I think one thing that needs to be discussed internally at all the auction houses is, “How does this look?”
Something can be legal, but the optics don’t look good. I will say point blank, if I ran an auction site, I would have in the TOS that you cannot bid on a family member or other related party’s domain auctions.
I am not saying anyone in the business has done it that I have seen proved. I accuse no one of wrong doing. I am saying I think it looks bad completely on the up and up.
Is it legal for a brother to bid on a sister’s auction? Absolutely but not on my auction site. Why? Because it looks bad, once there is a whiff of a scandal, whether accusations prove true or not, I am going to have 500 comments about how my auction site let family members bid up each other’s domain auctions.
My take would be we don’t want that business on our platform, do it wherever you like, trade privately and save on commissions.