Theft in the AZ auctions industry is unacceptable. Do people do the right thing because they have a true desire to do the right thing or because they are afraid of being caught doing the wrong thing? How many people would do the wrong thing if they absolutely, positively knew they would never be caught? Unfortunately, the AZ auctions industry is one area where there is often little chance of being caught stealing. Although no one likes to talk about theft, it is important to recognize the subject of outright theft of auction merchandise by auction employees.
Some auction employees steal because they are unlikely to get caught. Merchandise at AZ auctions is often not inventoried or tracked in any significant way, the exact nature of the merchandise is unknown until someone opens each box, and the fast-moving environment of lotting the auction makes it hard to keep track of all events. Employees at AZ auctions can often be seriously tempted. Jewelry can be discovered in the bottom of a box of old clothing. A valuable collectable can be buried in an attic. Not only is the profit potential high but the likelihood of anyone realizing something is missing is minimal. It is easy to rationalize that if the owner never knew they owned an item, is it really stealing if no one even knows something was stolen?
How do we stop employees from stealing at AZ auctions? Other than hiring honest employees we can have checkpoints to randomly review product. Have senior employees or managers poke around in the merchandise and take notes of items of interest – then check for these items in an auction. Random checks increase the employee’s perception they may get caught if they steal. Conducting a random check of product can be done prior to employee’s arrival or after they leave for the day — this makes the process less confrontational, however it is important that the staff knows the checks are taking place.
Also an effective method to prevent theft at AZ auctions is to have employees work in rotating teams so no one works alone or with the same person continually. Revolving teams mean that several employees must be thieves to carry out any form of mysterious disappearance. It is important to not allow employees to be at the auction site by themselves. Leaving good employees in tempting situations is unfair to them and to the consignor. Always have a team of employees working together.
For more information about AZ auctions, contact Auction Systems Auctioneers and Appraisers.