Anyone hear about the winning bid for the drum lesson with Roger Taylor for a mere £1200?? (lookie there – only two and a half years of writing this blog and I finally learned how to type the British pound!)
Yeah, me neither – because it wasn’t really a winning bid.
You see, in the fine print located on the terms and conditions page of the auction website for the Asian Awards (which is likely taking place right now in the UK), it stated that the online bidding would end prior to the live auction that takes place AT the awards. Nowhere else was this tiny, but important detail mentioned. Definitely not by Roger himself when he casually sweetened the deal by saying that an ‘undisclosed surprise musician’ would join at the end of said lesson, and not by Duran Duran in the last week or so when it was promoted.
Now, one might say, “Well, how difficult would it be to get to the awards ceremony to make sure that my bid won? I am a fan – I want that lot item – I will go to the awards and make it happen!” Turns out, that would likely be an impossibility. The awards are invite only, so unless you are/were lucky enough to be in the know or have an invite in hand…your bid will not win.
I can feel the ire of Duranies worldwide at this moment. I certainly recognize the anger coming from the person who did in fact make that final online bid, and for that matter, I can understand the anger for several reasons. First of all, the terms and conditions were not listed on the same page as the bidding. As someone who once spent quite a bit of time monitoring auctions and prices for jewelry (A former life of mine), I can tell you that the terms and conditions are almost never on the bidding page. This is not unfairness or in an attempt to swindle, it is standard practice for auctions. Secondly, Roger as well as DDHQ did nothing to inform fans that while they were welcome to bid, the reality is that the final bidding would take place live at an event that they were extremely unlikely to be able to attend. Was this really the responsibility of the band to announce though? I’m not quite sure, but I have to say that overall – I don’t think so. On one hand, yes – it probably would have been nice to know, but what if they themselves had no idea of the terms? It’s possible, and likely probable that this was indeed the case. I am positive that the band gets tons of charity requests. Management’s job is to sort through them, see what they can and wish to be a part of, and then fulfill those requests. It really isn’t their responsibility to see to it that there is a chance for an actual fan to win these auctions. I really doubt they even knew. There is a saying that each of us should remember: “Caveat emptor”, or “Let the buyer beware”. Even when it comes to Duran Duran, as it turns out. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel bad for the final online bidder, I do. She is someone that I know, and I realize that she wanted to win this and really though she had a chance. None of what I’m about to say changes the fact that I do feel badly for her, and that’s important for me to point out. I have empathy, as I would for anyone in this situation.
Sure, we can all be angry. We can stomp our feet, claim that we’re being taken for fools, blame management, blame Katy, and even get angry at Roger if we think about it long enough. Some of the things we might be thinking: It’s not fair – we are fans, we wanted to win and that there was no real way we could. A FAN should win. It isn’t right that some wealthy person out there is going to win. It’s unfair that no one told us and that we were used as pawns to up the opening price of the bid. All truthful things, rest assured. Here is the thing though: this is for charity. It’s really not about us. Don’t we want to see bidding up as high as possible? Assuming we can’t win, let’s make sure someone else pays a lot to enjoy that drum lesson!
Did I read the terms? You betcha. It was the first thing I clicked on after seeing the description of the lot. I’m one of those who tends to beware – I probably know too much about that environment to forget to read the terms. Now you do too.
Yes, I did place a bid, and when I realized there was absolutely no way I could win – I bid more than I would have told my husband about, too! (Uh, don’t worry, I didn’t win, honey!) I hope it goes for a lot more than just £1200, although I’ll still be a little tiny bit envious. Ok, a lot envious. Old habits die hard!