Auctions are great for people who want to sell their items, house, or land quickly, and buyers looking for a bargain. Unfortunately, there are others who will prey upon your interest in these benefits and run a scam auction, for both live and online events. These scams may include overpricing items or selling items the auctioneer doesn’t actually have available. They often get your attention with flashy ads or deals that seem too good to be true.
So, how you can tell if an auction you’re interested in or attending is legitimate or a sham? Here are a few of the biggest red flags to keep your eye out for!
1) No Accreditation
A legitimate auctioneer/auction company should have professional industry affiliations that show they’re serious. Look for memberships to the National Auctioneers Association (NAA), state auctioneers associations, and other relevant groups. You should be able to find this information on their website, or you can ask if you’re unsure.
2) No Experience
Before you head to an auction, take a few minutes to look up the company. They should have a record available of past auctions they’ve held and/or future auctions they have planned. Proven auction experience indicates a company is professional, that they have made valid sales in the past, and that they can put on a successful event.
3) No Permanent Address
If an auction is being held in a temporary location, such as a hotel or similar venue, there’s a good chance they’re running a traveling auction scam. Or, if they are held in a venue like this, they should have another permanent address and contact information listed readily. Remember—you don’t want to buy from someone you won’t be able to find again if there’s a problem
4) No Crowd
A proper auction company will have a vast network of resources and put in maximum effort to market their events, on behalf of themselves and their sellers. Keep in mind that many auction attendees are actually other dealers, so they’ll know which events are legitimate and which ones to stay away from. A sparse crowd could signal a dubious auction that’s baiting newcomers.
Smith & Co Auction & Realty has been providing professional auction services throughout Northwest Oklahoma and Kansas since 1987. With our decades of experience, as well as our NAA and Oklahoma State Auctioneers Association memberships, you can rest assured that you’ll only have the highest quality buying or selling experience with us.
View our upcoming auction schedule online or contact us today with any questions!