• Report: #396262

Complaint Review: Barrett Street Auctions

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  • Submitted: Sun, November 30, 2008
  • Updated: Sat, April 09, 2011

  • Reported By:Windsor Virginia
Barrett Street Auctions
2645 Dean Dr Virginia Beach, Virginia U.S.A.

Barrett Street Auctions Beware Barrett Street Antique Center ! Virginia Beach Virginia

*Consumer Comment: I think I have been Ripped Off

*Consumer Comment: Tom is a nice guy? Are you sure about that?

*General Comment: I can tell you these things are not true.

*Consumer Comment: False Phone Book Advertising

*Consumer Suggestion: Auctions 101

*Consumer Comment: Auctioneer Tom has his son shilling for him

*Consumer Comment: To the owner and the customer

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Crazy Lady

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Crazy Lady

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Crazy Lady

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Barrett Street Antique Center's misleading advertising and deceptive phone tactics have cost me a tremendous amount of grief and money. As yet, I have no idea how many thousands of dollars I am going to loose directly due to the SCAM Barrett Street Antique Center pulled on me. Do not become their victim too! Barrett Street Antique Center claims they sell "anything and everything" ...right up until it comes time to actually pick up the goods then suddenly they only want your most valuable antiques, and there are all kinds of "pick-up" and "loading" fees (IN ADDITION to their huge consignment fees) that no one mentioned when soliciting your business.

Their Ad which states "Our area of pick-up covers the entire state of Virginia north through Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and south through the Carolinas. Auctions, estate sales, downsizing, liquidations or buying/selling antiques please give us a call. We can sell your personal items and real estate at ZERO cost to you." IS A JOKE! No where do they mention "at least a $1000.00 pick-up fee for a couple households full of stuff"

After the sale of my business I was left with a 2500 sq. ft. Storage building full of assorted items I had to sell and very little time to do it in. The first Auctioneer I contracted with to sell the items suffered severe damage in a storm and said he would have to delay my sale by more than a month, so I hit the Yellow Pages. I called Barrett Street Antique Center with 9 days left until my deadline. I was connected to "the Owner, Tom Giroux" I told him my situation and EXACTLY what I had to sell during a lengthy phone conversation..

I explained to Tom in great detail that I had BOTH valuable antiques, rugs, etc and at least a ton of general yard sale stuff. I listed for him everything from dishes, modern furniture, lawn mowers, tables, weed eaters, books, flatware to Oriental Rugs, Antique Dressers, showcases, couches, etc.

Tom assured me in no uncertain turns that "We take anything and everything because we have all types of buyers" and "We sell the cheaper stuff in lots for the Flea Market buyers" He also stated that the ONLY things they did not accept for Auction were "Used Mattresses and Broken items." I told him that we had already pulled all the mattresses out for donation to the Animal Shelter, and I thought all broken items had been removed, but if he found any while loading, I would discard them. He put NO additional limitations on what Barrett Street Antique Center would pick-up and sell FOR A PERCENTAGE what-so-ever and told me they "held different Auctions for different types of goods" more than once.

When Tom said that they could not come out to the location until November 30, I told him "Ok, thank you, but I think I will call a few other places and see if I can get someone out here sooner as I am on a serious deadline" At this point Tom ASSURED me that there was no reason for me to look further for an available Auctioneer, that his business was a "Full Service Auction House" and his crew would be here Monday, December 1 to pick-up the merchandise without fail.

Tom INTENTIONALLY discouraged me from looking further by GUARANTEEING me over and over again that "We sell everything" and that they would begin loading December 1'st I would not have stopped calling Auctioneers 9 days before my deadline if Tom had not convinced me it was a done deal! Barrett Street Antique Center was the first to answer the phone and I was only up to the "B's" in the Yellow Pages, so I had MANY choices left. I would not have waited until the day before the building had to be emptied if Tom had not convinced me beyond any shadow of a doubt that ALL the items I had for sale would be picked-up and Auctioned, some at Antique sales and some an auctions for Flea Market buyers.

November 30, Tom and his assistant came out to see "What would be going where and arrange the pick-up" The minute he walked in the door his ENTIRE story changed. He began listing all they things they would not take, which read like a laundry list of the EXACT same things he told me he would "sell to Flea Market buyers" the week before.

