20th October 2020 – Tommo and his family pride themselves on “honesty, integrity and transparency” so with this in mind I’m sure they will be only too keen to clarify things. The auction seems to have been a success with 192 pigeons fetching over £46,000 and averaging £245 each and Tommo himself says some of the big bids “shocked him”
The transparency that Tommo keeps insisting that is the heart of the race and everything connected to it is now notorious as he keeps saying it on every Monday “show” he has. (They say imitation is the best form of flattery you know.)
Tommo Bidding on and winning birds.
It’s a subjective opinion depending on who you speak to if you think that its right and fair that Tommo buys birds at the WDW each year. Some people think it’s his right to bid on pigeons and buy them. Others would say that it goes completely against the ‘honesty, integrity and transparency” the family says it all about.
Personally, for what it’s worth I see no major issues with him buying pigeons back from the race. (However there are some caveats to that opinion as you will see below.) Of course the cynic people out there could accuse Tommo of bidding on auction lots to just bid up birds and increase his cut of the profits. That’s up to people individually to decide if Tommo (“A down to earth person who lives in the real world” would do such a thing. I have no facts or way of knowing if this happened and therefore wouldn’t like to comment.
Tommo has publicly stated he purchased 10 pigeons from this years auction and some great “bargains” he got too. (Remember he only actually has to pay half of the final sale price.)
Smart Business… Running your own auction..
Many people think its just the sign of a smart business man to run your own auction site and not have to pay commission to other auction houses. Some people may question the decision however. Apart from the RPRA OLR (which is the most trusted and transparent race around) there are no other OLR’s who run their own online auctions. Other companies or people do it for them. Having other companies run your final race auction is the ultimate transparency and if this were the case I am sure most people would have no issue with anyone, including Tommo bidding on birds.
If you have ever bid on any pigeon website or easy for that matter you know about auto bids, they are a great time and stress saving feature of most auction sites.
The trouble is when the person bidding on pigeons also OWNS the auction site and has administration access either himself or via his tech guy and KNOWS what the maximum bids are from other people (information other bidders wouldn’t know) he has a distinct advantage to know he WILL be able to get pigeons in the closing seconds without fear of being out bid. To me this is the most un transparent, dishonest and demonstrates a total lack of integrity. How can it be fair and an even playing field that the man who is bidding against you who is bidding or bidding you up also knows the maximum price you are prepared to pay and in 8 of the 10 lots he wins manages to get the lot for just £5 or £10 more than the other bidders? He knows their maximum bids… Auto bids. A great feature if you are bidding and running the auction site yourself.
Let’s look at the 10 pigeons brought by Tommo.
Tommo started the bidding off himself at £50. Then he bid against numerous people over the course of 7 days. There is a bidder name “t**************n” who was very active over many lots in the auction, We have no way of knowing if this was Tomlinson or not. However the final day of this lot finishing came and another bidder bid £570 after Tommos bid of £560. No other bids happened apart from Tommo Jnr’s bid of £580. This bid happened a good few hours before the finish of the lot. Safe to know you are the highest bidder and no other auto bids have come in. £580 for a 3rd place OLR pigeon with good breeding and a snip when it only costs you £290 really.)
Original listing here (if still live)
Again on lot 4 you see the username “t**************n” bidding a lot on this auction. Tommo starts with his bidding at £630 and the bidding goes all the way up to £1500 when an auto bid is places 9 minus before the auction end by someone. At the same time Tommo comes in with a bid of £1510. The £1500 bid by someone else was an auto bid. Tommo would have been able to see is was an auto bid and snatch the lot for just £10 more. Inside knowledge that you are going to not be beaten… That’s fair right?
Original listing here (if still live)
With lot 23 Tommo comes in at £320 and get the pigeon for £432. This lot was extended due to multiple bids in the last few minutes and Tommo put an auto bid on up to £400. Someone else comes in with an auto bid at £422 two minutes later. Tommo was able to see this was the other persons maximum and comes in for £10 more to get the pigeon for a bargain price of £432 (£216 out his own pocket).
