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Re: Julia auction
Posted by John S. on Monday, 6 October 2014, at 12:02 a.m., in response to Re: Julia auction, posted by Dick Hosmer on Sunday, 5 October 2014, at 3:33 p.m.
I appreciate Mr. Julia's prompt and detailed defense, and accept it as an honest explanation of the facts which seem to have been twisted by the accuser.
I have purchased from RIAC, and have talked with some other purchasers, and one piece of advice is to NEVER give them an absentee bid. Miraculously, you may win the lot, and exactly at your maximum bid. Perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not, but it would be better to use one of the proxy bidding services if you want to bid. Also, I purchased one rifle from RIAC which turned out to have been cut down and otherwise altered, but not mentioned in the fine print, and especially not the headline, so that caveat emptor stuff is important. Review the photos and descriptions very carefully!
However, being a dealer, especially in an auction setting is a tough job, and sometimes stuff does slip past even experts. Especially when it concerns alleged historical provenance, and "Custer" or "outlaw" stuff often seems to suffer from more wishful thinking than hard documentation. However, some folks are more diligent about trying to detect problems and honestly note them than others. I think that Julia's does a pretty good job. (Along with Cowans, Little John, and Amoskeag). But, there are some auction houses which I would never bid at. The best advise, especially if it is a high dollar item, is to make the trip to inspect it in person and bid in person. That may cost several hundred dollars in travel expenses, but save a lot of money and aggravation in the long run.
You can sometimes find a sleeper or get a bargain at an auction, but most are widely enough advertised that prices will be true fair market value, or even higher, with numerous bidders for each item.
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