liveauctioneers.com?

Discussion in 'Horological Misc' started by Lee Passarella, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Lee Passarella

    Lee Passarella Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 8, 2015
    244
    286
    63
    Male
    tech writer
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #1 Lee Passarella, Jun 3, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2019
    Anybody know anything about liveauctioneers.com? They seem to know nothing about watches in general, which might either be good or tremendously bad for a bidder. I stumbled on the site by accident, and after a cursory look, it seems oddly uninformed compared to most auction sites dealing in watches.
     
  2. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 30, 2001
    2,104
    173
    63
    Male
    Green Bay, Wi
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    They are not auctioneers.... They market auction house auctions online ... The auction house pays @ fee to be apart of the network.. Your questions go directly to the house.. which may or may not have good watch knowledge.. The descriptions are also done at the auction house ..
     
  3. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
    Sponsor Gold Business Member

    Sep 3, 2000
    6,748
    121
    63
    Male
    watches
    Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    We are very active on this platform. It is just that. A platform. Many sellers have abandoned eBay for L/A due to eBay's heavy handedness in allowing "Buyer fraud". IOW, eBay did such a good job at curtailing fraudulent sellers that they overstepped and began supporting and even encouraging fraudulent buyers. Hence thousands of sellers fled he eBay platform

    And yes, many of the sellers ignorantly leave out the most rudimentary of info. Like a movement pic.

    And I have bought several watch claimed to be 14k or 18k that were in fact gold filled but tested with one of those crappy electronic testers.

    Jeff
     
  4. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 12, 2017
    4,194
    1,740
    113
    New York State
    Country Flag:
    I am going to move this thread to Horological Misc because it's not
    about American Pocket watches but this is a good informational post
    explaining what this platform is.

    Rob
     
  5. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,819
    316
    83
    Male
    Retired, not tired
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I'm a clock guy but I've purchased quite a few clocks through Liveauctioneers.com. As has been said, they are a live auction platform so you're dealing with auction houses using that platform to reach a wider market. Auction houses usually tack on an additional 3% Buyer's Premium to your final bill so you're paying for use of the platform. Even if you don't use it to place bids (absentee or live), it's a good source to get market pricing on items you may be interested in. If the item has been auctioned in the past you just need to be signed up with them in order to gain access to hammer prices and dates of sale.

    You get access to a wider market of Sellers but of course, there's a higher risk in placing bids on something you haven't actually examined in person...that kind of goes without saying doesn't it? :whistle: Some auction houses put time and effort into their photos/condition reports and answering questions in a timely manner. Some don't. With the additional fee, it's not uncommon to see Buyer's Premiums over 25% on the Platform now
    .
     
  6. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

    Jun 24, 2011
    2,954
    79
    48
    Male
    Medical Insurance Systems Analyst
    El Dorado, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I only tried the platform one time. I ended up winning 2 auctions and the auction house basically ignored the outcome. Nobody would reply telling me what happened and how to proceed and I saw one of the items listed again, later.
    Soured me on the company.
     
    kevin h likes this.
  7. Rick Hufnagel

    Rick Hufnagel Just Rick!
    NAWCC Member Donor Sponsor

    Oct 25, 2018
    1,046
    1,264
    113
    Male
    Plumber
    Pittsburgh pa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I looks interesting, thanks for bringing it up Lee! I looked through a search and there's allot of madness, but a few nice auctions that look like the seller really cares.

    I may have to sign up and give it a shot.
     
  8. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
    3,394
    135
    63
    Male
    Pennsylvania
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #8 Chris Radano, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    I've used Liveauctioneers frequently over the years. I buy clocks only. There are a few things you need to know if you're planning to use this platform.

    Liveauctioneers is useful first of all for browsing. If you like looking at photos of clocks (and watches), it's another way to see what's out there in the world. Already stated above, you're relying on a description from an auction house. If you're learned in your field of collecting then you may know better.

    OK, you see something in which you're interested in bidding. You first have to register for the auction, perhaps you have to provide credit card information in advance. Many times, the auction house will offer their own live/absentee bidding on their own website. If the auction house has it's own website, many times you can save a couple percentage points in buyer's premium cost. Many times auction houses will only offer absentee/live bidding through a platform such as Liveauctioneers (there are other platforms that do what Liveauctioneers does). Every auction house has it's terms and conditions, which is available on Liveauctioneers.

