1. There will be a Buyer's Premium of 22% inclusive of VAT which will be charged in addition to the hammer price on all lots sold. There is an additional fee payable for bidding online - please see clause 22 below.
2. Smiths Auctions act as agents and are known as the 'Auctioneers', the persons instructing Smiths to sell goods are herein known as 'Vendors' and the persons who have acquired lots offered for sale are known as 'Purchasers'.
3. Care is taken to ensure that any statement as to authorship, attributions, date, age, provenance and conditions is reliable and accurate but all such statements are statements of opinion and are not to be taken as statements or presentations of fact. The auctioneers disclaim any liability for themselves or the Vendor for any errors of description.
The highest bidder shall be the buyer, subject to any reserves. If any dispute arises the Auctioneer shall have absolute discretion to settle it or to put any disputed lot up again. The auctioneers decision is absolute and final.
The auctioneer has the absolute right to divide and join lots, he may refuse any bid, withdraw lots from sale and advance the bidding as he may decide. The auctioneer may bid on behalf of the Vendor where there is a reserve or at their discretion.
All lots are sold as seen with all faults and imperfections. Neither the auctioneers nor the vendor are liable for any faults or defects . Each bidder must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise as to the condition and description of the lot including any damage, repairs or restoration. No warranty whatever is given by the Auctioneers or Vendor to any buyer in respect of any lot. Where a condition fault is noted in the catalogue it does not necessarily indicate that that is the only damage to the lot. A full condition report is recommended when the Purchaser is buying online and cannot view the item in person. The abbreviation a/f indicates a lot is damaged.
Before bidding all Purchasers must register with their full name, address and telephone number. Bidders in the saleroom will be given a bidding number and must show it each time that they make a successful bid. At the auctioneers discretion the purchaser may also have to leave their credit or debit card details if they wish to bid on certain lots.
Acting as agents the Auctioneers shall not be responsible for default on the part of the Purchaser. Any resulting loss together with interests, costs and expenses shall be made good by the defaulter and shall be recoverable as damages. This does not affect the right of the Auctioneer to enforce the contract of sale if they see fit.
In bidding the Purchaser acknowledges that he has satisfied himself with the Conditions of Sale and the description and condition of lots and agrees to be bound by them.
Lots are sold subject to any amendments, declarations, announcements or alterations to the description which can be made at any time by the Auctioneer prior to the invitation of bids.
On the fall of the hammer the lot shall become and remain in every respect the responsibility of the Purchaser and be held at their risk. This risk includes burglary, fire, theft and breakage. Please see clause 21 regarding postage of lots. All lots must be paid for in full and removed at the buyer's expense and risk from the saleroom by the end of the Tuesday following the sale. In default of this the auctioneers shall not be responsible if the same are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. All lots not removed within this period shall be at the sole risk of the buyer and subject to a storage charge. All items not removed after the expiration of 7 days after the conclusion of the sale they may then be sold either publicly or by private treaty without any notice to the buyer and storage charges will be deducted from the sale proceeds.
The Purchaser will be liable for any losses or charges as a result of non compliance with any of the conditions of sale.
The Auctioneer or the Vendor is not liable for any losses incurred due to the withdrawal of any lots or the cancellation or postponement of a sale.
Notwithstanding any other terms in these conditions of sale if a purchaser gives notice in writing to the auctioneer within seven days of the sale date that an item is a deliberate forgery and returns the lot to the auctioneers in the same condition as it was at the time of sale then the auctioneers are authorised to rescind the contract and refund the buyer the purchase price. This will not apply if the description indicates that there was any conflict of opinion or the auctioneers opinion is in general accordance the the general opinion of experts. The burden of proof lies with the purchaser who must produce evidence that the lot is a forgery.
Payment can be made by cash, debit card or credit card. The purchaser may be asked to pay by bank transfer for high value items or large invoices. No goods will be passed to any purchaser until the auctioneer is satisfied that full payment has been received. Items paid for by card over the telephone can only be posted to the registered address of the card holder - they cannot be picked up in person.
The Auctioneers will be pleased to execute commission bids on behalf of those unable to attend the sale. The lot will be purchased for the lowest bid possible subject to reserves and other bidding. The Auctioneers can accept no responsibility if bids are not executed for whatever reason. A deposit may be requested on the placing of a commission bid at the auctioneers discretion.
Every person whilst on the premise before, during or after the Sale shall be deemed to be there at their own risk, and no person shall make or have any claim against the Vendor or the Auctioneer in respect of any injury he may sustain, or accident which may happen.
Every person whilst on the premises will be held responsible for any damages they cause to the premises or to any Lots at any and all times. Persons handling lots do so at their own risk and shall be liable for any loss or damage. The estimate of the cost or loss is to be made by the auctioneer whose decision is final.
