Catawiki: The biggest Swindle with Collectors in the World

Er is hier ook een Nederlandse versie.

Please read this article before you plan to buy something at Catawiki, or especially when you plan to sell something there! In it I summarize direct and indirect experiences with Catawiki to a view of them that Catawiki tries to hide thoroughly, but what everybody should have of it. Catawiki presents itself as an expert auction house with sense of business and as a reliable intermediary, but it appears to be an ordinary online auction service that, behind a façade of an auction house, tries to drag in as much money as possible. After reading this article it will probably be less of a surprise to you that Catawiki is a “fast-growing online auction site”.

Some links unfortunately refer to Dutch sites and texts, sorry for that. Catawiki started here in the Netherlands, so we have most experiences with them here. I try to prevent people from abroad to gain the same experiences!



Catawiki (Assen, Netherlands, 2008) started as an online wiki-based compendium of collector’s catalogues, which explains its name. Since 2011 they also do online auctions for collectors. Since then they continued to present themselves as site for specific, unique collector’s items, but what that comprehends is quite broad and continues to grow. Any product that has a brand and is a few years old, like just an iPhone, can get auctioned there. You could be auctioning the device you are reading this on right now there the coming years. This way Catawiki has now grown to a reasonable auction site for individual products and is currently the “fastest growing tech company”.

Catawiki lies behind a façade of an auction house and presents itself as expert of collector’s items and uses that, and having the appearance of having “notarial supervision” and “professional auctioneers”, to distinguish itself from especially, for instance, eBay. They have no fixed locations for auctions, however, and they never see the auctioned products themselves: those are directly sent by the seller to the buyer or retrieved by the buyer at the seller. The Catawiki terms and conditions of use only speaks of a “service” and it is really nothing more than that. The only thing they see coming by are e-mails and all the money. A lot of collector’s items they know only as an entry in their database.


A good friend of mine gained experience selling via Catawiki himself; I was eyewitness. Soon it appeared that you have to deal with a lot more trickery and deceit than with, for instance, eBay. Continuous online streams of complaints showed we were not the only one dealing with this.

Of course, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, but after our experiences and examining those complaints streams a number of things stay remarkable. Often a logical explanation can be found for this: the service is set-up in such a way that Catawiki always wins.

In this article I try to summarize all experiences of people with complaints about Catawiki. Some ‘Catawikiklant‘ (‘Catawiki customer’) well summarized what buying at Catawiki means in 2015, but I get the impression that story has not fully been recognized by enough people yet. Next, the story is even worse for sellers by the way.

Who are the Sellers and Buyers?

Go to a random website where you can create an email address, hit your keyboard a few times and click ‘Create’. There you have a new email address to create any random buyer or seller on Catawiki with. Congratulations! No, seriously, any hick can be a number of buyers and sellers there at the same time. Or also a fake bidder on any own fake or non-existing products. Just like with, for instance, eBay, the identity of a seller or buyer cannot be verified in any way, so let alone how reliable someone is there.

At registration, sellers need to submit a copy (read picture or image) of some identification document, but doing this via the internet is naturally far from watertight. The trick with it was that, when you hold it in your hands, you can really see the document is not fake and, above all, the face on the one opposing you is the same as the one on the photo on it. But this essential step is skipped for convenience. Still anyone can become a seller at Catawiki using his own identification or that of his mom. If you once lost an identification, you might be a seller according to Catawiki right now!

Buyers can give feedback on sellers. The sellers can only hope that feedback is sincere. On the other hand, if sellers fear negative feedback, then they can just fail to put their item to ‘sent/picket-up’. When there is too much negative feedback a seller can just create a new account of course.

So bought items can also get picked up at the seller. In this case a real pick-up address is communicated from the seller to the buyer. Submitting a fake address here would get too much notice of course, but when a seller does rather not show himself to buyers, he can always give an address in a remote corner of the country, or at least far away from the seller.

The Auction Deal

What does an auction at Catawiki content? When a seller offers something for sale it is called a lot. Let’s first see how Catawiki likes to see how lots are auctioned and sold.

Offering Up a Lot

The seller can offer up a lot by indicating in the Catawiki catalog what it is and supplying a description and pictures of the item. The seller can submit a “reserved price”; the item will not get sold when the final bid ends below that price.

After the offering by the seller the lot must first, including any reserved price, get approved by a so-called “specialist auctioneer”. After approval this so-called “specialist auctioneer” can attach a suggestive “value estimate” (5.6) to it, which guarantees nothing.

After approval the lot stays available for one week on the site for bidders, from a Friday to a Friday. Probably the “specialist auctioneer” (or whatever employee of Catawiki) never saw the product itself or even the seller himself! Catawiki now only withdraws the lot on request of the seller when they like that (5.10).


In the week a lot is available, all buyers can anonymously bid on the lot. The system demands a bidding is a minimal amount above the previous one. After the bids get higher, this step amount is increased once in a while. There is also an option for automatic bidding. Most of the times a lot gets a few nonsense bids in the beginning of the week and there is a run of bids in the end. In itself, this does not have any surprises.

After the week, and when the final bid is above any reserved price, the sale will continue. When the seller only got the lot accepted by the “specialist auctioneer” with a lower or even only without a reserved price and eventually the the final bid is way below the reserved price in mind, the hand of the seller is forced.