    Once you are registered for the auction, you are able to leave an absentee bid. This is how I prefer to bid. Or, you can bid live at the date and time of the auction. I've tried to bypass sites like Liveauctioneers, and left absentee bids directly with the auction house...and my would-be highest absentee bids the auction house failed to execute...at least 2 times I can remember.

    Ok, you've placed the highest bid, and you are informed you're the winner. Next, you have to wait for an invoice. You receive the invoice, and pay the auction house. Next, you may have to call a shipper (names and phone numbers provided by the auction house). Many shippers will physically pick up your item at the auction house, then ship it to you (after you pay the shipper, of course). Infrequently, an auction house provides their in-house pack and ship service, and/or will send you an invoice which includes shipping (on top of your buyer's premium).

    So, if you only want speed and simplicity in the buying process, this platform is not for you. You're paying your hammer price, buyer's premium, and shipping. That said, I use this platform frequently. I can find good clocks in auction houses all over the world (although I only buy from auction houses in other US States, I avoid paying sales tax in my Commonwealth). With all the added cost, bid accordingly...I still think after everything, I pay fair or bargain prices for the clocks. I can't remember ever getting anything in which I was disappointed. Think clock prices are decreasing? I think that's related to platforms such as Liveauctioneers, with all the added costs for buyers (but that's another topic).

    Did I leave anything out? Then others can add or disagree. Good luck. For me, collecting is fun, and I usually don't complain about it, or I wouldn't do it.
     
  9. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 12, 2017
    4,194
    1,740
    113
    New York State
    Country Flag:
    Chris, Great explanation.


    Rob
     
  10. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
    3,394
    135
    63
    Male
    Pennsylvania
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Yes, this happened to me a few times. I surmised someone in-house bid the same amount, and in-house buyers were awarded the winners. This hasn't happened to me in a couple years, so I'm unsure if the rules have changed. I must admit, when it did happen I was low-balling, hoping to get a bargain. Yes, I agree not being declared the winning bidder with the highest bid should discourage anyone from using the site. But I guess I'm a hard head, or I like clocks too much.
     
  11. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,953
    422
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I have long used a similar platform, the-saleroom.com, but increasingly I just use it for research as they now charge 6% on top of the auction house fees. If I have time I contact the auction house direct and leave a bid. I will use the saleroom if the bid is small or I have run out of time to do it through the auction house.

    I have to say I do actually prefer to deal direct with an auction house, they can be incredibly helpful even if they don't know much about the subject you specialise in.

    As far as I'm concerned they pay the saleroom so they have had their money for advertising it to me. Auction house fees are high enough without adding a further 6%.
     
  12. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,819
    316
    83
    Male
    Retired, not tired
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #12 Bruce Alexander, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    I have been disappointed on a couple of occasions. Marriages which were not revealed in the condition report or through the photos.

    As far as matching high bids are concerned, I think that a live bidder at the auction house will usually get the attention of the auctioneer over the person monitoring the offsite platform's terminal and executing bids. It's at his or her discretion but some houses state as much in their terms. Some houses will alternate competing bids with yours so it's not unlikely that someone else will win at "your" high bid. Other houses will give you each bid increment until the winning bid has been accepted. Competing bids below your maximum are rejected. I know of no way to determine this before the auction is held. I know of Liveauctioneers.com, ArtFact/Invaluable.com, AuctionZip.com and eBay Live. Tom/Gene Harris in Iowa offers their own online/absentee bidding platform (I think) and some lots they only auction to folks in house. Schmitt-Horan (formerly R.O. Schmitt) also offers their own in house platform. Both of these Houses specialize in clock and watch auctions.

    Shipping is another issue entirely, but I do not think it's as much of an issue/expense for Watch collectors. Harris offers in house shipping. Packing is well done at reasonable rates. Shipping is at cost. Most Houses I've dealt with don't offer in house shipping services. If the auction house recommends a service, I will usually go with them since they often waive a pick-up fee. Otherwise I'll get one or two quotes from nearby UPS Stores. I've had pretty good luck with them and Insurance Claims aren't too much of a hassle, especially if one of their Stores has done the packing.

    If you leave absentee bids, they are executed and displayed in much the same way eBay does. The highest pre-auction bid as well as number of bids executed are shown for all to see. It kind of tips your hand and I don't care much for it. It didn't used to be the case with LiveAuctioneers until they updated their platform.

