Elmwood’s Auctioneers carries on business with bidders, buyers and all those present in the auction room prior to or in connection with a sale on the following General Conditions and on such other terms, conditions and notices as may be referred to herein. The following should be read extremely carefully before bidding.
In these Terms & Condition of sale:
(a) 'auctioneer', 'agent', 'we', 'us', etc means Elmwood's Auctioneers (which is a trading name of Samuel Hill Antiques Limited) or its authorised auctioneer or representative as appropriate;
(b) 'seller', 'vendor', 'consignor' refer to the individual, organisation or institution who is in ownership of any given item which the agent has been contracted to offer for sale;
(c) 'buyer' refers to the holder of the highest bid accepted by the auctioneer conducting the sale and shall be contractually bound to complete the purchase at this price;
(d) 'you', 'your', etc. refer to the buyer as identified in Condition 1 (c);
(e) 'hammer price' refers to the level of bidding reached in the auction (at or above any given reserve price) at the time the auctioneer drops the hammer;
(f) 'total amount due' means the hammer price for any given lot sold, together with any premium, other additional charges payable, and Value Added Tax chargeable;
(g) ‘deliberate forgery’ means imitation goods made with the deliberate intention of deceiving as to authorship, origin, date, age, period, source, etc, but which is unequivocally described by Elmwood’s in the catalogue as being the work of a particular creator and which at the date of the sale had a value materially less than it would have had it been in an accordance with the description;
(a) Elmwood’s Auctioneers, unless otherwise agreed, acts only as agent for the seller, whose identity, for reasons of confidentiality, is not normally disclosed. Any contract for the sale of property is therefore made between the buyer and the seller.
(b) The Auctioneer is dependent upon the seller for information relating to any items being sold and whilst we may inspect lots and express a general view about them, we are not normally able to undertake any in depth investigation or research in the manner which the buyer should.
(c) The seller warrants to the auctioneer and you that the seller is the true owner of the property consigned or is properly authorised by the true owner to consign it for sale and is able to transfer good and marketable title to the property, free from any third party claims.
3. Descriptions and Condition
(a) Whilst we seek to describe lots accurately, our employees are not professionally trained restorers or conservators, and due to the nature of the auction business it is not possible for us to carry out the sort of research which might be undertaken by professional historians or scholars.
(b) Prospective buyers are given ample opportunities to view and inspect before any sale and they must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of any description applied to a lot. In cases of items of significant value, we strongly recommend you seek advice on such matters from independent professional advisors.
(c) Any mention of condition of lots within a catalogue entry does not constitute a full description of condition. Condition reports are available on request and will assess the condition of a lot with reasonable care and honesty.
(d) Prospective buyers bid on the understanding that, inevitably, representations or statements by us, whether in the form of a catalogue entry, condition report or other, as to authorship, genuineness, origin, date, age, provenance, condition, or estimated selling price involve matters of opinion only. We undertake that any such opinion shall be honestly and reasonably held however neither Elmwood’s nor its employees or agents, nor the vendor accept liability for the correctness of such opinions or views, and all conditions and warranties, express, implied or statutory are hereby excluded.
Any estimates, where given, are designed only as a loose guide to help buyers gauge the sort of sum of money that may be involved in purchasing any given lot. It will always be our belief that any bid within the given estimate should have a fair chance at buying any item, however estimates should not be relied on as a statement that this is the price at which the item will sell, nor should they be relied on as a valuation of the item for any other purpose.
5. Registration and Admission
(a) Bidders are required to register their particulars with us before bidding and may be asked for proof of ID and to satisfy any security arrangements before entering the auction room to view or bid.
(b) We reserve the right at our complete discretion to refuse admission to the premises or participation in any auction and also reserve the right to refuse any bid at our complete discretion.
6. Bidding in Principal
All bidders shall be deemed to act as principals. When making a bid, a bidder is accepting personal liability to pay the purchase price (as defined in Condition 12) plus all other applicable taxes and charges, unless it has been expressly agreed in writing with the auctioneer prior to the commencement of the sale that the bidder is acting as an agent to an identified third party acceptable to and approved by the auctioneer. In this instance alone, we will look only to the agreed principal for payment.
