, , , , , , , ,

rudolphMost live and online auctions have fair, reasonable, legally compliant terms and conditions. However, a few live and online auctions seem to use “reindeer (word) games” which are confusing, at best.

Can’t you hear that Christmas song playing in the background …?

Youragentbid (www.youragentbid.com) is hosting their own auctions these days. No surprise, as they clearly intended to compete with the auctioneers who helped them build their business.

We’ve previously written about Youragentbid several times:

Today, we look at some interesting terms and conditions which appeared for one of Youragentbid’s auctions the other day. Essentially, “word games” which suggest one thing, but say something else. For instance …

    • Internet Buyer’s Premium: ZERO! (Okay, no additional fee on top of the bid price)
    • A $200 buyer’s premium will be added to each winning lot: (Oh, there will be an additional fee on top of the bid price)

    • No Reserves: (Okay, there are no reserves … so this is a without reserve auction, and all items sell regardless of price, and cannot be withdrawn once a bid is placed within a reasonable time, per the UCC 2-328)
    • All items will be sold pending confirmation: (Oh, so there are reserves, and not all items will necessarily be selling)

It would almost appear that two reindeer worked on the terms and conditions, and Rudolph — unbeknownst to Vixen — wrote that there would not be any additional fees and no reserves, and Vixen — unbeknownst to Rudolph — wrote that there would be additional fees and reserves — reindeer games?

Maybe not. Actually, the order of the two groups of statements seems material. The notes about no buyer’s fee and no reserves are right up front near the top of the terms and conditions. And, the notes about the reserves and the $200 buyer’s fee are somewhat buried later in the terms and conditions.

In fact, one can see the good news very easily, but must scroll down in a coincidentally small window to see the contrasting bad news. Possibly Rudolph wrote his terms first, and Vixen wrote his later?

Misrepresentation does not seem to be too harsh of an evaluation.

So, beware. Youragentbid’s terms and conditions present an exciting opportunity, until you read on … that is, if you read on. One might say these disconcerting reindeer games almost glow with “song and dance?”

* 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.