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Old 23rd March 2019, 02:53 PM   #1
Sajen
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Default Warning to bid by Schuler auctions Zürich

Hello,

I want to give all members a warning when you bid by Schuler auctions Zürich in Switzerland, I've won there for a very reasonable price the panabas I've shown in the previous thread but get really shocked when I contacted the packing/shipping organisation the auction house work together with. They want to have for this service without shipping insurance or custom tax (the Switzerland isn't member of the EU) for this piece which is just 55 cm long 195 CHF (approx. $196 / 173,45 EU)! Please note, the Switzerland is a direct neighbour from Germany. I wonder about the price when they need to ship to the States or Australia!
I am now going with bus (Flix Bus, one way approx. 30,- EU) to Zürich next week and pick up it byself. When you are situated more far away you will have a great problem when you have purchased something by them! Please note my words before you will bid by Schuler!

Detlef
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Old 23rd March 2019, 03:03 PM   #2
Jens Nordlunde
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Was it not possible to choose another firm by your own choice?


Jens
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Old 23rd March 2019, 03:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Was it not possible to choose another firm by your own choice?


Hi Jens,

Yes, I think it would have been possible but I wasn't successful to find online a organisation who offered this service!

I think that the pick up byself is the cheapest way to get my panabas but it is very time-consuming and arduous!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 23rd March 2019, 03:33 PM   #4
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Yes you are right. About 600 km each way - so about 7 hours twice:-(.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Yes you are right. About 600 km each way - so about 7 hours twice:-(.


It's with a bus, so 11 hours one way!
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Old 23rd March 2019, 05:31 PM   #6
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If the UK leaves the EU it will put the kibosh on buying from anywhere unless you have money to burn.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 06:53 PM   #7
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Hello Detlef,

It is not only Schuler auctions. It happened to me too often with auction houses from US and Europe alike. Sometimes I paid the hugely inflated shipping bill. In some other instances, I managed to negotiate a better price or I found myself another service provider who gave me a better price. Unfortunately, there were several situations when I simply left my item with the auction house to put it on sale again.

PS: I once even went to the US only to pick up my lots. I went there Friday and returned Sunday..
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Old 23rd March 2019, 08:10 PM   #8
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Warning about Czernys
I got 3 books and they asked me 100 euros to pack and ship.
I suspect some auctionners to do their profit on the shipping
disgusting
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Old 23rd March 2019, 08:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
It is not only Schuler auctions. It happened to me too often with auction houses from US and Europe alike. Sometimes I paid the hugely inflated shipping bill. In some other instances, I managed to negotiate a better price or I found myself another service provider who gave me a better price. Unfortunately, there were several situations when I simply left my item with the auction house to put it on sale again.


We should name this auction houses that other members are warned when they bid by this auction houses! I wouldn't be surprised when Schuler and this shipping organisation named YSDS are interwoven in any way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
PS: I once even went to the US only to pick up my lots. I went there Friday and returned Sunday..


Isn't it a shame that a journey with areoplane from the Netherlands to the States is cheaper as shipping with their service?
Or in my case a trip with Flixbus? I call the price they want to have for this rather simple service racketeering.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 23rd March 2019, 08:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I suspect some auctionners to do their profit on the shipping
disgusting


Hi Kubur,

I suspect the same. A very untrustworthy behavior!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 23rd March 2019, 08:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
We should name this auction houses that other members are warned when they bid by this auction houses!


Hi Sajen

I think we should if the admins let us do it without censoring.
I wonder if there is any link between this forum and the auctions houses as many dealers are using this forum...
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Old 23rd March 2019, 08:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Sajen

I think we should if the admins let us do it without censoring.
I wonder if there is any link between this forum and the auctions houses as many dealers are using this forum...


Hi Kubur,

I hope they let us do like this. When I've picked up my panabas I will send the link of this thread to Schuler, i think they will learn only when it hurts, sadly. I really wonder what they will ask for the service when it will need to get shipped overseas!?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 23rd March 2019, 08:58 PM   #13
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Yes I think it is so, I believe there is an element of hidden profit in the packing and shipping of items bought at auction.

But there are other factors too.

If I sell a keris to somebody, it takes me about 45 minutes to pack it, it takes more time to fill in the Customs forms, then take it to the Post Office. If somebody insists on a courier service, it takes even longer. Then there is the cost of packing material. To obtain packing material takes time and vehicle use. There is a very big time element in sending items from one place to another, and trying to ensure that they get there safely. Then, of course we have administration time and overheads.

