Art dealers struggling to get supply ?
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I can speak for Peanuts art since every piece offered for sell, I am an active bidder below a certain price point.  As it goes up, I may drop out but I always make sure a piece sells above a certain price point.  Am I doing it to keep prices high?  No, I set a price I would be willing to pay for the piece to add to my collection and bid it up to that price.  If I win (which doesn’t happen often enough) I celebrate and impatiently wait for the piece to arrive.

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On 2/21/2021 at 6:14 PM, sfilosa said:

What more interesting is on fairly high valued art at auction, we have heard examples where two people want the piece, they know each other, and one decides not to bid as high (or bid at all). The exact opposite of shilling. The Seller was the loser in that case.

 

So in these cases is the issue that people were colluding outside of the auction to keep the price down for one another? As much as that sucks for the seller, I guess my question is how not bidding on something could be problematic or a form of scam. 

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The truth of the matter is that many dealers are facing the hard fact that selling at auction has become more attractive because of higher prices realized than if they sell to a dealer at a percentage of the retail value - or consignment through which they also lose a considerable percentage and don’t get the buying audience of an auction. I’m seeing more and more dealers who used to NOT buy/sell anything past 1979 are bowing selling convention sketches, 1980s and 1990s art and modern-day art, which is very telling. One dealer told me he just never gets Bronze Age art anymore, so he prices up what he does get with the idea that it looks good on his site and if someone really wants it, they will pay the higher price.

Its the same with brick and mortar comic shops not getting the Golden and silver age comic collections anymore because anybody who has those automatically goes to the larger sellers and/or auction houses. At all the local shops in my area, I ask: Do you ever get golden age comics offered to you anymore? All of them say it is extremely rare when they do.

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14 hours ago, rlextherobot said:

So in these cases is the issue that people were colluding outside of the auction to keep the price down for one another? As much as that sucks for the seller, I guess my question is how not bidding on something could be problematic or a form of scam. 

There's nothing illegal about two collectors agreeing not to bid against one another (one drops out of the running) and is more an act of friendship than a deliberate attempt to deprive the seller out of a higher result.  For me, I could do without the emotional baggage as in any auction scenario I would always want a clear pathway in my bidding (at the end of the day, I'm pursuing an artwork I want).  The one time I was asked by a so-called  'friend' (in the loosest of terms) not to bid against him on several artworks he was interested in competing for in an auction scenario I politely refused.  The other collector was someone who was quick to ask favours but rarely if ever reciprocated (usually only contacting me when it suited him).  There are a number of good guys I might listen to, but he wasn't one of them.  I think the whole idea over-complicates things unnecessarily.  If it's an auction, the guy willing to pay the most should win the prize and if I lose out by playing it straight, I'll take solace in the fact I gave it my best shot.

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23 minutes ago, The Voord said:

There's nothing illegal about two collectors agreeing not to bid against one another (one drops out of the running) and is more an act of friendship than a deliberate attempt to deprive the seller out of a higher result.  For me, I could do without the emotional baggage as in any auction scenario I would always want a clear pathway in my bidding (at the end of the day, I'm pursuing an artwork I want).  The one time I was asked by a so-called  'friend' (in the loosest of terms) not to bid against him on several artworks he was interested in competing for in an auction scenario I politely refused.  The other collector was someone who was quick to ask favours but rarely if ever reciprocated (usually only contacting me when it suited him).  There are a number of good guys I might listen to, but he wasn't one of them.  I think the whole idea over-complicates things unnecessarily.  If it's an auction, the guy willing to pay the most should win the prize and if I lose out by playing it straight, I'll take solace in the fact I gave it my best shot.

Under US law, I’m not so sure such an agreement wouldn’t qualify as an illegal conspiracy to fix prices— in theory. Whether it is pragmatically actionable is a different question, and I would expect the answer is no.

A few years ago, a book was written called “Three Felonies a Day” by a former prosecutor. That is the average number of crimes the average person commits every day, thanks to the complexity of our legal system. If that is true, then the number of civil violations should logically be exponentially higher.

Edited by Rick2you2
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20 hours ago, batman_fan said:

I can speak for Peanuts art since every piece offered for sell, I am an active bidder below a certain price point.  As it goes up, I may drop out but I always make sure a piece sells above a certain price point.  Am I doing it to keep prices high?  No, I set a price I would be willing to pay for the piece to add to my collection and bid it up to that price.  If I win (which doesn’t happen often enough) I celebrate and impatiently wait for the piece to arrive.

SHILL!!!!

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3 hours ago, The Voord said:

There's nothing illegal about two collectors agreeing not to bid against one another (one drops out of the running) and is more an act of friendship than a deliberate attempt to deprive the seller out of a higher result.  

