Bidding on something at an auction is not as risky as you might think. But it is a good idea to be familiar with your rights and obligations before starting to bid.
Things to keep in mind
- Inspect the products carefully.
- Keep in mind that the bids you place are binding.
- Check whether the price includes VAT and whether there are any additional costs. The auctioneers are required to provide clear notification in that respect.
- Be prepared to pay cash and pick the product up right away.
If you place a bid at a physical auction, you are protected by the Consumer Sales Act but you do not have cancellation rights.
Online auctions are also subject to the Distance and Doorstep Sales Act. The same rules apply to an online auction by a business as to any other kind of e-commerce. You have 14 days to cancel the purchase.
Used products are auctioned off as-seen
Proceed on the assumption that used products have defects. All used products are auctioned off as-seen. You cannot file a complaint afterwards concerning defects that you should have discovered. But if the product is in worse shape than the asking price indicated, it may be regarded as defective.
New products must be free of defects
You can proceed from the assumption that a product is free of defects if the auctioneers say that is new. If a new product has defects, the auctioneers must tell you so.
You can file a complaint if a product is defective
You have the right to expect that a product is in a certain condition based on its age and price. The product is assessed in accordance with the asking price, not what you paid. If the product differs from what you expected, you can file a complaint with the auctioneers. Contact them and explain that you are dissatisfied with the product and why you feel it is defective.
File a complaint with the auctioneers or the real seller
The auctioneers might be agents for an estate, individual, etc. If so, you can file a complaint with either the auctioneers or the real seller - the party that engaged them. Contact a business if it engaged the auctioneers.
- Proofread 10 April 2018