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Descartes

Lot 74 - Baldwins

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I placed some bids in the Baldwins St James auction. One of the lots I placed a bid for 500 pounds. It finished at 500 pounds but it says I lost the bid. How is this possible? Could somebody with more auction experience shed some light on what happened. I'm really disappointed as the Henry II penny was a little stunner! If my maximum bid was 500 hundred surely I should have been the winner??

 

Descartes

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You would not have won it if somebody else had placed a bid for £500 or more prior to yours. That seems the most likely to me, but others may know of other possibilities.

 

Jerry

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Bidding has been open for some time. I placed my bid - not on this coin - on Friday. But I also watched the auction just in case.

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46 minutes ago, Descartes said:

I placed some bids in the Baldwins St James auction. One of the lots I placed a bid for 500 pounds. It finished at 500 pounds but it says I lost the bid. How is this possible? Could somebody with more auction experience shed some light on what happened. I'm really disappointed as the Henry II penny was a little stunner! If my maximum bid was 500 hundred surely I should have been the winner??

 

Descartes

Do you know what price the bidding started at live ?.

i.e. You left a bid of £500.Auctioneer starts at your bid of £430 against £450 your bid £480 against £500.

Edited by PWA 1967

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10 minutes ago, PWA 1967 said:

Do you know what price the bidding started at live ?.

i.e. You left a bid of £500.Auctioneer starts at your bid of £430 against £450 your bid £480 against £500.

I was the highest bidder at 460 pounds just before the live auction bidding started. I had to go to work then and when I checked my Baldwins account later, I noticed I hadn't won and the coin had sold for 500 pounds. That was my maximum bid offer. Never mind, there's always a next time I guess.

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Like I mentioned in the other thread, often an auctioneer will let a lot go to a room bidder who matches the maximum postal/commission bid - unethical in my view.

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1 hour ago, secret santa said:

Like I mentioned in the other thread, often an auctioneer will let a lot go to a room bidder who matches the maximum postal/commission bid - unethical in my view.

Yes, I agree. It is definitely unethical :( 

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What you describe seems perfectly possible without anything underhanded. Suppose you put in a max bid of £500 as you did, and the auctioneer starts the bidding at around £200. Bidding goes in £50 increments say, and he /she finds that bidding from all sources apart from yours stops at around £400. He will then bid £450 from your 'pool' so you become the high bidder, but then another punter bids £500. At this point he has bid the same as you, but the auctioneer has got no instructions from you to go further, so your rival's bid wins even though it is the same as yours. I guess if an auctioneer worked out the possible bidding sequence, he could try to ensure that your bid would always win if it was your highest bid, but that could get quite complicated.

The alternative explanation is that your rival's bid in the auction you describe was the same or higher than yours and was received earlier.

 

Edited by DaveG38

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1 minute ago, DaveG38 said:

 

The alternative explanation is that your rival's bid in the auction you describe was the same or higher than yours and was received earlier.

 

This option is not possible considering that he wrote: " I was the highest bidder at 460 pounds just before the live auction bidding started "...

 

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2 hours ago, Matteo95 said:

This option is not possible considering that he wrote: " I was the highest bidder at 460 pounds just before the live auction bidding started "...

 

Ah, yes, I missed that point.

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2 hours ago, DaveG38 said:

What you describe seems perfectly possible without anything underhanded. Suppose you put in a max bid of £500 as you did, and the auctioneer starts the bidding at around £200. Bidding goes in £50 increments say, and he /she finds that bidding from all sources apart from yours stops at around £400. He will then bid £450 from your 'pool' so you become the high bidder, but then another punter bids £500. At this point he has bid the same as you, but the auctioneer has got no instructions from you to go further, so your rival's bid wins even though it is the same as yours.

I think that this does happen (it's happened to me) but surely if I were the first person to bid £500, the auctioneer should be duty and morally bound to ask another bidder to go higher in order to win ?????

