This 1974 IH scout was pulled from the ‘No Reserve’ auction over low winning bid

This 1974 IH Scout Was Pulled From 'No-Reserve' Auction Over Low Winning Bid photo

This 1974 IH scout was pulled from a ‘no-reserve’ auction over low winning bid photo

Online car auction sites can be great. They’re not finished until they aren’t. For many, they are the first place to go when they want a look at the most beautiful or interesting rides on offer. Customers and clients are at risk, as they facilitate high-stakes transactions. The protections offered to buyers and sellers don’t always suffice. If things go wrong on one platform there is little to stop someone from doing the same thing elsewhere on the Internet.

Chris Picconi, who won a no-reserve Clasiq Auction on May 28, says he is experiencing this firsthand. He thought he’d won a Clasiq auction with no reserve for a 1975 IH Scout. But then he was told that there was an issue. The listing. Clasiq claims there should have a reserve of $32,500, even though Picconi bid the highest amount of $12,000. Due to a alleged technical mistake, the site nullified sale.

Picconi reached out to me at this point and told me of his experience. He included screenshots that identified him as the winning bidder of the no-reserved auction. He also sent his correspondence to Clasiq CEO and its senior manager for auction sales and client relationships. They apologized, told Picconi that the seller would sell his Scout for $31,500 to try to salvage the deal and then pointed out their terms and conditions after Picconi consulted his lawyer. Picconi’s loss of another truck for his collection seemed tragic at the time. The situation was certainly frustrating, but thanks to the fine print in the auction house, he received his money.

The IH Scout was listed again on Sunday, 9 June. Bring a trailer with no reserve. Bring a Trailer also says that Picconi’s comments on the listing will be “promptly deleted” by Bring a Trailer. He has now gone so far as to email the CEO of the company about “the seller’s past indiscretions.”

The same seller listed the exact Scout. Bring a Trailer to April 2022 But it failed to meet reserve, with a high offer of $29,000.

Picconi was founded by Classic 4×4, a marketing company and advisory firm for collectors of vintage off-road vehicles. He buys and sells vehicles like this Scout regularly—for a living, even. He says that the IH would not have ended up in his collection. He chose to not pay the admittedly significant difference between his high-bid and the adjusted $31,500 price.

Picconi insists now that Bring a Trailer is the one who has to play. At the time he published this article, he had not received any response from the company. He goes so far as to claim that “possible fraud is being perpetuated through seller-marketplace collusion.”

From where we are sitting, it seems odd.

The current high bid for Bring a Trailer by the IH Scout is $12,500, with six days left. That’s $500 higher than Picconi top bid on Clasiq. So the seller is already close to his original asking price.

It’s a sticky issue that begs for the question: when is a no reserve auction really a no-reserve? What’s preventing sellers or online platforms from writing off unsatisfactory outcomes as technical errors to allow them to try again with no obligation? Picconi finds it frustrating that he thinks he got a good deal on an old 4×4 only to find out it fell through due to reasons beyond his control. His money was also returned. It’s objectively unfair.

Picconi concludes that scenarios like these compromise trust and put buyers at risk.

“Online automotive marketplaces now dominate the market share for collector vehicle transactions. Most online automotive markets operate with integrity, balance, and trust. These businesses, which facilitate millions of dollars in collector vehicle transactions every day, are rife, given that they are mostly unregulated.

“These marketplaces are essential to creating liquidity and transparency in our enthusiast community,” Picconi continued, “but with good there is also bad.”

If this becomes the norm, consumers will be the ones who are left out. It’s unlikely that this will stop unless it is written into the regulations or terms and conditions of companies. Do your homework before you spend tens, hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to buy that rare collector’s piece.

Have a question or tip for the author? Contact them directly at caleb@thedrive.com

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