Fine Art Auctioneers
Seller Terms and Conditions
Terms of consignment for sellers
1. Interpretation. In these terms the words ‘you’, ‘yours’, etc. refer to the seller and if the consignment of goods to us is made by an agent we assume that the seller has authorised the consignment and that the consignor has the seller’s authority to contract. Similarly the words ‘we’, ‘us’, etc. refer to the auctioneers.
2. Commission will be charged at 17.5% plus VAT on all lots.
3. Removal costs. Items for sale must be consigned to the saleroom by any stated deadline and at your expense. We may be able to assist you with this process but any liability incurred to a carrier for haulage charges is solely your responsibility.
4. Loss and damage. Sworders is not authorised by the FSA to provide insurance to its clients, and does not so do. However, Sworders, for its own protection, assumes liability for property consigned to it at mid pre-sale estimate, until title passes to the buyer, or, at our valuation if no estimate has been agreed.
5. Catalogue illustration. Where lots are illustrated in the auction catalogue and/or on our website we reserve the right to make a charge for this service.
6. Removal of lots. Unsold lots must be removed within three days of the sale in which last offered unless explicit alternative arrangements have been made with the auctioneers. Lots not so collected will be removed to store at a cost of £20 per item and a storage fee of £1 per lot per day will become payable by the vendor from this time. If lots are not collected within 3 weeks of their being offered for sale, the auctioneers reserve the right to dispose of such lots and charge any expenses incurred to the vendor.
7. Minimum bids and our discretion. Goods may be offered subject to a reserve agreed between us before the sale in accordance with clause 8. We may sell lots below the reserve provided we account to you for the same sale proceeds as you would have received had the reserve been the hammer price. If you specifically give us a “discretion” we may accept a bid of up to 10% below the formal reserve.
8. Reserves. You are entitled to place prior to the auction, a reserve on any lot consigned, being the minimum hammer price at which that lot may be sold. Reserves must be reasonable and we may decline to offer goods which in our opinion would be subject to an unreasonably high reserve (in which case goods carry the storage and insurance charges stipulated in these terms of consignment).
(a) a reserve once set cannot be changed except without our consent.
(b) where a reserve has been placed only we may bid on your behalf and only up to the reserve (if any) and you may in no circumstances bid personally.
9. Electrical items. These are subject to detailed statutory safety controls. Where such items are accepted for sale you accept responsibility for the cost of testing by external contractors. Goods not certified as safe by an electrician (unless antiques) will not be accepted for sale. They must be removed at your expense on your being notified. We reserve the right to dispose of unsafe goods as refuse, at your expense.
10. Soft furnishings. The sale of soft furnishings is strictly regulated by statute law in the interests of fire safety. Goods found to infringe safety regulations will not be offered and must be removed at your expense. We reserve the right to dispose of unsafe goods as refuse, at your expense. The rights of disposal referred to in clauses 9 and 10 are subject to the provisions of the Torts (interference with Goods) Act 1977, schedule 1, a copy of which is available for inspection on request.
11. Picture frames. Due to the fragile nature of picture frames, Sworders accept no responsibility whatsoever for any damage, howsoever caused, to picture frames whilst in our possession, either in the auction room, in store, or in transit
12. Descriptions. Please assist us with the accurate information as to the provenance etc. of goods where this is relevant. There is strict liability for the accuracy of descriptions under modern consumer legislation and in some circumstances responsibility lies with the seller if inaccuracies occur. We will assume that you have approved the catalogue description of your lots unless informed to the contrary. Where we are obliged to return the price to the buyer when the lot is a deliberate forgery under condition 15 of the conditions of sale and we have accounted to you for the proceeds of sale you agree to reimburse us the sale proceeds. The liability to reimburse the sale proceeds shall not arise where you are acting reasonably and honestly and are unaware of the forgery, but we are or ought to have been aware of it.
13. Unsold items. If an item is unsold it may with our consent be re-offered at a future sale. Where in our opinion an item is unsaleable you must collect such item from the saleroom promptly on being so informed, otherwise storage charges may be incurred. We reserve the right to charge for storage in these circumstances at a reasonable daily rate.
14. Withdrawn items. Items must be withdrawn by you in writing. Withdrawn lots are liable to incur a withdrawal fee if withdrawn after being catalogued and/or marketed by us. The withdrawal fee will be 30% of the low estimate plus VAT, plus any expenses incurred.
15. Conditions of sale. You agree that all goods will be sold on our conditions of sale. In particular you undertake that you have the right to sell the goods either as owner or agent for the owner. You undertake to compensate us and any buyer or third party for all losses liabilities and expenses incurred in respect of and as a result of any breach of this undertaking.
16. Authority to deduct commission and expenses and retain buyers’ premium and interest.
(a) you authorise us to deduct commission at the stated rate, and all expenses incurred for your account, from the hammer price and consent to our right to retain beneficially the premium paid by the buyer in accordance with our conditions of sale, and any interest earned on the sale proceeds until the date of settlement.
(b) you authorise us, at our discretion, to negotiate a sale by private treaty, not later than the close of business on the day of the sale in the case of lots unsold at auction, in which case the same charges will be payable as if such lots had been sold at auction, and so far as appropriate these terms apply.
17. Banking Details. Monies are held in G E S and Sons Limited clients’ account with HSBC Bank, 18 North Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts CM23 2LP. The account is interest bearing.
18. Settlement. After sale, settlement of the net sum due to you normally takes place within 21 days of the country house and specialist sales and fourteen days after the weekly interiors sale (by crossed cheque to the seller) unless the buyer has not paid for the goods. In this case no settlement will then be made but we will take your instructions in the light of our conditions of sale. You authorise any sums owed by you to us on other transactions to be deducted from the sale proceeds. You must note the liability to reimburse the proceeds of sale to us as under the circumstances provided for in condition 12 above. You should therefore bear this potential liability in mind before parting with the proceeds of sale until the expiry of 10 days from the date of sale.
19. Data protection. Sworders will process and hold client details in accordance with the Data Protection Act guidelines and will not pass it to any other company or organisation unless legally required to do so.