The 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six "Ghost Car," first displayed at the New York World's Fair and later at the Smithsonian Institution, was sold Saturday for $308,000.
Originally built for $25,000, the car with a Plexiglas body was the first transparent car built in America. Another was built the following year, but its whereabouts are unknown.
"This is the only one known to exist," said Alain Squindo, a car specialist for RM Auctions, which held the auction for the "Ghost Car" and other specialty vehicles in Plymouth, Mich. "It's a very original car."
The Ghost Car was first displayed at the 1939/1940 New York World's Fair, Squindo said. It toured a number of dealerships, and then was at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for a number of years.
It has been owned by the same family since the 1980s. "They were rather sad to see their beloved car go," Squindo said. He could not disclose the name of the buyer.
The car had less than 100 miles on it, picked up by being driven in and out of dealerships for displays. It was a collaboration between GM and Rohm & Haas chemical company, which made the Plexiglas. Structural metal underneath was given a copper wash and all hardware, including the dashboard was chrome-plated.
Squindo said the top price paid at the auction was for a 1932 Packard convertible sedan once owned by singer Al Jolson, which sold for $1.1 million.
Source: Reuters website
A bottle of Château d’Yquem has become the most expensive white wine ever bought.
The bottle of 1811 Yquem was sold by the Antique Wine Company at a private sale at the Ritz in London for £75,000.
The buyer was French collector Christian Vanneque, former head sommelier of the Michelin-starred restaurant La Tour d’Argent in Paris.
He is now the owner of the SIP Sunset Grill in Bali, Indonesia, which opens this September.
The bottle will go on display there in a bullet-proof, temperature and hydrometrically controlled case.
However, it will only remain there for six years before Vanneque drinks it with his family to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his starting work in Paris. He has apparently already decided on a menu to go with it.
Vanneque called his purchase his little “folie” but insisted that it really was for drinking and would never be for sale again, “even if a wealthy Chinese gentleman or a rich man from the Middle East offers to buy it,” he said afterwards.
The 1811 vintage is hailed as one of Bordeaux’s greatest by those lucky enough to have tasted it, and wine critic Robert Parker gave it 100 points in 1999 when he described it as “liquefied crème brûlée”.
The previous record for a white wine was also a bottle of Yquem from 1787, which was sold for £31,000 in 2006.
Vanneque was reported to have laughed nervously when someone asked him what he would do if the wine was corked.
But he took it in good spirit, saying: “If the wine has a flaw, then tough luck. You just have to smell it and enjoy the sight of it.
“I hope not, my God. If it does, then I would call Guinness because it would be another record – the most expensive bottle of ruined wine in the world.”
Source: The Drink Business Website
An eBay trader has been given a community service order and made to pay nearly £5,000 in fines and costs for bidding on his own items to increase the price. But how widespread is the tactic of so-called shill bidding adopted by Paul Barrett and how hard is it to catch cheats? Barrett became the first person in the UK to be prosecuted over online auction fixing after admitting that he used two separate eBay accounts to bid against himself. The mini-bus hire firm boss from County Durham was investigated by North Yorkshire Trading Standards after a complaint that he had advertised and sold one of his vehicles on eBay with false low mileage. Paul Barrett sold goods on the auction site using the name shanconpaul Officers found he was selling goods on the auction website under the username "shanconpaul", while bidding on them under the identity "paulthebusman". He also posted positive feedback from these accounts. The 39-year-old admitted breaches of the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. The laws were introduced in the UK two years ago in a bid to tackle growing internet fraud, after an EU directive to increase consumer protection. Barrett said he did not realise that bidding on his own items - which included a pie and pasty warmer priced at £127 - was a criminal offence. Reports of shill bidding are not confined to online auctions. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "shill" started being used in the US in the early 1900s to refer to a decoy or accomplice who poses as an enthusiastic customer to encourage other buyers. But an Office of Fair Trading report from 2007 suggested shill bidding was one of the main types of problems experienced or suspected by online auction site users. Some 14% of respondents in an OfT survey believed it had happened to them. ONLINE AUCTION TIPS Continue reading the main story Fraudsters often submit many bids with small increments, but win relatively few auctions Establish a maximum sum that you are willing to pay before the auction starts Look for other bidders to have high feedback numbers If you suspect an auction has been fixed contact the website Contact Consumer Direct on 08454040506 for Trading Standards to investigate Paul Miloseski-Reid, an e-commerce spokesman at the Trading Standards Institute, warned shill bidders are committing a criminal offence which could lead to prosecution. "It's basic fraud - you are pretending that your product is worth more than it is and misrepresenting the demand," he said. "You might not know consumer laws, but you do know that it is deceitful." Barrett's case was exceptional, due to the number of legal breaches. Ian Williamson of international law firm Bird & Bird LLP said anybody bidding against themselves could also face prosecution under the Fraud Act 2006, which is applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A conviction under the Fraud Act can lead to a maximum fine of £5,000 per offence and up to 12 months in prison. In England and Wales, the offence of conspiracy to defraud, which makes it an offence for parties to agree to defraud another party, could cover a situation where people agree to bid on each other's items. Online auction sites are committed to catching shill bidders "It is difficult for someone to prove that they have been a victim of shill bidding," said Mr Williamson, an e-commerce specialist. "Even