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Auctioneers sometimes ban bidders — prohibiting them from participating in subsequent auctions. As well, sometimes auctioneers use ratings to decide if a certain bidder can participate or not.

Our question today involves the criteria for such, and does the evidence used depend upon any particular auctioneer’s personal experience or someone else’s? Are you banning a bidder (or selectively allowing/disallowing bidding) based upon your own experience or that from someone else?

If I as an auctioneer have a less-than-good experience with a certain bidder, I can ban that bidder from future auctions. If an auctioneer 500 miles away from me has a less-than-good experience with a certain bidder, can I ban him based upon that other auctioneer’s experience?

This is happening every second of every day — especially in the online auction world; auctioneers scoring (rating) bidders and buyers and banning those who they feel don’t meet the risk/reward threshold.

We wrote about banning bidders generally here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/auctioneer-says-this-guy-is-a-deadbeat/. Today’s question is more about whose past experience is utilized.

What do we do as auctioneers if — for example — I have a great experience with a bidder named Veronica Billings, yet, she has negative ratings from other auctioneers? Do I ban her based upon their evaluation, or allow her to bid based upon mine?

Further, is a decision to ban or not entirely the auctioneer’s determination? It would seem to me that sellers should be alerted about an auctioneer’s policy and possibly even which bidders have been banned prior to engagement.

If I’m a seller and selling a valuable painting do I want to know who you have banned versus your competition? If Earl Anderson is a world-known collector of this type of art, and you’ve banned him based upon some other’s ratings (or otherwise) … maybe I don’t consign to you?

Lastly, how exactly does all this online bidder rating work? I know really good bidders with bad scores and really bad bidders with good scores. I’m not sure the lack of transparency is helping everyone understand.

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.