reasonably priced and does a nice job. 06/07/2013

Strawser Auction Group, 200 North Main Street, Wolcottville, IN 46795
Item listed as a certain brand, but was not marked. This was questioned and the company stated that when they list something as a certain brand, they mean, “in the style of”. When they list something that really is the brand, they state that the item is, “signed”. This is misleading on purpose. The item also had a chip that was not listed in the condition report. We sent 2 emails and made 2 phone calls and did not receive resolution (a $40 refund on a $100 purchase) until almost 2 months had passed. On a good note, the shipping was very reasonable and was handled through Pakmail. 11/12/2013

We attempted to make another purchase. We paid promptly for this item. No shipping bill came as last time. We had to call to ask when they were going to tell us the total for shipping. They now use a different company for shipping. They told us to call the shipping company who has our item. The shipping company only had an answering machine and did not respond to the message as of yet. 11/12/2013

The Saucon Valley Auction, 7307 Airport Road, Bath PA 18014
Nice 17% commission, 13% if paying cash. Atmosphere: nothing fancy, just get down to business. Friendly staff. Things went smooth. Bought a good amount of items. 07/10/2013

Uniques and Antiques, Inc., 2500 Market Street, Aston, PA 19014
Good transaction and items. Regular premium is 22%, lowered to 19% if paying cash. 12/20/2013

Vancouver Island Art Auction
BEWARE
Reported by blog viewer: Report stated that this auction house can not be trusted. 2 diamonds were purchased for $2,200 (USD). It was found promptly that the items were not described. A return and refund was requested and the auction house agreed. Once the items were sent back, the refund was postponed. The auction stated in writing that, “yes items received…we pay to the supplier right away when items get sold. my next auction on on monday evening. so with this sales i will refund you the money. i dont need to sell those. i will refund you as first funds come in on any sales my friend…”. “auction was last night. we have sent invoices this morning and funds will start coming in”. “you are the priority for me to refund…any payments comes will keep sending you. if not then very soon will get you refunded”. “I have an auction tomorrow. and tomorrow’s auction has some good bids…and hope to get you paid”. “very sorry…last two months we have almost no sales…and starts to pick up now…so will do it next two days.” “but just give me till tuesday…and i gurantee return the funds as sales are picking up now” “when you bought items i paid to supplier and bought it and now it on me. but i do have good inventory also but business is also slow. now making any profits so i can pay you off…we are a newcompany. so its tough business to be in” “will clear your balance by next Tuesday my friend”.

The buyer tried to be understanding and patient. Eventually the item was sent back to the buyer with no explanation. Emails from the buyer were ignored after that. When Live Auctioneers were approached for help, the auction house promised a refund. “then he need to send me items back. I will give him refund once receive the items in hand”. A return shipment address was requested and the emails were ignored. Finally, the auction house came up with a new proposal not to refund. Almost a year has passed now and no refund. It has also been mentioned that Live Auctioneers is not helpful or friendly. The responses are slow and clearly protect the auction house. In a 20 day period, 2 emails were sent with no response from Live Auctioneers.

Our summary: We’ve been through that as well. Live Auctioneers is on the side of the seller. We had a situation where no goods were received and we were the ones who ended up with a negative feedback which Live Auctioneers would not erase. We tried to make a new account to erase the negative feedback and they would not let us. It is one account per address. To this day we have to defend ourselves to be able to bid stating that we were dealing with a foreign auction house who scammed us. Judging from the quotes in this review, we feel that the seller is foreign (meaning not a long time citizen of the US…isn’t it obvious?). Why even mention that? Maybe some foreigners don’t care about being honest. Honesty is important to us and is one reason why this blog was started. It’s also obvious in this blog that there are an incredible amount of US auction houses scamming too. But wouldn’t you rather be scammed by someone who is closer to home and speaks your language fairly well…who probably isn’t going to flee the country with your money? The auction house (possibly even someone working out of their home) was dishonest in that they described things incorrectly to begin with as if pulling the wool over potential buyer’s eyes. Either that or they don’t know much about what they are selling. 5/15/2014

Victorian Casino Antiques, 4520 Arville St, Suite 1, Las Vegas NV 89103
Answers the phone, “hello”. Although…so do we. Sent invoice outside of the Live Auctioneer system so we didn’t find it until days later since the email looked like junk mail. Wouldn’t look up the price break for shipping to a commercial address. Just wanted to ship to our regular address. But we would have liked a discount since FedEx was being used. Shipping was easy because they figure it with your first invoice (in house shipping). 6/8/2013