Just to be clear, you mean when two collectors "collude" for one to step aside, the intention isn't to harm the consignor, but for one to get the art for less than market price?  Although the harm is not intentional, harm is still done--I just want to point that out.

Maybe because I don't dive in the deep end of the pool where shilling may or may not be a problem (I think it's lesser a problem than what it is made out to be), the whole "please step aside for me" really, really irritates me more. I don't think it's a prevalent problem, but I hear about it often enough over the years, most recently on Comic Art Live livestreams. I think it screws the consignor out of a lot of money. I agree with you, Voord, that I would never step aside for anyone.

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2 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Under US law, I’m not so sure such an agreement wouldn’t qualify as an illegal conspiracy to fix prices— in theory.

I file this under:

"Is it legal?"

"Well, it's not illegal."

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In regards to the original topic of supply of material, there probably is a reduced supply of some stuff, but I keep coming back to how much stuff from the 80's and 90's I don't see.  Let's take a non-esoteric example - Iron Man.  The "original" Iron Man series ran from 1968-1996 in 332 issues.  How many of those pages/covers (estimate ~7000) etc do you see in collections, auctions, or dealer sites.  Even with loss to fire, shredder, etc, there are a lot of pages that are sitting in a stack somewhere.

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8 hours ago, tth2 said:

SHILL!!!!

I recognize prices are going up due to demand on a lot of collectibles these days. But shilling isn’t a laughable matter if you were the one who was duped into paying, say, 30% more than you would have without it. Of course, you have the right to be smug, because that could never, ever happen to you, right? As though you would even know.

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On 2/21/2021 at 6:36 AM, Rick2you2 said:

Definitely part of it. It boils down to shilling.

I thought that "Shilling" was more an act of bidding on your own material or an owner having a representative bid for the specific purpose of increasing the price or buying back their piece should they win. 

If a dealer bids and they don't cancel, but honor the win, then there's nothing wrong with that, even if it's in the spirit of trying to push the market value of artwork.  If they're willing to pay and buy if they win, then there's nothing wrong with that.  Even when dealers buy to instantly put on their site to resell at a higher rate, in an auction, everyone has a chance to be a winner, dealers have deeper pockets, broader connections and the ability to pay more and use it for trade bait, layaway payment plans for customers, etc.

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28 minutes ago, BeholdersEye said:

I thought that "Shilling" was more an act of bidding on your own material or an owner having a representative bid for the specific purpose of increasing the price or buying back their piece should they win. 

Yes, that is what we are talking about. People bidding on their own auction offerings, either directly or through a proxy.

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13 hours ago, batman_fan said:

Guilty as charged !  Sadly I got screwed on my last shilling and was forced to add this to my collect lol

C994ADB3-D32A-4DF2-AF47-FEDEA622A054.jpeg

SHILL WHO FLUNKED SHILLING 101!!!

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5 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

I recognize prices are going up due to demand on a lot of collectibles these days. But shilling isn’t a laughable matter if you were the one who was duped into paying, say, 30% more than you would have without it. Of course, you have the right to be smug, because that could never, ever happen to you, right? As though you would even know.

My point is that I don't agree with your overly inclusive definition of "shill". 

What Batman Fan was describing is not shilling, in my opinion.  He's a bona fide buyer up to a certain price point.  I fail to understand how that can be a problem.  You might not be happy that he's out there, with the means and willingness to hoover up everything that comes to market up to that price, thus preventing you from getting any screaming bargains, but that's not my problem (nor his). 

Nor is he rigging the price, because he's not colluding with anyone to make sure that an artificially high price gets publicly recorded to maintain the "right" benchmark.  If he decides that he's willing to pay $10k for a Peanuts piece, and the underbidder only bids $5k, then he wins for $5500 (or whatever the increment above $5k is), which also becomes the publicly published price.  He hasn't set an artificially high benchmark price, and perhaps the value of the pieces in his collection will be deemed to drop in value as a result of this auction because the comp is now $5500 rather than $10k, even though he won the piece. 

Which is further evidence that what he's doing is not shilling.  

Edited by tth2
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5 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Of course, you have the right to be smug, because that could never, ever happen to you, right? As though you would even know.

Of course I've been shilled up before.  I'm sure any of us who have been active buyers have been.

But that doesn't mean that everyone is a shill, or that every bid is a shill bid.

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1 hour ago, RBerman said:
2 hours ago, BeholdersEye said:

I thought that "Shilling" was more an act of bidding on your own material or an owner having a representative bid for the specific purpose of increasing the price or buying back their piece should they win. 

Yes, that is what we are talking about. People bidding on their own auction offerings, either directly or through a proxy.

Yes, THAT is shilling.

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