over 2000 views but surprisingly only 101 people voted!
I think if more choices would have been listed in the poll, there would probably been more votes.
The existing choices:
"Who is to blame in this case?
the Buyer: they were informed adequetly
the Auction house: they were misleading and/or negligent"
Additional choices could have been:
the Consignor: someone knew that the sign had work done on it
Shared blame: the consignor, auctioneer and buyer
Don't know: ?
I probably would have voted for "shared blame" because the consignor probably knew the issues, the auctioneer tried to minimize the issue with the "lightly cleared" wording and the buyer knew the clear coat was a risky red flag.
I, as well as most collectors, have taken a leap of faith that an item would clean up, that an item would be original or that everything would turn out OK dealing with a questionable seller. Most will try to balance the risk with paying a price that reflects the possibility of a bad deal. Sometimes you throw caution to the wind to get what you really want and you live with the outcome if there is no pre-established return policy.
I have a few items that I charge off to a learning experience. Leaps of faith don't always work out in vintage collectibles.