The Sale

After the auction, as regards Catawiki, a successful sale goes as follows after the bidding:

  • The buyer decently transfers the money to Catawiki
  • Catawiki indicates to the seller they received the money
  • The seller decently sends the product to the buyer or the latter picks it up
  • The seller puts the lot on ‘send / picked up’
  • The buyer decently and friendly indicates with Catawiki the product was received
  • The buyer types a sincere piece of feedback about the lot and the seller after receiving it, what of course was exactly as described by the seller and looked exactly as on the pictures of the seller
  • Catawiki transfers some money to the seller

Catawiki seems to believe in the goodness of man here! Cute, isn’t it? The buyer and seller now do business mutually and via the automatic Catawiki website; in the meanwhile Catawiki just keeps the money and just looks what happens. When a buyer does not pay he gets threatened with a collection agency of course.

To ensure the seller and buyer do not mutually arrange something else than Catawiki wants (like mutually agree to abandon the sale), Catawiki nervously tries to hide information. The winner of the auction and seller are not brought into contact with each other before the sale continues and the buyer transferred money to Catawiki. So also an interim visit of the product is hard to arrange for instance. As a buyer you will certainly not see the product before you transferred money to Catawiki and it is sent to you or you went all the way to the seller to pick it up. When the product proves totally not to be what you had in mind and you want to return it, then of course you must bear the costs of sending it back (8.9)! The last surprise is for the seller: you are now liable for at least “the Seller’s Commission that Catawiki has missed out on” (9.6) and must pay! Nobody will ever get all money back and things can only get worse! What do you think you are doing to Catawiki as buyer by being dissatisfied with a product both you and Catawiki never saw before?

The ‘Extra’ Costs

Naturally every service needs to get payed for. The revenue model is based on two rates: 9 percent (including taxes) extra for the buyer and 12.5 percent (excluding taxes) commission for the seller. So, with a value-added tax (VAT) of 21%, like in the Netherlands, a buyer pays 9 * 1.21 = 10.89 of the purchase price to Catawiki and the rest, being 89.01%, is for the sale. Of that 89.01% is 89.01 / 1.21 = 73.56% left without VAT for the sale and the rest, being 15.45%, is for the tax authorities. So of that 73.56% yet 12.5% is for Catawiki again, so 73.56 * 0.125 = 9.2% of the original buyers amount. For the seller 73.56 – 9.2 = 64.36% of the original amount the buyer once payed to Catawiki is left! Of that last amount eventually 10.89 + 9.2 = 20.09% is consumed by Catawiki. So, in Catawiki’s earnings model only the inevitable, necessary taxes and two low percentages are mentioned. With keeping more than a fifth of the price the seller transferred for themselves, Catawiki is the big winner here. And the tax authorities are a good second winner. Moreover this has no upper limit; when a car is sold for €10000, Catawiki earns mode than €2000 just for placing an auction advertisement for a week on the website and handling emails. Ka-ching!

What I noticed is that the two rates, the 12.5% commission for the seller and the 9% auction fee for the buyer, are hardly mentioned together on their site and in publications. I guess I would do that too if I was them.

Finally also notice that paying taxes is inevitably when doing business via Catawiki’s auction site. I leave aside it you agree with that or not.

Auctions in Practice

Because humanity is simply thoroughly rotten, every opportunity where one can scam another will be utilized. And here all involved parties get an abundance of opportunities to do only that what especially benefits themselves. Yolo!

The so-called “Specialist Auctioneers”

Even people that do business via Catawiki for quite some time do not understand the handling of the so-called “specialist auctioneers” or “professional auctioneers”. They wonder: Is it incompetence or swindle? Summarizing all complaints about them, people see those “specialist auctioneers” as follows:

  • They are a bunch of amateurs who do whatever they want.
  • When something goes wrong with the same the appear not to care about the buyer and seller at all.
  • They choose the side for their employer / or real client Catawiki above all.
  • They always hide behind the rules of Catawiki that makes their statements binding and makes them not liable for anything. They are not even mentioned in the terms and conditions of use; their business is pure and only that of Catawiki.
  • Sometimes they are sellers themselves too and rather accept lots of themselves or friends or family than those of others! Of course a struggle of interest could not be missing from this article.

After persistent (slow) (polite) mail exchanges with “specialist auctioneers” the communication eventually stops with a jejune reference to the rules or they just stop responding in a cold-blooded way. If you manage to find a phone number of them and call it with the same story it can happen to you that they suddenly disconnect you after letting you wait for minutes.

Catawiki completely disregards complaints about so-called “specialist auctioneers”; at most they print it to make toilet paper out of it. Nobody seems to know the legal bond between them and Catawiki, but their pay or salary can only come from Catawiki and they only handle as ordinary employees or stakeholders of Catawiki.

