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The Unregulated, Unaccountable Anarchy of Auctioneering

Posted on: February 12th, 2007 1 Comment

FOR brass neck you have to hand it to Ireland’s auctioneers. Last week, the IPAV lobby’s chief executive Fintan McNamara revealed that commissions in the auctioneers’ cartel might have to go up. The reason? Impending hardship!

Apparently, now that house prices have flattened, auctioneers intend to compensate themselves by ripping off consumers even more than ever. They maintain that when demand slackens there is only one way of reacting: that is, to raise costs to the customer. If such a ploy is to work, they will all need to act in unison. Now, that is what some of us would call a cartel.

Virtually the only group that could possibly hope to pull such a fast one is Ireland’s auctioneers. They are so used to a paradise of unregulated, unaccountable anarchy that they cannot stomach the idea of working for a living, like normal mortals.

And strangely enough, none of the same crowd of cowboys was ever heard screaming for commission reductions when the market was booming.