"We do not take any particle or press board office furniture" he said, pointing to a two year old Computer desk that cost $299.00 at Office Max."We don't take electronics" he said, referring to the office security video monitor worth about $150.00 We don't take office chairs, metal desks and files cabinets, etc" and . "We don't take used couches or recliners" "We can take the old hardback books, but not any paperbacks" He went on and on until he finally narrowed down what he would take to Antiques and high dollar items only.

I was shocked and asked him "How can you say you do complete home and business liquidations when you do not take basic household goods and office furniture, fax machines, a video security system, etc?" Then I got the "I've been in this business for 20 years and I know what I can and can not sell" lecture. At which point I asked him, "Well why couldn't you give me your list of what you can and can not sell 9 days ago when I was shopping for Auctioneers?" He then told me, "I can give you the number of an Auctioneer who handles large lots yard sale quality items." I responded with "You told me YOU handled Yard Sale quality items!"

I REALLY hate being lied to, and the conversation went rapidly downhill from there. I told him I did not appreciate being deceived and that I was not a happy woman...and he left.

Needless to say, I am filing complaints with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Better Business Bureau and every Rip off, Review, and Gripe site I can find. I may file a Civil action against them as well since I relied on deceptive advertising as well as the owner's own sales spiel. At this point, it depends on how much Barrett Street Antique Center's complete and utter failure to abide by the deal I made with them costs me.

I am doing my best to mitigate my damages, but their spurious and unethical business practices of have left me on a Sunday afternoon, with less than 18 hours to find another Auctioneer who can begin clearing out a huge storage building immediately.

I realize now that I fell for a CLASSIC trick. "Promise everything, give nothing" Barrett's laid it on thick to assure that I did not contact their competitors. Then they waited until I had no time left make arraignments to COMPLETELY change the terms they sold me on a week prior. Their story changes from "We take everything but used mattresses and broken items" to "We will only take the most valuable Antiques, and charge you for the privilege....take it or leave it." once they know you are out of time. Considering the strict time limits facing many people who need items sold at Auction (moving, estates, etc.) I have no doubt this scam is profitable...but is should be illegal !

Betsy
Windsor, Virginia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/30/2008 04:22 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Barrett-Street-Auctions/Virginia-Beach-Virginia-23452/Barrett-Street-Auctions-Beware-Barrett-Street-Antique-Center-Virginia-Beach-Virginia-396262. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

I think I have been Ripped Off

AUTHOR: Darlene - ()

 I took a lot of comic books to Barretts to be sold. I did not recieve what I had expected. I also took a Large Map to which I have pictures of that was dated from 1939. He has since said when I went back to pick it up that it went out in a truck for Charity. I have a contract that states any unsold items are to be returned to seller. I want to know what recourse I have since I was told that they would  call and locate the map that  had just went out on the truck shortly  before I had arrived to pick it up. I have not recieved a call and everytime I call I either get excuses or that they will have one of the owners contact me. I am afraid that they are stalling because there might be a time limit of me having any recourse. I am a woman with very little income and depended on tbhis comic book money and this map money to pay some bills. Please let me know what steps I need to take. Thank you. I am sick over this. Should have known better by the way they acted and handled things.

Darlene Virginia Beach, Virginia

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#2 Consumer Comment

Tom is a nice guy? Are you sure about that?

AUTHOR: Virginia man - (U.S.A.)

Tom used to complain up on the podium about prices going too cheap.  Until his son Rob, who runs the thrift store, started bidding too.  This has appearances of collusion as Tom also is a partner of the thrift store.  So it appears that Rob is a "fail-safe" mechanism against items going for a decent price for the buyer.  For those who consign with him, be warned that he charges 50% commission!!!  And ask for an itemized receipt of all that you consign with him. 
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#3 General Comment

I can tell you these things are not true.

AUTHOR: Lee - (United States of America)

First of all I can't believe the ranting of this woman against Tom and his Auction company.  I have been buying and selling things through Tom and Sandra's auction house for years.  Never...has there been anything but professional assistance and complete honesty from Tom and Sandra. 