Facilitating Swindle

Catawiki’s online auction service offers a lot of opportunities for scams and swindle for the several parties involved. Such as:

  1. The so-called “specialist auctioneer” can refuse a lot on any random / made-up ground and can give every lot any random value estimation.
  2. The seller can decide not to send anything (or send a brick in a registered form with a note on it saying “fooled ya”) and then in a cold-blooded way claim the product was sent. The registry of something being sent is or course “proof” it is actually sent. Then hope the buyer mails something to Catawiki like: “It is decently delivered at the neighbors, but I don’t know exactly where they live.” And then that Catawiki thinks the product did actually arrive and the buyer is lying.
  3. Especially when the delivery was done without registry, the buyer can keep claiming the product never arrived after delivery and wait for Catawiki to transfer some money back. When the so-called “specialist auctioneer” on the basis of credibility of emails decides to choose the side of the buyer here, the buyer gets his money back and the seller (who lost its product) must pay his commission!
  4. A seller can decide never to put his lot on ‘sent / picked up’ at the Catawiki site. This way the buyer cannot give any (negative) feedback to the seller.
  5. When a buyer gives feedback on a seller at the Catawiki site, any complete random story can get dreamed up. This can also be something innocent like “product not yet received” while the product was received a day later yet and the effort was not taken to give that as feedback as well or adapt or remove the last feedback.
  6. Everybody knows: When you need to pay a (government) organization this must always be done immediately; when you should receive money it takes long. This also applies to Catawiki. The seller will not get his money within 10 days for sure; they keep it themselves. In the mean time Catawiki can exert pressure on bot the seller as the buyer by threats. “Catawiki will at all times be entitled, at its discretion, to suspend payment of any and all funds of the Users in question, to set-off any claims Catawiki might have, and if necessary, to freeze any balances that those Users may have” (3.8). So when you sell much via Catawiki, they can hold in anything on your revenues they think they are entitled to

Communications with Catawiki mostly leads via the internet, especially email. As far as evidence is concerned, this always means it is a copy of or link to some digital document. These can always be falsified and are always non-closing. A track & trace link of some registered shipment does for instance not indicate there was only a brick in the package, apart from its weight. Digital images can always get picked from somewhere on the internet and can get edited. All parties can in all cases blame each other and will keep doing that. Where products are send using some delivery service, yet another, fourth party is added to the game besides Catawiki, the seller and the buyer. You can guess who is never blamed by the delivery service.

Prices Sold For

An advantage of the fact that Catawiki gets a percentage of the price is that Catawiki has interests in the lot being sold for the highest price. They can only do that by emphasizing the exclusivity of the items. Maybe this is done by giving lost high price estimates or by not auction too much items of one kind. This might partly explain why people think the handling of the so-called “specialist auctioneers” is complete random. Yet again the interests of the sellers and buyers are not favored here. Here Catawiki again only favors their own interests!

Poignant Cases

The streams of complaints mention sails that fail in widely varying ways. For instance there is a story where the seller finds the final bid to be way too low and the buyer wanted to waive the sale. Both told Catawiki, but still Catawiki dispatched a collection agency to the buyer. Or even a splendid case of a story where a seller was insured for damage to his products, but Catawiki did not even cooperate with supplying evidence of the damage to the products for the purpose of that insurance.

Another, exemplary, poignant case experienced my friend as seller. Together we put a fine working watch in a box to ship it to a buyer. We even put the running watch on the correct time before putting it in the box. Later we received a complaint from the buyer: “The knob with pin fell out just like that.” He shipped the watch back and we got one back, maybe not even be the same one, with twisted internal gear works and it was impossible to place the pin back in. After sending pictures of this to Catawiki they only reasoned: ‘Ah, the product is successfully returned and the sale cancelled. We are not responsible for damage to products. Now lets send a bill to the seller for the commission.’ Refusing to pay this was not an option here: it was withheld on the payment of a different lot. So it can happen to you as a seller that your product is demolished, you must pay for the delivery and you get yet another bill from Catawiki you cannot refuse to pay! When a sale fails in any way and Catawiki chooses the side of the buyer, the seller will always pay the commission.

The poignant cases show that whatever the final outcome of a sale is, whatever bizarre things happen, Catawiki is not interested in the fate of the sellers or buyers at all, but Catawiki wants to see money at all times!


Because the seller gets his turn all the way at the end of a large number of steps that need to be taken, he has the biggest change of getting screwed. But it appears to occur that a so-called “specialist auctioneer”, at a deadlock between the seller and buyer, choose the side of the seller and “the buyer loses his money”. Did the seller get his 64%? Or did the so-called “specialist auctioneer” chose for none of both? I’ll give you three guesses on who then keeps all the money in the last case!

The worst case for Catawiki is that they spend some work for nothing to accept a lot, placing it on their automatic site for a week and do negotiation via email afterwards. In all cases, especially the ones where the seller or buyer are fair, Catawiki always wins! When something goes wrong with the sale or between the seller and buyer (even if this is only something with the delivery) then they see what they can keep of the money or just keep all of it. No wonder that this company grows so fast!

The site is a website for complaints about a lot of companies, including Catawiki. This site is an initiative by the Consumentenbond, a Dutch non-profit organization which promotes consumer protection. This site indicates it ‘often’ gets complaints about Catawiki. Employees of Catawiki are involved with this too. Yet again the appearance is kept up that everything is handled correctly, but also here they “distort facts and only try to get some revenue out of doing the least possible”. When they think there is no honor in they just stop responding in a cold-blooded way there too.