    The alternative is leave an absentee bid directly with the House (if they accept them) or to sit through part of the auction until your lot(s) come(s) up.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  13. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    10,927
    250
    63
    UK
    Country Flag:
    I absolutely agree about the 6%. It irks me that auction houses are already making typically a 40% margin (combining buyers' premium with sellers' commission) and sometimes over 50% ... and on-line bidding increases hammer prices which makes them even more money! At the least they should absorb the cost of the on-line platform.

    I use thesaleroom.com to research prices, and sometimes even to research watchmakers. When I intend to bid for a watch, I email the auction house and ask them to phone me so that I can bid live - there is no cost for that facility!!!!!
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,953
    422
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I'm virtually never available to bid live, so I leave commission bids. It has the disadvantage that you can't react to changes, and you have to be careful not to have too many bids out at the same time in case all of them come home, after all I am a pensioner!
     
  15. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

    Jun 24, 2011
    2,954
    79
    48
    Male
    Medical Insurance Systems Analyst
    El Dorado, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Another risk with prebidding is that some houses share your bid with the seller. It's very curious that I win so many auctions at exactly the amount I bid as a maximum. To me, that's just sleazy.
     
  16. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 30, 2001
    2,104
    173
    63
    Male
    Green Bay, Wi
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I do not believe they share bids with the seller, But .... Some auction houses take the highest pre bid and use it as an opening bid .... I do not care for that and it appears that is not done as often as it used to be ...
     
  17. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,953
    422
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I don't believe they do either. I think those of us who study auctions know what something should sell for and can judge our max bid fairly accurately, which is why we are sometimes spot on. Unless I'm putting in a frivolous bid I often find I am either spot on or the under bidder.
     
  18. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
    3,394
    135
    63
    Male
    Pennsylvania
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Auction houses may have reserves which are not shown. Sometimes your bid may be the reserve or close enough to it. That's another reason to become familiar with prices. And that's why I said, "bid accordingly".

    For a while, I could seemingly "name my price" for clocks, especially if the auction was something other than horological featured. My left bids are what I believe to be the low end of any possible reserve. I was very successful for a couple years, but lately there seems to be more competition, prices are rising slightly.

    I also said I'm not complaining, because compared to 15-20 years ago, clock prices are still really low...including whatever added costs to me (the buyer).
     
  19. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,953
    422
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Prices do seem to be firming up a bit, though it is only a slow or stop in the decline, I don't see them going back up to anything like where they were.
     
  20. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
    3,394
    135
    63
    Male
    Pennsylvania
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It's difficult to imagine prices returning to 20 years ago widespread across the market. However, within the recent short term I see some of my bids "getting blown out of the water". There has been a return of - at least a spattering of - some folks paying high prices for horological items, getting into bidding wars, etc. This is especially noted in auctions that specialize in horological items. I haven't bid in an horological - centered auction in a long time, the prices are too high for my tastes :eek:
     
  21. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,494
    387
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I have bought perhaps a dozen clocks in the last year from horological auctions. Audiences full of clock aficionados, and some true experts in the mix too. I paid what I think was a decent market price on one, all the rest I paid substantially less than I could have paid under different circumstances. While the auction house fee is too high in every case, that is a different subject and a different argument. The recent auction of electrical clocks in New Hampshire reflected some pretty stiff prices. But, the more mundane stuff often sold for reasonable amounts. One clock I bought for about a nickel on the dollar, perhaps even less. The other was pretty much a near retail price I paid what with the auction house fees. But, both were rather unusual pieces and sometimes that may be good, other times more expensive to the interested party? I don't see run of the mill clock prices going back up. There is insufficient market interest in average stuff and I don't see any increase in younger folks chasing "old clocks."
     
  22. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,651
    547
    113
    Country Flag:
    Interesting discussion.

    I'm starting with this statement because it seems that there may be some confusion, if you will, about the nature of liveauctioneers on the part of some.

    First of all, they are merely a 2nd party platform from which auctions are staged by many independent participating auction houses both in the U.S. and abroad. Similar platforms are bidsquare and auctionzip. Often an auction house will participate on more than one of these. Some of the bigger houses will in addition have their own in-house on-line bidding capability. That is on top of the more traditional left bids and phone bidders. All in the name of casting the biggest net, no pun intended.

    The cataloging and descriptions of the objects are provided by the participating auction houses. Liveauctioneers has no input and so any apparent lack of knowledge is that of the participating auction house, not live auctioneers.

    Couple of personal observations.

