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Crossroad - Client or Customer or BothYou would think that this question should never be asked, but unfortunately today, many may wonder who does the Auctioneer really work for.
All Auctioneers want to do a good job for clients and customers, but who does the Auctioneer have a fiduciary responsibility and obligated to advocate?
Today, there are some Auctioneers who love and live for the praises of the people who attend their auctions.
You may even hear some auctioneers pander to the people attending their auction about how they will never have live internet bidding, absentee bidding by receiving bids submitted by proxy or taking bids by phone.  The people attending the sale will love to hear this, but it should send chills up the spine of the Seller.  Knowing they are not having the best marketing available by technology and opportunities for the world to find their items for sale to be able to be purchased regardless of location makes a huge difference in prices realized and the overall outcome of their sale.
These Auctioneers often give a sales pitch to potential clients (the Seller of real and personal property) that they “have a following” and are “really liked” by the people who come to the auctions they conduct.
To the unsuspecting Seller, this all may sound good, but at the end of the day, will not give them the greatest exposure for the items they want sold.  Auctioneers who do not take absentee or internet bids are short-changing their clients.
Some Auctioneers may have the mindset that as far as their client goes it is, “one and done” and never having to deal with the client ever again, are able to justify their conduct and as long as they keep getting the praises of their “following” is all that rally matters, right?  To the people coming to their auctions as “loyal” followers it is nice to know that the bidding is restricted to just them and that they have no competition, but to the clients, they are left wanting.

Fork in the Road - Client or Customer or Both

Auctioneers are to have a fiduciary responsibility to the Seller and are to be obligated to work in their best interests at all times.
As a fiduciary, the auctioneer’s duties include the confidentiality of their client, the of care of the real and personal property they are selling, loyalty to their client, obedience to fulfilling the wishes of their client, and accounting for everything in the entirety of the sales process and beyond.
Live Internet Bidding and Absentee Bidding permits people who have busy lives to be able to participate at an auction and potentially purchase the items they want, and these bidders are willing to pay shipping costs to get the items or make arrangements to come later and pick up what they have purchased.  The benefits of people bidding absentee are beyond giving the Bidder the opportunity to participate at the auction, but also lets the bidder have time to plan to and stick to an amount they want to pay for an item.  In the end, everyone benefits.  From the people who may not be able to attend but want to purchase but now may participate, the Seller who has a wider audience with much greater exposure of their real and personal property being sold with greater potential for higher prices realized because the audience is not restricted to just those who attend the sale in person, and the Auctioneer who is paid a commission on the prices realized at the fall of the hammer.
What about the people who come to auctions?
Does the Auctioneer have any obligation to the bidders/buyers at auction?
Yes!  They are to provide good customer service by having the best accommodations possible and the legal obligation of fair bidding between all who are participating.
What about benefiting both the Seller and the Buyer?
Is there a way an Auctioneer can benefit both?
Absolutely!  One of the best and most important ways an Auctioneer is able to provide the best service for both the Seller and the Buyer is by taking payment with credit cards.
An Auctioneer who refuses to take payment with credit cards is actually harming his client, the buyer, and themselves by restricting the amount of money that could be spent at the auction.
Understanding the different aspects of the Auction method will help you discern if an Auctioneer has the best interests of the Seller and Bidders/Buyers in mind by simply considering these two simple aspects of the sales process.
Simply ask if they have live internet bidding, accept absentee or phone bids and receive payment by credit cards, and you will know all too well which interest the Auctioneer has in mind with their auction business.
At True Blue Auctions, we use technology to the fullest potential and do not restrict participation at our auctions.  We use live internet bidding whenever possible, accept absentee bids and permit payment with credit cards for our clients.  We are committed to providing the highest quality auction services to both our clients and customers.
We welcome comments and feedback and love to answer your questions.  Reach out and CONTACT US anytime!