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We have written about reasonable auction terms because these terms can’t be all seller favorable, or there will be a want for more bidders/buyers. On the contrary, the more bidders/buyers … the better it is for the seller.

Our most recent treatise on that subject is here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/auctions-which-are-or-not-fair-balanced-reasonable/.

We also wrote several months ago about an auctioneer suggesting you may need to secure an attorney in order to bid at his auctions: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/are-we-making-buying-at-auction-easier-or-more-difficult/.

Recently, we found an auctioneer in the Midwest United States using the following in his terms and conditions for his upcoming auction:

Lots will be sold to the highest bidder. Auctioneer reserves the right to (1) refuse any bid for any reason, (2) to void any sales at any time, (3) retract your bid as we feel fit.

Let me see if I understand: Property will be sold to the highest bidder? Not really. The auctioneer can refuse my higher bid? The auctioneer can void the entire transaction at any time? The auctioneer can withdraw (void/retract) my bid for me unilaterally?

Maybe this auctioneer should say: “We’re selling this stuff at auction unless we decide otherwise?” While this is likely worded carefully to suggest an absolute auction, it is almost assuredly a with reserve auction. However, it’s the classic, “Look at this opportunity … that doesn’t exist.”

I wonder if a court would see this as a irreconcilable conflict? We’re selling to the highest bidder, but we aren’t? We wrote about such crazy terms here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2019/01/04/auction-disclaimers-with-irreconcilable-conflicts/.

Finally, we have held for over a decade that bidders/buyers attend auctions when there is a “prospect of a deal.” We’ve written about that lure to buy at auctions numerous times including here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2018/03/12/what-drives-bidders-to-an-auction/.

Let me offer this: While it’s being suggested there is a chance of a deal here, there is no “prospect of a deal” at this aforementioned auction.

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.