Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have led to an unprecedented migration to online auctions as a means of selling anything from properties and cars to office furniture and even household goods.
New companies are emerging using social media marketing to encourage buyers to bid or make offers on goods and buyers can be duped into participating in a sale process or so called auction that is not transparent, legal or safe.
As a result, the South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA), has noticed an uptick in complaints leveled at fly-by-night auctioneers who do not fulfill their obligations to deliver goods or choose to provide alternative goods that are not what the customers bid for. There have also been reports of problems associated with the refunding of deposits where these are required.
“Unfortunately, it is only when problems arise that the bidder realizes they are dealing with unprofessional sellers purporting to be Bonafede auctioneers and this should send a clear signal to the public to only deal with professional, registered auctioneers who are members of SAIA. Before committing to purchase on a so-called auction site, a simple check on the SAIA webpage will dispel any concerns you may have. Our members have remained resilient in the face of the virus and are among the leaders in online auctioneering,” says SAIA chairman, John Cowing.