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Auction to avoid Live Whisky auction

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Auction to avoid Live Whisky auction

Postby agoldf » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:02 am

I participate in basically every online and physical whisky auction and am sorry to be writing this but I have come across what I believe to be purposely deceitful marketing by this auction.
I was the highest bidder for the following
http://www.livewhiskyauctions.com/aucti ... 000000041/ lot:
But when the auction ended, I was not shown as the winner. It turns out that despite the fact that other lots had their reserves posted, this lot not only did not post what the reserve was but in fact did not even show that there was a reserve.
Now, while that would make me disappointed, (and an auction site I'd avoid as not worth the effort) I would not necessarily call that deceitful, I understand reserves, and the need for new auctions to rely on them. BUT it turns out that the reserve on the lot was 30% higher that the most the bottle had ever before achieved and 33% higher than it just made at SWA just 3 months ago. In other words, they KNEW that there was no way (especially on their first auction) that this would sell. So they used this lot to advertise that they had a special bottle (they hyped it on both Twitter and facebook) to get people to come and bid and then hid the fact that it was not realistically available.
I mean we all know the fako auctions that list items with crazy reserves and we know they are not for real. When you set up an auction you need to decide whether you are a serious auction or just trying to see if can get a few suckers to pay above the going rate. I'm pretty sure they didn't post the reserve because they wanted the people coming to the site to think they were legit while if they saw the the reserve they would have just laughed.
In essence, I think this was tricky advertising. I would appreciate it if others chimed in. Am I being unreasonably critical?
agoldf
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Re: Auction to avoid Live Whisky auction

Postby LWA » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:38 pm

Hi,
I am happy to respond on behalf of LiveWhiskyAuctions.com.
I understand your disappointment and frustration at not winning what was a very good lot in our recent auction.
As you know, I have been in touch with you personally, prior to you posting this message, to set out the facts.
I shall try to go through the various points you have made.
You have suggested that the Bowmore was unique in that its reserve price was hidden. This was not the case. We canvassed opinion before launching the site and the balance of opinion from potential sellers was split on whether or not the reserve price should be shown. We therefore made this an option during site development that sellers could choose for themselves. We respect their rights as the owners of the bottles to choose.
Out of the 34 lots we included in our auction, only 7 items had reserve prices shown - at the request of the sellers. Therefore 80% of items did not display the reserve, including the Bowmore. It was in no way unique in this regard as you suggest.
As regards the reserve price set, whilst some sellers ask our opinion on suitable reserve prices, on this occasion we weren't asked. The seller offered the bottle for auction and established a £4k reserve. Their rationale for this was that there is currently a bottle on Whisky Exchange for £5,999.99, and another price on Whisky Vault at £6,000. The bottle they offered was number 2 from the run. With this in mind, but understanding they wouldn't get retail prices at private auction, they set a reserve of £4k - again without asking our opinion. We do not know what the seller paid for the bottle or when, so we respect their right to choose their own reserve. It is their property and therefore their decision on what they are prepared to accept in a sale.
In relation to our marketing, we did mention that the Bowmore was available in the auction on Twitter and Facebook. However, to say we used or 'hyped' this lot to attract people is misleading. We in fact published the images on our Facebook page of 11 individual bottles that were available in the auction. These were published in the run up to, and during, the auction. The Bowmore image was featured just once in that run of 11 different bottles. As this bottle would only be affordable to a small number of buyers, we did not think that this was a suitable bottle to attract a significant number of potential bidders to the site.
I believe the issue of reserves will always be difficult. I know that the excellent Scotch Whisky Auctions site has just changed their policy (within the last few months) of not showing reserves due to the disappointment of many bidders who were unsuccessful. So this is not a new issue for whisky auction sites.
We will of course listen to the feedback of users and we will always look at ways to improve the site and the bidding process. I'm sure we won't be able to make everyone happy, especially disappointed bidders, but we will try to be fair to both buyers and sellers.
LWA
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Re: Auction to avoid Live Whisky auction

Postby Ganga » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:36 am

LWA:

It should have been posted that there was a reserve even if the reserve amount is not posted. I would be livid in this situation as I was not informed that I needed to bid against myself. How is a prospective buyer to know that they did not bid high enough?
Ganga
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Re: Auction to avoid Live Whisky auction

Postby Ras Mazunga » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:23 pm

Whiskybase Market seems like a good alternative:
http://whiskybase.com/marketplace

Just opened today but already a lot of bottles for sale. :thumbsup:
Ras Mazunga
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Re: Auction to avoid Live Whisky auction

Postby lincoln imp » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:09 am

Ganga wrote:LWA:

It should have been posted that there was a reserve even if the reserve amount is not posted. I would be livid in this situation as I was not informed that I needed to bid against myself. How is a prospective buyer to know that they did not bid high enough?


I am in full agreement with Ganga. As far as I am concerned if there is no reserve shown then there is no reserve, period.

LWA - I think you will find that SWA do show thier reserves. When you search on particular bottles like say Brora in the last couple of months, then the reserve amount is clearly shown. I know because my first bid for a bottle was the reseve amount. I bid the exact reserve price to get the bottle because it was clearly stated.

Lets face it if a bottle on your auction had a reserve on of say £500 and i was in a bidding war to £450 and give the highest bid I would be angry that I had wasted all that time bidding (and continually checking for the last 2 hrs of the auction) when you were not upfront about the reserve price.

This is no way to win business it is bad practice. I also believe it is poor skills to blame it on your sellers, surely your business model , if it was any good, would be advising sellers of good practice and telling them to list the reserve or in the very least if the reserve price had been met etc. :headbang:
lincoln imp
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