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There are all kinds of representing … proper representing, under-representing, over-representing, not representing, misrepresenting to name most of them. What are the possible implications?

When auctioneers do anything other than “properly represent” anything they are putting up for auction, they are doing a disservice. For instance, let’s say an auctioneer is selling a Benson industrial machine:

    1. Under-representing — this industrial machine works and has recently been overhauled, but the auctioneer fails to tell the bidders this information. This is a disservice to the seller.
    2. Over-representing — this industrial machine has been well used and will need overhauled soon, but the auctioneer tells the bidders it is in great shape and will be maintenance free for years. This is a disservice to the bidders/buyer.
    3. Not representing — this industrial machine is a Benson X-90Si3 Serial 83623975-2A with 1,338,409 hours of service, but the auctioneer mentions none of this in any of the advertising nor when asked. This is a disservice to the seller, bidders and buyer.
    4. Misrepresenting — this industrial machine is a Benson X-90Si3 Serial 83623975-2A with 1,338,409 hours of service but the auctioneer says it is a Benson X-94S machine with only 1,673 hours of service. This is a disservice to mainly bidders/buyer, but also the seller. Misrepresentation is also known as a lie.

Above we’ve identified the most direct person affected. However any under-representing, over-representing, not representing and especially misrepresenting is damaging to all sellers, bidders, buyers, the auction industry and the general public.

What’s my message for any auctioneer? Anyone at all? Don’t lie. Don’t misrepresent. Don’t under-represent, over-represent nor not represent. Properly represent property you are putting up for auction and otherwise.

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.