The following article was posted by Jim on the old Prodigy Board on January 9th, 1998

Collectors, regardless of what they collect, seem to enjoy auctions. An auction will give those who are interested, an opportunity to become aware of chips they probably never have seen or heard of before.

Personally, I don't care for auctions. I was involved as a young man with various coin and stamp auctions and saw first hand behind the scenes what went on. What I saw was manipulation of bids, collusion among bidders, fictitious "winners", lies, never receiving the chip, no feedback to the bidder, etc. etc. etc. Consequently this type of behavior left me with a perception of auctions that I haven't forgotten!

Now, does this mean chip auctions are something we should shy away from? The answer is "NO". I have not uncovered any wrong doing or questionable action by any one person or organization running an auction. I have heard complaints. Some of them justified others not. I believe to always insure the integrity of any auction the following conditions should be met:

1. Any individual PARTICIPATING in an auction as a minimum should be provided, upon request, a list of all winning bidders. The name of the individual and the price paid for the item. If an auction is being run properly, and an individual has placed a bid, the bidding individual has earned the right to know the results. I have talked to many individuals who bid in auctions and receive no information as to their bid. This discourages individuals from bidding in the future and hurts the auction procedures. This baloney about the "winner" wants to remain anonymous went out with high button shoes!!

2. I have heard it said "this is my auction and I'll run it the way I want too!" Fine, this is an individuals right. However, if I as a bidder cannot find out WHO bought the chip and what was paid than I would take a real hard look at that auction. No one, if an auction is run above board, should be concerned about informing the other bidders as to who bought the chip and how much was paid. This is fundamental to auction integrity.

For gosh sakes, our own little auctions here on Prodigy, we know who got the piece and what was paid when the auction is over. Why should any one worry about printing the name of the winning bidder? No one is asking for their address or phone number - just their name! From what I have seen, these procedures are not followed in many of our chip auctions. Generally it is because it takes a little more work to type out the name of the "winning" bidder on the results sheet. I would like to see in the future all individuals who run auctions provide this information. I know it would make many of the people I talk to more comfortable in participating; and who knows I might even throw a bid or two out!!!