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Terms & Conditions
SOCIETY OF FINE ART AUCTIONEERS AND VALUERS and the ROYAL INSTITUTION OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS
CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
(1) INFORMATION FOR BUYERS
1. Introduction. The following informative notes are intended to assist Buyers, particularly those inexperienced or new to our salerooms. All sales are conducted on our printed Conditions of Sale which are readily available for inspection and normally accompany catalogues. Our staff will be happy to help you if there is anything you do not fully understand.
2. Agency. As auctioneers we usually contract as agents for the seller whose identity, for reasons of confidentiality, is not normally disclosed. Accordingly if you buy your primary contract is with the seller.
3. Estimates. Estimates are designed to help buyers gauge what sort of sum might be involved for the purchase of a particular lot. The lower estimate may represent the reserve price and certainly will not be below it. Estimates do not include the Buyer’s Premium or VAT (where chargeable). Estimates are prepared some time before the sale and may be altered by announcement before the sale. They are in no sense definitive.
4. Buyer's Premium. The Conditions of sale obliges buyers to pay a buyer’s premium of 20% + VAT.
Please note: Lots purchased online with ATG media will attract an additional charge for this service in the sum of 3% of the hammer price plus VAT at the rate imposed
5. VAT. (*) indicates that VAT is payable by the purchaser at the standard rate (presently 20%) on the hammer price as well as being an element in the buyer's premium. This imposition of VAT is likely to be because the seller is registered for VAT within the European Union and is not operating the Dealers Margin Scheme or because VAT is due at 20% on importation into the UK. The double symbol (**) indicates that the lot has been imported from outside the European Union and the present position is that these lots are liable to a reduced rate of VAT (5%) on the gross lot price (i.e. both the hammer price and the buyer's premium). Lots which appear without either of the above symbols indicate that no VAT is payable on the hammer price. This is because such lots are sold using the Auctioneers' Margin Scheme and it should be noted that the VAT included within the Premium is not recoverable as input tax.
6. Descriptions and Conditions. Condition reports are provided on this web site or upon request. The absence of a report does not imply that a lot is without imperfections. The detail in a report will reflect the estimated value of the lot, and large numbers of such requests received shortly before the sale may not receive a response to all lots. Members of staff are not trained restorers or conservators and, particularly for higher value lots, you should obtain an opinion from such a professional. We recommend that you always view a lot in person.
We are, primarily, agents for the seller. We are dependent on information provided by the seller and whilst we may inspect lots and act reasonably in taking a general view about them we are normally unable to carry out a detailed or any examination of lots in order to ascertain their condition in the way in which it would be wise for a buyer to do. Intending buyers have ample opportunity for inspection of goods and, therefore, accept responsibility for inspecting and investigating lots in which they may be interested. Please note carefully the exclusion of liability for the condition of lots contained in the Conditions of Sale.. Neither the seller nor we, as the auctioneers, accept any responsibility for their condition. In particular, mechanical objects of any age are not guaranteed to be in working order. However, in so far as we have examined the goods and make a representation about their condition, we shall be liable for any defect which that examination ought to have revealed to the auctioneer but which would not have been revealed to the buyer had the buyer examined the goods. Additionally, in specified circumstances lots misdescribed because they are 'deliberate forgeries' may be returned and repayment made. There is a 3 week time limit. (The expression 'deliberate forgery' is defined in our Conditions of Sale).
7. Electrical goods. These are sold as 'antiques' only and if bought for use must be checked over for compliance with safety regulations by a qualified electrician first.
8. Export of goods. Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain (a) whether an export licence is required and (b) whether there is any specific prohibition on importing goods of that character because, e.g. they may contain prohibited materials such as ivory. Ask us if you need help.
9. Bidding. Bidders may be required to register before the sale commences and lots will be invoiced to the name and address on the registration form. Some form of identification may be required if you are unknown to us. Please enquire in advance about our arrangements for telephone bidding.
10. Commission bidding. Commission bids may be left with the auctioneers indicating the maximum amount to be bid excluding buyers' premium. They will be executed as cheaply as possible having regard to the reserve (if any) and competing bids. If two buyers submit identical commission bids the auctioneers may prefer the first bid received. Please enquire in advance about our arrangements for the leaving of commission bids by telephone or FAX.
11. Methods of Payment. As a general rule any cheques tendered will need to be cleared before removal of the goods is permitted. Please discuss with our Office in advance of the sale if other methods of payment are envisaged.
12. Collection and storage. Please note what the Conditions of Sale state about collection and storage. It is important that goods are paid for and collected promptly. Any delay may involve the buyer in paying storage charges.
Please check the Mitchells website <a href=" http://www.mitchellsfineart.com.htm" target="_blank"> www.mitchellsfineart.com </a> or telephone the saleroom directly for more information regarding their Terms and Conditions of sale.