"Best" Car Auction "Theft"

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This really happened. I didn't know what was happening until after the auction was over. I used to work for an auctioneer for a little pocket change. We had this auto auction where we were selling cars, trucks, tractors, etc. About 50 vehicles total. I drove about 1/2 the vehicles and got them in lines for the auction. Note, I drove them. They all ran fine. On auction day before the start everybody is raising the hoods, checking oil and cranking them up to see how they sounded. I noticed this one guy under the hood of a mustang. I'm answering questions and helping customers so I'm not watching him closely. About 15 minutes before the start, people start asking all kinds of questions about what is wrong with the mustang. They said it will barely run. This was a pretty popular car and this rough engine story traveled like wild fire through the 200 or so people there. It got so bad I went and got the keys and wouldn't let anyone crank it anymore. I was afraid the engine would be ruined. Note, this is happening about 5-10 minutes before the start of the auction. Well, the car iwas supposed to be one of the last cars auctioned. You always hold the best for later in the auction so people will have to stick around. When the auctioneer got to that car someone said it doesn't run right. A few people agreed. Auctioneer said just make an offer. This was an "Absolute" auction. We were expecting car to sell for around $12k. It sold for $2K. The guy that was fiddling under the hood and first to tell me the car was messed up bought it. We were expecting the high bidder would have to get a trailer to take the car out of there. The high bidder was one of the last to leave and I didn't see a trailer and wondered how is he gonna get it home. So, I watched him walk across the field to his car. He raised the hood and switched 2 spark plug wires. Got in, cranked it up, and drove through the field to the exit and up the road he went.
 
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In the auctions I attended, the vehicle has to drive in the line to the auction stand and be running smoothly. If it can't, it does not set auctioned, and the owner must come pick it up. That normally keeps these shenanigans from happening. smile
 
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Not surprised people pull that BS all the time. Pull fuses, spark plug wire, Remove VAC lines....etc Back in 2004. I bought a 95 Caprice LT1 9c1 cop car and the guy who I purchased it from said he got it CHEAP from auction cause he flipped the odometer to KM JUST before it ran through the auction and it fooled everyone thinking it had HIGHER miles.crazy Dave
 
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More common than you think. I went to a pinball arcade swap meet in Columbus, OH with a friend. People from all over the midwest were at the meet. Guys insist on looking at the machines or wont buy them. They often sabotage the machine and come back later or have a friend come back later with a low ball offer willing to buy the broken pinball.
 

Gebo

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Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
In the auctions I attended, the vehicle has to drive in the line to the auction stand and be running smoothly. If it can't, it does not set auctioned, and the owner must come pick it up. That normally keeps these shenanigans from happening. smile
This was held in a huge field where you could drive them and have them inspected on 2 days prior to the\e auction. But no driving the day of the auction.
 
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They banned this guy from their auctions, right ? And told all of the other auctioneers to blacklist him too, yeah ? It's one thing to do something like this (sounds like it's a not uncommon thing), but to literally catch the guy, that's almost theft.
 
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Originally Posted by hallstevenson
They banned this guy from their auctions, right ? And told all of the other auctioneers to blacklist him too, yeah ? It's one thing to do something like this (sounds like it's a not uncommon thing), but to literally catch the guy, that's almost theft.
Not almost, that is theft or for sure fits the definition of fraudulent activity. Cheated your employer out of ten grand? I would have called the cops.
 

JHZR2

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Video or it didnt happen... Not saying that to the OP, rather its the issue of substantiating claims. Id assume that someone consigns these vehicles to the auction company on the best faith assumption that highest prices will be achieved... And that a basis of condition is agreed upon at the start - if that changes, the vehicle might not be auctioned, or auctioned only with the owner's approval. One would think/hope that the vehicles are watched, but of course thats not possible...
 

Nick1994

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A friend of my grandpa's used to go to the auctions all the time. There was a guy who he suspected of being shady, until one time he caught him, the guy brought a small bottle with oil in it and he'd dump it down the throttle body so when it started it would smoke.
 
