Pet Peeve of the Week

Want to bid in this timed auction on Proxibid?

Terms of service: “Bank Letter of Guarantee required to bid in the auction, please fax from the bank to . …” In addition to USPS shipping, “[t]here will be a $1.00 per item handling fee added to the final cost as well”–with that fee worth more than many of the lots. Click picture below to expand for sample lots.

Proxiblog says: If you want to sell on Internet, get with the APN program and make bidding easy, especially when you’re offering mainly low-ball lots of common cents, nickels, and mint sets–what dealers would consider junk.

Tip to Proxibid sales team: Start advising auctioneers that policies such as this–a bank letter fax, which costs more than many of these lots–brands that company as Internet unfriendly and also undermines Proxibid’s brand of trust. Start worrying about setting standards for the portal rather than signing up clients with terms like these.

Result of this auction: Once this type of damage is done to an auction house, buyers will see the company’s name and dismiss outright without wasting time checking catalog.


7 thoughts on “Pet Peeve of the Week

  1. Is this a common set of terms and conditions for their coin auctions? I would look back and see if they require bank letters on ALL of their auctions and just happened to copy and paste without edit. The only time our company uses bank letters of guarantee is for commercial and industrial applications where we may have bidders spending in the five figures for lots…

    I don’t know the whole situation, but I would be curious to know the rationale behind this. A bank letter of guarantee is actually NOT necessary on Proxibid, we use it as a safeguard and to weed out tire kickers that should not be bidding on thousands of dollars of items anyway. Proxibid’s system weeds out most of the people that should not be a part of the auction from the get-go.

  2. Thanks for writing, Darron. As usual, you provide solid information. (You always do, and we appreciate it greatly.) Yes, it may be a cut-and-paste error. But that’s no excuse for not changing the terms of service. Bidders are blamed for not reading terms of service–which we promote, repeatedly. Typically when bidders do read service terms, and catch something like this, they are advised to contact the auction company. The responsibility falls to the bidder who has registered on an Internet portal.

    You’ve brought up another issue, Darron. At one time Proxibid may have treated categories as mostly crossover, but as the company develops those categories–and Proxibid has done a fine job with the Coins and Currency page–then the company rather than the bidder has the obligation to remind auctioneers to adjust service terms for the category in which they are selling.

    As always, we appreciate your viewpoint. We also know you are a valued Proxibid partner (as well as Proxiblog favorite). Perhaps you can counsel the company on a service term tutorial!

    • DING DING DING… winner! The auction company is charged with giving the correct information as to terms and conditions. There are times when situations change with a live auction – however, when setting up an Internet auction with pre-bidding we, as auctioneers, are charged with giving the terms and conditions as how they relate to Internet bidding… situations still may change for floor bidders at the location, but the Internet pre-bidders have already placed bids based on the terms and conditions they agreed to at registration.

      Believe me… bidders, in general, DO NOT read terms and conditions. You would not believe how many people want to send us checks – even though our terms and conditions from DAY ONE state no checks from Internet bidders… another subject for another day.

      We have general online terms and conditions and we do copy and paste them between auctions… however, we use two people to review the terms and conditions to make sure they match the auction and type of merchandise we are selling. You can see that by reviewing terms and conditions in our archived auction section on our site Proxibid site.

      I have a call with Proxibid today on another subject and would be happy to discuss this with their Director of Communications.

  3. Side note… there is a term used in the auction profession that states: any announcements made day of auction supersede any previous verbal, electronic or printed matter.

    This is put in place because there ARE times when situations arise out of the auctioneer’s control – this added term or condition should not be used to give leeway for going outside the lines for the auctioneer’s benefit. Being in this business for my entire life, I have seen times when we had to make changes on the fly… although those are few and far between.

  4. Darron, also this: We advocate repeatedly to viewers who complaint to us that they should read the terms of service. We know that so many do not, and the badges in this regard help. But service terms are service terms, and in Timed Internet-Only Coin Auctions (and we’re having ghost-bidding issues with those), more care and counsel needs to be exercised in being more Internet friendly.

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