In summary, as a buyer you can loose your money without receiving anything, and as a seller you could lose your product, pay for delivery and receive yet another bill from Catawiki. Catawiki just dumps you and keeps pretending to others to be safe. Afterwards the only thing you can do is put an expensive lawyer on it, but Catawiki knows it is not worth it for you. Dealing via Catawiki is not safer that via other online trade services, but it is more expensive for sure!


People, please see that trade via Catawiki, in spite of the appearance it is keeping up, is certainly not better or safer than for instance via eBay.

Maybe it is an advantage for you as seller to share the appearance of the skilled auction house towards your buyers and it looks as if you are selling authentic gadgets instead of just some second hand chit. Please understand that your buyers will see through that over time, that it is nothing more reliable for a seller and that you never know if you get your money and how much.

For a buyer it might look as an advantage that there is a “reliable” intermediary, making it impossible that you send money without receiving anything back for it. But still you can loose your money, not only to the seller, but now also to Catawiki itself.

I hope this article made clear to you that Catawiki doesn’t offer you any certainty as both seller and buyer. The only certainty you get is that with every sale Catawiki (and the tax collectors) earn good money with it and when it goes wrong Catawiki often earn even more on it. With this money Catawiki for instance pays for the 30 seconds TV commercials you see a lot nowadays; please think of this article when you see it.

Possible Solution

Catawiki could have behaved itself not only as the intermediary of the money, but also of the product or lot itself. In this case they would first wait for both the money from the buyer and the product of the seller to arrive, then check the product and finally forward both. But of course they are not going to do that: they would earn less money with it and are fine with how things go so far. And as long as there is no competitor on the auction / trace market doing exactly this, they can keep up the appearance of being safe. Till now the only safe way of doing trade online is only do the advertising and / or bids online.

54 thoughts on “Catawiki: The biggest Swindle with Collectors in the World

    1. I sold some items on Catawiki, they seem to have changed and now try to force sellers to list items without a reserve price, partially dresses that retail for over 3K, and they want me to put them on without a reserve because they think they won’t sell for at least 200???? Seriously??? I looked up the names of some of the sellers, seems those are all professional sellers, at least when it comes to clothes who dump the stuff they can’t sell via Vestiaire or so? And their estimates seem to be made by throwing the dice.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for this interesting and important review on catawiki. Yesterday I bid and won a lot which after double checking on goggle I realized that I might won a FAKE work. I contact Catawiki explaining them that I would like to cancel my wining lot for the reason it might be fake. They didn’t contact me it! I wonder what happens if I do not transfer my money after winning? That is my plan so far…
    What do you think? What would happen?


      1. Catawiki is selling a lot ofcounterfeit merchandise for sure!! DO NOT SEND THEM ANY MONEY. SERIOUSLY!! Right now they have a pair of sellers that are selling a lot of counterfeit SATURNO Sterling miniature animals that are clearly cheap and inaccurate knock offs. I will never do business with Catawiki now that I have discovered this. The counterfeits appear to be made in China but claim they are real and made in Italy. They are just so fake. I will tell all my friends and family as well and you should do the same. Don’t pay them. Make them prove your item is genuine. They won’t be able to and then they will have to back off. Good luck.


    1. I do not have much experience with them myself. I read much about them. There is much to read as you can see when you follow the links. Also just see their ‘terms and conditions’. This article is just the complete picture I had after reading all that.


    2. Just by reading a lot about them. This was mainly in Dutch. See complaints about them and you see how they really are. Also see their ‘terms and conditions’ for what juridically well-thought game they play with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. RUN! I never got paid for the lot I sold through Catawiki. I got the run-a-round for weeks; I even called from the states and i asked to speak with their “finance department” and I got rushed off of the phone by someone very unprofessional. Catawiki is a fraudulent auction house; I have reported them to the FBI’s division for online international consumer complaint/fraud. Don’t know if there is any recourse, but it doesn’t hurt to try. I hope others will come forward as well. Shame on me for not doing my homework!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this. I had a “feeling” about the website – something just didn’t feel right, and I was bidding on a painting – when I found your article. You saved me just in time!


  4. Nice article although you lose a lot of credibility in areas like the fees. Yes, they make a lot of money but the seller pays commission on the sale price & receives this minus the sellers fees. You also make some spurious comments that are incorrect – you clearly don’t like them and it’s a long article but if you stuck to facts you’d be better off.

    I have sold on there for 2.5 years, around 1500 items – they are, without doubt, buyer oriented. The buyer has all the power, I’ve had watches returned as not working, when they are, only for the buyer to be fully refunded, including return postage, when I get stumped with 2 lots of postage AND the sellers fees.
    Other buyers have returned watches completely different to the ones sent out only for them to receive full refunds and catawiki offer me a 20 euro voucher, not towards fess, but towards a purchase! I’m a seller!!!
    Specialists are pointless. No value at all. There are some very childish ones that don’t like being told their wrong! They even work with each other to make sellers lives difficult.
    Support does not exist. Well, it does, but it takes weeks and weeks to get anything sorted out. Even then they come down on the side of the buyers.

    Sellers have no chance on catawiki, they’re not protected, not listened to & not respected. Sorry, customers are not just buyers, sellers are customers as well.

