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Rue

Auction Mentality

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We were discussing the Amati Auction in another thread and today hubby and I were at an antique Auction...which got me wondering about regional vs specialized auctions vs mindset.

I know auction mentality kicks in and people overspend...but around here I swear auction prices far exceed retail prices...yet dealers are buying stock and I can't figure out how they are making a profit.

I assume violins (specifically) also fall into that category? Or do dealers only dump and NOT buy from auctions?

And who wants dealer discards?

Obviously people are making money...

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Traditionally auctions always used to be aimed at the trade.Mostly they were held during the working week.It has all changed now that everyone has access via the internet etc.

I think this in itself has helped to push up prices.

Whatever the price paid by a dealer at auction,a profit will be built into the "retail" price even after restoration & set up costs etc.

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It is a bit. Yesterday someone spent $125 buying a 1960s (or even later than that) item that you can find on eBay for $25...

We have always gone to auctions either evenings or weekends. Kevin mentioned that trade auctions were held on a weekday...that would make a difference.

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 The person buying at a high price may not be a dealer at all, but a consumer looking for that special bargain. They think they're outbidding a dealer and getting an item a a great wholesale price. In fact, they might very well be bidding against another similar consumer and driving the price up to a ridiculous level. Dealers usually know when to stop, consumers not so much.

 

Barry

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Yes.  And I understand that.  But the dealers seem to be buying items at a very high price as well.  We know who the dealers are.

 

I'm suspecting they go to the auctions just in case something comes up, but are sourcing the bulk of their inventory elsewhere?

 

There's one young woman just starting out.  We don't think she's going to make it.  She's paying a premium for lower end stuff the long-term dealers don't want.

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If you know that a dealer is bidding on or bought something, then he's not a very clever dealer. Most of the better dealers will not stand there and be identified waving their hand in the air for something they really want--that just attracts parasitic bidding by people who know if a good dealer's still in, it must be something worth buying at that price, and when the dealer gets out, it's still wholesale.

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I haven't had much success with online auctions.  For the most part, the items I've purchased haven't suited me or have required extensive restoration which has turned an apparent bargain into a liability.  One notable exception, however, was my acquisition of a lovely Michael Darnton viola which I purchased impulsively a few years ago.  It's an instrument I won't part with (except, perhaps, for another Darnton).

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Bid by telephone, nobody will know who it is and it's easier to stop as you don't have to click on "bid" on the internet. I prefer telephone bidding over video bidding.

If you want to play dirty, register for phone bidding with multiple fake names and use multiple phone numbers, they will call but nobody picks up, you just killed 3-4 competitors (if you registered early) I never did this though as I generally don't have to bid against many people and know my limit.

 

There are thousands of good instruments and there are too many auction houses for a very small market, stop bumping the prices up, some instruments sell for retail prices at auction.

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