My professional background is audit, with a foundation of accountancy. If I were advising a client engaged in selling, packing and shipping individual items, all of varying sizes, shapes,value and fragility, my feeling is that I would probably come close to a similar level of cost to customer for provision of this service, as do most auction houses.

If an employee is concerned in any operation, the employer needs to make a profit from that employee's time, or there is no sense in running the business.

It is a very different situation where a private seller is involved, even if that private seller sells reasonably large quantities of goods. The private seller will usually not charge for his time, he will charge just sufficient to cover material costs, and he will usually use a postal service as the carrier, rather than a courier, mostly he does not even think about vehicle costs or other overheads.

When I was a kid, say under 30 or so, auction houses in Australia used to charge the seller 10%. No listing charge, no buyers commission, just 10% from the seller. As time went by it seems that every auction house in the world got the idea that to be like Christies, or Sothebys, all they needed to do was to raise their fees to similar, or even higher levels. So the race to the top began. Now we have a situation where the seller pays 25% or more + catalogue listing costs + photography costs, the buyer pays 25%, and the auctioneer makes a motza --- or maybe he doesn't.

Many major auction houses are publicly listed companies, public companies have a legal obligation to make every effort to make a profit for their share holders.

In another life-time I used to buy a lot at auction, not just keris & other sharp pointy things, but all sorts of things.

I liked auctions, for entertainment value if nothing else.

I have not bid at auction, either live or online in many years.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 09:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
If I sell a keris to somebody, it takes me about 45 minutes to pack it, it takes more time to fill in the Customs forms, then take it to the Post Office. If somebody insists on a courier service, it takes even longer. Then there is the cost of packing material. To obtain packing material takes time and vehicle use. There is a very big time element in sending items from one place to another, and trying to ensure that they get there safely. Then, of course we have administration time and overheads.

My professional background is audit, with a foundation of accountancy. If I were advising a client engaged in selling, packing and shipping individual items, all of varying sizes, shapes,value and fragility, my feeling is that I would probably come close to a similar level of cost to customer for provision of this service, as do most auction houses.

If an employee is concerned in any operation, the employer needs to make a profit from that employee's time, or there is no sense in running the business.


Hello Alan,

I sell as well, in my case by ebay. I have it easy with the packing material, I get it for free by my job. But you are correct, packing & shipping need time and also money for sure. In my case I have often minus or just back my money for shipping since ebay take from sellers also fees on shipping cost.
I wouln't have been angry when they would have taken half of the asked price which is still high because I understand the from you stated facts but the asked price is for sure much to high, there is for example no shipping insurance included nor the custom tax. The asked price is simple rip-off and far away from serious.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 23rd March 2019, 09:22 PM   #15
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I am not a proponent of high shipping costs, but these auctions do not pack and ship themselves. They do not share the shipping cost as some eBay sellers do. They contract full service packing/shipping companies. This service is never cheap. Anyone who ever dealt with any full service shipper would not be surprised by the cost. It would be outrageous if they'd offer a free/discount shipping and then charge, but they state 3rd party packing/shipping on their websites, and one can always inquiry about the cost before the purchase.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 10:49 PM   #16
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If a business has, let us say, "creative" management, it might create a separate business entity to handle its packing and shipping, that way the packing and shipping would be done by a third party, one business entity handles sale, a different business entity handles packing & shipping, but both business entities have the same owner.


It all comes back to the bottom line, and if that bottom line is more than we want to pay, well, we simply don't buy.

So --- what happens?

The private seller, like Detlef, like me, will compress costs, carry costs sometimes lose a little, sometimes make a little. We can do this because we do not rely on what we sell to make a living, we sell for other reasons, and maybe there is an element of hobby in the actual act of selling.

But a regulated business that is compelled to act in a businesslike fashion?

That is a different story.

It is simply not possible to condemn any charge that a business may choose to apply unless we know the internal factors that generate that charge.

From the point of view of a consumer we can appraise charges made by comparable business entities, and if the charges applied by the one we wish to do business with are not on a competitive level with other similar business entities we simply exercise our freedom of choice and avoid doing business with the entity that charges fees which in our opinion are too high.

In your case Detlef, you have bought from a business that in your opinion charges too much. OK, maybe they do. But maybe it is because of their business model, maybe it is because of where they are located, maybe it is some other reason. But we cannot call them ripoff merchants until we know more about the reasons for their high charges.

The easy way to handle this sort of situation is, in my opinion, simply not to do business with any business entity that charges noticeably more than similar business entities for comparable goods or services.