    Other things you missed out on, mostly because you sell and buy in euros – foreign exchange transactions – they’re now taking payments in eur and converting, at their own rates, to the sellers currency, making even more money doing so.

    They make it as difficult as possible to cancel an auction – things happen right? Well, sometimes something gets lost or damaged before it can be sent. Simple, apologise and cancel the auction. Nope – apparently you’re obligated to complete the transaction. If you can’t you are responsible for both sets of fees!

    How about the minimum value? Well, that’s relative right? The auctioneers give their opinion, above 150 eur or below. If below it’s too low, if above they approve it. WHY NOT JUST LIST EVERYTHING WITH AN AUTOMATIC RESERVE OF 150 EUR? Nope. That would negate the need for their precious auctioneers.

    I previously sold elsewhere but with the promise of great things from catawiki I’ve lost all my status built up over years of selling elsewhere, leaving me trapped for now on catawiki.

    I do agree, beware of catawiki, beware of their false promises to sellers, their complete disregard for your losses and the single minded way they can only think about their fees.

    At least on ebay you’re protected by them and paypal.


    1. Reading your comment here I think we have about the same view of Catawiki. I was indeed not aware of the fact that they have their own exchange rates.

      You say there are some mistakes in this article where it is about the fees. What are they exactly?


  5. I have to agree iv been selling the odd handbag on there.. I have noticed so called pros are allowed to get away with selling fakes.. As long as they sell in bulk.. Whokesale they do not care.. No close up of inside tags blurrie mages.. Just not on. Very corrupt indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How do I report catawiki they have fakes n site live now da prada the auctioneer Stephanie has no idea clueless onfact as she has let fake prada slide past her iv reported numerous replicas which have been approve by her the Russian auctioneer.. In fashion bags. Which then has been removed!!! But they still employ her… Cons… FRAUDULENT site I’m on missions to get this company reported and monitored!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you. I recognise certain things in your article. Pointed out to Catawiki an obvious false description of a wine which was ignored. I got no reply and the lot was sold. Also had Catawiki claim delivery had taken place when it hadn’t. Informed Catawiki – no response. Certain aspects of the bidding process are also a cause for concern. I would also be very curious as to the origin of certain wines that crop up more than they should and from odd sources. As for thé experts, it’s clear that the hi fi people are pretty clueless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, i worked in fashion, the experts are totally and utterly clueless in that field… Btw how do they protect you? I bought a fake through them, contacted them straight away and I was NOT protected, had to send the item back at my own costs, insured, tracked, the whole hog, just to get back (8 weeks later) what I paid for, never got the costs back for the sending, so I am really interested in your protection… Since you feel you need to attack the person who wrote this, can I ask what your interest is? Working for Catawiki maybe? Because you seem to be a bit clueless about the “protection” they offer, btw they offered me a voucher for a another purchase, like I would buy from a company where I was totally screwed over and got no help until I called my credit card company and said I would contest the payment, sue them and involve the design house who’s “item” apparently was auctioned, however I received not an Alberta Ferretti dress (RT 3K I paid 350) but a no name dress, they did not do much… Actually they did exactly NOTHING and “encouraged me to work it out with the seller” who did not respond…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Can I ask you what vested interest do you have in criticising them? What credibility do you have? And what are your qualified in? I have bought things through them and am more than happy as they protect me as a customer before paying to the seller. They provide a valuable service at a reasonable cost. They are a commercial organisation and not a charity. You wish to pay peanuts, please employ monkeys to do your work.


    1. I am just a software engineer and I have a friend that very bad experience with them. After that just I started reading about Catawiki and this article describes how I see them now. Yes, there still is a lot of trade leading via Catawiki that just goes well. The point is just that people should not have a better view of Catawiki than of that what they really are.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for this useful article! I totally agree with the author, especially on what is said about the so-called specialist auctioneers. Recently I read another article about Catawiki, and although it mainly speaks about jewelry and gemstones, it explains perfectly how “reliable” and “professional” the so-called specialist auctioneers are. Read how they manage to ignore obvious problems, misrepresentation, and scam:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I bought a copy of DLM 247 from Maeght for 45 Euro, you still can, One came up at Catawiki two weeks ago and sold for £244, which peeked my interest and then again last week for an incredible £478! nearly 12 times the cost to buy it from the publisher, How the Feck is that not suspicious, fraudulent , if not money Laundering??? f. Of course when I tried to sell my copy, less the postage fess I have to pay I of course got roughly …45 Euro. Very dodgy


  11. Have a look at these three lots. Obviously the same item, but their experts came up with three different estimations ranging from 7k to more than 14k. I wouldn’t trust their so-called experts a single second!

