My response to a similar thread
in the Galway City Forum a couple of years back.......
Sounds like a scam dutch auction.
These are widespread in The UK.
I was at a few in London some years back. They hire out hotels, town halls, pub function rooms etc.
At one such sale in Oxford Street the vendors didn't appreciate it when they copped that I wasn't there to buy anything and became quite aggresive.
Here's how it works
An auctioneer with a microphone works the crowd up by telling them.
"I don't want €500 for this plasma screen tv. I don't want €400 or €300 or even €200 ! Who will offer me €100 ?"
Of course every hand in the room is raised and the tv is sold to the gentleman in the corner who's hand went up first. Next up is the Bosch washing machine sold to the lady with the red scarf down the back of the room.
This lark continues for a while and the crowd are amazed at the bargains and become more eager to get in on the action. Then the hard sell begins. Having talked the crowed up for the guts of an hour now, and with continuous references to the fabulous goods already sold, and telling them there is only a limited amount of stock left, the crowd become more impatient to part with their cash.
He then tells them there might not be enough tv's for everyone but asks if some people might settle for an X-Box, a Laptop or something else
Most people will, and an assistant will then go around the room and collect €100 from them and hand them a ticket to claim their purchase on their way out.
As they leave, they are handed a black sealed bin liner and told not to open it until they get home as other buyers may not have got something as valuable and may become jealous.
Of course the contents of the black bag contain nothing remotely worth the €100 the buyer just paid for them, but legally he has no come back because he willingly agreed to pay for something else
, and thats exactly what he got.
Meanwhile the auctioneer, his assistants, and his friends the man in the corner and the lady with the red scarf (remember them?) are out the back loading up the van to move on to the next town and do it all again.
It might be worth heading out to the Menlo for a look tomorrow.
But leave your wallet at home.