Heritage Auctions, Jim Halperin and Market Manipulation
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191 posts in this topic

On 8/24/2021 at 10:05 PM, Domo Arigato said:

You're pretty much going to have to boycott every auction house on the planet then.......as even auction houses like Christie's admit to bidding on their own auction items.

A quote from Toby Usnik (head of communications for Christie's)

"Christie’s wouldn’t bid as often as Heritage does — Rohan claims it bids on “a lot of things” — and wouldn’t use a pseudonym because “that would be illegal,” according to the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, says Usnik. “You would be bidding up the price of something artificially, and others in the auction room who are competing for it would not know that it’s you who is bidding or that you have a special interest in it."

And anyone remember Mastro Auctions?

Former Owner Of Mastro Auctions Sentenced To 20 Months In Federal Prison In Shill-Bidding Scam

 

 

On 8/24/2021 at 10:20 PM, Sauce Dog said:

Yes, we all get that there can be no ethical consumption under capitalism yada yada yada. Simply hand waving away any issues like this because "well bad things happen all the time with sort of places, and has been going on for years" is dismissive and downplays the idea we all can make informed moral decisions.

Will I end up supporting some crappy companies, sure - pretty much impossible to avoid, but with the choices I can make easily I choose to exercise that. It's fairly easy to remain consistent with ones moral ideals when we are only talking about elective hobby stuff that doesn't impact my life. 

exactly, it's "whataboutism "

 https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/whataboutism-origin-meaning

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On 8/24/2021 at 9:14 PM, MatterEaterLad said:

There was clear proof of internal shill bidding at Heritage. Halperin lied about it and then had to dance when other depositions revealed the truth. Because of that I'm always leery of Heritage and their record-breaking sales in the games/comics/coin categories. I guess you're more trusting than I am.

I don't think I'm more trusting than anyone else.

Hendershot claimed that what Heritage was doing was wrong.

Heritage claimed the following:

Heritage not only operates as a typical auction house, but also has a direct purchase and sale division within the company.  The Gresham account was used to place bids on items at their auction prior to opening bidding.  That division would speculate on the market like any other bidder.  Sometimes it would lose money doing this....but just like everyone else, they wrote checks out to the auction house.  Heritage stated that once the auction began however, they did not "bid up" items or withdraw bids.  Heritage also stated they disclose its interest at the back of its auction catalogs and online in its listed terms and conditions.  Those terms read, "The Auctioneer or its affiliates may consign items to be sold in the Auction, and may bid on those lots or any other lots".  

This is all completely legal in the state of Texas, which is where Heritage is headquarted.

Illegal?  Nope.

Shady?  Everyone will have to judge for themselves.  I'm just not naive enough to think it isn't happening all over the place.

 

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On 8/24/2021 at 6:43 PM, Domo Arigato said:

That's hard proof of illegal activity now?  And with WATA?

And is that why everybody in here boycotts Heritage auctions?

 

there's been quite a bit of discussion here and among dealers and buyers elsewhere about heritage shill  bidding its own stuff. i'm sure it happened to me, and many dealers then confirmed it had happened to them as well. i still bid on HA but will never pre-bid or proxy bid again, as that is where they get you. 

if a book is close to market value in the live auction i may bid on it. many dealers also do this with heritage. it would indeed be nice if word spread in the mainstream market about this, but it appears to only be known to hard core collectors. 

and your point is well taken, HA is doing just fine. tons of real people bid on their stuff in addition to all their shills and jim halperin's own bids. it's a scam, and they're expert at running it. 

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On 8/24/2021 at 9:38 PM, MatterEaterLad said:

@Domo Arigato Saying "everyone does it," says more about you than I think you realize. 

And selectively picking certain companies to bash when they're all essentially guilty of the same thing says more about you than I think you realize.

 

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On 8/24/2021 at 9:20 PM, Sauce Dog said:

Yes, we all get that there can be no ethical consumption under capitalism yada yada yada. Simply hand waving away any issues like this because "well bad things happen all the time with sort of places, and has been going on for years" is dismissive and downplays the idea we all can make informed moral decisions.

Will I end up supporting some crappy companies, sure - pretty much impossible to avoid, but with the choices I can make easily I choose to exercise that ability to boycott. It's fairly easy to remain consistent with ones moral ideals when we are only talking about elective hobby stuff that doesn't impact my life. 

If you want to close your eyes and throw darts at a board to make your "informed moral decisions"......knock yourself out.

I choose not to.

 

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On 8/24/2021 at 9:22 PM, MatterEaterLad said:

VGA has actually been around much longer. It was WATA's data leak that made their lack of a pop report so damning. The numbers conflicted with their constant promotion of ultra rate games, that just happened to be owned and sold by WATA directors. 

So what's the big conspiracy reason for VGA not to be publishing its population report?  It's not a part of the evil cartel.

 

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On 8/24/2021 at 9:47 PM, Wolverinex said:

Man, you just love Heritage. 

I haven't bought anything there in over 20 years.....and I've never sold anything there.

Link

Any other tidbits of insightful wisdom you'd care to share?

 

Edited by Domo Arigato
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On 8/24/2021 at 10:45 PM, Domo Arigato said:

So what's the big conspiracy reason for VGA not to be publishing its population report?  It's not a part of the evil cartel.

 

WATA withholding a census is only one part of the issue, the other parts being the hiding of who the directors are, directors owning or selling to WATA sealed games and then grading them as a pedigree (playing up where they came from but not that the pedigreed owner sold them to the WATA and is also a director) and then apparently shilling up copies to establish insane prices (knowing the census report) before flooding the market. withholding the census allows the rest, and buying competing census and like data helps too

it is a bundle of puzzle pieces that MIGHT form quite a troubling picture

 

Edited by Bird
very disheartening...I know I can be a bit naive and all but I am middle aged now and shouldn't be surprised!
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not sure if anyone else here collects anything other than comics, but with all the recent news, i think i’m going to close out my pwcc vault and not do business with them again. only problem is with shipping and customs charges, it’s going to cost me a lot of money just to get my cards back to me.

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Ok......I deleted my last post.

In my advancing years, I'd forgotten how much this forum loves a good conspiracy theory.

Knock yourselves out, guys.  When the market implodes from all the shenanigans, I'll come back in here to eat my crow. lol

TinFoil.jpg.890f1072fde02ed1fec009d28d76a5d0.jpg

 

 

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What Deniz Kahn, founder of Wata games, has been accused of in this video as "fraud" would in another industry, like tech or finance, be called "marketing" - and likely would be a good case study of it the Harvard Business School.

That said, all of these players at Heritage or Wata, in comparison to what happens with institutional investors, pundits on Bloomberg or CNBC, hedge funds etc on a given trading day are all saints compared to the professional crooks on wall street.

 

 

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I'm not getting into any of the accusations but am just going to say about any of the things discussed here and the examples given of similar things done elsewhere.  And that is "would you do it?".  If the answer is no then you have your answer.  If the answer is yes then you have another answer.

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I watched the whole video and it gave me some thought. If the video game market is being manipulated by a select group of people, just how much of that cash is legitimate for these “record breaking” sales? Will an actual collector outright spend $2M for a sealed game so soon when WATA was only founded a few short years ago? 
 

Overall I find it odd that a has hobby gone from being super niche, to widespread and pricey to downright absurd and ridiculous. It just makes no sense to me. (shrug)

Edited by Terry JSA
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