    Lot 23146461:
    Lot 6176717:
    Lot 9117831:


  12. Dziekuje za te informacje.Bylem zaskoczony trudnoscia w zalogowaniu sie pomimo wprowadzenia dobrych danych.zmienilem haslo I okazalo sie ze teraz moge sie zallogowac lub nie na obydwa .Jest to dla mnie cos nowego


  13. I simply purchased and paid for a lot via Catawiki which arrived damaged in the USA as the seller did a horrific job packing the item. I followed Catawiki’s instructions by submitting 5 pictures of the damaged goods. As Catawiki never responds to my e-mails, I was forced to call customer service each time , waiting up the 40 minutes, before a live person would communicate with me. An e-mail summarizing the conversation is promptly provided after each conversation to cover for legal purposes I suppose. As opposed to just providing a refund, Catawiki created one illogical obstacle after the other, demanding for the US Postal Service to initiate a claim for a product that was shipped from Europe. The US Postal system refused as the CN 24 form Catawiki demanded is not used in the USA nor is there an alternative claim form for international claims which originated from Europe. Catawiki, in writing then promised a refund, soon after which they started demanding the same form to be completed, stating that the prior representative had no authority to promise the refund. After spent over 12 hours with about a dozen Catawiki representatives and detailed documentation of all my requests, Catawiki continues to refuse a refund as well as refusing to provide instruction on how to return the broken merchandise!! They fight a war of attrition hoping for you to simply give up!!

    I then disputed the charge with my credit card after which Catawiki pleaded with me to remove the dispute which I obviously refused.
    Never before have I encountered such an inefficiency in terms of customer service!! They lie, cheat and whatever else just to stick a buyer who purchased an item in good faith.


  14. They have no reserve auctions, if the “price” is not enough they keep on adding time on until it goes as high as possible.
    Their experts are idiots. A medieval sword can be a Roman one a few weeks later.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This was an interesting read. However, I don’t see that Catawiki is any worse than eBay. I sold stained-glass (“Tiffany-style”) lamps and panels on eBay. I had them drop shipped direct from the importer – who shipped within 24 hours of getting the order — except for half a container I shipped myself. These are LARGE boxes. I clearly stated that ground shipping might take from 5 – 7 days to arrive. Customers had the option for expedited shipping, but the cost for that was between $120 – $200. I sold maybe 10 items a week. It only took a couple of people complaining about ‘slow shipping’ and one questioning whether the material was glass or plastic (I responded with how she could test to be sure. She emailed me back with a nice letter, but ‘forgot’ to retract the negative feedback), to get me barred from eBay forever. The customer has all the power over small sellers, which is what eBay wants, so they can get money from the large-volume sellers.
    I cut gemstones and am looking at Catawiki as a place to sell them. I believe they can’t possibly be worse than eBay.


  16. I have purchased MANY items from Catawiki. ALL the items were as described.
    ALL were shipped promptly,professionally and undamaged.
    ALL the items I purchased I felt I received at a GREAT deal.
    I will continue to do much business with Catawiki.


  17. Dear Josbert,

    Your article is very interesting and accurate.
    It seems to me that you have a very clear view on the operation model of this enterprise without having a real relationship with them. I might help you here.
    I am a painter; my name is Angelika Bes and during the last 2 years I have sold over 260 paintings through Catawiki.
    I can share a lot of interesting observations on the way Catawiki operates. But right now, as a comment I would like to add just few topics.

    1- Catawiki has an extremely aggressive policy of “no reserve” prices. Why?
    I have contacted a few people in that organisation to find out why such a counterproductive measure is being applied. Interesting development!
    No reserve price policy allows CW to eliminate their competitors.
    This is the way they want to grow and to dominate the market. After they achieve domination on the art auction market, they will start to control prices.
    The fact that they sell something they do not own allows them to sell everything under its costs. After all, the loss is not theirs!

    This is attracting people (buyers), who are happy to buy under-priced merchandise.
    This explains the huge number of weekly auctions, the lack of any serious quality control and the massive amount of copies.

    2- Impact of Catawiki on the art market and the artist.
    Absolutely destructive!
    Catawiki has eliminated almost all competition in the Netherlands already. What does this mean to me as an artist? Gallery after gallery is closing. Small (online and offline) auction houses are forced to sell for (almost) nothing as well due to the lack of buyers.

    My only choice was to sell via Catawiki, or not to sell at all! A lot of artists already migrated to countries were Catawiki is not active (yet). Any young artists in the Netherlands are forced to sell with them, or look for another occupation.

    3- Controlling art market and policy of “arm twisting” .
    This is my conclusion on Catawiki’s perception of “fair business”
    I would highly recommend everybody to stay away from this company .
    It is important to support businesses whose model of operation do not imitate the effect of cancer on a healthy body.
    It is important to stop the development of businesses who, in pursuing their goals, create an environment of controlled markets and forced cooperation.


  18. Dear Josbert,

    Your article is very interesting and accurate.
    It seems to me that you have a very clear view on the operation model of this enterprise without having a real relationship with them. I might help you here.
    I am a painter; my name is Angelika Bes and during the last 2 years I have sold over 260 paintings through Catawiki.
    I can share a lot of interesting observations on the way Catawiki operates. But right now, as a comment I would like to add just few topics.

    1- Catawiki has an extremely aggressive policy of “no reserve” prices. Why?
    I have contacted a few people in that organisation to find out why such a counterproductive measure is being applied. Interesting development!
    No reserve price policy allows CW to eliminate their competitors.
    This is the way they want to grow and to dominate the market. After they achieve domination on the art auction market, they will start to control prices.
    The fact that they sell something they do not own allows them to sell everything under its costs. After all, the loss is not theirs!

    This is attracting people (buyers), who are happy to buy under-priced merchandise.
    This explains the huge number of weekly auctions, the lack of any serious quality control and the massive amount of copies.

