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What are some complaints about auctions?

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Quick Answer

The greatest complaints about auctions involve a variety of scams that may result in a loss of money. These scams mostly cover frauds committed by sellers, from mislabeling the source of the auction to deceiving the buyers about the products for sale.

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Full Answer

A common complaint is the auctioneer misrepresenting the organization hosting the auction. For example, an auctioneer may advertise that an auction is being run by a government department such as a sheriff or fire department when it is actually a private auction. Another form of mislabeling the auction source is to lie about where the proceeds of an auction are going if the auction is said to be held to benefit a charity.

Items being auctioned may be copies of actual items, such as art or furniture, that are sold as the original item. This can lead buyers to pay exorbitant amounts for what they receive. Hidden fees may also be demanded at auctions, raising the price of purchase due to buyer's premiums, shipping fees, taxes or pre-bid deposits.

Other complaints involving online auctions include a seller who provides no communication information for the buyer to follow-up on a purchase. Sellers may also switch items, shipping something other than the described item offered.

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