Difference Between A Sale And An Auction
I saw an ad in the local paper for a liquidation auction. I went to it yesterday. The ad was written in a way that it appeared there would be a load of electrical equipment going cheaply, large TVs, iPads, cameras etc. When I got there there was about 10 or so big TVs, maybe 20 laptops, a few cameras and various bits of Apple gear. There was also a load of sports memorabilia and home furnishings along with wine and some clothing. I am presuming they headline the electrical gear to get the crowds in (the place was packed) and then hope to sell off the other stuff. They sold nearly everything when I was there. All well and good, however, the way they went about the auction was alien to me.
I only have experience of property auctions where the auctioneer keeps going till the last bidder standing no matter how high they bid. Here, he would take the bid up then seemingly at random bang the gavel and sell it. On some occasions he would also say you have bid high enough and just close it with whoever he took the last bid from. Then he would announce there was multiple lots and did anyone else want one at that price. People would then show their bidding cards. On several occasions, after bidding had finished he would speak to the 'auction manager' who would tell him to cut the final price in half, throw in something free and then say there were multiple lots and who wanted some of this great deal.
So what I wanted to know is, have the people here actually bought something at auction? Or have they purchased via a sale? Or something else? And what are their rights etc?
As an aside, some people clearly got a case of auction fever. Some things, once you added auctioneer's commission and VAT (33.5% total) where at what you buy them for retail. The Apple stuff especially, people just bid and bid and bid.