7. Absentee Bids
Whilst prospective buyers are strongly advised to attend the auction and are always responsible for any decisions to bid for a particular lot, and shall be assumed to have reasonably inspected and satisfied themselves as to its condition, we will if so instructed, clearly and in writing, execute bids on their behalf. Neither the auctioneer nor our employees or agents shall be responsible for any failure to do so save where such failure is unreasonable. Where two or more commission bids at the same level are recorded we reserve the right in our absolute discretion to prefer the first bid so made.
8. Telephone Bids
Where a prospective buyer has engaged us prior to the commencement of a sale to do so, we will use reasonable efforts to contact them to enable them to participate in bidding via the telephone. We do not accept any liability for failure to do so, or for any error or omission in connection with telephone bidding arising from circumstances beyond our reasonable control.
(a) Lots are frequently offered subject to a reserve price which is the confidential minimum price at which a lot can be sold. The reserve price will not exceed the low estimate printed in the catalogue. That is to say, any item can in theory be purchased, if there are no other bids, for its low estimate. The auctioneer may open the bidding on any lot below the reserve by placing a bid on behalf of the seller and may continue to bid on behalf of the seller up to the amount of the reserve, either by placing consecutive bids or by placing bids in response to other bidders.
(b) In some instances, a lot may be offered with a guaranteed return price for the vendor in the case of a sale. This price may exceed the reserve price and low estimate of a lot, but this does not affect the reserve price or the ability of any buyer to in theory purchase the lot at its low estimate. In the instance that an item is sold at its reserve price where the vendor is guaranteed a net return of a greater sum of money, the auctioneer will supplement the outstanding sum to the vendor.
(c) Reserves and estimates are often prepared several months prior to a sale, and may be subject to change which will always by announced before the sale.
10. Auctioneer’s Discretion
(a) The auctioneer has the right to exercise reasonable discretion in refusing any bid, or advancing the bid in any such manner that he or she may see fit, as well as withdrawing and dividing/combining lots.
(b) Bidding increments shall be at the sole discretion of the auctioneer.
11. Successful Bid and Padding of Risk
(a) The maker of the highest bid, subject to the auctioneer's reasonable discretion, shall be the buyer at the hammer price at the time the auctioneer drops the hammer, which completes a binding contract for sale between the seller and the buyer.
(b) Any dispute about a bid shall be settled at the auctioneer's absolute discretion by re-offering the lot during the course of the auction or otherwise. The auctioneer shall act reasonably in exercising this discretion.
(c) Total risk and responsibility for the lot passes to the buyer as the auctioneer drops the hammer and neither the auctioneer nor their agents shall be responsible for any loss or damage of any kind from this point, excepting where the loss or damage has arisen as a result of negligence whilst the lot remains in our possession for a maximum of five working days after the day of the sale. After this point, total risk and responsibility will pass to the buyer even in cases of loss or damage caused by negligence.
12. The Purchase Price
The purchase price shall be the hammer price together with a buyer's premium. Premium is payable at rate of 20% of the final bid price of a lot. Premium is subject to VAT at the appropriate rate.
13. Value Added Tax
Value Added Tax on the hammer price of any given item is imposed by law on all items marked with an asterisk. Value Added Tax is charged at the appropriate rate prevailing by law at the date of sale and is payable by buyers of relevant lots.
14. Artist’s Resale Right (“Droit de Suite”)
For any lot which is subject to the Artist's Resale Right Regulation 2006, the buyer agrees to pay to us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those regulations based on the hammer price of the lot (excluding any premium or charges). Lots which may be affected will be marked with a ? symbol.
15. Payment and Shipping
(a) Immediately or at your earliest convenience, and no later than five working days after the sale of a lot in auction you will:
(i) give to us, if requested, proof of identity
(ii) pay to us the total amount due in pounds sterling
(b) Any payments by you to us may be applied by us towards any sums owing from you to us on any account whatever without regard to any directions of you or your agent, whether express or implied.
