Storage Auctions

Shady Auctioneers and shills

Offline dbr831

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Shady Auctioneers and shills
« on: October 17, 2012, 10:01:12 AM »
Has anybody run across any auctioneers with shills / fake buyers in the crowd? I've had a couple situations come up recently, involving two different auctioneers, that have been really frustrating. In the first case the rumor is that the auctioneer has people in the crowd bidding just to get the price up. After hearing this we payed closer attention to exactly who was bidding and there was a guy from out of the area that none of the regulars knew that was bidding on almost every locker. The auctioneer was calling him by name and a peek at the sign up sheet revealed that the guy was from the same town as the auctioneer. On the other hand the bidder did win at least two of the lockers so maybe he's legit? One of the regular buyers in our area has had previous issues with this auctioneer where at an auction he was outbid on a very expensive unit (several thousand) and afterwards the auctioneer contacted him to say the buyer backed out and did he still want it for his last bid? He thinks it was a shill and he refused the offer.

In the case of the other auctioneer, I've only attended his auctions twice. In both cases people in the crowds ended up very upset and there were shouting matches between the angry buyers and the auctioneer. Funny, I've never seen this happen between any other auctioneer and a buyer but it's happened twice now with this auctioneer. Anyway, the auctioneer has a couple of guys that stand to either side of him watching the crowd to spot bids. It's very chaotic and loud with them alternately shouting out "here" and pointing into the crowd. Over and over again there is confusion over the amount of the last bid and several times when bidders tried to see who the supposed bidder on the other side of the crowd is it gets retracted by the spotter with a "oh wait, you had the last bid". Hard to explain but basically it appears that the spotters are just getting a buyer to keep bidding himself up. If anyone else reading this has been to this auctioneers auctions you probably know exactly who I'm talking about.   

Offline alloro

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Re: Shady Auctioneers and shills
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 03:57:12 PM »
The solution to this type of practice is to not follow the bid up. If his "plants" keep getting the wins, he will end up wasting his time and knock it off.

Offline Cobia

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Re: Shady Auctioneers and shills
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 08:52:04 AM »
Went to an auction just like this yesterday. Guy cutting the locks for the auctioneer/facility was quietly "nodding" to the auctioneer to run up the bids. We had a bunch of "fresh fish" that took the bait so units were selling way past reasonable. It was a big caravan run, but I left after the third unit at the first location, I'm not gonna support those antics with my money.

Crowd was only about 1/3 from the last time they did an auction. I should have left as soon as I recognized the auctioneer, they pulled the same crap last time and several of the units were obvisously staged. I know for a fact several newbies lost big money last go around on staged units that turned out to have empty gun cases, empty tool cases/boxes, flat screen TV boxes filled with dirty clothes...

Offline Leota

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Re: Shady Auctioneers and shills
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 07:20:25 PM »
Interesting enough, we went to an auction last week and the auctioneer for some odd reason made the speech that if w=once the unit is purchased and the buyer finds nothing but maybe empty boxes and tubs or paper in them that it is NOT the fault of the managers, that we should not blame them since they have enough work to do. They can't be emptying the boxes and tubs. Never heard that speech in years. There must be some very angry people getting garbage or empty box/tub units.  All that did was make us more suspicious, if we weren't to begin with...haha.


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