TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE
Whittons 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.
1. BIDDING PROCEDURES AND THE BUYER
a) Bidders are required to register their particulars prior to bidding and to satisfy any security arrangements before entering the auction room to view or bid. We do not accept bids from any person who has not completed and delivered to us one of our Bidding Forms. You will be asked for photographic proof of identity, residence and references. Bids will not be accepted if you fail to provide sufficient identification when asked to produce it. We may also ask for a deposit to be paid prior to bidding. We may refuse entry to a Sale to any person even if that person has completed a Bidding Form.
b) The maker of the highest bid accepted by the Auctioneer conducting the sale shall be the buyer at the hammer price and any dispute regarding a bid shall be made and settled at the Auctioneer’s absolute discretion, and may reoffer the Lot during the course of the auction or otherwise. The Auctioneer shall act reasonably in exercising this discretion. The Auctioneer’s decision is final.
c) Bidders shall be deemed to act as principals.
d) Once made no bid can be withdrawn.
e) Our right to bid on behalf of the seller is expressly reserved up to the amount of any reserve and the right to refuse any bid is also reserved.
2. INCREMENTS
a) Bidding increments shall be at the Auctioneer’s sole discretion.
3. THE PURCHASE PRICE
a) The buyer shall pay the Hammer Price together with a premium thereon of 18% plus VAT on the premium at the rate imposed by law on all lots. Lots purchased online will incur an additional charge in the sum of 3% of the Hammer Price plus VAT at the rate imposed by law.
4. VALUE ADDED TAX
a) Where a lot is marked with an asterisk (*), VAT will be payable at the standard rate as imposed by law on the Hammer Price as well as being added to the buyer’s premium.
b) Where a lot is marked with a double asterisk (**), VAT will be charged at a reduced VAT rate (currently 5%) to the gross price of that lot being the Hammer Price plus the buyer’s premium.
c) Where no asterisk is marked against a lot, no VAT is payable on the Hammer Price, and is deemed to have been sold under the Auctioneer’s Margin Scheme. VAT included within the premium is not recoverable as input tax.
5. PAYMENT
a) Your obligation to pay for a lot occurs when the Auctioneer’s hammer has fallen in respect of the lot.
b) Immediately a lot is sold you will give to us, if requested, proof of identity and pay to us the total amount due in cash or in such other way as agreed by us. 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) No cash payments will be accepted over £6000.00 (Six Thousand Pounds Sterling).
d) Payment is acceptable in cash, credit or debit card. A handling charge of 2% will be added to all purchases made by credit card. Payments made by debit card will incur no extra charge. Payment can be made by direct bank transfer into our bank account.
e) Payment of the purchase price and all other sums payable by you to Whittons must be made in the currency in which the sale was conducted within seven working days following the sale. Payment must be received in cleared funds by the seventh working day following the sale. Failure to provide cleared funds within this time may result in remedies being exercised as stated in condition 7.
6. TITLE AND COLLECTION OF PURCHASES
a) Ownership of the lots purchased shall not pass to the buyer until payment has been made in full to us of the total amount due, to include all premiums, charges and postal costs where applicable, and received in cleared funds by Whittons.
b) Responsibility of the lot passes to the buyer at the fall of the Auctioneer’s hammer. The seller will no longer be responsible for the lot thereafter. The buyer will indemnify the seller and keep the seller fully indemnified from and against all claims, proceedings, costs, expenses and losses arising in respect of any injury, loss and damage caused to the lot after the fall of the Auctioneer’s hammer until the buyer obtains full title to it.
c) You shall, at your own risk and expense take away any lots that you have purchased and paid for in full, not later than seven working days following the sale or upon the clearance of any cheque used for payment after which you shall be responsible for any removal, storage and insurance charges. No purchase can be claimed or removed until it has been paid for in full.
d) Title to the lot remains in and is retained by the seller until payment has been made in full to us of the total amount due, to include all premiums, charges and postal costs where applicable, and received in cleared funds by Whittons.
e) All items are held at the risk of the buyer. If they are not removed within fourteen working days of the sale the auctioneers will instruct a local carrier to remove them for storage. The buyer will be responsible for paying all charges incurred and for making arrangements in advance for the removal of items from their store after payment of their charges and on production of our receipt for the items.
