This makes no sense. It doesn't matter what your maximum is, what matters is that in the auction environment only 2 people matter, the winner and the next highest bid. If the next highest bid was the auction house, there is an illusion that there was a competitor, when really the auction house was biding for it's own profit. My original question regarding chandelier bidding was alluding to the fact that in the art market, it remains a grey area, and for that reason is an unethical practice in my eyes. And many times it explains the insanely high prices achieved at art auctions. Legally the auction houses do not have to disclose their agreements with the sellers, which already puts them at a great advantage. The manipulation of the proceeding itself aggravates that fact. It seems when dealing with cars that they are more revealing - particularly because of the ease in which they can negotiate a deal with the bidder post auction, if it's a no sale. And I may be mistaken here, but the deal reached post auction may even become a matter of public record...but this I do not know for sure..someone here surely will. In Art, things are different. Artworks are closer to being so called Giffen goods, in that they do not obey classic laws of supply and demand. As works by an artist become more expensive, they become more in demand, and the price rises again. Once that price begins to fall, however, interest also declines - usually rapidly (see: Sandro Chia) That is why you see so many dealers bidding on the work of artists they represent, protecting their artists' market. It is a lot worse for dealers/collectors-looking-to-sell if a Gerhard Richter painting publically sells below estimate, because it can have an immediate effect of the artist's future sales, both primary and secondary. This is only one of the reasons you cannot compare the sales of these cars with the sales of artwork at auction. Basically what I'm saying is yes, you could say "My maximum is 1MM", but would you prefer to pay 1MM or the 700K reserve the car would be sitting at if the chandeliers couldn't bid? Even the ultra rich prefer a deal.