if they can prove that they have been a victim, how do you quantify the amount they have lost? The bidder ends up paying an amount for an item that they were happy to bid." However, a criminal conviction could lead to compensation for the victim. So how easy is it to detect shill bidding? Dr Enrico Gerding is based at the University of Southampton where researchers have looked at this type of a fraud. He said perpetrators often submit many bids with small increments but win relatively few auctions. A shill bidder will typically bid in different auctions by the same seller, or a small group of sellers. Technology used to detect fraudsters takes into account factors such as the bidder and seller being in close geographical location or using the same IP address. Dr Gerding said these factors are "indicative, but not conclusive". Tell-tale signs He said it is very difficult for an individual bidder to determine whether they are the target of shill bidding. But there are a few tell-tale signs that could point to auction-fixing. A shill bidder might accidentally win an item from time to time, so if the same item is resold this is very suspicious. However, this is relatively rare since the aim of a shill bidder is not to win the item. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote A shill bidder does not have the incentive, nor the possibility, to outbid the bidder at the last moment since the goal is not to win the item” End Quote Dr Enrico Gerding To minimise the chance of being cheated, Dr Gerding said a bidder should establish a maximum sum that they are willing to pay and not allow themselves to get carried away as the price rises. Could changes to the online auction fee system be the best way to discourage shill bidding? Dr Gerding said: "In order to deter shill bidding, the website should charge a fee which is a percentage of the difference between the reserve price and the final price at which the item was sold." The website that Barrett targeted - eBay - said it invests more than £6m each year in technology to prevent and detect shill bidding. Vanessa Canzini, eBay's head of corporate communications in Europe, said: "This investment in state-of-the-art technology acts as a strong deterrent to the small minority who attempt to use our site inappropriately, but more than this, it helps us to work with law enforcement agencies to secure successful prosecutions if anyone decides to try their luck." Source: BBC news UK
Buying at Auction
Auctions are one of the most exciting ways in which to buy antiques and collectables. You might even pick up a bargain, but beware; you might catch the collecting bug! Many first-timers feel intimidated when attending an auction, but there's no need to be. Our advice is first to familiarise yourself with all the procedures before you decide to take the plunge and make a bid. Attend a couple of sales at your local auction house simply as an observer and note how they proceed and how the auctioneer operates. Salerooms are a great place to learn about antiques, and you'll meet some fascinating characters who frequent the place. Make friends with them and they'll teach you a great deal. You'll find many salerooms near to where you live. In addition to auctions of fine art and antiques, most of them include general sales in their calendars at which you can find anything from bicycles, furniture to bric-a-brac.
Viewing the Sale
Most auction houses provide a catalogue prior to the sale listing all the items for sale. They are obtained either directly from the auction house or downloaded from a web site such as www.ukauctioneers.com. The catalogue may be a typed sheet which is given away free, or a glossy illustrated brochure costing several pounds, but all have the same things in common. They list all the items (lots) in the sale in a strict numbered order, which correspond to the numbers attached to each lot. Many catalogues also print estimates - a price range showing what the auctioneer expects each lot will make at the auction. These estimates are intended only as a guide. Sometimes a lot sells well above the printed estimates, depending how keen bidders are to acquire it. Most lots have a reserve price. This is the minimum price at which the owner is prepared to sell his property. Reserves are confidential between the seller and the auctioneer. They are agreed before the sale and are never disclosed to buyers. Objects are occasionally offered "without reserve", indicating that they are for sale at any price, however low that might be. All catalogues should include the saleroom's Conditions of Sale. You should read these carefully as they differ from company to company. In addition to disclosing the fees charged by the auctioneer to both the buyer (buyer's premium) and the seller (vendor's commission), the Conditions of Sale also indicate your rights as a user of the saleroom's services. The rate of buyer's premium varies from saleroom to saleroom but is usually between 8% and 20%. Value Added Tax at the rate of 15% is charged on the premium, and in some cases, also on the selling price (hammer price) but in such instances this is clearly marked in the catalogue. Remember to take into account these additional charges when you are deciding what your maximum bid on a lot should be. Payment options should also be checked in the Conditions of Business. Not all salerooms accept payment by credit card and some impose a charge for providing the facility. Information is also given on how much time buyers are allowed to pay for and collect their purchases and what storage charges are incurred if purchases are not collected promptly. Most auction houses either provide or can recommend a transport service, which is particularly useful if you have purchased large items. However, delivery incurs extra charges, which should be agreed beforehand with the carrier. All lots are on view before a sale and viewing can vary from one day to two weeks. If you are intending to buy at a sale, it is important that you attend the view and inspect carefully anything you hope to buy. Some sale catalogues list damage and faults but many others do not. In either case it is important to satisfy yourself as to the suitability of any lot you intend to buy. Don't leave viewing to the last moment, therefore. Lots are often moved immediately prior to the sale and you may miss your chance to inspect them. Be sure to mark your catalogue with the maximum amount you decide you want to pay for any lot you're interested in ... and resolve to stick to the prices you set!