So what if Rob has a thrift store in Norfolk, you couldn't find a nicer guy.  And so what if he bids on items at Barrett Street..if you are not the high bidder than you don't get the item.  If Rob wins the bid then by all means he should get it.  He is buying things for his thrift store (not running-up bids) and I see Rob buying at many auctions.  It seems to me that he is not going to pay too much for the items, or he wont make a profit on the items he bids on.  If you want to pay nothing for the items..then you should not be there.

I am not a close friend of Tom or Robs but I know both of them and would like for you all to know.... you are talking about two very hard working men that give their best everyday.  Also, if Betsy called Tom and gave him a false impression of the items she had, that's not Tom's fault.   Especially if he got there and found mounds of junk that even the Salvation Army would not take.  She should have told him that she had that kind of trash.  Tom and Saundra have guidelines so where the disconnect happened...who knows, but knowing them like I do...it wasn't their fault...they are too well put together for that.  I can't see that happening because Tom is a man of his word and he and his wife will go out of their way to help you.  Once I had a hurt arm and I was trying to carry something out to my car that I won in their auction and Tom and Saundra took the item from me and insisted on putting it in my car.... even though they were very busy.  Tom is always putting his customers first.  Thank you Tom and Saundra for always being the best at what you do.

Lee H

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#4 Consumer Comment

False Phone Book Advertising

AUTHOR: Virginia Man - (U.S.A.)

A friend of mine informed me of "Auctioneer" above who mentioned that not accepting certain items is the norm. But what "Auctioneer" doesn't know is Barrett Street Auction Center advertises "Complete Pickup and Cleanout" in their Yellow Pages ad that Betsy saw. If there were any non-allowed items that Tom Giroux/Barrett Street will not pickup, then they should have said so when Betsy called and be upfront and ethical.

After I reported my experience at Barrett Street regarding Tom Giroux's son bidding (shilling) on items, I've learned that some people who consign their estates to Barrett Street don't get paid for all of their items. One friend told me he suspected that a silverware set went "missing" because it wasn't on the list of items he got paid for. When he called Barrett Street about it, the woman who answered asked if he gotten a list of items that he consigned to Barrett Street. Well, my friend assumed Barrett Street itemizes consigned items and regrets not doing this on his own. He couldn't to pursue court action since he didn't have proof that the silverware set went to Barrett Street. Likely Barrett Street Auction Center isn't the only auction center that does this.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Auctions 101

AUTHOR: Auctioneer - (U.S.A.)

I am an Auctioneer from the Midwest, and I wanted to let your readers know how things work. I have never been to the auction house you wrote about, in fact the last time I was even in your state I was in 2nd grade and am now 50 years old.

You said
"We do not take any particle or press board office furniture" he said, pointing to a two year old Computer desk that cost $299.00 at Office Max."We don't take electronics" he said, referring to the office security video monitor worth about $150.00 We don't take office chairs, metal desks and files cabinets, etc" and . "We don't take used couches or recliners" "We can take the old hardback books, but not any paperbacks" He went on and on until he finally narrowed down what he would take to Antiques and high dollar items only.


There are several points I would like to make. Nobody in the auction business will pick up and move partical board furniture, you can't even sell it on-site. It falls apart when you move it. If it is still in the box you can sell it, but once it is out of the box, you may as well throw it away. Nobody cares what you paid for your stuff, if you think stuff is worth what you paid for it I have a closet full of Wamu stock I'd like to sell you, oh and perhaps some Enron stock as well. If you honestly think anyone can see a used particle bord desk for what the owner paid for it you need to visit a few auctions and see what they really sell for used. I have never sold one for over $5.00 and I have been at this game a long time. A used video monitor is hazardous waste, Goodwill will not even take them,
I quote from Goodwills FAQ http://www.giveit2goodwill.org/donations/faq#17
"What is Goodwill unable to use?
Auto parts, mattresses and box springs, building materials (sinks, toilets, etc.), lumber, carpet, paint, hot water heaters, large appliances, computers CPUs/Monitors, swing sets, or Venetian blinds. For a complete list, please check out our Donation Guidelines."

they have been regulated since 2001. Don't take my word on it do a google search on hazardous waste monitor or just look at http://www.rivcowm.org/faq/faq_hhw.html. By the way Goodwill will not take most couches or stuffed chairs (recliners included) as they may harbor fleas or bed bugs.

