Terms and Conditions of Sale
The company Medalhouse OY (hereinafter “the auction house”, business ID/VAT number: FI 20845350) acts as an agent/broker for its consignors for selling items (hereinafter “items” or “lots”) listed in the published auction catalog. The sale in the form of a public auction will take place at 14:00 (2 PM) on October 23, 2010 (Saturday) in the Balder Hall, Aleksanterinkatu 12, Helsinki , Finland. Viewing of all lots offered for sale will begin at 9:00 (9 AM) on the same day at the same location and will end shortly before the start of the auction. All sales made by the auction house during or after the auction (“post-auction sale”) will be governed by these Terms and Conditions.
Description of Lots
All lots in this catalog are described as accurately as possible and in good faith. Since condition of any item is a matter of opinion no guarantee of condition is stated or implied by catalog descriptions. Wherever possible, the auction house uses the help of well-known experts to determine originality of items. Buyers are also strongly encouraged to examine all lots during the viewing, held prior to the sale. The auction house cannot be held responsible for accuracy of the information it received from third parties and has used in the catalog descriptions. Also please note that many pictures are no to scale. For exact measurements please refer to lot descriptions.
Prospective buyers should keep in mind that nearly all items, offered for sale, are old and used. By nature, they were intended to be worn; therefore, all of them have inevitable signs of wear and tear. That is especially the case with the older items. Therefore, their age should be taken into consideration when judging the condition. Only significant faults (damage, restoration, etc.) that go well over normal wear and tear for this type of item are mentioned in the description.
Majority of items listed in the catalog are described (in regard to their country of origin, name/title, material, markings and other important characteristics (especially, class/rank and type/version/variation)) in terms commonly used in reference literature and generally accepted by the collectors’ community. However, for some items, little or no reference material is available and/or no consensus exists amongst collectors, regarding the use of certain terms and/or classifications. In such rare cases, we recommend our customers to focus mainly on physical characteristics of an item (such as size, weight, material, appearance and etc.). In other words, while class/rank and/or type/version/variation of a certain item could be a matter of opinion, “physical” characteristics should be viewed as more credible and, if in doubt, given more weight and higher significance.
All persons willing to participate in the auction are required to register with the auction house. No bids from unregistered persons will be accepted. By registering the prospective participant (hereinafter “bidder”) unconditionally agrees to the Terms and Conditions of the sale. The auction house reserves the right to refuse registration to anyone for any reason. The auction house also reserves the right to request references and/or deposit from unknown persons, before registering them as participants of the auction.
Your bid is a binding contract. Every bidder is personally fully responsible for his own bids. In case of any dispute, no claims of acting on behalf of a third party will be accepted. All prices in the catalog are, generally, starting price intervals, denominated in Euros. The final sale price might be higher than the starting price. The auction house reserves the right to withdraw any lot from the sale prior or during the auction for any reason.
Mail/absentee bids are accepted until up to 24 hours before the beginning of the auction. In such cases, the auction house will be bidding on behalf of the absentee bidder. There is no charge for this service. However, mail/absentee bidders have to state their maximum bids clearly. No “unlimited” or “maximum price” bids will be accepted. If two or more bids have being placed for the same amount the bid placed earlier takes precedence. Hence, we recommend absentee bidders to make their bids in odd numbers (“101” instead of “100”) to minimize the possibility of “tie” bids.
Potential absentee bidders should also keep in mind that their bids should be mailed/faxed well in advance in order to be included into auction’s final bidding list. If your bids do not arrive by the deadline mentioned above, they will not be processed. Therefore, we encourage all absentee bidders to send their bids as early as possible and use email or phone rather than traditional mail or fax.
Phone bids during the course of live auction are accepted for lots with starting prices of 500 Euros and above (in total, combined). All phone bidders are required to place at least the minimum/opening bid for every item they plan to bid on. Should there be any issues affecting communication with the phone bidder during the auction (for example, disconnected phone call, busy line, etc.) the auction house would automatically place a minimum bid on behalf of such bidder for every lot he requested.
Phone bidders unknown to the auction house might be asked to confirm their bids in writing prior to the beginning of the auction. The auction house staff cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or miscommunication that happens in the course of phone bidding. If you plan to bid over the phone please contact the auction house as early as possible, as prior arrangements need to be made in order to facilitate the phone bidding.
Conduct of the Sale
The auctioneer appointed by the auction house has an absolute discretion in the conduct of the sale. The auctioneer reserves the right to change the sequence of lots during the sale, to start the bidding from whatever price he deems reasonable and to set up any bid increments. The auctioneer also reserves the right to refuse any bids, which, in his opinion, were made not in good faith. Should any miscommunication happen in the hall during the course of auction (including but not limited to issues, whose bid was placed first, who offered the highest amount and etc.), the auctioneer has the ultimate authority to resolve the situation. That includes stopping the auction, discussing the issue with interested parties and making the decision. Until the auctioneer’s decision is announced all the bids are obligatory. The auctioneer might restart bidding for any item if he deems that necessary. Once the auctioneer has made the decision it becomes final and is obligatory for all participants of the auction.
On the fall of the hammer the lot will be sold to the bidder that offered to pay the highest price for it (hereinafter “buyer”). From that moment the buyer will also bear all the risks associated with further handling of the purchased lot (loss and/or accidental damage during transportation, storage etc.). The auction house could not be held liable for any of those risks unless it would be proven that the damage/loss has happened due to gross negligence of the auction house’s personnel.