Bidding at Auction
There are different ways you can bid at auction: In person If you wish to attend a sale and bid in person, you will need to register first. Some salerooms get very busy just before a sale, so allow yourself sufficient time to complete the process. Most salerooms will ask for your name, address, contact numbers and some other form of identification such as a driving license in order for you to receive a bidding paddle, usually a numbered card. You can then use this to bid during the sale, and if successful, the auctioneer will ask for your paddle number. In some salerooms you will need to fill in a form only when you have bought something. Arrive early if you want a seat, but remember that lots are usually sold at a pace of approximately 100 lots an hour, so it may take a while to get to your lot. The sale always operates in lot order. When your lot comes up, the auctioneer will invite bids and call them out in regular increments as buyers respond. These depend on the value of the piece being offered and can be increases of £5, £10, £20, £50, £100 or more at a time. Listen to other lots being sold and you'll soon get the hang of the bidding increments. If you wish to join in, bid clearly by raising your paddle. Be forthright. If necessary, wave your paddle or catalogue to attract the auctioneer's attention. If he still fails to see you, speak your bid by saying the figure, or say "here" or "bidding". This is unlikely to be necessary as the auctioneer is trained to spot all bids. Once he has taken your first bid, he will return to you as other bids are placed, by which time a nod of the head or raising your paddle will suffice. Remember the auctioneer can take bids from only two people at one time, so be patient. And if the bidding goes higher than you intended to pay, indicate that you have dropped out by a clear shake of the head. The bidding stops when all other bidders but one have dropped out. The final bidder is the successful buyer and this is indicated by the auctioneer who knocks down his hammer on the rostrum and announces the buyer's paddle number and hammer price. The auctioneer or his clerk then record these details and the bidding moves on to the next lot. Finally, it's easy to get carried away, so remember your maximum bid and stick to it! And don't worry that a careless movement of your hand or an ill-timed sneeze will land you with a valuable piece you can't afford. It won't!
Leave a Commission or Absentee Bid
If you cannot attend the sale in person, or you'd rather not bid yourself, you can leave a "commission" or "absentee bid". This will also ensure that you don't go over your maximum bid! You can do this either at the saleroom, or on-line at www.ukauctioneers.com. Simply complete a bidding form with your details and the lot(s) you want to bid on, putting the maximum amount you are prepared to pay (hammer price). Don't forget the buyer's commission is then added on top of the hammer price, so bear this in mind when working out your maximum total price. The auctioneer will then bid on your behalf and will try to secure the lot(s) for you at the lowest price possible as other bidding permits. There is no charge for this service.
Bidding by telephone
Many auctioneers now offer absent buyers the opportunity to participate in a sale by telephone. By prior arrangement with the saleroom, a member of the auction staff will call you a few lots before the one you are interested in and bid for you while you listen. This alleviates the need to leave a commission bid and allows you to respond to other bids as they are relayed to you as the sale proceeds. However, because telephone lines are limited, telephone bidding may be reserved for the more expensive lots in an auction.
Selling at Auction
If you have a desirable item you would like to sell, an auction sale is worth considering. Competitive bidding from dealers and collectors in an auction in which the piece is seen by a wider audience can result in a better price than selling through other sources, especially if it is sold in a specialist sale. However, you may have to wait some weeks for a suitable sale and there will be a further delay before you receive the proceeds, minus the auctioneer's charges for his services (vendor's commission). If you are selling a large item or many items, you can ask an auction house valuer for an appraisal at your home. This is usually a free service. Otherwise, you should take your items to the auction house to be valued. Some auctioneers put aside a specific time each week or month to conduct valuation days but be sure to make an appointment to ensure the valuer is available. As the valuer examines your property, he will ask you for any information you may have about it, such as how it came into your possession and how long you have owned it. Was it owned by a celebrity or did it come from a well known house or family? All this helps identify the history of the piece, known as its "provenance", which can help in its identification and boost its value. Using his specialist knowledge, the valuer will explain what he knows about your property. He'll tell you where, when and by whom it was made, as well as what he expects it could fetch at auction. Estimates are based on the condition, rarity and history of an object, as well as careful consideration of prices realised for similar objects. The valuer will also recommend what "reserve" price should be set in an auction. The reserve is the confidential lowest price at which you are prepared to sell and this is agreed between you and the valuer. The auction house sells your property on your behalf. For this service you will be charged a seller's commission (usually between 10 and 20%, depending on the auction house), which is deducted from the selling (hammer) price. Value Added Tax at the rate of 15% is charged on the commission and insurance of your property while it is in the auctioneer's possession. If your item is photographed and illustrated in the catalogue, you may be charged a fee to cover the costs. If the piece does not reach its reserve in the auction, it will not be sold, and, depending on the auction house, you may incur an unsold fee. In such a case, you can either instruct the auctioneer to offer the piece in a future sale, but perhaps at a lower reserve, or keep it until its value rises.