Don’t shill bid. Just don’t.

thou shalt not shill
Image by duncan via Flickr

If you’re an auctioneer and you’re bidding on behalf of yourself or your seller, there’s nothing illegal about it provided it’s disclosed properly and that it’s not an absolute auction. However, if you’re going to do it, don’t be sneaky about it. Don’t create a fictitious name or bidding account. Don’t try to sneak the disclosure in the small print in the auction terms. Tell your customers what you’re doing and that it’s legal. Tell your customers who you’ve appointed to bid on behalf of the seller. Don’t let your bid-caller bid, and make it clear what’s going on.

True, creating a situation where bidders are competing against a seller or reserve may disappoint or even upset some of them, but they’ll be nothing short of furious if they find out you’re trying to be sneaky in an attempt to keep them from finding out.

Regardless of the legalities of the methods, sneaking around and trying to accept bids that don’t come from legitimate bidders is an easy way to turn your bidders against you.

parts of this post have been removed due to inaccuracies in the original source material

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Aaron Traffas, CAI, ATS, CES | |

Aaron Traffas, CAI, AMM, CES, is an auctioneer from Sharon, Kansas. For the last 22 years he's worked for Purple Wave. Aaron served as president of the Kansas Auctioneers Association in 2017 and on the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute Board of Trustees from 2009 through 2013. He is a past instructor at CAI and co-wrote the original ATS and AMM designation courses from NAA. An active contract bid caller, he has advanced to the finals in multiple state auctioneer contests. During the summer, Aaron operates a farm in south central Kansas. Aaron is an active singer and songwriter and the Aaron Traffas Band's latest music can be found at as well as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.