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An online auction provider called Youragentbid.com is providing auctioneers an online auction platform.

This platform allows auctioneers to list property on their site, and allows bidders to bid two ways.

Bidders can either bid during the live auction from a remote location and/or leave a “proxy” bid and have the software bid for them in their absence.

Too, this company Youragentbid.com allows auctioneers to have an “embedded solution” which incorporates Youragentbid.com’s site within the auctioneer’s own website.

Yet, Youragentbid.com requires that the auctioneer recognize the online auction provider on the auctioneer’s website; there must be the words, displayed prominently: “Powered by Youragentbid” on the website as well as on any other auction marketing materials as appropriate.

In other words, the auctioneer using Youragentbid.com must promote that company on their website.

The representatives of Youragentbid.com claim that this, “Powered by Youragentbid” is a convenience to the millions of Youragentbid’s registered bidders.

“This way, those bidders will know that this is a Youragentbid.com auction and know they can easily participate,” says Youragentbid’s CEO Devin Jones.

Questions I have:

  1. Do these buyers who are attracted to an auctioneer and/or auction belong to the online auction provider or to the auctioneer with the client relationship and the associated fiduciary duty to sell that property at auction and protect/account for client information including buyer/bidder data?
  2. Devin Jones suggests these bidders should know this is a “Youragentbid.com auction.” It would seem to me the auctions belong to the auctioneers and their clients, and not Youragentbid.com? By hiring Youragentbid to provide a service, the ownership of the auction transfers?
  3. What other companies providing the auctioneer/seller a service require “prominent display” of their names on the auctioneer’s website? The name/manufacturer of the speaker system being used? The name of the electric company providing electric to the auction house? The name of the newspaper where an auction advertisement was placed? The auction sign company?
  4. Youragentbid seems to suggest these are “their” sellers, “their” buyers, and “their” product? How long before a state agency says they need to be licensed as an auctioneer — and how long after that will Youragentbid claim they are only an intermediary between parties, or a software/service provider and no more?
  5. Armed with millions of buyer names and profiles, and maybe nearly as many seller names at some point, is it Youragentbid’s plan to eventually just cater directly to the owners/sellers of property, and eliminate the need for auctioneers as an seller/product/bidder provider?

Maybe for auctioneers, the more recognition they provide the online auction providers, the less recognition those online auction providers will need, and the less those online auction providers will need auctioneers?

* The above account including company names, events, etc. are purely fictional. This scenario has been created solely for educational purposes.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He is adjunct faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.