A real bargain. Tommo comes in to the bidding at £110, gets outbid, auto bids up to £161, two minutes later some other pesky person bids £176 and k knowing that their maximum bid the owner of the most transparent race in the world manages to place a quick bid for £10 more to get the pigeons or £186…
Tommo comes in to the bidding at £70, bows out, comes back in at £310, get over bid, keeps bidding and auto bids up to £531. Someone who really wanted the pigeon bids £550.07 in the closing stages of the auction, Tommo knows thats the maximum price (because he has access to the admin section of the auction or is on the phone to Tom his tech guy) and snatches the pigeon for £560.07. Inside “transparent” information though ehh.
This time Tommo gets involved at £100. Battles with another bidder all the best up to £350 (which was an auto bid) then continues the bidding with manual bids. The pesky other bidder bids £10 over Tommos auto bid. And Tommo gets another bird for just £10 more for £430.
The odd one out. The one that got away. Tommo only starts bidding (or bidding up) at £970. Prior to this two bidders were mad keen on getting this pigeon and bidding against each other. Tommo sees an auto bid for £1035 from the other party and to make sure he gets it places an auto bid at £1100. But damn the other guy beats him by £5 and manages to get this pigeon. Maybe Tommo was feeling generous and thought we its another £500 to me or maybe he missed this because he was focusing on making sure he got the start of the show lot 168,
Another bargain. Tommo starts bidding at £105 and managed to get the lot by bidding £5 more against an auto bid.
Tommo entrees the bidding here at £210 just 35 minutes before the finish of the auction. Auto bids up to £250 but the same person he was biding against (or bidding up) over bid tomorrow by £5 this time. Three minutes later Tommo grabs the lot for £5 more and gets it for £260 (£130 out of pocket)
The famous lot, the grandson of Armando. Bidder t**************n (who ever that is) and another user are bidding on this pigeon from £865. Now this pigeon is a special one, special in a few ways. Special in that it’s the grand child of the most expensive pigeon in the world, but also special in that it was caught by “straw catchers” after hotspot 2 race and only came back home a few days later.. Maybe the stray catchers had a psychic pigeon sense that this pigeon they they decided to keep in their loft was a gran child of the most expensive pigeon in the world?!? Or maybe not..
Bidding between t**************n and the other poor bidder carries on. The other bidder places an auto bid for £1010. (Cheap right for a grandson of the most expensive pigeon in the world). Now the Tommo Jnr profile hasn’t bid on this pigeon but after seeing £1010 is the maximum auto bid comes in right away and grabs this bargain of a pigeon for another £5. Paying £1015 (£507.50) for a grandson of Armando. Tommo said he had his heart on this pigeon, so maybe t**************n is Gary too. We have no way of knowing. But either way we know Tommo sniped in at the end and [perhaps abused his inside transparent knowledge of the auction admin system to know he would win it for just £5 more. But thats fair, honest, transparent and acting with integrity right?
This was the last pigeon in the auction and the last pigeon to end due to the continuous bidding going on . I later found out just after the auction ended that I know the other bidder who was trying to get this pigeon because right after it finished he messaged me to say he didn’t get it. This bidder obviously really wanted the pigeon. But come on this is Tommos auction… He’s the master. He’s in charge. Tommo sees the bidding going and gets involved at £210. The bidding carries on up to The £700’s The other bidder places an auto bid at £775, then right away ups the auto bid to £800. Tommo can see this and KNOWS £800 is the maximum in the closing seconds of the auction closing and comes in and snatches it for £5 more getting the pigeon at £805. Fair right?
Everything above is fact based for anyone to see. Even if the auction listings are removed you can still see the screen caps of the bidding. Once again, together with all the other things about Tommo and his actions are up to you to make your own mind about. I for one (and others who know about this) think its bang out of order to run the auction yourself , with inside knowledge and be bidding on pigeons. It demonstrates a total lack of transparency and lack of trust in the man, race and family. Maybe. But thats just an opinion. Up to you what you think.
LATEST UPDATE: The only ridiculous explanation Tomlinson could give to the above is that the reason he runs his own auction site is because if he did it on a third party auction site the original owner would “only end up with about 15%” of the sale price. This is a pathetic response. He already pays for the photos to be done so it would mean auction sites would charge 10% of the sale price. He could chose to take the 10% hit on his commission, but doesn’t. He doesn’t because of the reason above. He can get bargains as he knows the maximum bids on pigeons by running it himself.
As someone who “Always tell the truth, and is always transparent” the excuse given is pathetic. Why doesn’t Tomlinson tell the truth and be transparent? We know the real reason.