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Participating in the auction in person, in writing, by telephone or online implies acknowledgement of the following conditions:
1. The auction is voluntary, and is run by Düsseldorf auction house, H. Steinbu?chel Nachfolge GmbH, hereinafter known as 'auction house'. The auction is performed on behalf and for the account of the consignor.
2. Before placing a bid, bidders must take a bidder number in exchange for their personal details. The auction house may request official proof of ID, a bank reference and/or collateral. It may, at its discretion, prevent a person from participating in the auction.
3. Bids are generally made in person at the auction, indicating this clearly to the auctioneer. If a bidder wishes to place bids on behalf of someone else, they must advise this before commencement of the auction, stating the name and address of the person they are representing, otherwise the bidder themselves will be liable. The auction house may reject the representation.
4. Bids in instances where the bidder cannot attend the auction in person must be placed in writing, or be received by the auction house by post/fax, at least 48 hours prior to commencement of the auction. The bid details must be clear and comprehensible. Additional conditions imposed by the bidder will not be deemed valid. If multiple bids have the same maximum amount, only the bid that arrived earlier shall be taken into account.
Bids placed by telephone may be permitted in specific cases, though the bidder is not entitled to this. In this case, all necessary information must be provided to the auction house at least 48 hours prior to commencement of the auction.
The auction house makes no guarantee that a telephone connection will be established. The bidder bears the risk of line disruption or line unavailability.
Telephone bidders commit to accepting the limit price stated in the catalogue as their bid if they cannot be reached during the auction.
If the line drops out during the bidding process, the last amount officially bid shall apply exclusively; not any potential maximum amount mentioned beforehand or during the telephone conversation.
The above requirements for telephone bidders also apply to online bidders, as well as to preliminary bids placed through an internet portal. In the case of bidders using an Internet portal, the auction house bears no liability for portal-based transmission.
The bidder agrees for the bidding process to be recorded.
5. The auction house can merge or split numbers, offer them for sale out of sequence, or retract them.
6. The call for bids generally starts with the limit price listed in the catalogue, and is regularly increased by 10%. A placed bid remains valid until conclusion of the auction for the specific object. The sale is made if, after the highest bid has been repeated 3 times, no higher bid is placed, and the minimum price set by the consignor has been reached.
7. If a sale is made subject to a caveat, the bidder will be bound to their bid for 3 weeks. If an unconditional sale is not made within this time, the bid expires. If a caveat is not approved by the consignor or if someone places a bid for the limit amount, the catalogue number can be awarded to the highest bidder without consulting the bidder requesting the caveat. The latter will be responsible for checking to see if their bid has been approved. A written notification sent to the address provided by the bidder will suffice for the sale to be deemed valid.
8. The auction house can reject a bid. In this case, the bid placed immediately prior will be binding. If more than one person places the same bid, the sale will be determined by drawing lots. If there is a disagreement over a sale, the auction house can, at its discretion, immediately re-award the sale to a specific bidder or call for more bids on the object. If a highest bidder does not want their bid to be deemed valid, the auction house can still award them the sale and pursue the resulting rights. It can, however, also award the sale to the next lowest bid, or call for new bids on the object.
9. The sale obliges the bidder to accept and pay. Upon pronouncement of the sale, the risk of losses, damage, mix-ups etc. not caused by the auction house is transferred to the buyer.
This is a public auction as defined by Section 383 Para. 3 of the German Civil Code (BGB). No rights of revocation or return are permitted once the sale has been made, cf. Section 474 BGB.
The purchase price consists of the sale amount and a surcharge of 24%, including the current legal VAT of 19% applicable to the surcharge. The VAT is only charged on the commission, and cannot be refunded for foreign bidders.
In the case of original pieces of visual art or photographic works whose creators have not died in the 70 years prior to the sale, the seller is obliged, under Section 26 of the German Copyright Act (UrhG), to pay a legal resale-rights charge on the sales proceeds. The successful bidder will pay a proportionate share of this fee as follows:
- 2% of the sale price, for sale prices of € 400.00 - € 50,000.00
- 1.5% of the sale price, for sale prices of € 50,000.01 - € 200,000.00
10. The entire amount due from the successful bidder must be paid to the auction house immediately and in cash. Cheques will only be deemed as settled upon provision of an unconditional bank credit note.
