Heritage January 2021 Signature Auction
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As someone who is deeply troubled by auctions tainted by both shill bidding and house bidding (legal or not), I find the early bidding on pieces suggest a goodly number of house bids or shill bids used to boost sales prices as well as interest. Suspicious bidding patterns include those running, for the most part, from 91001-91023, 94015-94026, 94043-94055, and others (I got tired of recording information). But, some perfectly nice pieces remain unbid upon.

With 22 days to go before live bidding, I can understand tracking bids. But otherwise, a bid over $1,000 or so on a piece with a market value of 3-4 times that, if not a lot more, with such a long time remaining, makes little logical sense. It is too far away to think that a throwaway bid will win, particularly when the pieces in question are high demand items for the most part. Is a Neal Adams cover from GL/GA (lot 91002) ever going to sell for $15,000? No, not even close. Look at what the cover for #76 went for a few years ago. So, what is the point of a real person placing that bid? None. All it would do is fuel an increase in the bidding prices to the final price.

For those who are interested in any pieces, let me suggest you write down the early bid prices and monitor increases carefully. No reason to get sucked into a shill game, particularly if you are forewarned.

  

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53 minutes ago, Rick2you2 said:

As someone who is deeply troubled by auctions tainted by both shill bidding and house bidding (legal or not), I find the early bidding on pieces suggest a goodly number of house bids or shill bids used to boost sales prices as well as interest. Suspicious bidding patterns include those running, for the most part, from 91001-91023, 94015-94026, 94043-94055, and others (I got tired of recording information). But, some perfectly nice pieces remain unbid upon.

With 22 days to go before live bidding, I can understand tracking bids. But otherwise, a bid over $1,000 or so on a piece with a market value of 3-4 times that, if not a lot more, with such a long time remaining, makes little logical sense. It is too far away to think that a throwaway bid will win, particularly when the pieces in question are high demand items for the most part. Is a Neal Adams cover from GL/GA (lot 91002) ever going to sell for $15,000? No, not even close. Look at what the cover for #76 went for a few years ago. So, what is the point of a real person placing that bid? None. All it would do is fuel an increase in the bidding prices to the final price.

For those who are interested in any pieces, let me suggest you write down the early bid prices and monitor increases carefully. No reason to get sucked into a shill game, particularly if you are forewarned.

  

Is there any chance it’s simply unknowledgeable bidders not knowing the prices? Or people putting down a higher tracking bid and it ending up above the other bidders total bid? I’d noticed those bids on a few items I’m tracking, and thought them odd, but I didn’t think “shill.” Does a shill or house bid have a certain look once you’re further along in an auction?

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I suppose it depends on what tickles your eyes and wallet, but there's some very appealing OA lots for me in this auction.  I'm tracking dozens of items and need to whittle down to my top 5 for bidding.

To Ricky2you2...

HMS Hood Review Post Buffs - General Game Discussion - World of Warships  official forum

 

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Well, there's one I'd bid on except that it's already too expensive (last night $4K; this morning almost $8K and there are 3 weeks to go!). It's the splash page that made me a comic collector - JLA 29 (1st Series). The first comic I ever read.

Not much as splash pages go, but for 8 year old me, it was amazing. All those characters - who were they, what do they do?

Heck, I'm just glad to know it exists and what it really looks like. It's also nice to know where it and two of its siblings were all these decades. Per the Heritage post on the CAF: 

Quote

DC Editor Julius Schwartz originally gifted this page (along with a couple of others) to fanzine power-couple Don and Maggie Thompson (later, editors of Comics Buyer's Guide) when they visited the DC Offices one day. These pages have stayed in their possession and are only now being offered on the market!

 

image.png.477b6b604e1e0d9530b095a369a1a71b.png

 

Edited by alxjhnsn
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2 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

With 22 days to go before live bidding, I can understand tracking bids. But otherwise, a bid over $1,000 or so on a piece with a market value of 3-4 times that, if not a lot more, with such a long time remaining, makes little logical sense. It is too far away to think that a throwaway bid will win, particularly when the pieces in question are high demand items for the most part. Is a Neal Adams cover from GL/GA (lot 91002) ever going to sell for $15,000? No, not even close. Look at what the cover for #76 went for a few years ago. So, what is the point of a real person placing that bid? None. All it would do is fuel an increase in the bidding prices to the final price.  