Wickliff & Associates Auctioneers, 12232 Hancock Street, Carmel, IN 46032
Smooth transaction. We purchased 7 porcelain items. Here are the 2 quotes provided: UPS Store #0973 came to $30.96 with insurance, Pakmail quote was $62.79 with insurance. 3/19/2013

William Bunch Auctions, One Hillman Drive, Chadds Ford, PA 19317, 610-558-1800
We visited this company. They have a decent establishment. We only won one item. We did not come across any problems and if my memory is correct, they had candy (chocolate bars) setting out for the guests (Halloween time). I enjoyed that. 10/30/2013
This company shows a key in the keyhole to a cabinet. I asked if it locks and they said the key in the hole does not lock the cabinet. Glad we asked. 02/17/2014
Posted a chip to an expensive porcelain item 3 days before the auction. There is one thing we don’t like and that is when an auction company has an item listed for a long time, then adds condition reports right before the auction after they already have gathered a considerable amount of bids to get people interested. This wastes the time of the bidder as they have to log in and change their bid. If the item was just broken, then fine, but the auction company should have had it safely stored in the first place. 02/21/2014

William J. Jenack, NY
Said an item was vintage in the title…parts were made in China recently…sticker was new. Didn’t mention the damage, missing panels, or the fact that the item didn’t work. William admitted that he knew about the missing panels and was even going to remove the third panel so that nobody would notice. We told him that the panels help to protect the item from dust. Lost $500 on that one. He offered $100 credit towards a future auction. So far we have not purchased anything else. Another item, said the condition was great, had 3 chips to porcelain. 2013

Witman Auctioneers, 657 Fruitville Pike, Manheim, PA 17545
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!, JUST AN EXPRESSION.
We will never buy from this company again. Here is the reason why: They sold us items listed as “Murano Italian Glass” and “Persian Empire”, but when we unpacked the items, they were stickered “MADE IN CHINA” and were almost paper thin metal which the pictures did not let on to. There was nothing in the listing that said, “in the style of” or anything that would lead us to believe that they were not authentic. We attempted to settle things with a partial refund or return and they would not have it. They asked if we read their fine print. I asked if their fine print says that they can list things under false titles and they had no response. Every time I called the company no matter if it was a man or a woman as soon as I got to the part in the conversation where I mentioned, “MADE IN CHINA”, they would say, “hello, hello, hello” three times like that and then silence. Before they could hang up the next time, I called them on it by saying I’ve heard this line before and they suddenly could hear me again. We only received one response so far through email…others go unanswered and they have our phone number as well. They said they have a sparkling clean reputation, well their bathroom sure isn’t sparkling clean. We were fortunate enough to be able to drive to pick our items up and their facility was in their beautiful home which just so happened to have fecal splatters on the bathroom toilet seat. Anyway, that is just referring to their sparkling clean reputation comment. The objects were packed in anything they could find. The box was so jam packed that we opted not to open it on site (first mistake right there). Upon unpacking we found old tissue paper from gifts as well as an old blanket with some horrible staining which we had to dispose of. In fact, don’t expect to be able to reuse any packing material. There is no discount for cash or check payment, so you might as well rack up some points on your credit card if you plan to shop with Witman Auctioneers. Rrrrr. Seem to be losing my cool with this one . Another good thing is that we picked the items up. The shipping quote was very high (maybe due to the heavy blanket in the bottom of the box). 4/3/2014

Woody Auction LLC, 317 S. Forrest, Douglass, KS 67039
We won many items which is unusual for us…that is good. Payment was easy and secure through PayPal. We waited for a shipping quote. It was a very good shipping price for the amount of items. No phone calls involved until we opened the package and found 4 of 12 items had undisclosed/overlooked damage. We sent an email with no response. We spent almost $500 and asked for $45 back for damages. When we called, they made the refund while we were still on the phone. It was quick service and they explained that the email was overlooked or put off because they were very busy with several auctions. 10/25/2013
We purchased from this auction company once again. We won 36 items, 7 were damaged but were listed as perfect condition. Seems like a pattern here. The damage did not occur during shipping. We spent close to $1000 and asked for $75 for damages. They gave us $70.17 instead. That was okay. We are still happy because they take care of the problem promptly. 02/04/2014

LiveAuctioneers Complaints on RipOff Report

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.”