Consumer – Auctions
Goods sold at auction
Goods for sale at an auction are bought at the risk of the buyer and they are not covered by the Supply of Goods & Services (Jersey) Law 2009.
Buyers are supposed to have checked for themselves that the items or lots in an auction are what they say they are, come from where they are supposed to and are of the age, size, quality and condition stated in the auction catalogue.
You cannot rely on what is said by the auction house or in the auction catalogue as any such information is considered to be statements of opinion and not actual facts.
The auctioneers do not have to tell you who the seller is. They act in the sale of the lots as agents only and have no responsibility for any problems or faults.
The auctioneer will have already checked that the person selling the car actually owns it from the vehicle registration certificate. The auctioneers sometimes get a signed statement from the seller saying that the car is in good mechanical and roadworthy condition and is not subject to a Hire Purchase or other charge.
If you have bought a car at auction, you should take it for a drive straight away and if you think that it is not roadworthy, you should report the matter to the police who will arrange for the car to be inspected by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Department. Please see – If you have a problem with a second-hand car
If the car is found not to be roadworthy you should contact the auctioneer within forty-eight hours of when you bought it.
Forgeries (paintings etc)
If a lot in an auction is sold and is then shown to be a forgery or fake, the auctioneer can cancel the sale and the person selling would have to pay back the person who bought the lot the full price they have paid for it.
The Supply of Goods & Services (Jersey) Law 2009 says that:
- If goods are put up for sale by auction in lots, each lot is taken to be a separate contract of sale.
- A sale by auction is complete and the person bidding owns the lot when the auctioneer brings down the hammer to complete the sale or completes it in any other way which is normal.
- Until the auctioneer does that the sale is not complete and any bidder can cancel their bid.
- They will usually say ‘sold to’.
- Sometimes things may have a reserve price on them. This means there is a lower limit which the owner will not sell below. It is not unknown for a seller to bid on their own item to try and push the price beyond the reserve price. This is called the sellers right to bid but people who are bidding at the auction must be told this is happening. If they or the auctioneer do not know it is happening, or if the auctioneer accepts a bid that he knows is made by or for the seller, the buyer can say the sale was fraudulent and refuse to buy the lot or insist on having their money back.