Chapter VII: Purchasing at Auction
Bidding at auction should be left to those with some experience
in the hobby. Too many collectors have left this hobby because
of bad experiences with some auctions. The main problem is most
see an item they would like to add to their collection and spend
more time reading the item description than the rules of the
sale. Study the Rules, most were written by lawyers. Especially
pay attention to how much is the Buyers Premium. Many bidders
dont realize this amount will be added to your highest
bid. Some of these premiums exceed a whopping 20%.
Most importantly read and reread the section on Guarantees
or Return Policy. If your read Sold as Is
or Returns Must Be Made in 30 Days.... its
best to run the other way. This statement is common as most auction
houses are well aware its nearly impossible for a beginning
collector to return anything within thirty days after the sale.
By the time you are notified you are the winning bidder, get
your invoice, send your check which they will wait several days
for it to clear, take a few days or so to get the item shipped
and then a few days or more spent with the carrier and the 30
days are gone! You have no time to get a second opinion and ship
the item back to the auction house.
A handful of auction houses are left that will tell you each
item comes with a COA from an authenticating company. They will
tell you that the authenticator (which they hire) said it was
good so they will sell the autograph. No refunds! Many auction
houses use these 3rd party authenticating companies as a scapegoat.
I once proved to possibly the largest sports auction house in
the industry who also sells historical items that their authenticating
company authenticated the wrong person. The lame response from
the head of the auction house was I am not getting into
a duel of experts. Lucky for our industry he is no longer
in our business and is being investigated by federal authorities.
Everyone can do business anyway they choose but it is in your
best interests to deal with auction house who will guarantee
what they sell, usually without a time limit. There are still
a few professional autograph auctions who do business this way.
Chapter VIII: Purchasing on eBay (Continued)