My First, Best and Worst Auction

The_Piratess

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Silver Bars - My First, Best and Worst Auction

Years ago when I went to my very first auction ever I bought a huge, old, solid oak desk for $1.00 along with many other, really nice, pieces of antique furniture and antiques. It was at an amazing home that was built in the late 1800's in an historical area that a park with an old, grist mill had purchased to include with the park. Things went for so cheap that it was the best one that I've ever been to even all of these years later. After buying all of my things, I needed another vehicle to get everything home. So finally when my ex-husband arrived in his truck after getting off work and almost everyone was gone, I let him load it as all there was left was that huge desk which I had bought for him anyway because he had always wanted one like that and a few other things that didn't have to be loaded cautiously. He pulled the drawers out and carried those first to lighten the weight of that desk. As I was walking back to the room where the desk was I heard this extremely loud clanging of metal and my ex and a couple of men from the auction were carrying out heavy bars of solid silver. When they had flipped that huge, old desk over to get it out of the door the bars started falling out from the back of that desk slipping out of the steel bar that had been bolted to the inside of it to hold them in place. They were giving them back to the owners of the house who they were friends with. There ended up being 10 of those silver bars hidden in the back of that old desk! I was mad at myself for not going back there in the beginning because I had heard the bottom drawer clanking shut when I bought it. I just thought that the rails needed work. I would have noticed them being in there as the drawers were being pulled out because I would have been checking those rails out. I would have loaded them right into the drawers, carried them out and not said a word to anybody. I didn't think that it would have been wrong because I now owned it.

Several years later I started going to auctions again and I told some people that story. They of course then told me what that auction company had done was totally illegal and unethical. Once you win the bid, anything inside seen or unseen is yours and I had already paid for everything. If you bid and don't pay for your items, they can and will prosecute you. I was furious, and just got sick all over about it again!!!

Do NOT ever let something like this happen to you as you'll be kicking yourself just like I still do to this very day!
 
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captain flintlock

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What a story!! If it were me, I'd still be loosing sleep over it! And I doubt very much that those silver bars made it back to the owners.
 
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diggummup

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I would have been going to jail if they had tried that with me. Well, someone would have been going, that's for sure.
 
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The_Piratess

The_Piratess

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No, they weren't. :sadsmiley:

I saw them give them to the owner myself who was there all day and a few of her adult children were too. I had been talking to all of them about the history of the house for the hours that I was waiting for the truck after the auction had ended. It had been her deceased husband's desk and he had hid them in there. She was older and had so much stuff she couldn't keep track of everything. The auctioneer knew he was doing wrong because he got on her for not thoroughly going through everything like he had told her to. Plus my ex who didn't and still doesn't have a clue about auctions was thrilled to return them to her. He heard it from me later and especially after I found out that they weren't even allowed to do that lol! If she actually needed the money, I would have been alright with it even though it was against the rules. Those auction guys were well aware that was my first auction I had ever been to because I had to ask so many questions and I told them so they knew that I didn't know the rules. They are the ones who broke them!

I hope she wasn't in on it with them and gave them any for breaking the rules and cheating me. If she did, then she's had to live with her bad karma. I also realized if it had been anybody else who had bought that desk they would have got them out of there as soon as the auction was over. If other people who had been to the auction had still been around I'm sure several would have said something, or at least tipped me off. You would have thought she would have at least given me one for finding them and not saying anything about giving them back to her. I know I would have if it had been me. Then again, as soon as I showed it to anyone who knew about auctions I would have known they had cheated me.

I would have prosecuted that :censored: auction company and had their licenses revoked but by the time I found out that it was against the law, it was already past the statute of limitations... :BangHead:
 
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The_Piratess

The_Piratess

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I would have been going to jail if they had tried that with me. Well, someone would have been going, that's for sure.

Me too if I had only known!
 

DFW_THer

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Don't kick yourself too badly. I feel like that could go either way. You could take it all the way to the courtroom and it would just come down to what the judge thought was right/wrong. There's the "you bought the desk and it's contents" side of the room and all sales are final, and there's the "you bought only the desk and the silver bars weren't technically IN it nor were they a part of the advertised item" side of the room. (But chances are if you scooped them all up and walked with them, the estate company would never sue you. They might yell at you the whole way out, which would be unethical, but you'd be home free at least.)

I'm not sure how I would have handled the situation. If the owner was sitting right there I'd probably be gracious about it and give them my congratulations while making a joke about how he/she was lucky they fell out. Karma for me. If it was an auction or estate company and the owner was not present, it would have been their responsibility to find them and price them appropriately, or give them back to the owner prior to the sale--therefore I would probably walk with them. "Excuse me, I know that fell out of the desk--why do you think I bought it??"

A quick story of my own, detecting related--and how I learned the hard way never to show a find. I was young, though, probably 13 years old. I beeped a cross necklace that was either white gold or platinum, and had 6 diamonds on it. Maybe an inch tall, fairly petite, not huge stones, but it was nice nonetheless, and my first real jewelry find. A man asked me if I had found anything and I forked out the cross necklace. He was very impressed and wished me luck. 30 minutes later 2 girls approach me and one of them asks me if I found a necklace. I was young and naive and didn't bother asking her to describe it or anything, I simply handed it over and she was kind of thankful and left. I watched her reconvene with her people at the top of the beach and among them was her father (I assume), the very one who asked me if I happened to find anything. To this day I think I got shammed out of it. It just didn't feel honest, and she didn't seem very thankful, so I think they operated a sting. I was young and much more sensitive then and I let it haunt me for a number of weeks. Now it's nothing more to me than an interesting story.

Ok, that's long enough. :)
 

cyberdan

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and how I learned the hard way never to show a find.

So true. If any one asks me that question I open my pouch and show the corroded cents and pull tabs. Then they leave me alone. If I had happened to find anything I think might be good it goes into my pocket and never in the pouch.
 

JimDon

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If the shoe was in the other foot and you were the owner would you feel the same way. It was the right thing to do since it happened at time of delivery. In England items intended to be recovered are never the property of the purchaser. I wonder about US law?
 

scaupus

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well, you can console yourself that you "stole" her furniture. Perhaps it would have been too much weight on your karma to have gotten the silver as well. Sounds like your ex is an awfully nice guy.
 
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The_Piratess

The_Piratess

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well, you can console yourself that you "stole" her furniture. Perhaps it would have been too much weight on your karma to have gotten the silver as well. Sounds like your ex is an awfully nice guy.

You can console yourself on being rude. No I certainly did not "steal" her furniture! That desk was not in good shape, nobody wanted it or wanted to move it and I never would have bought it if my husband hadn't wanted to use in his darkroom. It didn't matter if developing chemicals spilled on it or not. The lady was relieved as she didn't want to have to pay somebody to haul it off.
 

trdhrdr007

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You can console yourself on being rude. No I certainly did not "steal" her furniture! That desk was not in good shape, nobody wanted it or wanted to move it and I never would have bought it if my husband hadn't wanted to use in his darkroom. It didn't matter if developing chemicals spilled on it or not. The lady was relieved as she didn't want to have to pay somebody to haul it off.

Funny thing about this is after the guy made the rude comment he started another thread about buying 3 pieces of art for cheap that were worth hundreds. Guess it's only stealing & bad karma when someone else does it.....
 
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The_Piratess

The_Piratess

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Funny thing about this is after the guy made the rude comment he started another thread about buying 3 pieces of art for cheap that were worth hundreds. Guess it's only stealing & bad karma when someone else does it.....

Thank you! So you noticed that too. ::)
 

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