    When I do attend a live auction, the internet bidding often makes them quite painful and sad. So many times the room is nearly empty as most people are at home. Gone are the good old days of schmoozing and discussing. Most of the stuff sells to the internet and then sometimes the phones. I've been to auctions where 3 platforms are going at once. They typically slow things down to an excruciating pace while the auctioneer waits for the bids on all three to trickle through and then to be announced by the people tending the computers. The auctioneers realize that's were most of the action is not to mention the highest prices. Also to me, a good auctioneer has a pace and a cadence that keeps things moving and the audience awake. Destroyed by these starts and stops waiting for internet bids. Then there are the technical problems. For example, I was at a live auction that was delayed 45 - 60 minutes as they lost the connection to the internet platform. Considering that this is an auctioneer who can barely sell about 40 lots/hour, it made things even more intolerable.

    As alluded to above, I find that the internet bidding platforms generally significantly jack up prices. I do much better at the little auctions that may still allow phone and left bids. The pace is much better. Less competition and fewer people who might realize what something is. Good for the buyer, may be not for the seller.

    All that said, there are things I like. I can look at a lot of stuff on-line. Also good for research as the on-line catalogs are generally searchable and illustrated.

    I have used liveauctioneers and bidsquare. Overall, it's been okay. Has permitted me to acquire few things that I would otherwise have not been able to. Also bought some real clunkers that I thought looked good. No bargains for me. Generally, when I go to auctions or bid on-line, I get thoroughly stomped. I have participated in auctions, live and on-line, where just about everything requires begging from the auctioneer to open. When it comes to the lot or few lots I have been waiting for patiently, there are then typically multiple left bids and multiple phone bidders! I actually do better picking shops and flea markets. Then there's the higher premium charged to on-line bidders and the shipping costs not to mention the risks of shipping.

    Yes, the mundane and average is moribund, price wise. Sometimes you can't even sell it. Good stuff at least sells. Not always for what it once brought, sometimes for more.

    In this modern age, accept on-line auction services. They are a tool like a hammer. Use them wisely, they are a useful basic necessary tool in your tool box. If not, you might wind up with a sore and bruised thumb.

    RM.
     
  23. zedric

    zedric Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    890
    96
    28
    This is my experience also. The day-to-day items are still fetching almost noting, but more "interesting" items are fetching higher prices than they would have even last year.

    Like many, I use platforms such as liveauctioneers to leave commission bids, and have tracked my success (or mostly lack of) in doing so over the years through this and other platforms. I am now starting slow down my collecting, as the price differential between what I can buy in the UK, France and USA via internet purchases vs what I can sell for locally is eroding to the point that I can't justify the risk of a dud purchase every now and then (and when you rely only on the internet and looking at pictures, however careful you are you will buy a dud eventually). If I can't sell the odd clock for a profit, I can't use any profits to finance the purchase of stuff I want to keep...

    On another point, I actually find it quite odd that in this world of internet accessible auctions, there are still significant price differences between countries. For example, prices in Germany and Switzerland are usually quite a bit higher than those in France, despite these being neighbouring countries. But I digress..
     
  24. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,953
    422
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Isn't that just market forces? I've bought two brackets in Denmark because they were cheaper than the UK, same with a lantern from Portugal. Some types of clock are cheaper here than they will be in other countries. American dial clocks go for next to nothing here whereas the price of English ones is still reasonably firm especial for anything older with some quality.
     
  25. zedric

    zedric Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    890
    96
    28
    I guess so, but when a French clock sells for twice the price over the border in Germany, I still find it odd... I guess language barriers come in here too - if you search for uhren you won’t find clocks described as pendule or orologio....
     
  26. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
    3,394
    135
    63
    Male
    Pennsylvania
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    There are some hard core clock buyers in Germany. I have spent most of my collecting life trying to find undervalued clocks, or "hidden treasures"...clocks that most buyers may look past but I believe have value. And I collect for the most important reason - my interest. Some of my clocks my be simple, i.e. fusee timepieces or the like, I don't think complicated clocks are always the most interesting. Sometimes a nice case tempts me. In fact, I have a couple more on the way...maybe I will post here. It's getting more difficult to find what interests me, that I don't already have...
     
  27. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,953
    422
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I had one I really wanted recently but it went way over what I would have thought, so there must have been at least two who valued it more than I did. The good news for me is I wanted it to research a clock I already have and the auctioneers passed my name on to the buyer who has been in touch. That one is on its way to to Portugal.
     

Share This Page