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  • Can Heritage Auctioneers Be Trusted ??

    Hi all

    Check out this link ,

    Heritage Auction Galleries Lawsuit In The News; Claims of “Fake Bidder” N.P. Gresham, Auction Manipulation : The Original Prop Blog – Jason DeBord's TV and Movie Prop Memorabilia Resource

  • #2
    Thia is old news. You can perform a search on the NGC Message Boards for it.

    From what I know, Heritage is accused of bidding on their own lots. Also, as far as I know, this is specified and disclosed in their terms and conditions and if this correct, it is not a secret though I cannot speak to the legality of it.

    Some collectors and buyers dislke or consider the practice unethical because it creates the possibility or appearance of intentionally inflating prices to generate higher commissions and prices for sellers. Its a fine line I will admit but I doubt this practice is unique.

    If Heritage is bidding for its own account, I doubt very much it would be relevant to any bidder of South African coins. I would expect that that they would do so to sell items in their 'Marketplace" which is either or almost exclusively US coins.


    • #3
      Here in Germany some of the "big" auctions houses also have "fake bidders", especially if you want to have one of the ultra rare coins.

      Do you think coin business is different in the US in general?


      • #4

        I wish I oculd tell you but unfortunately, I am not familiar enough with the "fine print" of the terms and conditions of auctions either in the US or in Germany. I have read them from time to time and they SEEM similar or identical but I do not know how they are applied, much less the differences between German and US law.

        In theory, I believe that auction houses have the right to bid on their own lots. Whether they should or not though is probably dependent upon two things.

        First is public perception. If their bidders think its a problem, it does not matter whether it is legal or not. They will damage their business if they either do not stop it or manage the public relations properly.

        The second problem (also related to the first one above) is whether they are really bididng on coins because they want to buy them for their own account and resale. Or, if it is simply "schill" bidding or false bidding to inflate prices. The latter I would consider fraud but the problem with distinguishing between the two is determining INTENT. I suppose in theory that if necessary, it would be possible to see how often they actually won lots and what they did with them after.

        Personally, i think they should just abstain from this practice but that is just me. But it does not make me second guess bidding at their auctions because as I mentioned, I doubt that they are interested at this time in any of the coins I want to buy.
        Last edited by jwither; 19-08-10, 01:11.


        • #5
          Innocent until found guilty

          I hate to sound like a lawyer (because I am anything but!) - however I think Heritage should be given the benefit of the doubt until found guilty. I have dealt with Heritage on numerous occasions and have always been very happy with their professional service.

          It is so easy to throw mud because it does stick - who knows what is actually driving this action, or its validity. That is why we have courts.

          Kind regards

          Scott Balson