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Auction reviews in Cass City

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  • I am a seller who used Coles Auction Service for personal property, antiques, coins, and my home (several of these listed as specialties for the business). There are many red flags I've encountered so far: very difficult to get a hold of Steve, late for several appointments, changed his plan for the set-up of the auction, I never received a copy of the signed contract, pushed for a no reserve auction, bid and won items at auction without disclosure to me or the other buyers, did not advertise as stated verbally or as written on his website, did not provide the services listed on his website. Several items that were to be auctioned were never put up for bid and many items flat out did not sell due to lack of advertising and/or low bidder pool. One particular item that did not sell (thankfully we put at least a low reserve on it), Cole wanted me to break down, box up, and drive an hour to his office to drop off so he could sell it online. There was no porta john (which he orally stated he would provide as well as is written as a service on his website) so all the people used the bathrooms in my home and made a mess which I cleaned up after Steve left. Cole's Auction Service used my electricity, water, sewer, and trash without prior consent from me. The auction was 2 days ago and I have not received any money or a ledger of items sold. When we were considering hiring Cole we made clear our expectations for return on the auction to which he stated in his professional opinion would be attainable. We reasonably estimated, based on resale prices and antique value, to obtain between 12 and 15 thousand dollars from the sale of our household property; the preliminary final amount made at auction is 7 thousand 1 hundred dollars, a ten percent buyer's premium plus 3 thousand 5 hundred of which is to go to Steve which equals 4 thousand 2 hundred 10 dollars. That leaves us with 3 thousand 6 hundred dollars; a gross misrepresentation of attainability and/or breach of contract. Currently, I'm attempting to rescind our contract and make amicable arrangements as to not involve the court system, the NAA, the MAA, and/or the Michigan Attorney General. Are you next? I hope not. Update 7/14/18: After Cole avoided our calls, voicemails, and emails for a week, he finally agreed to meet with us to discuss the auction and to give us a copy of the sought after contract and ledger. When we arrived at his store, he refused to invite us to sit down and proceeded to badger and yell at us as we attempted to calmly point out and confront Steve about the contradictions between the services we contracted thru him to perform and the actual services we received. Steve said that he was going to withhold our payment until 30.5 days after the auction for my husband being a "smartass," to which I made sure to clarify that: he was both retaliating against customers as well as using derogatory name-calling to try to quell the discussion of his performance. When we called him out about bidding on and winning items at our auction without prior disclosure about his plan to do so, he explained that he was trying to "help" us by bidding the item up (shill bidding)- which is highly unethical, illegal, as well as unlikely as the television he won was sitting on the floor at our feet by the counter in his store a week after buying it! The clear intention this presents is that he bid on and won an item which no one else was interested in so he could resell it for a profit in his store. He insisted that he did a great job and would not alter the contract in any way. Update 8/12/18: Payment was finally received ($3517) however, the invoice contained three notes which claim we breached the contract and would be owing Cole fees. There is no merit to these accusations and Cole has made no attempt to contact us addressing such issues in the 34 days since the auction. Furthermore, if he truly believed such breaches of contract were taking place, he had a contractual obligation to address them immediately and cancel the auction. We absolutely find this to be a form of harassment and a poor attempt at retaliation for filing official complaints against his unlawful and unprofessional conduct. If you are considering using Cole's for auctioneer services for your property, please carefully consider my honest review before proceeding. Please also note: my husband and I are college educated veterans who agreed to do business with Cole's not out of desperation or need of money, but as a careful plan to buy our next home.
    - Jessica K.
  • I am a seller who used Coles Auction Service for personal property, antiques, coins, and my home (several of these listed as specialties for the business). There are many red flags I've encountered so far: very difficult to get a hold of Steve, late for several appointments, changed his plan for the set-up of the auction, I never received a copy of the signed contract, pushed for a no reserve auction, bid and won items at auction without disclosure to me or the other buyers, did not advertise as stated verbally or as written on his website, did not provide the services listed on his website. Several items that were to be auctioned were never put up for bid and many items flat out did not sell due to lack of advertising and/or low bidder pool. One particular item that did not sell (thankfully we put at least a low reserve on it), Cole wanted me to break down, box up, and drive an hour to his office to drop off so he could sell it online. There was no porta john (which he orally stated he would provide as well as is written as a service on his website) so all the people used the bathrooms in my home and made a mess which I cleaned up after Steve left. Cole's Auction Service used my electricity, water, sewer, and trash without prior consent from me. The auction was 2 days ago and I have not received any money or a ledger of items sold. When we were considering hiring Cole we made clear our expectations for return on the auction to which he stated in his professional opinion would be attainable. We reasonably estimated, based on resale prices and antique value, to obtain between 12 and 15 thousand dollars from the sale of our household property; the preliminary final amount made at auction is 7 thousand 1 hundred dollars, a ten percent buyer's premium plus 3 thousand 5 hundred of which is to go to Steve which equals 4 thousand 2 hundred 10 dollars. That leaves us with 3 thousand 6 hundred dollars; a gross misrepresentation of attainability and/or breach of contract. Currently, I'm attempting to rescind our contract and make amicable arrangements as to not involve the court system, the NAA, the MAA, and/or the Michigan Attorney General. Are you next? I hope not. Update 7/14/18: After Cole avoided our calls, voicemails, and emails for a week, he finally agreed to meet with us to discuss the auction and to give us a copy of the sought after contract and ledger. When we arrived at his store, he refused to invite us to sit down and proceeded to badger and yell at us as we attempted to calmly point out and confront Steve about the contradictions between the services we contracted thru him to perform and the actual services we received. Steve said that he was going to withhold our payment until 30.5 days after the auction for my husband being a "smartass," to which I made sure to clarify that: he was both retaliating against customers as well as using derogatory name-calling to try to quell the discussion of his performance. When we called him out about bidding on and winning items at our auction without prior disclosure about his plan to do so, he explained that he was trying to "help" us by bidding the item up (shill bidding)- which is highly unethical, illegal, as well as unlikely as the television he won was sitting on the floor at our feet by the counter in his store a week after buying it! The clear intention this presents is that he bid on and won an item which no one else was interested in so he could resell it for a profit in his store. He insisted that he did a great job and would not alter the contract in any way. Update (8/4/2018): Formal complaints have been submitted to the Michigan Attorney General (available via public record) and the National Auctioneer Association. We have not received any money from the auction. Some wording has been changed on the company website: "immediate" payment has been changed to "quickly" on the Faqs question and answer section. Written requests to Steve Cole for copies of his "aggressive" advertising have received no responses. If you are considering using Cole's for auctioneer services for your property, please carefully consider my honest review before proceeding. Please also note: my husband and I are college educated veterans who agreed to do business with Cole's not out of desperation or need of money, but as a careful plan to buy our next home.
    - Jessica K.
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Auction Services in Cass City

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  • StubHub

    199 Fremont St
    San Francisco, CA