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I caught a portion of this show the other night in a rebroadcast. A gentleman caller talked about how he was sometimes hired to sit in the crowd (not sure if it was for these charity auctions or not) and raise bids. Kelly Russell then talked about how there may be reserves on auctions and that having people in the auction place bids was one way of reaching a reserve without disclosing a reserve. By any other name, this is known as SHILL bidding, and is an illegal practice. I don't think the host of the show knew about this practice, because if she had, she would have asked some pointed questions about it.
Charity auction or not, if there is a reserve on an item, then the reserve should be disclosed. Allowing shill bidding is a shady way to get top dollar for an item. I noticed that Kelly Russell did a bit of back pedaling when this was discussed on the show, and that she sidestepped the issue.
I'm quite surprised that no one has said anything about this. Shill bidding is an abhorrent practice that should be condemned at all levels.
posted 2 years, 5 months ago
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