AUCTION WATCH

Updated 14 June 2011

On the 26 April 2011 I bid on ‘The African Military Connection’ auction in South Africa. I bid on three items, however only two will be discussed here as the third item I didn’t have a problem with.

One item I bid on was Lot 253A which was a Rhodesian medal group of three medals consisting of a Police Medal for Meritorious Service (P.M.M.), A Police Long Service Medal and Clasp, and a Rhodesian General Service Medal. All were awarded to 12295 D/Sgt Major J.H. Tsigah. There were only 232 P.M.M.’S ever awarded which makes this group quite scarce.

To my knowledge there are four ways you can bid on AMC Auctions

  1. in person at the auction.
  2. by lodging a bid by email.
  3. bidding by phone.
  4. bid on the web site.

This opening bid for this listing was ZAR 3,000.

Over the years I had sent my bids by email to Michael Kaplan, but this time I decided to bid on the net. I could also see the amount of people that had looked at the listing and to see whether there had been other bids.

The maximum that I bid on this auction was ZAR 4,005. On the 26 May 2011 after the auction had ended I looked at the pages of the listings on my computer that I had kept open. I had kept the pages open because I knew that when the auction ended I would not be able to access the listings on the internet. However I as I had the listings open and I had not logged out of the auction, I was able to refresh the pages to show me the bids and the final hammer price of each item.

The results told me that I had won Lot 253A and Lot 1095H which was a Tiger Stripe cap.

NB: Click on the underlined links below to open copy of the original for viewing.

Lot 253A

Bids on Lot 253A

It clearly shows in the bids that Alec Kaplan (bid by Michael Kaplan) has bid ZAR 3,100 but then automatically he has been outbid by “rhodesianmilitaria” (myself) at ZAR 3,110. This is because I have bid a maximum of ZAR 4,005 which is clearly shown in the right hand corner under “My Proxy Price.”

Lot 1095H

Bids on Lot 1095H

In the bids here it shows that there was only one bidder and that was me (rhodesianmilitaria). It also shows that the item started at ZAR 40 and that I bid ZAR 150 maximum but because no-one else bid then I was the winner at ZAR 40.

You can imagine my surprise then when I received an email from Michael Kaplan stating that I had been outbid on both of these items.

Bid results sent to me by Michael Kaplan on the 26 May 2011.

These results show that I was outbid on the medal group (Lot 253A) by ZAR 100 and outbid on the tiger stripe cap by ZAR 10.

Email addresses have been blocked out by me for privacy reasons.

Thinking that he had made a mistake I sent him an email asking him what the postage is so that I could pay for the items.

I received a reply back from Michael telling me that the items sold for a higher price.

I then sent him an email back with a snapshot of the medal auction and told him that the site had declared me the winner and there were only two bidders. I also sent him an email regarding the tiger stripe cap and asked him how it not only showed me as the winner but it showed me as the only bidder.

On 27 May 2011 I sent an email to Michael asking him what his decision was concerning the items I had won.

This was the reply that I received back. What the part has to do with emails from the webmaster, I have no idea.

On the 1 June I sent this email.

By the 1 June 2011 I still hadn’t heard from him so I phoned his office in South Africa and spoke to a lady who informed me that Michael was out and would be returning but didn’t know when.

Frustrated and angry over being ignored I sent the following email.

I then received this email from Kaplan. This was to be the last email I was to receive from him.

So in a matter of 7 days I have been told three different prices for the Tsigah medal group (Lot 253A).

I sent this reply in return.


My questions regarding the auction of Lots 253A and 1095H have never been answered by Michael Kaplan.

If I had never kept the listings open on my computer and logged in I would never had seen the bidding history on these two items and therefore I would never have known of the deceit practiced by this dealer.

There is no doubt that I legally won both of these items and I have been dudded.



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This item sold at an AMC auction in South Africa. The Selous Scouts beret was sold with what was listed as a Selous Scouts officers beret badge. The badge is a fake. Why wasn’t this badge listed as a fake on the listing?

The beret and badge sold for AU$803 (approx. ZAR 5,850)

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