It is very common for people to call an Auctioneer when they find themselves with an looming deadline and expect us to do a magic trick and make junk disappear. We can often help, and we can pull of some amazing stuff (I sold a house and contents today with less than 2 weeks to adverise it and got a very fair price for everything) but some people have called the wrong craft to help, they need a guy with a magic wand, not a gavel.
Midwest Auctioneer
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#6 Consumer Comment

Auctioneer Tom has his son shilling for him

AUTHOR: Virginia Man - (U.S.A.)

I started recently going to Barrett Street's auctions. I usually bid on furniture and some nice dishes, old toys and a few other items and I noticed that one man seemed to be my main competitor on a number of things I bidded on. I noticed in later auctions here this one man seemed to have a wide variety of interests such as music records, furniture, glass stuff, bunch of what they call "tray lots", etc. He is usually the first one to bid low on stuff and many times won.

This past auction, after Rob won yet another item, I heard some chatter from a couple of ladies behind me and they were shaking their head about this man and I asked them who he was. They told me that his name was "Rob" and he was the owner's son! I was aghast! I asked them isn't that shilling and illegal?? They said that Rob owns a large thrift store in Norfolk VA that he brings the stuff he wins at Barrett Street auctions to his store. They also said that they were sure that the auctioneer Tom, who is Rob's father, is also part owner of that store! To me, that is an indirect way to shill your own auctions! It's like, "If it goes cheap, it's going to my store!!" I got my wife and we left immediately and we are not coming back!
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#7 Consumer Comment

To the owner and the customer

AUTHOR: Zio - (U.S.A.)

I believe both parties could have gone about this a better way. The women trying to sell her items should of planned better to have the merchandise sold in a proper time frame, or better yet to sell the items herself.

Being a business owner myself I can understand the frustrations of customers, but to put a negative comment on a website such as this is not very professional and does not help make your business or its practices look any better.

Maybe future customers should provide a list of what they have with some digital photos to the company, this would give the auction center a chance to review what is in stock. That should eliminate many problems or issues.
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#8 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Crazy Lady

AUTHOR: Barrett Street Auction Center - (U.S.A.)

What is wrong with this lady she sold a business and only left 9 days to clean it out she is in fantasy land and needs medication for what she thinks about me and the horrible things she said about the way I do business. She should be ashamed of herself this lady needs to grow up and make better plans for such moves in the future. I'm not her parent and do not need to clean up her mess she is irresponsible and does not understand the value of things let alone others feelings. We will pray for this sad lady I'm a good person and very proud of how I do business. This lady was out of her mind I would have never done the things she has said. She was just looking for someone to take out her anger on in a very abusive way.
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#9 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Crazy Lady

AUTHOR: Barrett Street Auction Center - (U.S.A.)

What is wrong with this lady she sold a business and only left 9 days to clean it out she is in fantasy land and needs medication for what she thinks about me and the horrible things she said about the way I do business. She should be ashamed of herself this lady needs to grow up and make better plans for such moves in the future. I'm not her parent and do not need to clean up her mess she is irresponsible and does not understand the value of things let alone others feelings. We will pray for this sad lady I'm a good person and very proud of how I do business. This lady was out of her mind I would have never done the things she has said. She was just looking for someone to take out her anger on in a very abusive way.
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#10 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Crazy Lady

AUTHOR: Barrett Street Auction Center - (U.S.A.)

What is wrong with this lady she sold a business and only left 9 days to clean it out she is in fantasy land and needs medication for what she thinks about me and the horrible things she said about the way I do business. She should be ashamed of herself this lady needs to grow up and make better plans for such moves in the future. I'm not her parent and do not need to clean up her mess she is irresponsible and does not understand the value of things let alone others feelings. We will pray for this sad lady I'm a good person and very proud of how I do business. This lady was out of her mind I would have never done the things she has said. She was just looking for someone to take out her anger on in a very abusive way.
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