Auctions Rights

Buying rights at Auctions
When you go to an auction make sure you read the auction conditions beforehand. You are not bound by these conditions if they were not made clear to you. Usually the conditions are set out on signs and in your copy of the bidder's agreement. By signing, you accept the agreement - so read it first.

The general conditions are that payment must be made in cash, on the day, and that the goods must be taken away, the same day, at your expense. The agreement may also contain that a buyer's premium is included. A buyer's premium is a commission on each sale.

It is important to know that if you buy something you may have to pay an extra 12% or so commission on your bid. The agreement will also say that the goods are as is, where is. This means that if you buy something at an auction and then discover that it doesn't work when you get home, - it's bad luck for you.

The Fair Trading Act covers auctioneers, so they cannot say or do anything to misrepresent the goods on auction. If you think an auctioneer has ripped you off, you can cancel the deal and demand your money back. If you are not successful - you can take your claim to the Disputes Tribunal.

Selling rights at auction
When you buy at auction, there are certain things that you need to look out for. Auction sales are different from other sales and the legal protection that you get is also different.

An auction sale is a contract. If you make the final bid and that is accepted by the auctioneer then you have entered into a legal agreement to buy the goods - even though there may be no written agreement yet.

Any terms to the contract that the auctioneer wishes to make must be made clear to the buyers at the time of the sale or before the auction commences. If the auction house does not make their terms clear or does not make them at all, the buyer cannot be held to those terms.

One very important thing to remember about auctions is that auction sales are not covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act. This means that you do not get the same level of protection when you buy at an auction as you do when you buy in other retail situations - for example, buying from a shop.