Buyer’s commission of 18% plus VAT will be added to the hammer price. Unless prior arrangements were made, full payment is due immediately after the end of the sale. Payment can be made in cash or by bank transfer (direct or wire). Payment with credit cards (Visa and Master card only) is also possible but is mainly reserved for absentee bidders and prior arrangements need to be made. All credit card payments are subject to an additional 1,25% fee (on top of the total invoice amount), collected to cover auction house’s credit card processing costs. If you are planning to pay with a credit card, please advice the auction house before the beginning of the sale.
Absentee bidders are expected to pay for their purchases in full within 7 days after receiving the invoices. Should the buyer choose to make the payment in any currency other than Euro, he unconditionally agrees to cover any costs incurred by the auction house while processing such payment. These costs may include (but are not limited to) bank exchange fees, conversion fees and transfer fees. This rule applies regardless of whether the payment was made by cash, bank transfer or credit card. Bank ID for money transfer is: Nordea Bank Finland PLC, Aleksanterinkatu 36, 00020, Helsinki, Finland. Account Number: 174530-26932; IBAN - FI7517453000026932; BIC/SWIFT - NDEAFIHH
No lot will be released to the buyer until paid in full. The ownership of the lot does not transfer until payment has been made in full. Once full payment is received the lot will be available for immediate pickup, beginning from the end of the sale. Successful bidders present in the hall during live auction are expected to pick up items they won on the day of the auction. If the buyer is unable to pick the lot up, the auction house will ship it (at buyer’s expense) to the address listed on buyer’s registration form. Postal insurance for full value of the item is mandatory and has to be paid by the buyer as well as all other shipping and handling costs. Under no circumstances, the auction house should be held responsible for items being lost, stolen or damaged while in transit (whether in the mail or by any other means). All customs duties and/or local taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.
VAT (Value Added Tax) refund
Buyers, residing outside of the EU, in some cases might be entitled to the VAT refund for their auction purchases. In order to claim the refund the buyer would have to fill out all the necessary paperwork and submit to the auction house proof of exportation of each item he purchased. Normally, export declaration stamped by any EU customs office/border post would be accepted as sufficient proof of exportation.
For customers, who choose to receive their purchases by mail, a copy of the postal customs exportation form along with the proof of mailing would, normally, be sufficient. However, in cases where VAT refund claim is requested, auction house is required by law to file and submit an “extended” customs exportation form (about 10 pages long), as opposed to the “simplified” form used in the regular mail. Due to the complicated nature of this process and outside company has been employed to handle the paperwork (for a fee). The auction house reserves the right to pass this fee on to the buyer and the buyer unconditionally agrees to reimburse the auction house the full amount of such fee prior to receiving the VAT refund and/or his purchases.
Regardless of the chosen delivery method, in most cases the buyer is required to pay the full price of the item (including VAT) first. The auction house reserves the right to delay the refund of the VAT to its customers until it receives the approval from the respective authorities. It also reserves the right to deny the refund claim should, for whatever reason, it be refused by the respective authorities. In case the authorities later deny the claim the buyer unconditionally agrees to return full amount of the refunded VAT back to the auction house.
EU-based companies are exempt from paying VAT, provided the item is purchased for and paid by the company (not an individual) for the purpose of re-sale. In order to claim the VAT exemption the company would have to provide a valid VAT number from its home country. No exemption would be granted until the number is verified. In most cases, payment is expected to be made from the company’s account and purchases would only be mailed to company’s business address. The auction house also reserves the right to charge the buyer a reasonable fee in order to cover the expenses, incurred while processing the VAT refund claim on his behalf. Such expenses may include (but are not limited to) document filing fees, legal/attorney fees, tax advisor/preparer fees and etc. The buyer unconditionally agrees to reimburse the auction house for all such fees, whether his VAT refund claim is successful or not. It should be clearly understood, that all assistance in this matter is an additional service, the auction house voluntarily provides to its clients. By no means, it is not an obligation of the auction house.
In accordance with the law, the VAT refund could only be issued during a limited time after the date of the auction. Therefore, it is very important to submit all the required paperwork in a timely manner in order to be able to claim the refund. For more detailed information regarding the VAT refund please contact a member of the auction house staff.
Unless prior arrangements were made, all lots not paid in full within 7 days after the auction would incur a late fee (currently 9,5% yearly). In addition to that fee the auction house reserves the right to charge the late-paying bidder the interest on the full hammer price of the lot as well as other additional fees (storage, insurance, etc.). The bidder unconditionally agrees to pay such fees should he delay the payment for the purchased lot. Moreover, the auction house also reserves the right to re-sell any lot if it’s not paid in full within a reasonable amount of time and to employ a collection agency and/or to file a lawsuit against non-paying bidder for failure to execute the bidding contract.
Returns and complains
All sales are final with the fall of the hammer. Returns could only be accepted if the item is proven to be significantly different from the description in the catalog. The returned item must be in the same condition as prior to the sale. Return claim can only be discussed with immediate buyer (“end consumer”) of the item and only if the item has been paid in full prior to the dispute. Absolutely no condition-based returns would be accepted from participants of the live auction. