Beware of improvised online auctions

Lockdown restrictions have led to an unprecedented migration to online auctions as a way to sell anything from goods and cars to office furniture and household items.

New businesses are emerging using social media marketing to encourage buyers to bid or make offers on goods, and buyers may be tricked into participating in a sales process or so-called auction that does not is not transparent, legal or secure.


Fraud is a concern for customers

As a result, the South African Auctioneers Institute (SAIA) has noticed an increase in complaints to improvised auctioneers who fail to meet their obligations to deliver goods or choose to supply alternative goods which do not match what customers bid. .

Problems related to the reimbursement of deposits where they are required have also been reported.

“Unfortunately, it is only when issues arise that the bidder realizes they are dealing with unprofessional sellers claiming to be bona fide auctioneers, and this should send a clear signal to the public not to deal only with professional, registered auctioneers who are members of SAIA.Before committing to a purchase on a so-called auction site, a simple check on the SAIA webpage will dispel any concerns you may have. members have remained resilient in the face of the virus and are among the leaders in online auctioning,” said SAIA President John Cowing.

He added that members of the institute comply with all legal requirements to ensure honest and fair bidding.
Most will post their credentials on their website, which can be verified by our office if the bidder is in any doubt.


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“Our members are responsible custodians of assets who subscribe to our code of conduct.

“You’d better establish who you’re dealing with before parting with your money.

“These auctions put a strain on our industry and we hope that over time, with legislation, we will be able to eradicate these illicit traders.

“While we actively promote industry growth and the adoption of new technologies, we do not support these organized crime syndicates.

“You can often find great deals at auction, but put simply: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

“It is also beneficial to visit the institute’s website ( to explore member offers or call the hotline on 021 813 6342 or WhatsApp 067 117 7049 for any queries,” said concluded John.

Contact Sonja Styger, SAIA Secretary, on 021 813 6342, fax 086 660 5276 or at [email protected]