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10 hours ago, secret santa said:

I think that this does happen (it's happened to me) but surely if I were the first person to bid £500, the auctioneer should be duty and morally bound to ask another bidder to go higher in order to win ?????

It has happened to me also, and the explanation I posted is basically the one they gave me when I queried it. The problem with your suggestion is that a room bidder having bid the £500 as requested by the auctioneer would then have to be told that his bid wasn't valid as they have another on commission at the same value, which would raise some clear issues for the auctioneer. Does he give priority to the commission bidder or the room bidder? If to the commission bidder how does he explain this to the room bidder who is stood in front of him and has had a perfectly OK bid rejected? He could try forcing the room bidder up further by claiming a slightly higher commission bid than he has on the books, or by raising the level of the next bid so that it would be above that of the commission bidder e.g. to £525 in the case I described. However, in the first case the risk is that the room bidder doesn't bite. The auctioneer then has to sell to the commission bidder at his top price, but risks the wrath of the room bidder if and when he discovers this from the list of realised lots. In the second case, the auctioneer gives away the commission bidders top price. This might be acceptable, I suppose, but its all very problematic.Given that he has to make these judgments on the hoof and in a very short timescale, operating as he does and risking some occasions when things go wrong for the commission bidder is probably the simplest option.

One way round this conundrum which was suggested to me by the auction house I refered to above would be to word your bids in the form £500 + 1. This signifies to the auctioneer that if there is a tie between your maximum commission bid and a room bid then you are prepared to go up one more increment. Of course you have to decide what your top bid would then be based on the increments used by the auctioneer for the price range of the item, and this only applies where there is a tie of the sort I described. I don't know if this approach is widely used by auctioneers or not. I've never tried to use it, although I am sometimes a bit nervous when I see that my maximum bid has won a lot, as I'm never quite sure, until the invoice arrives, whether I've won or not!

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10 minutes ago, DaveG38 said:

One way round this conundrum which was suggested to me by the auction house I refered to above would be to word your bids in the form £500 + 1.

There is at least one auction house (it may be Goldberg) that allow you to specify an incremental bid or halfbid in the event of your highest bid being matched. Seems a good idea.

I still have a problem with the case you illustrate. If I submit a maximum bid of, say, £500, I expect the lot to go to at least the next bidding step to overbid me. I think that is a reasonable and logical assumption. So, when the auctioneer takes my bid of £480 in sequence and asks for a bid of £500, he should in my opinion have to take a higher bid to outbid my commission bid. But clearly, this doesn't necessarily happen.

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I dont think there is any chance of stopping it.

It can only happen by leaving a bid of which you just have to take it on the chin :)

Its a case of go to the auction,bid live on the internet /phone ,use a dealer or as i have a forum member.

Most auctions you can bid live (as in the above) so i dont see any reason to leave a bid and how do you know you were not bid up.

Yes you may ask someone to go to your maximum and not get it as your maximum was matched but atleast you know exactly.

If you leave a bid and dont get it.......its only a coin.

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48 minutes ago, PWA 1967 said:

If you leave a bid and dont get it.......its only a coin.

To misquote my hero Tony Hancock, "It might be only a coin to you, Pete, but it's life and death to some poor (collector) wretch"

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I have seen it so many times if you listen to the auctions very carefully you can even hear the conversations between the auctioneer and room bidders. Even if you bid 500 as your max he will say to the interested party" bid £500 and that will clear my commissions" (they don't like these bids too much hard work). It negates the who bid first rule because you will never know anyway. And he probably nudge nudge wink wink'd a deal . Most of them are there every auction. Old pals act. Internet bidders are a faceless entity . Far easier to get paid there and then than to email internet bidders with all the spiel . Just creates more of a paper trail. If proof is in the eating of the pudding the only two bids I left I lost with the exact same price as the winning bid. Every coin I bid on live and won . I won no problems. I will never leave bids again.

