reduce auction-room scams by tightening informed-consent rules

reduce auction-room scams by tightening informed-consent rules

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John Findlow started this petition to auctioneers and valuers licencing board australia

Elderly folk in regional Australia, faced with downsizing into retirement, are talked into shedding surplus belongings by unscrupulous operators offering cartage to city auction houses. They do not know how 'reserves' work to protect the eventual sale-price of an auctioned article, and trust professionals not to sell them for a pittance to greedy antique dealers conspiring to obtain the lowest prices possible. [Auctions are about competition to promote good prices; the auctioneer acting as seller's agent.]

The farmer overcomes the tyranny of distance by trusting the sales rep. with cartage of goods to auction rooms, and signs him off. The goods disappear and are later sold for a fraction of what they should bring - because what he believed was permission to TRANSPORT, was  really permission to SELL WITHOUT RESERVES. In the heat of the moment the client has overlooked some contents of documents he signed:  BOTH actions have been authorised on the ONE FORM  which gives the auctioneer carte blanche to dispose of the articles as he pleases.

First home visit would see the sales rep. obtain Informed consent through clear explanation of 'reserves' as being the largest influence on sale price, with client's signature [to reserve, or not.] A separate form on the day of collection would list all the van's contents [plus permission for cartage.]  This allows for the seller's greater sense of control and less opportunity to confuse and mislead him.

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