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Why are auctioneers such prats?

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Why are auctioneers such prats?

Does anyone else agree?
I havebeen watching these antique programmes for some years now.... and it never ceases to amaze me at these "so-called experts" , the "auctioneers"... of which some are famous TV personalities and value items for the general public.... so here is the scene....
auction house..... auctioneer on the rostrum..... item being displayed via the porter ..... "here we have  lot number 443b.... a fine example of  a *******, probably early 19th century, and here to sell..... where shall we start....?   One hundred and fifty pounds? "    ( complete silence, and lack of interest from the crowd  .... )    "one hundred then? "   ( more lack of interest......)... " OK, then, Fifty Pounds, then ?"     ( slight murmur from the crowd..... ).... "Forty pounds to get it away then....... Forty pounds I`m bid then "......and the auction then proceeds upwards to (usually about 50 to 75% of what he originally asked for)....
This scenario is re-enacted as each lot is produced.... surely they must realize how much of a prat that makes them  look.... ( or  maybe  not....... )  Undecided
I`m sure if they started at the lower figure, it would save a lot of time between each lot, and therefore the "throughput" figure would be much better.....
Yes, I know they are on "commission"   but they ain`t getting it ..... just being prat`s along the way.! !  
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Re: Why are auctioneers such prats?

Auctioneers being at the lower end of the aristocracy still think that people will pay money that they command because they don't live in the real world. They think that by giving something a fancy description and plucking a reasonably high value out of the air, someone will want it and pay it.
These are hard times. You're going to be seeing a lot more idiots like this who don't understand why money isn't easy to make. People won't pay silly money for old trash anymore unless they're genuinely wealthy. Considering this country has been living on a lot of credit for the last decade or two, I'd say that a lot of their custom was living above its means and can no longer afford to do so.
It's only worth what someone will pay for it and if the auctioneers can't understand that people won't pay what they think its worth, then its not really worth it at all is it  Crazy
Thats the trouble in this country, when times are hard, business people don't see that prices need to come down to keep selling, they just seem to think that holding them at the same level or even going up is the way to survive. One of my previous employers kept doing that and then wondered why their income was decreasing rapidly year after year. They eventually turned to us.. the workers for ideas about increasing revenue. We told them, they arrogantly ignored and the situation continued.
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Re: Why are auctioneers such prats?

The point I was making was not regarding the "current financial climate".... it seems to be "standard" procedure since I first went to an auction over 40 years ago ! ...
Yet they still look a right prat when they do it  Cheesy
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Re: Why are auctioneers such prats?

I think I see it from another perspective in that the eventual buyer has the funds to cover the bid but, like anyone, wants a good bargain.
So, waits for the price to come down and then starts bidding knowing that there are others doing the same. He knows the price will go up and may even surpass the original asking price. That's part of the risk of an auction.
Just my thoughts.

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Community Veteran
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Re: Why are auctioneers such prats?

Because they are prats shutter. Most people up at that level usually are, they have no real world understanding.
Look at ebay though.. stick something on for a quid and it'll rocket up if its worth something.
What I don't understand though is property auctions. People still bid crazy money on bricks and mortar.
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Re: Why are auctioneers such prats?

I attend livestock auctions, the local auctioneer seems to have a very good eye, specifically for cattle. He normally starts each lot with
“I'll start the bidding at X, but expect it to go for Y, so who will make a first offer”
Don't think I ever heard him go down from a starting bid, and to my knowledge he is not far out with the final price.
David_W
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Re: Why are auctioneers such prats?

I think you're looking it at the wrong way....
Auctioneer : Okay, it's probably not worth this but let's make you think it's expensive.... £100
People : Ohh, I'll wait for the price to drop
Auctioneer : Heh, lets try the top end and see if anyone bites..... £50
People : That's better, I don't want to be the first to bid though....
Auctioneer : This'll start the ball rolling..... £40
People : That's over 1/2 the start.... I'm going to bid!
The thing is that something is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, I was watching a show yesterday and it has Aboriginal relics with a guide of 1-200 quid with a reserve of £150 I think, he started off at £500 and it eventually sold for £30,000 (sold back to an Australian museum), the auctioneer wants the best price (they get paid twice don't they?  Auction fees from the buyer AND the seller).
MJN
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Re: Why are auctioneers such prats?

David has hit the nail on the head.
The high 'start price' is no different to a crossed out '£x RRP' label. It is an arbitrary figure whose purpose is solely to make a potential buyer think they're getting a bargain
There is also a related issue with starting too low also - an auction can easily run out of steam if the auctioneer doesn't push the increments up. Bidders get tired and some may start to think they're not getting a bargain if they are now bidding at 10x their original bid.
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Re: Why are auctioneers such prats?

Whatever you might think of auctioneers, I don't think there are too many poor auctioneers around, so I would guess they don't really care too much what we think.
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Re: Why are auctioneers such prats?

Quote from: shutter
Does anyone else agree?
I have been watching these antique programmes for some years now...

It's almost impossible not to watch them ! almost every time I turn on the television I catch the end of an auction, cooking or house Improvement program.
It's all about making programs that cost as little as possible to produce whilst maintaining good viewing figures.  Not sure how they arrive at those viewing figures......... Smiley  
jim:green quote fixed mod:end