7. REMEDIES IN THE EVENT OF NON-PAYMENT OR PURCHASES NOT BEING COLLECTED ON TIME
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: To proceed against you for damages for breach of contract;
a) To rescind the sale of that lot and/or any other lots sold by us to you;
b) To resell the lots (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;
c) To remove, store and insure the lot at your expense and, in the case of storage, either at our premises or elsewhere;
d) 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 seven working days after the sale;
e) To retain that or any other lot sold to you until you pay the total amount due
f) To reject or ignore bids from you or your agent at future auctions or to impose conditions before and such bids shall be accepted.
g) To apply any proceeds of sale of other lots due in future becoming due to you towards the settlement of the total amount due and to exercise a right to possession (lien) of any of your property in our possession for any purpose until the debt due is satisfied.
h) 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.
8. THIRD PARTY LIABILITY
All members of the public enter our premises at their own risk. They must make themselves aware of all security and fire arrangements in the building and to note the layout of the accommodation. Accordingly neither the Auctioneer nor our employees or agents shall incur any liability for death or personal injury (except as required by law by reason of our negligence) or similarly for the safety of persons visiting prior to or at a sale.
9. RIGHT TO REFUSE ENTRY
Whittons shall have the right at our discretion, to refuse admission to our premises or attendance at our auctions by any person.
10. COMMISSION BIDS
We will, if so instructed, execute bids on a buyer’s behalf. The bid must be received by us no later than one hour prior to the commencement of the sale for which the lot is being sold. The bid must be clearly written or typed, and must have the full name, address and telephone number of the person bidding, and signed by the person making the bid. Neither the Auctioneer nor our employees shall be held responsible for any failure to do so save where such failure is unreasonable. Where two or more commission bids are received at the same price, the Auctioneer reserves the right and absolute discretion to choose which bid shall prevail. It will be assumed that the prospective buyer has carefully inspected the lot and has satisfied themselves as to its condition prior to leaving the commission bid. No bids can be retracted once the item has been sold.
11. WARRANTY OF TITLE AND AVAILABILITY
The seller warrants to the auctioneers and the buyer 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 title to the property free from any third party claims.
12. AGENCY
The auctioneers normally act as agent only and disclaim any responsibility for default by sellers or buyers.
13. 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 the time of the entry of the lot.
14. DESCRIPTIONS
Whittons will not be held responsible for misrepresentation, and any wording or description either spoken written discussed published or otherwise shall not form the basis of any contract. Items are described as opinion only, and whilst due diligence is taken to make accurate descriptions, it may be impracticable to ensure accuracy in its entirety. All items are therefore sold as seen and prospective buyers must inspect view and take their own independent expert advice should they so wish before bidding on any item in any sale and must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of any description applied to a lot. Prospective buyers bid on the understanding that representations or statements as to authorship genuineness origin date age provenance condition size shape weight colour etcetera are opinions only. Subject to the foregoing neither we the auctioneer nor our employees or agents nor the seller accept liability for the correctness of such opinions and all conditions and warranties, whether relating to description, condition or quality of lots, express, implied or statutory, are hereby excluded. Private treaty sales made under these conditions are deemed to be sales by the auction for purposes of consumer legislation.
Notwithstanding this condition any Lot which proves to be a deliberate forgery as defined may be returned to us by you within 14 days of the auction 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 we are satisfied from the evidence presented that the Lot is a deliberate forgery we shall refund the money paid by you for the Lot including any buyer’s premium provided that
a) if the catalogue reflected the accepted view of scholars and experts as at the date of sale or
b) you personally are not able to transfer a good and marketable title to us, you shall have no rights under this condition.
The right of return provided by this Condition is additional to any right or remedy provided by law or by these Conditions of Sale.
15. ONLINE BIDDING
Whittons may offer an online bidding service via www.the-saleroom.com for bidders who cannot attend the sale. In completing the bidder registration on www.the-saleroom.com and providing your credit card details and unless alternative arrangements are agreed with Whittons you:
a) authorise Whittons if they so wish to charge the credit card given in part or full payment including all fees for items successfully purchased in the auction via www.the-saleroom.com and
b) confirm that you are authorised to provide these credit card details to Whittons through www.the-saleroom.com and agree that Whittons are entitled to dispatch the goods to the card holder name and card holder address provided in fulfilment of the sale.