(c) Shipping is available on all items within our jewellery auctions and will be charged at the following rates:
(i) Domestic UK packages up to £2500 in value charged at £20.00 per package;
(ii) Domestic UK packages in excess of £2500 in value charged at £20.00 per package plus insurance at a rate of 2% of the total purchase price;
(iii) International packages up to £250 in value charged at £30.00 per package;
(iv) International packages in excess of £250 in value charged at £40.00 per package plus insurance at a rate of 2% of the total purchase price.
(d) Elmwood’s shall undertake to wrap and package all items carefully and securely, however accepts no direct liability for any damage to goods occurring during transit to the buyer, but will act on behalf of the buyer in making an insurance claim with the appropriate courier for any loss / damage, and will relay in full to the buyer any payments made by the couriers in respect of any claim made.
(e) All payments, including our standard delivery charges, will be automatically taken from the card used for registration by all online bidders using the-saleroom.com on the seventh day after the auction, except where the invoice has already been settled within this time, or other alternative arrangements have been made directly with the finance department in this time period. It is essential online bidders using the-saleroom.com contact the finance department within 48 hours after the auction if they wish to make alternative arrangements for payment.
16. Title and Collection of Purchases
(a) The ownership of any Lots purchased shall not pass to you until you have made payment in full to us of the total amount due.
(b) You shall at your own risk and expense collect any lots that you have purchased and paid for from our premises not later than five working days following the day of the auction or upon the clearance of any cheque used for payment, after which you shall be responsible for any collection, storage and insurance charges.
(c) No purchases may be collected and we shall not release any lot to you or your agent until it has been paid for.
17. Export Licenses / CITES Regulations
In the case of any lots which require export licences or may be subject to CITES regulations when exported, it is the sole responsibility of any potential buyers to make themselves aware of these regulations. We shall not rescind any sale on the basis that an item cannot be exported and if payment is not made within the given period of seven working days after the day of the sale, we will at our discretion exercise any of the rights and remedies outlined in Condition 18.
18. Remedies for Non Payment or Failure to Collect Purchases
(a) If any lot is not paid for in full and taken away in accordance with these Conditions, or if there is any other breach of these Conditions, we, as agent for the seller and on our own behalf, shall at our absolute discretion and without prejudice to any other rights we may have, be entitled to exercise one or more of the following rights and remedies:
(i) to proceed against you for damages for breach of contract;
(ii) to rescind the sale of that lot and/or any other lots sold to you by us;
(iii) to resell the lot (by auction or private treaty) in which case you shall be responsible for any resulting deficiency in the total amount due (after crediting any part payment and adding any resale costs). Any surplus so arising shall belong to the seller;
(iv) to remove, store and insure the lot at your expense at a rate of up to £10 per day + VAT, and, in the case of storage either at our premises or elsewhere;
(v) to charge interest at a rate not exceeding 1.5% per month on the total amount due to the extent it remains unpaid for more than five working days after the sale;
(vi) to retain that or any other lot sold until you pay the total amount due;
(vii) to reject or ignore bids from you or your agent at future auctions or to impose conditions before any such bids shall be accepted;
(viii) to apply any proceeds of sale of other lots due or in future becoming due to you towards the settlement of the total amount due and to exercise a lien (that is a right to retain possession of any of your property in our possession for any purpose until the debt due is satisfied).
(b)We shall, as agent for the seller and on our own behalf pursue these rights and remedies only so far as is reasonable to make appropriate recovery in respect of breach of these conditions.
19. Third Party Liability
All members of the public on our premises are there at their own risk and must note the layout of the accommodation and security arrangements. Accordingly, neither the auctioneer nor our employees or agents shall incur liability for death or personal injury (except as required by law for reason of our negligence) or similarly for the safety of the property of persons visiting prior to or at a sale.
20. Terms of Sale
The seller acknowledges that lots are sold subject to the stipulations of these Conditions in their entirety, and on the Terms of Consignment as notified to the consignor at time of entry of the lot.
21. Public Auctions and Online Auctions
(a) We welcome all bidders, buyers and interested parties not only to public viewings of all items prior to each auction, but even in the instance where it is stated online that in-person bidding is not available for a sale, also welcome all to attend the sale in person, where they may leave absentee bids or bid via proxy / telephone live in person whilst watching the sale and as such you agree and concede that:
(i) All auctions held by Elmwood’s where the auction is conducted by an auctioneer and bidders may bid via telephone bid and listen to the auction live streamed online are to be classed as Public Auctions, in accordance with the definitions set out in the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013;
(ii) Only auctions where it is expressly stated in the important sale information displayed online or in a printed catalogue that bidding is available online only may be exempted from classification as a public auction as defined above.
