Monthly Archives: August 2014

Must auctioneer sell him that gun?

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer Blog

As the demand for guns remains strong, auctioneers selling guns are under heightened scrutiny regarding proper procedures and licensing. We wrote about auctioneers selling guns here: which has been widely accepted as accurate guidance for auctioneers.

Our question here regards, must an auctioneer sell a gun to a buyer in light of a “proceed” from the ATF? In processing background checks, the ATF will issue a licensee a “proceed,” “delay” or deny” answer. According to the ATF, these are the actions in regard to those answers:

    NICS RESPONSES: If NICS provides a “proceed” response, the transaction may proceed. If NICS provides a “denied” response, the seller is prohibited from transferring the firearm to the buyer. If NICS provides a “delayed” response, the seller is prohibited from transferring the firearm unless 3 business days have elapsed and, prior to the transfer, NICS has not advised the seller that the buyer’s…

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Unjust enrichment at auction?

Have you ever found that surprise in a dresser drawer? Or maybe the surprise was the dresser?

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer Blog

It seems every so often a story makes the news such as this:

    The buyer found over $40,000 in $100 bills taped under the third drawer of the mahogany chest he recently purchased at auction. Quite a find considering he only paid $175 for the chest.

In cases such as the aforementioned, what apparently occurs is an item such as a chest of drawers is offered at auction. The buyer takes the chest home, where he finds money, diamonds, or other items of value inside the chest. The issue then involves, does the buyer have title to the money, diamonds or whatever else was inside the chest of drawers, or just the chest of drawers itself?

Of course, the item being sold could be one of a wide variety of items, such as a car, virtually any type of furniture, clothing, boxes, cabinets, or even real property — where other…

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Selling for less than the reserve?

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer Blog

Auctions in the United States are, by default, with reserve, meaning that the seller may accept or reject the highest bid received, and/or place a reserve amount (a minimum amount) on their item(s) dictating the auctioneer not sell them for any less.

Yet, some auctioneers sell items for less than these reserve amounts. How can this happen? How it was explained to me was that if the bid reaches an amount near the reserve (or even if it doesn’t,) the auctioneer can decide, unilaterally, to sell the item for less than the reserve, but make the consignor whole by reducing their commission, and/or making up any deficit. An example may be in order:

Julie has consigned an ornate fern stand to an auction house. The stand is possibly over 200 years old, and is quite fancy. Julie wants to sell this fern stand only if the high bid is $2,000…

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