    2- Impact of Catawiki on the art market and the artist.
    Absolutely destructive!
    Catawiki has eliminated almost all competition in the Netherlands already. What does this mean to me as an artist? Gallery after gallery is closing. Small (online and offline) auction houses are forced to sell for (almost) nothing as well due to the lack of buyers.

    My only choice was to sell via Catawiki, or not to sell at all! A lot of artists already migrated to countries were Catawiki is not active (yet). Any young artists in the Netherlands are forced to sell with them, or look for another occupation.

    3- Controlling art market and policy of “arm twisting” .
    This is my conclusion on Catawiki’s perception of “fair business”
    I would highly recommend everybody to stay away from this company.
    It is important to support businesses whose model of operation do not imitate the effect of cancer on a healthy body.
    It is important to stop the development of businesses who, in pursuing their goals, create an environment of controlled markets and forced cooperation.


  19. You article was very interesting. I have purchased many things on Catawiki but began having problems. One situation I purchased a French chandelier that was carefully packed in bubble wrap and boxes it couldn’t have broken. When I cut the last section opened it was literally smashed. The seller said that since I opened it and did not challenge it when it was delivered the insurance wouldn’t pay for it? The box didn’t have a dent, why would I not open it? Last week, I had two issues on items delivered. One the seller said, “just a small piece of marble was glued, nothing serious.” The cross was clearly dropped as the left arm of the cross had been completely severed and glued back onto the metal that backed it. The metal was also crimped. I also bought a nice pocket watch “in perfect working order” that didn’t work. I email them with details on both items and received a response five days later (Saturday at 5:00 pm) and was told that I had to have the enormous list of pictures of items, packing, videos of the item not working, etc. “before Monday.” I went out of town to visit my sick mother and came back today (Monday) with an email that said I missed the deadline and that they were paying the sellers and I had no recourse! I literally had little more than 24 hours to get all the information and send it to them. I was out of town and that wasn’t possible, so with less than 48 hours they won’t accept the information and they closed the cases! I have spent thousands of dollars and have emailed them a total of 3 times on probably 25 purchases. Worst customer service I have ever experienced. It is no different than fraud in my opinion!


  20. Interesting article.
    I have sold for some time on Catawiki, now they offer me a VIP deal given me % commission back if I sell for a certain amount.
    What do you know about this. I can’t find anything on the net or at CW pages.


  21. So called Experts especially Jewelry Expert Mr. ( Renis Carlos ) who has been rejecting items from many many sellers across Germany , Italy , France and Austria calling their items as replica even the sellers have certificates for their items from a reputed and well known laboratory in the EU.

    As we have examined the whole case , the so called expert ( Mr.Renis ) has been rejecting many items without evening assessing them , which is not only very sad and bad for the catawiki who at the end is losing revenue but also bad for the seller who are investing their time waiting for more than 15 days to get the items approved , but at the end they are not approved because just why Mr.Carlos Renis did not like it.

    Hope Catawiki will change this attitude and hire more staff so the sellers do not go to other platforms.


  22. Agreed, they shoud be out of busiees by now. Catawiki is nothing more than an expensive glorified Craigslist-like website trying to pass itself of as actual auctioneers, not safe at all. After years of trying my best to enjoy Catawiki, I have given up, it’s been a few good experiences but mostly it has been aggravating; I’ve bought things and I have sold things on Catawiki. They have incredibly bad customer service, if it’s a positive experience, it’s sheer luck. Each and every so called ‘auctioneer / expert’ is someone that works from home and either does so for the easy money or to feel superior in my experience, all I’ve dealt with has either been obnoxiously superior (sometimes downright rude) in their attitude or showed a complete lack of knowledge. Repeated reports from me when I noticed that certain items sold on Catawiki were counterfeit got no response and they got sold nonetheless. Most questions I had for them where I got a response were answered it seemed by a robot, or better put: standard answers which simply didnt help me because they only touched on the subject. When a bidder decides not to pay, you get no compensation, just the trouble of having to put it up again, in certain cases those very same items are rejected because a new ‘auctioneer/expert’ has taken reigns of a certain category and feels it’s not good enough or whatever, no discussion is possible. eBay for example is your best bet, it’s cheaper too, and much safer, Catawiki does a lot to make you FEEL it’s a safe selling environment, it really isn’t any safer and I would go so far as to say it is less safe than most similar websites. My advise: steer clear of Catawiki, it’s really not well organised and a lot can go wrong (and does).

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Just had my fingers burnt as a Catawiki buyer. Seller paid before I confirmed goods received. Deleted my account before another loss without recourse.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. there is no customer support. no phone number no email address. my lot sent to wrong address. seller admitted it was sent to wrong address.cannot contact cartawiki to resolve problem as they have no customer support options available.what a scam.will cancel my account

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I am dutch-speaking and read the long analysis of what is wrong with Catawiki.
    I left a few Months ago a comment on them on a dutch site.
    Negative, of course. I agree with everything I read here, but in my opinion the most important difference with real auction houses is that they do not invest in knowledge about the things they are selling. And that is what auction houses just do: they invest in learning about antiquities, they have an market image that is the result of decades of activity.
    They have a real interest in a well- organised auction with satisfied Sellers and buyers. None of these aspects really matter for Catawiki. They can exist without these complex things. They invest in a platform. And that s it.
    Their experts use a vocabularium they don t understanding and make misstakes in descriptions of items. This doesn t matter for them. The business case succes is not in being correct but in making high profits.
    This model Will disappear over time.


