So I thought I would share several experiences with Liveauctioneers.com with you in hopes that those out there heed caution. First off, Liveauctioneers.com is a platform for auction houses, they do NOT personally run auctions, they just have a site that auction houses go through to do their auctions. I bid on several pieces of jewelry and an autographed guitar from the auction houses, 1st Asset Collections, IRS Liquidations, Federal Government Liquidation, US Auction Gallery and High End Memorabilia (none of these are true United States government run auction houses, it is JUST a name). Here is what I can tell you: The pieces of jewelry from 1st, IRS, US Auction and Federal were new. They have their "estimates" in the thousands and their certified appraisal for replacement in the thousands as well. Long story short, the estimates mean nothing, and their appraisals are done my a gemologist company that no jeweler or other gemologist has ever heard of and they aren't worth the piece of paper they are written on. Every single piece of jewelry that I purchased was of lower quality than what was stated in the listing. For example a ring that was "appraised for replacement" at $7K-8K, was worth $600. Three of the necklaces that I purchased were completely scratched (the auction house said I had unrealistic expectations of what I was receiving???). Some of the pieces that I received were not even the pieces that were in the photos. A lot of the times their descriptions for the quality of jewelry put a range on it. So it could be a near flawless diamond to an average diamond, and more or less you are going to be getting the average diamond. I purchased a 1 carat ring that was listed as a D (which is colorless) and SI (which is the affordable grade of diamonds, nice, but not overly expensive). It came back as a .9 carats, G (which is way lower) grade, and an I3 (which is as low as you can get for inclusions, or spots in the diamond). Lastly, I "won" a guitar signed by the Foo Fighters for $900. It was a cool looking guitar not like many autographed ones out there. It had been 17 days since I won and other than the invoice to pay within 24 hours, I did not receive any contact info about when my guitar would be arriving. I looked back at the listing and it said it could take up to 30 days! I also noticed on Liveauctioneers.com that the next week there were two auctions for the exact same guitar. The photos for the guitars were exactly the same as mine. Not one difference. Everybody's signature is always a little different, but these guitars were the same. How could this be? I contacted the auction house and asked why it takes so long for them to send it Fed Ex, did they even have the guitar?!?! They replied that they did NOT have the guitar and they "auction" off items for cheaper prices in the hopes that they will "sell" a couple of them and then go to another seller and get a discount for the quantity they are buying. So basically they are auctioning off something they do not have, and I don't know how they could get that exact same guitar with the exact same signatures from the Foo Fighters on 3 different guitars. Do they personally know the Foo Fighters and ask "hey, can you guys sign these 3 guitars real quick"? Completely shady.
So what did I do about all of this? I put up a F*&@ing stink about it to the auction houses, Liveauctioneers.com, and the BBB. You can check out my reviews there. In the end, I did get refunded by every single auction house, but after many emails and saying that I would not at all mind bringing legal action because of fraudulent and misleading practices (as I would easily win). Though they have a Buyer's Fee which is around 19-25%, so you are not going to get that back most of the time. Liveauctioneers.com and the BBB did help with mediating between the auction houses for resolution.
I do feel that Liveauctioneers.com is somewhat responsible for these auction houses and their practices and should do a better job at weeding out quality auction houses and questionable auction houses. The bad ones make the good ones look bad as well.
What did I learn? For what I have experienced it is the old saying if it is too good to be true, then it probably is. Make sure you read the entire listing description. Contact the auction house for any questions about quality and guarantee of the jewelry and refunds. Look up on the BBB and online for reviews on these auction houses, you won't find many good ones. Realize you are not able to handle and see the items up for bid personally, so you have no idea about the authenticity. If you want to buy something at auction, then I would say go to a live auction.
I hope this helps with your questions and concerns about Liveauctioneers.com. If you would like to contact me personally, please do so. If I can help out just one other person, then I have done my job.