Auctioneers are everywhere in India, and not just in the big cities.
In some of the most prosperous cities, they can easily fill entire floors.
They also dominate the informal market, where they make money off a wide range of merchandise.
But as their business model matures, they are under pressure.
The number of auctioneers has gone up over the last five years, and India’s economy is growing at the slowest rate in decades.
A number of auctions in the last couple of months have been postponed due to lack of space, and the government is now considering setting up a national office for the business.
So why are there such an array of auctioneer in India and how are they all linked?
Battles with auctioneers, not just auctions, are often waged between them.
In May, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had ordered all banks to stop the practice of charging the same fee for all transactions.
It is against the law to charge the same fees for multiple transactions at the same time, and it’s illegal to charge interest to borrowers.
But auctions, where a single transaction can be made on a number of items, are an effective way to extract a profit for the auctioneer.
“The auctions are a great source of income for them,” says Sushil Kumar, a researcher at the National Centre for Financial Research.
“Auctioneers are usually the ones making the money.
They make money by charging interest on their loans.
But they are not the ones who get to collect the profit.
They are only making money on the auction.”
Auctioneers have been using this tactic for many years.
“They know how to make a profit by charging higher interest on loans, and if there is no interest, they will not collect the money from the borrowers,” says Kumar.
“But when the loan is repaid, they charge a fee.
And they can charge more interest if there are high bids for the same items.
So it’s a very profitable way of extracting profit.”
But what’s the catch?
If there is a problem with an auctioneer’s performance, the lenders often turn to the government to help.
A recent example was the case of a man named Arvind, who was convicted of money laundering and accused of illegally siphoning off more than $2 billion from a private company in the country.
The government was also involved in the case, and after an investigation, it decided to set up an auction platform called auctionpredict, which was able to help with the cases of overcharging.
Arvind says that he is glad that his company is no longer involved in this industry.
“I would not have got into the business of auctioneering if the government had not intervened,” he says.
Arind Kumar, too, is happy that the government has started paying attention to the auctioneers.
“We should not have auctions in India,” he said.
“Even if there were auctions, they should be conducted by people who are properly trained.
But if there isn’t demand, then the auction is not fair,” he added.”
If there is demand for something, the auction should be a fair one.
But if there isn’t demand, then the auction is not fair,” he added.