Avoid buyer’s remorse at auction – If you don’t want it, don’t bid

We all know the premise of an auction. Items are up for sale, if you want them you bid, if you don’t want them you don’t bid and when the hammer falls the item is sold.

But, in the last year we have seen an increase in people who won’t honour this, especially on our online platforms, and they find themselves experiencing what we describe in the industry as buyer’s remorse.  

At one of our previous auctions, we sold a fishing boat and the buyer wanted it delivered to London, which is not something we offer, and she claimed she could not come and collect it.

As a compromise, we offered to deliver it to her holiday home in Cornwall, but the buyer pulled out and refused to honour the deal.

The same problem arose with another buyer, who to our surprise, turned out to be a fellow auctioneer and should be well aware of how the process works.

He bought an item at one of our auctions, but after researching it, he decided he had bid too much and refused to pay.

These situations are not only frustrating for the seller, but they’re also extremely time consuming to deal with for our business.

A year ago this would happen every one or two months, but over the last ten months, we’re dealing with this problem five or six times every auction.

We have a few options on our end if something like this happens.

If instructed by the client, we will pursue the buyer for the money, this involves persuading them that they are morally obligated to pay, which in our minds is true.

And then we can place the item back in our next auction with the buyer as the client, so that they can recoup their losses.

In a few cases we have had to go as far as blocking buyers from all online auctions.

If they try to go to another auctioneer the software will show that they have a block on them and the auctioneer can choose not to approve them to bid.

We don’t want to have to do any of this and we try our best not to.

Mistakes happen and we understand that, it is possible to press the wrong button when bidding online and if a genuine mistake occurs, we’re not monsters, we’ll let you off.

But, if you haven’t done your research and change your mind after buying an item, then to put it bluntly, that’s not our problem.

There is no obligation to bid, nobody is compelling you to do so, no-one is forcefully raising your hand at the auction and there was no coercion to register for the auction in the first place.

So, to leave you with one message, if you’re not prepared to pay then don’t bid and avoid buyer’s remorse!