Aside from the "is it real?" questions we have about some auctions, I have a different question. Does it make it even worth buying the item if there's a high price to pay in addition to what the item ends up costing you? For example, I LOVE the items RR Auctions gets. Years ago, I purchased so many things from them. But that 22% premium you pay on top of it, is a bit high, don't you think? If I buy an item for $500...that means I'm paying over $100 in edition to that, and then more money on shipping/handling. It makes the price you pay cost way more than the item is worth. Any other opinions on this?

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Comment by Joe W. on July 5, 2018 at 1:04pm

I always consider the cost of the fees when determining my bid amount. Probably why I rarely win anything in auctions with buyer fees. It does not benefit the consignor either, imo. The house wins with fees on the front end and the back end.

Comment by BallroomDays67 on July 5, 2018 at 1:06pm

I try to consider the total cost when bidding. I decide what I want to pay and stop bidding when the price plus buyer's premium exceeds that amount. If the shipping and handling seems unreasonable, I factor that in as well.

Comment by michelle on July 5, 2018 at 1:12pm

and the vat and the custom duties if you are buying from abroad

Comment by Josh Board on July 5, 2018 at 2:57pm

It amazes me there are still enough people buying them at those insane prices.

Comment by Jim McFiver on July 6, 2018 at 1:02am

I'm with you, Josh. Those fees are not only prohibitive, they're practically usurious, which is why I haven't participated in any of their sales in years. 

Comment by Christopher on July 6, 2018 at 9:57pm

I buy from RR with some regularity still.  Of course must take buyers premium into account.  I search for bargains.  The recent RR featuring John Brennan’s collection is a good example.  I won a vintage Madonna and a fully signed INXS.  Both were promo 12-inch EPs.  In my view, I paid around 50% of FMV for both pieces.  The opportunity was there because buyers were pursuing other pieces within the auction.  In the auction being previewed now that goes live on the 12th, there are three specific pieces I have a strong interest in.  If nobody’s paying attention I’ll certainly make a play.  But I won’t overpay.

Comment by Josh Board on July 6, 2018 at 10:07pm

I think there used to be good deals. I had gotten a number of things nobody bid on, for $100 start bid, or $ just insane, when you consider all those additional fees.

Comment by Christopher on July 6, 2018 at 10:28pm

I hear ya.  Deals are harder to come by, and the higher initial bids are prohibitive.  But I just went back and checked the price I paid for the Madonna.  $643 including buyers premium for a full, 1984 signature on a never released promo album obtained in person by John Brennan.  If that’s not a steal I don’t know what is :).

Comment by Joe W. on July 7, 2018 at 6:50am

Christopher, you did get a great deal on that Madonna. I think the scarcity of good Madonna signatures hasn't sunk in yet. And with so many great items being offered at the same time you caught a sleeper. Congrats. With that said, I don't think there are many bargains at RR Auctions. With $200 minimum bids or higher, add the extra buying fee on top of that, many people just don't try and look elsewhere.

Comment by Christopher on July 7, 2018 at 11:24am

This sounds funny to say Joe, but in a way, I hope lots of people have written RR off as too expensive - fewer watchers, fewer searching as I do for the gem that nobody's paying attention to........ what does come to mind is that if you're looking for a bargain, your chances are far greater with RR than with Iconic.  This is a two-edged sword, but with related legal entities bidding up prices during that screwball extended bidding process they use, a deal on any item in an Iconic auction is nearly impossible.  


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