We wanted to publicly address the concerns and comments we received after the unfortunate ending to Friday’s auction for the 2023 WV Day pieces 1-50. This is an extremely important matter to us and, as such, we wanted to take the weekend to internally digest the order data, auction data, feedback, and responses we received before addressing the community as a whole.
Let’s get straight to the elephant in the room. We are absolutely aware of the blanket $700 bids placed on 27 of the items during the final hours of the 2023 WV Day auction.
To be clear, Blenko’s opinion is that this action was a flagrant violation of the spirit of the auctions and we feel the customer deliberately took advantage of the auction process in order to secure their own WV Day piece at the detriment of all participants involved. This violation damaged the integrity of Blenko’s brand and damaged the trust we have established with our community of customers and collectors.
As such, the following actions are being taken:
- Auctions unaffected go to the winning bidder per usual.
- ALL auctions “won” by the bad actor go to the next highest bidder.
- Auctions where other bidders outbid the bad actor are sold at the previous highest bid plus $5. ($5 is the minimum bid increment)
- The bad actor will receive none of the 2023 “Specimen” pieces.
- The bad actor will be prohibited from purchasing Blenko glass moving forward.
These actions may not be ideal for all customers involved but they provide a clean resolution to the events on Friday.
We want to reiterate our commitment to fairness, transparency, and equal opportunity for all participants. A comprehensive review is being conducted to investigate any irregularities and maintain the integrity of the auction system. As per the WV Day sale policy, only one “Specimen” will be sold per household and orders with matching names, surnames, addresses, or IP addresses WILL be canceled.
Once this lengthy process is complete, we will begin distributing invoices for pieces 1-50. Customers should expect to receive these invoices before the end of this week.
In addition, in the spirit of transparency, we would like to note that while Blenko employees are absolutely allowed to purchase a WV Day piece via the usual sales channels (with NO employee discount) NO Blenko employee has purchased or won an auction for a 2023 WV Day piece at present.
Furthermore, we audit bot usage during our order data review and have no reason to believe bots were used to purchase any WV Day pieces.
We see the frustration for customers who missed out on desired pieces due to high prices, technical issues, or misunderstanding of the process. We intend on addressing these concerns to create a more positive experience for collectors. The sale process for 2024 will be drastically different from what has been done in the past.
We must consider both local and national collectors in deciding how to handle WV Day sales moving forward. While we hear the loud desire to return to onsite sales for WV Day pieces, this does not account for the collectors and customers who live out of state and cannot make the trip to Milton.
With this in mind, we have made a conscious decision to sell these pieces exclusively online to honor ideas of equity and fairness for Blenko lovers who do not have the luxury to take off work, travel, or otherwise arrive in person.
Again, we are committed to building trust, enhancing this process, and providing an exceptional collecting experience.
Moving forward, steps will be taken to improve communication and provide clear guidelines for future WV Day sales processes. We hope to greatly simplify the process for 2024 and beyond.
If there are any questions or concerns about the process or this response, please feel free to reach out to Blenko management directly and we will be happy to address your inquiry. To do so, please email “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding,
David Wertz & Bryson Cutler - VP
Blenko Glass Co.