  26. There is a rule of thumb when it comes to doing business cherished by all successful business people:
    ‘if you cannot contact a representative by phone, Don’t Touch Them’
    Simply if the company doesn’t have a telephone – do not do business with these people. Catawiki is a shady company.


  27. I have just joined and have bought and won several lots ,though not paid for yet ,I’m in the UK , what is your advice please


  28. I’ve bought several things from Catawiki and they all arrived. However, I always pay by credit card to have some recourse and to offset their lack of customer support. They do send an email saying to confirm you have received the item before they release the funds to the seller.


  29. I have been dealing with Catawiki for many years without a problem.
    But suddenly one day recently, anything I put into aution started been refused. Either the item will not raise a certain amount of money or the COA was not good or many many other reasons.
    They even got there own rules wrong.
    There phone number does not connect any more and they have become a total nightmare to deal with.
    Take it from me, stay well away, the are not worth the hassle or time of day.


    1. There you see the same problem that I have. Look at the whole picture and history of Catawiki. I think you and I are little sellers who are not important. Big TOP sellers are interresting for them.


  30. As an experienced buyer and seller, it is clear to me that both the author of this article has no personal experience on the Catawiki platform at all (it is all hearsay) as well as that this article describes outdated procedures (since it is from 2017). We are in 2020 now so revise this nonsense or remove it please.

    Is Catawiki cheap? No, it isnt. Commissions are substantial, mostly eliminating your bargain. Dont like it? Go somewhere else.
    Is Catawiki a fraud? No, it isnt. But it is full of people not wanting to read and understand how it works, making obvious mistakes. For instance, blaming Catawiki for customs taxes. How dumb can one be. Guess the other ranks in that category too.


  31. Thank you for this review i was about to pay the lot i won but something in my mind told me to investigate first then stumbled upon this review.i tried catawiki to find something interesting as an entrepreneur i need to find something that will gain in my favor but it turns out that i have to pay the auction service plus shipping plus customs im geting beaten up lol so i read your article and so glad i didn’t proceed.


  32. I am actually a former CW expert and have inside knowledge of the inner workings, the article you wrote is 99 % correct, safe for a few details. Basically CW doesn’t really care about the buyers, on the other hand, they’re scared shitless of the 100 or so big “sellers”, CW will even fire the few honest employees at the behest of dishonest sellers, as long as these big sellers bring in COGS – cost of goods sold, a fancy acronym for the total value of the transactions made on the CW platform. This is not their turnover. The turnover is just the commission CW fleeces of the buyer/selller tandem. The CEO, an Indian guy with an incrompehensible god awful accent, has fancy wet dreams of CW being a 1 billion $ unicorn company, but the fundamentals of CW are basically that of an eternal loss making entreprise. May be with covid they finally made a bit of profit, but they burnt through 70 million over the years. The basic premise of CW is good, but unfortunately it attracts the scoundrels…


  33. What I think and know,
    I am on Catawiki for a few years and here is my conclusion:
    -The auction experts are no experts on paper. So no experts.
    -One time I sold a ring with a stone. The expert said that it was a spinel. So he could see, based on a photo that it
    was a spinel ?
    -One time I want to sell a chinees jewelrybox. There are millions of those boxes and every week there was a
    auction with such boxes. I’m talking about that dark wooden boxes with jade / serpentine inlay.
    The expert didn’t want to sell the box becaus it was fake. I was mad ! It was the same type of box as she always
    was selling !
    -The experts are so good that they can see if a diamond is real and so on. Yes I mean it. Just for a good
    explanation Catawiki: Only a laboratory can.
    -I wrote a few times to Catawiki’s notary about scam and discrimination, done buy Catawiki’s experts but the only
    thing he can write is that the auctioneer determines.
    I think he has a beautifull job. Receiving money but no sweat. Or should he have a lot of shares in Catawiki ?
    -Bad policy (this happens often): You often see a same type of bronze statue or whatever and you got a same piece
    to sell.
    The auctioneer tells you that he disapproves the item, because of the expected yield. You think Hhu ?
    You are suprised and mad. But the auctioneer should have told you that the object could better be sold at an other
    catagory on Catawiki. They never do. Not even after years of complaining about this. So people who are not
    familiar with Catawiki are shocked by this.
    The only chance to sell the item is to offer the item another month or so and hope there is another auctioneer.
    -If you try to sell something on Catawiki beware of this: When you offer a item and they will sell it for you, pay
    attantion to the text you wrote for the item. They say you can change the text before they take it in for auction but
    often the auctioneer changes the text just before auction. You didn’t see that comming and yes the text is changed and not in your favor. They are the BOSS !
    I can wright a book by now but if you don’t believe me, try it out yourself.


  34. I have also bought numerous articles from Catawiki for a number of years. I have been pleased with EVERY item I purchased. They offer merchandise at much lower prices and the shipping is easily done. All sellers I have dealt with have been wonderful.


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