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In the early 2000’s an online auction company is born with the [apparent] goal of connecting auctioneers and sellers with bidders/buyers. In fact, that was what this online platform told auctioneers for years — we’re “here for you.”

However, several years later, this platform and others evolved into connecting sellers with bidders/buyers directly with no traditional auctioneer(s) involved. We suggested this transformation many times on this [WordPress] platform — in essence, a bait-and-switch.

For those auctioneers new to the industry, this may come as a surprise that auctioneers were lied to, provided false information and purposely deceived. Yet, this is all old news (to most of us) at this point.

What is today’s story about? Those auctioneers late to the game who don’t know this history and think that using such online platforms today is without any issue.

The issue is we as auctioneers are using our competition (who knowingly misrepresented their scheme) to advertise and take bids for our auctions — and providing them data they claim now all belongs to them.

Further, when we say “competition” we mean that literally as some of these online platforms are actively pursuing clients in direct competition with the same auctioneers who helped these platforms build their businesses.

Given this was plainly intentional misrepresentation, for which auctioneers relied upon to their determent — this is likely nothing short of …. well, said maybe another way — if you prefer — auctioneers were swindled.

We as traditional auctioneers may not have any choices left at this point … either use the platforms which compete for our business, create our own platforms, or just do without. It seems obvious that the message is irrelevant and that despite what is being said, no online auction software nor any online auction calendar software is truly committed to anything (such as honesty or loyalty) over profit.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.