WARNING ON ‘MOCK AUCTION’ IN CRYSTAL PALACE THIS WEEKEND
A WARNING on a ‘mock auction’ being planned for the Crystal Palace area this weekend has been issued by Croydon council.
The alert follows a similar auction in Selhurst where one man parted company with £160, thinking he was buying an iPad and an iPod, only to find he’d been passed cheap, inferior goods worth a fraction of what he’d paid.
A Croydon council spokesman said: “Shoppers should not hand over cash at mock auctions in the belief they are buying high-end goods.
“In fact, it would be advisable for them to stay away from all such sales where the adage ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is’ is especially pertinent.”
The alert has been issued after rogue traders recently staged a mock auction in Selhurst, leaving bargain-hunters ripped off and angry.
Trading standards officers have been tipped off that a similar mock auction is planned for the coming weekend (25 and 26) in the Crystal Palace area and are urging people to proceed with caution.
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said that shoppers had a duty to themselves not to be taken in by the outlandish promises made by the rogue traders who set up scam sales.
He said: “It might be said that it’s younger people who are most at risk here, simply because there haven’t been a great many of these mock auctions in recent years, and that inexperience could leave them vulnerable.
“What all consumers must bear in mind, however, is that they need to protect themselves in these hard economic times and be aware that, at these sort of events, the box they’re leaving with might not contain what they expect.
“The expectation that the council or the police will be able to get their money back once they willingly throw it at these rogues to grab a bargain is not a reality. “Once it goes, it’ll probably never be seen again.”