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I've sold over 8000 cars at dealer-only auctions in 20+ states, mostly remotely but some I attended in person. Sabotage was frequent. As soon as a car came in a I got a condition report within 48 hours. When it came time to run it through on sale day, if it didn't run the way the condition report stated, I no-sale'd it immediately. You'd be surprised at the amount of shenanigans being pulled at auction. I would show up surprise a various auctions from time to time to keep them guessing, you'd have to otherwise the games start. Had one auction where my cars were consistently bringing low bids, if any at all. Come to find the manager there would hold my cars back until the very end when most of the money had been spent, and very few people were still bidding. He'd call and tell me the cars simply weren't drawing interest and that I was overpricing them. Come to find he was rarely putting my cars though at all, and when they did get a "bid" it was from his friend who owned a small local lot, who was likely the only person to ever have seen the car. All the worms, thieves, and slimeballs in that business gave the other 2% an undeserved bad reputation.
 

Gebo

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Originally Posted by JHZR2
Video or it didnt happen... Not saying that to the OP, rather its the issue of substantiating claims. Id assume that someone consigns these vehicles to the auction company on the best faith assumption that highest prices will be achieved... And that a basis of condition is agreed upon at the start - if that changes, the vehicle might not be auctioned, or auctioned only with the owner's approval. One would think/hope that the vehicles are watched, but of course thats not possible...
What we did was we rented lots or fields around older factories where the vehicles were locked up during the day and night. We'd auction tractor trailers, boats, etc. If I remember correctly, this car was a bank repo.
 

Gebo

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Originally Posted by quint
...All the worms, thieves, and slimeballs in that business gave the other 2% an undeserved bad reputation.
You might be a little low on the good guys. I'd estimate those at around 10%. You and I both know there is no such thing as an "Absolute Auction." Right? Fake bidders. Owners bidding on own equipment. I've seen a lot. Auctioneers splitting up bidders in different rooms in a house and having callers strategically placed different places in the house where only the auctioneer could see them all. I was at a tractor trailer absolute auction. Most tractors were going 10K-12K. Going down the line about 4 of them in a row went for over 15K. Didn't make sense to me until the auction was over and those tractors didn't leave. The owner had "bought" them. He was just jacking up the price during the bidding. I do know of one auctioneer where I live and I've watched him work about 5-6 auctions. He seems honest and legit. He never gets the supposedly high dollar sales like the others. But as a consumer/buyer you can go to his auctions and believe you aren't getting screwed over.
 

Gebo

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One thing I saw find that really impressed me. Auctioneer was driving bid up pretty quickly and over here I hear a man holler, "Who's got the bid?" Everything stopped. Total silence. The auctioneer was busted and blamed his mistake on saying one If his floor guys had signaled a bid when they hadn't. Very testy, awkward and embarrassing few moments. So, just remember, it is your right to know where the high bidder is. If you don't know, just ask. thumbsup Great way to call out a possible cheat/thief/liar etc.
 
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I believe the story.. I'm just surprised nobody was keeping a closer eye on things. We go to the Auburn Car Auction every Labor Day Weekend and there's plenty of guys watching the "runways." If anything, the seller would be close by. Then again, there's some pretty pricey cars there too.
 

Gebo

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In my situation they were always liquidation or bank repo sales. Trucking company going out of business, paint company going out and selling 15 vans, etc. In other words, nobody really cared enough to watch the vehicles. As far as the owner of the trucks bidding on his own equipment, the Auction Company had to know what was going on. One time I picked up a MB and drove it 3 hours from the gated community where I picked it up. The interior reeked of cherries. The smell was so strong it gave me bloodshot eyes. I stopped and searched over and over and could never find the scent can/packets. After 3 hours I realized my butt was not made for that particular MB model. It was the last car to sell. The 2 bidders were on their cell phones as they were bidding. I believed they were talking with their wives. Each had determined he was gonna get that MB. Anyways, the 2 bidders got angry with each other and the winner overbid by several thousand. They were standing about 8 feet from one another. Each could hear what the other was saying on their cell phones. Peeing contest in full swing. You shoulda seen the "winner's " face when he realized he had to pay a 10% commission On top of sale price to the auction company. He was sick to his stomach. I'm guessing this was his first auction.
 
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This kind of thing happens on all sort of retail businesses. This is why many businesses have higher prices when dealing with retail customers because many of them are just trouble makers.
 
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Lots of dishonest, thieving scumbags out there. Whether they're stealing from stores, stealing from individuals, or auctions, they are all pure scum. I like to think that eventually their thieving ways will catch up to them.
 
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