Every bidder will be deemed to act as principal unless there is a written agreement with the Auctioneers in force prior to the Auction that the bidder acts as agents on behalf of a named principal.
Where a picture falls subject to the Droit de Suite legislation the artist’s levy is to be paid by the Purchaser in addition to the sale price and auctioneers commission.
Postage of items
For items which are packed and posted or sent by courier the auctioneers cannot be held liable in any way if the items are lost, damaged or stolen. All items posted or sent by courier are done so at the sole risk of the buyer. Most items to be posted will be sent out by the following Friday after the sale. Items waiting for postage and packing arrangements to be made will not be charged storage unless the buyer delays in making payment when requested.
We offer an online bidding service via easyliveauction.com for bidders who cannot attend the sale.
Please note that any lots purchased via easyliveauction.com live auction service will be subject to an additional 3% commission charge + VAT at the rate imposed on the hammer price or no commission for the internet bidding if the ‘Flat Fee’ has been chosen at registration.
Smiths Auctions are pleased to provide an excellent packing and postage service for small and medium sized items purchased at their auctions. We endeavour to keep the costs for this as reasonable as possible. If you are unsure if an item you wish to bid on can be posted by us to your location please get in touch before bidding and we will be happy to advise.
All items are packed and posted at the buyer’s expense and risk. We cannot be held liable for any loss or damages incurred as a result of the packing and postage service provided.
Please read the following important notes carefully before bidding on postal items Services Used
Within the UK we use Royal Mail ‘Signed For’ (items under £50 hammer price), Special Delivery (items over £50 hammer price) and Parcelforce 48 (parcels over 2kg weight) to deliver our parcels.
For International buyers we can send smaller items using Royal Mail ‘International Tracked & Signed For’ but for items over 2kg packed weight (or 90cm total dimensions) we will have to use a courier and this can become expensive.
Please note we may be unable to post certain items due to postal regulations and your location. This includes knives, firearms, mercury barometers etc. Please get in touch before bidding for advice on this.
If you wish to use a different service to the ones we offer, we may be able to pack the item for you whilst you arrange the collection.
Please note that while we will add postal insurance to your items, most of the services we use (barring Royal Mail Special Delivery within the UK), will not actually cover you in the event of a claim for loss or breakage. Items such as jewellery, coins, collectables, ceramics, glass etc. are considered as ‘Restricted’ under the terms and conditions of most postal agencies. We use a fully tracked or signed for service for all our items and pack everything to a very high standard, so this is very rarely an issue.
Please note that if a claim does need to be made, it is up to the buyer to pursue this with the relevant postal agency, not through Smiths auctions.
Types of Items we can pack and post for you
We provide an excellent and careful packing service for as many items that we can in our auctions. However, we do not post large, heavy, extremely fragile or very valuable items. Although we have a skilled packaging team who endeavour to make your items as safe as possible, we are not a professional packaging agency. Examples of things we do not post include large tea and dinner services. pictures (unless very small), medium to large size clocks, any furniture, very fragile or very valuable items of china and glass.
You may wish to use Mailboxes for these items and our local office can be contacted on 01242 530130 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are happy to pack groups of items, small groups of ceramics and glass, collectables of many shapes and sizes (within reason), silver, jewellery etc. We feel it is a matter of common sense as to what we might pack but we realise all salerooms are different - so if in doubt please telephone us or email for advice before the auction.
In order to keep costs as low as possible for our customers we do not use standardised fees. Each consignment is packed and weighed and the postage is then calculated based on the size, weight and value of the parcel. We are happy to quote ahead of the sale for packing costs and we can also try to give you a rough estimate of what the postage cost might be. Our minimum packing charge is £5.
Once the sale is over and you begin the shipping process your item will be packed up in order to calculate the exact postage cost for you. We will therefore require payment for packing even if you change your mind on the postage or shipping method used. This means that once you ask for a packing quote you are in the system and your item will be packed as soon as possible and ready to post.
On the positive side it means we will charge you less than standardised fees and our service is streamlined, efficient and fast. We do not seek to make a profit on the cost of the postage, but we do endeavour to recover our staffing costs – both administrative and physical plus the cost of packing materials.
Packaging and the Environment
The team at Smiths are passionate about the environment and the effect of our industry within it. Therefore, we try our very best where possible and safe to use recyclable and reusable materials such as second-hand cardboard boxes, eco fill loose fill and other recyclable or reusable materials in order to pack your items. We encourage our customers
to please reuse the packaging that your item is sent to you in.
Larger Items and Furniture
For large consignments of bulky items and furniture you may wish to use a local or national transport service to collect the items as this can be more economical. We can recommend H & H transport on 01989 843664 . An alternative to these local couriers might be Shiply who can be found at www.shiply.com