If a sale is made through a successful bid, the entire amount due must be paid into the auction house's account within 7 working days of the invoice date. The auction house is not obliged to accept payments in foreign currency.
If the auction house does, however, accept such payments, exchange-rate losses resulting from exchanges performed within an appropriate time frame, as well as bank charges, will be borne by the successful bidder.
11. All objects put up for auction may be inspected and checked before the auction and during the offering for sale. The objects have been used, and are auctioned off in the condition they present at the time of the sale. The catalogue descriptions do not constitute an agreement on their legal and factual nature as defined by Section 434 BGB, nor are they a guarantee of quality as defined by Section 443 BGB.
The same applies for verbal or written information obtained by a successful bidder from the auction house's staff.
12. The object's condition is not mentioned in detail in the catalogue. Missing information on the object's condition similarly does not equate to an agreement on its legal and factual nature. Catalogue descriptions, particularly information relating to dimensions, weight, origin, age, completeness, condition etc. have been compiled in the catalogue in good faith and to the best of the compiler's knowledge, but do not serve to distinguish objects from each other, and do not constitute quality-related information under sales law.
The condition descriptions in the catalogue only mention major damage. The non-existence of such a mention does not mean the object is in good condition or is free from faults/defects. The same applies for images in the catalogue. The aim of these images is to guide bidders during their preliminary inspection. Faults or defects not being visible in the images does not mean the object is in good condition and is free from faults/defects.
13. The auction house reserves the right to correct catalogue information relating to the auction object. This correction is performed either by a written sign on site at the auction or verbally by the auctioneer directly before the specific object is auctioned. The auction house bears the same liability for this correction as it does for the original information.
14. The auction house auctions off the objects under exclusion of guarantee. All claims resulting from the auction are generally raised against the consignor. The auction house does, however commit to forwarding claims immediately raised and justified by the buyer to the consignor of the objected item within 6 months of the sale.
15. In the event of impaired performance, the auction house will only be liable for deliberate intent or gross negligence. The liability limitations do not apply in the event of attributable physical injury, harm to health, or death.
This also applies to any of the auction house's performing or vicarious agents.
16. Ownership of the auctioned item is only transferred to the successful bidder upon full payment. If the successful bidder defaults on payment, default interest of 9 per cent above the basic rate will be charged. The auction house reserves the right to assert further damage claims. No deferral may be granted.
17. If the successful bidder defaults on their payment, the auction house can demand fulfilment of the purchase agreement, withdraw from the agreement, or raise compensation claims for non-fulfilment. If a payment extension deadline set by the auction house, on penalty of conducting an alternative auction, elapses without payment, damage compensation may be charged in such a way that the object is re-auctioned at one of the next auctions. If this results in the object being sold, the defaulting successful bidder's rights resulting from the original sale will be forfeited. The defaulting successful bidder will, however, be liable for any loss, including auction costs. They are not entitled to receive any additional proceeds.
18. The auction house is entitled, and authorised by the consignor, to collect purchase-price claims, ancillary services and other costs on its own behalf, file a suit for these in court, and assert the rights listed under point 17.
19. The successful bidder may only exercise a right to refuse performance or a withholding right if their counterclaim is based on the same contractual relationship.
20. The successful bidder is only entitled to offset if their counterclaims have been legally established or recognised by the auction house.
21. Once payment has been made, the successful bidder commits to collecting the auctioned object within 14 working days of the auction date. If they do not fulfil this obligation, the auction house is entitled to store the auctioned object at the consignor's expense.
22. The successful bidder is not entitled to have the auctioned object sent out. This is only done at the successful bidder's express request, and at their expense and risk.
23. The above conditions also apply to any subsequent private purchase of the auctioned object.
24. This contract is governed by federal German law. The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods does not apply.
25. The place of fulfilment is Düsseldorf.
If the (successful) bidder is a registered trader, the exclusive place of jurisdiction for all disputes arising from this contract is Düsseldorf. The same applies if the (successful) bidder does not have a general place of jurisdiction within Germany, or their place of residence or habitual abode is not known at the time suit is filed.
26. Should certain provisions of the contract, including these auction conditions, be or become fully or partly invalid, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions. The partly or fully invalid provision shall be replaced by one whose economic purpose comes as close as possible to that of the invalid original.
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