Here is a Press Release from Barrett Jackson, outlining their position on this matter:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – February 1, 2007
Earlier this week, officials at the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company were made aware of a “blog” making
false allegations regarding the Company’s business practices. While the author of the blog decided to
remove the posting after receiving a written statement from Barrett-Jackson, the original blog content has
been copied to numerous other Web sites and other locations on the Internet. The reply from Barrett-
Jackson has not been copied to these additional locations.
The statements published in the original posting, and repeated in numerous other forums since that time,
are untrue and are potentially harmful to Barrett-Jackson’s business interests. Barrett-Jackson issues the
following statement for the purposes of clarifying the situation and providing its position regarding the
accusations made against the Company.
There is no lawsuit against Barrett-Jackson alleging improper or unlawful auction practices.
Barrett-Jackson has historically offered a combination of reserve and no reserve vehicles across
the auction block. In a sale with a reserve, a vehicle is not sold if the reserve price is not met. In a
no reserve sale, every vehicle that crosses the block is sold to the highest bidder, regardless of the
amount of the last bid that is made before the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer. In a no reserve sale,
the owner of a car may not bid (by himself or through an agent) on his own car.
In recent years, Barrett-Jackson has run auctions that are completely no reserve. This is a
business decision made by Barrett-Jackson; there is no legal or other requirement that all vehicles
be sold at no reserve. In the future, Barrett-Jackson may opt to offer vehicles with a reserve.
Owner buy-backs and so-called “chandelier” or “shill” bidding are forbidden on all no reserve
vehicles sold at Barrett-Jackson. The practice is specifically prohibited in the consignment contract
signed by each seller.
Barrett-Jackson’s auction staff monitors all bid activity to the best of its ability while a vehicle is on
the block. If Barrett-Jackson sees that an owner (or someone known to be the owner’s agent) is
bidding on his own vehicle, the Company stops the bidding and reverts to the last bid.
With the size of Barrett-Jackson’s auction venue and the presence of thousands of registered
bidders, it is physically impossible to guarantee that no owner (or an unidentified owner’s agent)
attempts to bid on his own vehicle. For this reason, it is Barrett-Jackson’s policy to penalize any
owner who successfully bids on his own vehicle by charging that person both the seller’s
commission and the buyer’s premium on that vehicle. This penalty serves as a meaningful
deterrent for those who may otherwise choose to ignore the rules. Individuals who fail to abide by
auction regulations may also be barred from participating in future Barrett-Jackson events.
Barrett-Jackson continually updates its practices and procedures to implement additional measures
to prohibit owner buy-backs and to prevent the practice of “chandelier” bidding in any no reserve
situation. These procedures include a continually evolving use of technology and visual aids to
assist the auction staff in identifying owners who may attempt to bid on their own vehicles.
State and federal auction laws provide that the auctioneer has discretion in calling the final bid and
declaring the goods sold with the fall of the hammer. There is no regulation governing the amount
of time a vehicle must remain on the auction block, nor does Barrett-Jackson’s consignment
contract guarantee the amount of time a vehicle will spend on the auction block.
Barrett-Jackson does not run its own cars through the auction and provide “shill bidders” to inflate
prices of vehicles.
Barrett-Jackson is diligent in its efforts to run a clean auction on every level. The Company has
been audited numerous times and has never been found to be in violation of any state or federal
A live auction is a complex, challenging scenario with a limitless number of variables in any given situation.
There is no way to guarantee a flawless sale of every vehicle that will please every seller and every buyer.
No auction company can guarantee that every individual will be happy with every sale. Nevertheless,
Barrett-Jackson takes the interests of its customers—on both sides of the equation—very seriously and will
continue to do so as the Company works to refine and improve its policies and procedures today and into
In a related matter also mentioned on the recent Internet postings, there have been numerous rumors
circulating regarding Barrett-Jackson’s decision to revoke journalist Keith Martin’s media credentials during
the Barrett-Jackson 2007 Scottsdale auction. Barrett-Jackson responded directly to legitimate inquiries
about this situation and has identified the individual who overheard Mr. Martin’s comments in the Barrett-
Jackson media center (the circumstance which led to the decision to revoke his media credentials).
Statements indicating that the situation was fabricated, or that Barrett-Jackson has been unable to produce
any corroboration of the events, are untrue. This matter has already received more attention than it
warranted, and Barrett-Jackson has made the business decision to not engage in discussions that may
encourage further speculation.
About The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing
products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts
around the world. The company produces the “World’s Greatest Collector Car Events™” in Scottsdale and
Palm Beach, Fla. For more information, visit www.barrett-jackson.com
or call (480) 421-6694.