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Heritage discloses auction reserves

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Many o fyou may have noticed some changes at Heritage and have some questions. So, I thought I would post our press release on the subject:



Heritage will now disclose auction reserves on its web sites.


DALLAS, TEXAS: Heritage is initiating a new policy of telling online bidders which lots have reserves and whether those reserves have been met.


According to eCommerce Director Michael Weems, “Beginning next month, we will post a notice showing the state of the reserve for each lot that we offer at auction. Prior to all reserves for that auction being posted, the notice will read "Reserve (If Any) Not Posted Yet.” After the reserves are posted -- generally 3 days prior to the closing date for Internet-only auctions, and 7 days prior for Signature auctions -- there will be three possible states for a lot: "No Reserve", "Next Bid Meets Reserve", or "Reserve Met". This method is very similar to eBay’s, but unlike eBay, Heritage automatically raises all reserved lots to one increment below the reserve, so the bidder always knows the approximate amount of any unmet reserves.”


Mr. Weems continued, “We plan to implement the necessary Website changes in time for our March 17 Dallas Movie Posters, March 24-27 Portland ANA coin auctions, and our April 1-4 New York City Comics/Comic Art auction.”


Each of the notices will be a link to a FAQ page containing the following definitions:


Reserve (If Any) Not Posted Yet: Although many lots will not get reserves, this signifies that Heritage has not yet posted any reserves to this auction.


No Reserve: Reserves have been posted for this auction, but this lot does not have a reserve.


Next Bid Meets Reserve: The reserve has been posted on this lot, and the Current Bid has been reset to one increment below the reserve so that the next bid will be the high bidder and the reserve will have been reached.


Reserve Met: Reserves have been posted for this auction, and there is a reserve on this lot that has already been met.


Heritage Co-Chairman James Halperin explains the reasoning behind the new policy: “This is part of Heritage’s continued efforts to provide bidders with as much useful information as possible, and to save them time. Some bidders prefer not to bid against reserves, while others don’t care. Either way, we feel that the eBay model has changed the market’s expectations regarding reserves, and that this information should no longer be hidden from bidders. And since we automatically set the Current Bid on items with unmet reserves at one increment below the reserve, we are now essentially disclosing the reserve amount, which is even more revealing than eBay’s policy. The bottom line is that we would rather have bidders focus on the lots they have a good chance of actually buying in the price range they are comfortable paying, instead of having to guess. We believe the new policy of always revealing the existence or nonexistence of reserves will also help create a more level playing field between dealers and collectors, since dealer-consignors use reserves more often than collector consignors do, and unreserved lots tend to receive more bids. Our new policy is designed to make bidders more comfortable, and should increase the number of participants in our auctions, which, in the long run, benefits our consignors as well.”


The policy affects all of Heritage’s auction web sites, including:










Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers

The World’s Largest Collectibles Auctioneer

3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor

Dallas, TX 75219-3941



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Interesting update. The only negative I see are to the consignors who don't wish to have a reserve posted. In addition, if the consignors don't submit reserves, the standing bid might be looked at as very low causing the consignor to fret.





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I don't like it ... I think bidding will be affected by this some... people will try to get it for as alittle over the reserve as possible.... Where as before the same bidder might have bid an extra 10 to 15 bucks on a small coin...or mabye even more ... not knowing the reserve... It also takes the fun of the auction away to an extent... not knowing the reserve is like trying to figure out the mintage figures before they are done coining... Just some thoughts

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OK folks, if you see me making hand-bird shadows on the wall, that means, it's a go! 27_laughing.gif Com' on, let's get real here! Reserves are nothing more than the consigners lowest asking price. I hate reserves! How confusing! They never made any sense! I was always asking for the reserve price. And then the guy wouldn't want to give it up! foreheadslap.gif Do us all a favor and forget all that mumble jumble and just state the reserve price, if it has one, in the auction!

A more interesting topic would be explaining the original idea behind reserve prices. Before long, we'll be saying good-bye hi.gif to reserve auctions. 27_laughing.gif


Leo juggle.gif

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I think reserves have their place. The owners should be able to protect their interest in a coin from various factors, especially collusion. In addition, reserves can be reversed, whereby the owner places a bid reserve on the coin and not an in house reserve, so the coin looks like it sold when it really went back to the consignor.






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While I am neither for or against Heritage disclosing reserve prices on auction items, I personally feel that their time would have been better spent doing something about their item pictures. This is by far, more of a problem with their auctions then disclosing reserves.


I consigned 30 PR PCGS Jeffs for the Bullet auction last month with no reserves. Why? Because if the reserve is the highest bid, the owner must in essence, buy back their own coin from Heritage by paying the commish on the reserve price. I suppose they view this money as reimbursment for the time and work involved in adding the coin(s) to the auction but how is a consignor supposed to be able to second-guess bidders? I could easily have used the prices I paid for them, but if I had done that, I would have lost even more then I did as I only made money on two of them. And this is not a reflection on what I paid for them, it is a direct reflection on Heritage lack of decent photos of their consignments.


Edited to add: I will most likely never consign with them again until and unless they allow the consignors to submit their own pictures of their own coins. I do sincerely believe both Heritage and myself would have made more money had they allowed me to send them my SanDisk with all the pics ready to download and 100% better then the ones they took and used.


IMO David

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