Name and shame them
I READ YOUR ARTICLE (1 March 2007) “Bidder beware” with considerable interest. It’s incidents of this nature that give auctioneering a dirty name.
This Institute realises that it does happen and it’s for this reason that we endeavour to convince the public to only make use of the services of our members.
We have an extensive Code of Conduct and ethics, so we do have some control over members who transgress.
It’s obvious from the article that the auctioneer in question was selling his own goods and not goods on behalf of a client. It’s worth noting that the conduct you described infringes Chapter 14 of the “Preventing and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004”. It further flies in the face of Chapter 47 of the Consumer Protection Bill. *
The problems are therefore:
The public at large is unaware of these two pieces of legislation. Proving infringements can often be difficult. People who attend auctions and who believe they’ve been cheated – and can prove it – are reluctant to “get involved” and one can understand their reasons.
I do wish more journalists would name and shame such auctioneers, who often have no fixed business address or landline – only a cellphone number.
*For more information contact the SA Institute of Auctioneers.