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On Liveauctioneers, I've been amazed watching Beatles and other signatures estimated at, say $10,000 by the auction house, and then they sell for about $200!

Do the auction houses have no shame? They must know the piece was bid on so low because it's counterfeit! Don't they care? Don't the"winners" get suspicious?

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Well, "no", "yes", "they don't care", and "if the bids are even real probably not - it was a "bargain"". The majority of people never pursue any further authentication.

Speaking of bids not being real, do you (or anybody here) think auction houses are able to see our maximum bids? And if nobody bids up to our maximum, do the auction houses all place a shill bid to force our maximum to be the leading bid?

I guess that's what makes eBay unique and desirable. eBay's internal system doesn't allow that to happen. However the individual eBay seller can of course use shenanigans to bid up an item to bidders' maximums. 

After reading what some houses will admit to (and deny) in their own Terms I wouldn't assume anything.

I've written to two online auction houses in the last six months concerning Beatles group autographs which seemed to me to be very obvious fakes (written in the same hand) and both items have been pulled. I am very far from being an expert (and communicated same) on Beatles but have learned enough here to be able to spot a very obvious fake.

Yes, I know, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing but I expect others will have communicated their doubts/scorn to the outfits in question as well. My point is that some houses are reasonably honourable and willing to admit to mistakes. Differentiating between them all is the tricky thing.

+1

Live Auctioneers is a sanctuary city for crooked auction houses. 

Huh? Sotheby's, Christie's, Bonham and Julien are on there. As well as Heritage and R&R. They may disagree with painting such a broad stroke.  But thanks for your input. 

Why not search for Liveauctioneers here in the search engine?  One should always do that. There are at least 9 pages to read. They are a third party auction service - they allow sellers to establish an auction and bidders to bid to win items. Some good, but then they have the types you mentioned in your OP and also awful forgery places like ICZ, who had the Lennon you were considering.

BTW, Steve Zarelli is among the most knowledgeable people here...

Where did I say every auction house on Live Auctioneers was crooked? Don't put words in my mouth. 

The point is Live Auctioneers is an aggregate service that places completely crooked auction houses side-by-side with legit venues like Heritage, RR, Sotheby's and others. They often feature 100% crooked auction houses at the top of their emails -- I assume this is a paid promotion. Despite numerous complaints, they do not remove auction houses that offer 100% fakes from their service. Uneducated buyers wrongly assume auction houses are vetted to be allowed on the service. 

In other words, it's eBay in a suit and tie. A sanctuary city for fake sellers. 

+1 

Got it, Steve. It's sanctuary for the crooks because the platform welcomes everybody but it doesn't mean everyone on there is a crook. My bad. 

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