Please note that any lots purchased via the-saleroom.com live auction service will be subject to an additional 3% commission charge + VAT at the standard rate imposed on the hammer price. Buyers registering to bid through www.the-saleroom.com must submit credit/debit card details to register. Whittons will take a deposit of maximum £500.00 sterling from the registered credit / debit card at the discretion of the auctioneer. If the buyer is unsuccessful this deposit will be refunded. If successful the deposit will be deducted from the final invoice. The deposit will be subject to variables in exchange rates and bank charges that the buyers’ bank might levy. The buyer will be liable for such charges.
16. CHEQUES
Cheques will only be accepted for payment at the auctioneer’s discretion. No purchases will be removed from the saleroom unless cleared funds have been received by us. Any prospective purchasers who wish to pay by cheque must inform the auctioneers at least 7 working days before the sale. It will be at the auctioneer’s discretion whether to take a cheque in lieu of prospective purchases prior to the sale and allowing for clearance of the cheque. If you are later unsuccessful in your purchase, the amount of your cheque will be refunded. Payment in cheque will not be acceptable on the day of the sale if prior arrangement has not been made with the auctioneer but if you wish to pay using this method then your purchases will be withheld until full clearance of the cheque has been granted. Only authorised payments by card or cash will be allowed to allow removal of goods on sale day.
17. TELEPHONE PAYMENTS
Payments will not be accepted if made at the telephone for invoices of more than £300.00 unless the buyer is known to the auctioneer. Card payments can be made in person or by bank transfer cash up to £6000.00 (Six Thousand Pounds Sterling).
18. SELLER’S COMMISSION AND CHARGES
Commission is charged at 15% plus VAT at the standard rate on the hammer price. Items which sell for less than £20.00 will incur a commission charge of £5.00 plus VAT at the standard rate. No charge will be made for items which fail to sell. Withdrawn lots may incur an administration charge if withdrawn once the item has been published for sale. No charges are made for catalogue illustration photography or advertising unless special illustration photography or advertising is deemed necessary and not without the consent of the vendor. A charge of £3.00 per item will be charged per item for each item that requires electrical testing.
19. RESERVES
Items will only be accepted with reserve which, in the auctioneer’s opinion, are likely to realise at least £20.00 or more. Any item worth less than this value will be deemed to be entered for sale without reserve. Any items which are taken with a reserve price will be accepted on the basis that the auctioneer will have discretion to sell that item for 10% less than the reserve if a buyer at that price exists on the day. Whittons can refuse to accept any item for sale where, in the auctioneer’s opinion, the reserve price suggested by the seller is too high and/or the item would not sell.
20. SELLER’S CONDITIONS
a) All sellers must sign the declaration confirming conditions of sale on the receipt which is given to you when you submit goods to us for sale. All items handed over to us are assumed to be given to us for the purpose of entering those lots for sale by auction.
b) All sellers must sign to confirm that they are the true owners of the goods entered for sale and that they have legitimate title to those goods free of any encumbrance and free from any third party or that they have authority to dispose of the goods on behalf of the true owner and are able to transfer good and marketable title to the property free from any third party claims.
c) All goods entered for sale must comply with all safety regulations under the Consumer Protection Act and the Furnishing Fire / Safety Regulations 1988.
d) The seller authorises Whittons to deduct commission at the rates quoted and by the signing the form, the seller is deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions of sale.
e) The seller has a duty to disclose all defects restorations or alterations to the goods at the time they are entered for sale and is duty bound to bring such defects restorations or alterations to auctioneer’s attention in writing. Failure to do so notwithstanding any description of the goods given by the auctioneers can result in the sale being rescinded and the seller being responsible for all allied costs incurred by the auctioneer and the buyer.
f) The seller warrants in respect of any item of mechanical or electrical equipment that it is:
a. in working order
b. reasonably fit for the purpose for which it is designed or adapted
c. that it can be used safely and without risk of causing injury or damage and
d. will indemnify Whittons against any loss or damage suffered in consequence of any breach of the above warranty and undertaking.
g) The Vendor gives Whittons full and absolute right to photograph and illustrate any lot placed with them for sale and to use such photographs and illustrations at any time at their absolute discretion whether or not in connection with the auction.
h) Sellers selling any assets of their business must disclose whether they are registered for value added tax (VAT) at the time the goods are presented for sale and disclose the VAT registration number and indicate clearly whether the goods are to be sold under the margin scheme and where this is the case, VAT will not be recoverable by the seller.

English law applies to the interpretation of these Conditions.