Re: Can an employee bid at his own auction?
It sounds as though you sold the vehicle without following the motor vehicle law since the tenant voluntarily asked you to sell the vehicle and to seek recovery of what was owed you voluntarily. There is nothing wrong with that by the way.
Originally Posted by MikeAK
Alaska does not require state licensing for auctioneers, however, you must still follow certain rules and practices. In this case, you were selling the vehicle for the owner of the vehicle, not the owner of the facility. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, you must tell the buyers in advance if the OWNER will be bidding. Inasmuch as you were the agent for the owner, if you, the auctioneer engages in bidding, you must also tell the buyers in advance that you will be bidding. Otherwise, the buyer can void the sale if they discover that you or the owner was bidding without disclosing this in advance.
Of course the bidder complained since he did not win the bidding. It is not a good idea for the auctioneer to engage in bidding since this does create a conflict of interest. In other words, you cannot represent the seller and the buyer at the same time. Inasmuch as all auctions are assumed to be auctions with reserve, you could have simply said, "I'm sorry sir, $100 is not enough," and you could have not accepted his bid and sold the vehicle on another day.
I have found that if you clean up a vehicle, wash it, wax it, clean the windows and perhaps get it running, is sells for a whole lot more than just trying to sell it as it sits. I had a vehicle a few years ago that I tried to sell and no one bid on it. I had completed all the DMV paperwork and everything. My maintenance man who is quite the moto-head went over it with rubbing compound, waxed it, cleaned the windows, aired up the tires and actually got this thing started. (It was a 1996 Chrysler Concorde) I sold it at my next auction for $2,250.00. My buyers exclaimed, "Hey! isn't that the piece of junk you tried to sell at the last auction?" They were impressed that it ran and I displayed the car for an hour prior to the auction.
You don't have liability to the other bidder since he did not bid against you and thereby the owner without advance notice. Next time, if you want to reserve this ability, simply state that the auctioneer reserves the right to bid on any/all property on his behalf or on behalf of his consignor.
"Freedom of speech, does not mean freedom from being offended. The Constitution does not protect your feelings..."