I've been known to put down an early bid way lower than I think the piece will actually sell for. Let a guy dream!

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3 hours ago, Latverian Tourism Board said:

Is there any chance it’s simply unknowledgeable bidders not knowing the prices? Or people putting down a higher tracking bid and it ending up above the other bidders total bid? I’d noticed those bids on a few items I’m tracking, and thought them odd, but I didn’t think “shill.” Does a shill or house bid have a certain look once you’re further along in an auction?

In my view, you have to look at the totality of the circumstances. A tracking bid is a bid placed so you automatically get notified if you are outbid. You can do that with a $5 bid. If there a lot of trackers, how high could it go? $200? $400? How many trackers are needed to kick it over $1,000? A hell of a lot. As for bidders not knowing actual pricing, don’t forget these bids are proxy bids. An acceptable bid is only one increment higher. Now, factor in the 22 days before live bidding. Certainly, they should understand that their bid is like painting a target on their backs for 22 whole days. Can some people still do something nutty? Sure, but not that many.

The tougher ones are the shills who come up later. There, watch out for “echo” bids which seem to beat you by a little,  and when you exceed the other side on rebidding, you get another echo. Those could be legitimate bidders, not shills, so make sure you know pricing and value so you don’t get sucked into this game.

 

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2 hours ago, jjonahjameson11 said:

I suppose it depends on what tickles your eyes and wallet, but there's some very appealing OA lots for me in this auction.  I'm tracking dozens of items and need to whittle down to my top 5 for bidding.

To Ricky2you2...

HMS Hood Review Post Buffs - General Game Discussion - World of Warships  official forum

 

The horse ain’t dead until the bidding is done. More pointedly, you don’t know the hidden reserve on a piece, or how hard a shill will press.
But, by identifying questionable pieces early on, you can be doubly careful about not getting caught up in the heat of the bidding. That is the real danger here. Like when two bidders seemingly take a price to a new level. 

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1 hour ago, RBerman said:

I've been known to put down an early bid way lower than I think the piece will actually sell for. Let a guy dream!

While I understand the dream, you are also adding fuel to the fire of high pricing. And frankly, the targets I mentioned are in a different level than I think we operate. 

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7 minutes ago, Peter G said:

Your thought process seems flawed. I put all my tracking bids at roughly 50%- 65% of what I think the final FMV hammer will be. If one other person does the same than the price will escalate very quickly. I do not consider myself a shill bidder or a thrill bidder.

Those aren’t tracking bids. Those are real bids, and fairly reasonable first bids,too. If something I like starts high, I watch it by HA tracking, or just checking up on it regularly in other bidding situations to see if there is movement later. The goal here is to protect your finances from shills or chandelier bidding and add precautions.

Edited by Rick2you2
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54 minutes ago, alxjhnsn said:

Thrill bidding is a thing!

Yes, but Alex, you aren’t going to get carried away. You’ve been doing this too long and know your responsibilities. 
I don’t thrill bid, although I will low bid. Losing any bidding battle always leaves a bad taste of the loss later. 

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12 minutes ago, Rick2you2 said:

Those aren’t tracking bids. Those are real bids, and fairly reasonable first bids,too. If something I like starts high, I watch it by HA tracking, or just checking up on it regularly in other bidding situations to see if there is movement later. The goal here is to protect your finances from shills or chandelier bidding and add precautions.

 

The distinction between a "tracking bid" and a "real bid" is a bit semantic.

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Honestly, I don't have any problem putting a few higher bids out there early. I would rather know that a piece I want, and I think I have a shot, I'm not going to get. I say that not because I can then bid on another item in the auction (which I might), but maybe I will buy something that a dealer has that I want, but not as much as items in an auction. Maybe there are several newer pieces that are only in the $300-2,000 range that I like, but I'm really saving up for a special piece that's say is $10,000 or more. And those pieces don't come around very often (every several years). If I bid $8,000 early and get out bid already, then I'm probably not getting the piece for $10,000. So maybe I will buy some of the newer art.

I'm not worried about shill bidding because I have never thought that I bid too much, definitely not with my bid before the live auction started.

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