The market place has a way or sorting out those who survive, and those who go under.
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Old 24th March 2019, 12:00 AM   #17
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The auction houses clearly make far too much money. What other business takes 50% of an object’s value (say 25% from the seller and 25% from the buyer) as commission as a mere intermediary (never using his own capital to become the owner of the object)? Presumably they get credit from their suppliers and demand immediate cash only payment from clients which can be used to pay creditors. So the cash flow must be highly positive. And the earnings are achieved in a fairly small period of time.

Unfortunately for auctioneers, online and etrade should push down commissions over time if only buyers can trust sellers.

I think logistics service companies are very opportunistic. They will charge as much as they can, even as there are severe price pressures in the industry at large due to competition. Again, when people can book transport online charges will come down. Some actors use blockchain for tracking etc.
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Old 24th March 2019, 01:34 AM   #18
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Do auction houses make too much money?

I understand "--- make too much money---" as "make too high a profit".

In simple terms, a profit can never be too high, if any business entity can extract high returns from the market it services, that means it must be doing something right --- and if it is not doing something right, you can bet on it, it will go under.

Then we have the case of Bonhams, elite, old UK firm. Not long ago I think they sold out to a private equity firm. Why did they sell? Why did a private equity firm buy? I'd be very interested in the reasons.

But maybe we think that a business entity is charging too high a rate for what it provides?

We could perhaps start by looking at share prices.

Since ebay is an auction company, we might start with ebay.

Then do a comparative analysis of ebay with houses like Sothebys & Christies.

There's a nice exercise for somebody with time to spare:- do an analysis of the viability of auction houses as investment vehicles.

Or forget all of that bean counter nonsense--- that I've spent most of my life on --- and simply say, "well I reckon they charge too much", and walk away.

Which, as a both a buyer & seller, is what I did years ago.

Then again, perhaps we might like to consider the integrity question. Anybody here ever been involved in the auction of real estate?

Personally I want nothing at all to do with auctions.
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Old 24th March 2019, 01:56 PM   #19
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Under normal circumstances the eBay or some auction houses state shipping prices from the get go. The buyer can calculate the total and make an informed decision whether to bid or not.
The problem comes when the buyer has info only about the auction side of the story including auction fees. Then, suddenly, shipping company comes into play and can quote outrageous fees.
The buyer then faces a dilemma: to pay the shipper a sum that makes the entire deal financially crazy or cancel the entire deal. But the auction has the buyer’s credit card number, charges it and on top of that starts collecting storage fees.

I faced such a situation once with a European source. Had to pay.....

Fortunately, nothing similar happened with the US shipping services. Sure, the costs were exaggerated, but tolerably so.

Personally, I think that the “righteous indignation” decision to travel ( as described here) makes very little practical sense: the trip will cost €60 for the tickets plus some more for travel meals plus a cab for the trip from the bus station to and from the auction house, but a whole day of life will be lost. Buyer’s “savings” come up to ~ €8 per hour, about as high as Burger King’s hamburger flipper’s minimal wage.

But still, a pox on both the auction and the shipping houses!

Last edited by ariel : 24th March 2019 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 24th March 2019, 02:14 PM   #20
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These shipping mentality which seems to be the same like street robbery was reason enough for me never to buy anything at auction houses. Their fees itself are so impertinent, so why should I help to make them richer and richer?
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Old 24th March 2019, 02:31 PM   #21
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Default Warning to bid Great Western Auctions, Glasgow!

For some time ago I won an Persian blunberbuss pistol via online bidding.I made the payment, the auction house verified the payment and I started to wait the shipping.
Then after a couple of weeks I was looking the online catalogue of an another auction house and find my blunderbuss there! I immediately contacted the auction house and asked how and where they got the pistol and attached the link to the original auction and also my reciept of the payment. Also tried to contact the GW Auction by phone and email.
GWA never answered but luckily the other auction house cancelled the bidding of the blunderbuss.After a week I got mail from the GWA, they just informed that my pistoll was shipped to me.No apology, no explanation other than "mistake happens". After that I have not bid anything from the GWA.The pistol was not cheap and just wonder how this can happen and also the reaction ( or lack of it) of the Great Western Auction.
Regards Tapani
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Old 24th March 2019, 02:58 PM   #22
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Hi
In Ireland I find shipping all very casual and easy from auction houses.

I have had 3 swords shipped and packed for 12 euro,
A pistol for 10 and lots of other such food deals, some even next day delivery.

I find the approach of ringing them directly being pleasant and not at all pushy works well.
I ask them to post or courier whichever is most convienent to them and never demand or ask for Quick delivery. Generally they are v prompt

I have never being refused and have several times when paying offered the auction more to pay for a bottle of wine as a thank you, some accept some don’t.