Edited by zookeeperz

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1 hour ago, secret santa said:

There is at least one auction house (it may be Goldberg) that allow you to specify an incremental bid or halfbid in the event of your highest bid being matched. Seems a good idea.

I still have a problem with the case you illustrate. If I submit a maximum bid of, say, £500, I expect the lot to go to at least the next bidding step to overbid me. I think that is a reasonable and logical assumption. So, when the auctioneer takes my bid of £480 in sequence and asks for a bid of £500, he should in my opinion have to take a higher bid to outbid my commission bid. But clearly, this doesn't necessarily happen.

In principle, I agree with you. The problem is practicability. In the case of your maximum bid of £500 and the bidding in your favour reaches £480, the auctioneer has to call for £500 as the next bid step. If he gets a room bid he has to accept it, in which case what does he do about the commission bid? Alternatively, he could jump to an asking price of £520 in order to ensure that your £500 bid would win if nobody bids, but the problem then is what happens if nobody bids £520. The auctioneer then has to decide if he allows the original £480 bid and doesn't know if a room bidder would have bid £500, thus losing the seller £20 and his own fees, or he knocks it down at £500 and the commission bidder gets charged the extra £20, when the auctioneer doesn't know if a room bidder would have gone to £500 at all. Either way he (the auctioneer) looks dishonest and so I can understand why they tend to operate as I described earlier - it avoids most of the hassle. Also, of course, he's got a million other things to be doing at the same time as trying to sort out max bids v room bids.

Basically, you win some, you lose some. In 20 years of auctions, many in the days before live bidding, I've only ever had one that went wrong with the scenario here, so I'm guessing it isn't a major problem. 

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20 minutes ago, secret santa said:

To misquote my hero Tony Hancock, "It might be only a coin to you, Pete, but it's life and death to some poor (collector) wretch"

:lol:

If i wanted one that much i definately would not be leaving a bid ;)

Makes me think are people who leave bids even viewing or asking someone to have a look at the coin or just buying from a photo ?

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I can't make out if Baldwins handle their own internet bids or they go through The Saleroom and/or Invaluable.

Bids on commission left with Baldwins should be timed and earliest bid wins. As I've explained elsewhere it's up to the auctioneer to get his increments correct so that he finishes on his highest commission.
The Saleroom bid timing is unknown to the auctioneer in my experience as a porter and operator. Any "apparent" leading bid with them is purely leading on their books and has nothing to do with the auction house. So if the auction house has a bid either in the room or as a commission it will take precedence over any third party internet bid.

It may be that the highest internet bid that came up was £460 but that is not a normal increment. At that stage he could be going up in 50s so the next would be £500 negating any further internet bids to that value.

The increments are determined by the software and preset by the auction house. Internet bidders can only bid to the next increment as can local bidders. Starting price is determined by the auctioneer and until that figure is entered by the operator no bids are entertained. At that point the internet can take over and once settled on a price the auctioneer can either sell to the highest internet, ask for further room bids or go to his commission if higher.

I've attended as a punter and worked in auction houses since 1977 and find that a lot of the fun and buzz has gone out of it now that technology has taken over.

We have a local sale on Friday and I'm not looking forward giving the normal operator a lunch break. :(

Edited by Fubar

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I just got the prices realised from Baldwins and it says that Lot 74 went for £550.

4lyvWZ.png

Edited by jaggy

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Thanks for all the info about how auctions work guys, I've learned a lot about the process if nothing else. Here's a snap shot from my Baldwins account. I clearly lost the Aethelred by a wide margin, but like I said, I was a little disappointed by the Henry II penny, which according to my account ended at 500 pounds :/

Excuse the poor photo.

IMG_3236 (1).JPG

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3 hours ago, jaggy said:

I just got the prices realised from Baldwins and it says that Lot 74 went for £550.

4lyvWZ.png

Ohhh :o 

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