Return to top Auction Goes Wrong When Nobody Can Understand Auctioneer’s Accent

Auction Goes Wrong When Nobody Can Understand Auctioneer’s Accent

By - 20th August 2019
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Where do you go if you’ve got money to burn and a penchant for antiques? An auction of course! The rich and famous bid millions of dollars on rare and ancient items to add to their collections. But, this time, people got a little overexcited when a Porsche went under the hammer.

The Porsche in question was the one of the first-ever made, built in 1930s Nazi Germany nonetheless. However, bids started raising at an unprecedented rate when it went up for auction, in part due to the auctioneer’s strong Dutch accent.

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The Type 64 model was highly coveted by collectors but only expected to fetch around $20 million (~£16,500,000). But the bids kept on coming, $50 million, $60 million, $70 million.

It was then that the auctioneer turned around to look at the board behind him, which showed the value of the bids in different currencies. He realised immediately what had happened.

“It says 70 guys, it’s 17,” he told the people in charge of those rates. The crowd audibly gasped, obviously disappointed at the steep drop in price. “It’s a bit exciting to write seven-zero, it might be my pronunciation. It’s seventeen million dollars. The bid is at seventeen.”

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Even when he was trying his hardest to pronounce seventeen, it was easy to mistake. However, the highest bidder is in for a $50 million saving!

A spokesperson for world-famous auction house Sotheby’s put out a statement over the confusion. “This was in no way intentional on behalf of anyone,” it read. “Rather an unfortunate misunderstanding.”

We guess unfortunate depends on who you are. It’s unfortunate if you’re selling the Porsche or enjoying the auction in the audience. But, it was probably a nice surprise for the highest bidder!

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Let us know what you think in the comments – can you understand the auctioneer? Be sure to share with your family and friends as well.