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October 08, 2007

Omega and Patek Phillipe Rig Watch Auctions

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 10/08/2007 06:50:00 PM
The Journal has a great story about how luxury watch makers are rigging their own auctions by bidding on their watches at high profile events. Omega paid over $300,000 for one of the very watches that it put up for auction in Geneva, beating genuine bidders. What is even more amazing is that Patek Phillipe, the well known watch maker, has engaged in shill bidding for even longer.

On eBay, if you shill bid, ie bid on your own item, you get banned. At the auction houses in Switzerland, you're encouraged to do so! Amazing!

Watch makers are rigging their auctions to maintain the high prices consumers pay for their watches. Apparently, they want consumers to believe that watches are "investments." If that's the case, then this is no worse and no better than a pump and dump stock scam where a company inflates its stock price so it can sell stock to unwitting buyers!

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5 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

There are in fact, underbidders ... it is just the brands outbid even the collectors. It is not rigged. I personally bid many hundreds of thousands of dollars in auction for a single watch, both for inventory, and for customers, and, when a brand wants the piece, like Patek, they do in fact outbid my maximum desired bid, but, only by 5%.

The article desired a scandalous tone, without revealing the enture story.

9:25 PM  
Blogger MR WAVETHEORY said...

I find it unsavory that brands bid in these auctions without announcing their affiliation as the watch makers. Why they don't disclose their identity troubles me. In the spirit of full disclosure, it would do the industry alot of good to be open about their bidding.

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