As for auction house fees in Ireland sellers fees after some negotiation come in at 15 % ,I have been quoted 25% but have gotten them down a bit and have stuck with my favorite auction house for several years and they have always honored our negotiated price.

For their commission the auction house I use, do in my opinion, do a good job, great publicity, very good photos and v good front of house staff with great access to professional experts in their field

I sell approx 15 items a year and they get good prices and have never given me any issues, they expose what I am selling to a very diverse international audience which I feel 15% is a v good price.

I bought one item for 50 euro from one auction house, put it in the car drove 3 km down the road got an expert opinion on the item and they sold it for 2100. Definitely worth the 15 % as it gives the stamp of approval and authority to the items you are selling. Sometimes I know more on what I am selling so I give them the facts which once they check it out gets included in the description. A symbiotic rather than a parasitic relationship.

Regards

Ken
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Old 24th March 2019, 04:06 PM   #23
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Ken,
You are a very lucky man, to live where you live - besides from the lovely countryside.


Tapani,
I have never heard anything like what you describe, it is quite chocking.


Alan,
I think you have a very valid point - it is business for the auction firms, and for the firms packing and sending the items as well. Maybe they charge too much, I dont know, but as they still excist the buyers must have accepted their prices.
I have a feeling that the buyers concentrate too much on the price they are willing to pay for an item, and less on the extras. The extras you can find out before you start bidding, so you know how high you are willing to bid - a kind of belt and suspenders thing.
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Old 24th March 2019, 06:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Personally, I think that the “righteous indignation” decision to travel ( as described here) makes very little practical sense: the trip will cost €60 for the tickets plus some more for travel meals plus a cab for the trip from the bus station to and from the auction house, but a whole day of life will be lost. Buyer’s “savings” come up to ~ €8 per hour, about as high as Burger King’s hamburger flipper’s minimal wage.

But still, a pox on both the auction and the shipping houses!


Hello Ariel,

For sure it makes very little practical sense. I would have ordered UPS or an other organization to pick it up over there but when they don't even pack it...
I'll start from my place in the evening with a meal before and sitting in the bus over night and arrive in Zürich early in the morning and will take the tram instead of a cab to the auction house, I will have one meal in Zürich before (which don't will be cheap) I go back with the bus at noon and arrive back in the next night in Dortmund, a big bottle of water and some bananas will be my victuals. It's worth the pox on the auction house and the shipping organisation.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 24th March 2019, 07:00 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
The extras you can find out before you start bidding, so you know how high you are willing to bid - a kind of belt and suspenders thing.


Hello Jens,

I can understand the business they want to have and they should have it. But when you have to do the first time with this auction house you run in a dilemma you can't imagine before. The reason why I start this thread and to give a warning to others.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 24th March 2019, 07:45 PM   #26
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Jens, yes, precisely so:-

selling things for other people is a business

packing and sending things is a business

a business will die if it charges either too much, or too little


Do auction houses and those who do the shipping for them charge too much?

Frankly, I do not know, but I decided a long time ago that as far as my pocket was concerned, yes, they did.

But maybe the people who still use them think their charges are reasonable.

However, if I lived in Ireland, maybe I would still be looking at auction catalogues, and selling things I no longer wanted by auction.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:17 PM   #27
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Hello Detlef,


I dont think you did anything wronge in warning others - just the oppesite.
I think this must be an eye opener for others who want to buy on auctions - check the extras before you start bidding.
I do understand your frustration about the trip to Zurich, and something like that would also make me quite sour.
However, I never buy from auction houses - last time, I think, it must have been in the 1970'ies, and then only one katar.


Jens

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Old 27th March 2019, 08:52 PM   #28
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I've bought many items from auction here in the UK over a long period of time, I do think that the buyers commission at anything up to 27% is too high but the only answer is to accept it, then calculate it into your final price and try not to exceed it. The problem that I'm finding in recent times is that many of the courier companies now have in their terms a standard prohibition on carrying 'dangerous weapons' and refuse outright to carry swords of any type.

Last edited by Mel H : 28th March 2019 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 28th March 2019, 06:57 AM   #29
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It's a thin line that separates simply bitching and actionable libel/slander/defamation of character suits these days; especially when specific venues or Sellers are mentioned and criticised .

That's not what we are here for.
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Old 28th March 2019, 04:40 PM   #30
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Like our Irish friend I noticed that the small auctioneers are very fine.
Sometimes cheaper than shipping companies.
The big ones are the bad ones.
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