(b) As outlined in Condition 21 (a) all buyers, bidders and interested parties have the opportunity to attend all auctions in person, where all goods sold will be second hand, and will be sold as seen, thus exempting all goods purchased from the Sale of Goods Act 1989.
22. Returns and Refunds
(a) As outlined in Condition 21, all goods purchased at Public Auction are second hand and sold as seen, meaning they are exempt from the Sale of Goods Act 1989 and the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013, thus no returns or refunds will be accepted under any circumstances, except those outlined in Condition 23, for such goods.
(b) Goods purchased in auctions which are expressly stated to be accessible via online bidding only are covered under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 and may be returned in exchange for a full refund without reason by the buyer satisfying the following:
(i) You contact us immediately upon receipt of the item and not later than fourteen days following receipt of the item to inform us by writing of your wish to return the item for a refund;
(ii) You return the goods to us via a tracked, registered and insured method of shipment not later than fourteen days after the date of notifying us of your wish to return them for a refund;
(iii) The goods are returned in their original condition and with all original accompanying boxes, paperwork, etc.
(c) Goods which have been altered or customised for clients, including but not limited to resizing, metal polishing, stone polishing, plating, stone replacement, repair, de-bruising, re-boxing, cleaning, engraving, etc will not be eligible for return under any circumstances.
23. Deliberate Forgeries
Any lot which proves to be a Deliberate Forgery may be returned to Elmwood’s by the Buyer within 21 days of the Auction, regardless of the date on which it was paid for and collected / received by the buyer, provided it is in the same condition as when bought, and is accompanied by particulars identifying it from the relevant catalogue description and a written statement of defects. If Elmwood’s is satisfied from the evidence presented that the lot is a deliberate forgery, we shall refund the money paid by the buyer for the lot, but no further amount or compensation for any consequential loss, damages, expenses or interest.
24. Value Added Tax (VAT)
(a) Buyer’s premium is charged inclusive of Value Added Tax, calculated as per the auctioneer’s margin scheme. Non UK or EU VAT registered buyers can have most classes of VAT refunded on their purchases, but please note that auctioneers are under no obligation to provide VAT refunds, though many may offer this service. HMRC are the ultimate refunding authority, and we strongly recommend dealing directly with them in order to obtain VAT refunds. All VAT refunds are subject to provision of statutory export/import documentation.
(b) Elmwood’s are pleased to offer a VAT refund service at a cost of £10.00 + VAT per invoice for which we will handle all necessary paperwork and deduct VAT from your invoice prior to payment being made, subject to the availability of export paperwork.
(i) Please note that the VAT levied on this service is not deductible for non EU buyers, as this is for a service being offered and completed within the EU.
(c) VAT registered UK and EU businesses warrant they will not under any circumstances seek to reclaim any VAT in respect of buyer’s premium on any invoices issued by Elmwood’s.
(d) No VAT on online buyer surcharges will be deductible as this is VAT charged on a service offered by the-saleroom.com, liveauctioneers.com or invaluable.com which is not classed as an exportable good.
Any notice to any buyer, vendor, bidder, viewer or other client may be given by first class mail, or email, in which case it shall be deemed to have been received by the addressee 48 hours after posting or sending. All notices to Elmwood’s must be sent in writing, and email is not acceptable.
The copyright of all content produced by and for Elmwood's Auctioneers for a lot including catalogue entries and images shall remain the possession of Elmwood's Auctioneers only and shall not be used by any other third party, including vendors or buyers of any given lots.
If any part of these Conditions of Business shall be found to be unlawful, invalid, illegal or unenforceable by any jurisdiction or court then that part alone shall be denounced and all other terms will remain valid to the fullest extent permitted by the law.
28. Law and Jurisdiction
(a) English law applies to the interpretation of these conditions.
(b) All parties involved irrevocably agree that the courts of England alone have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with the Agreement or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes and claims).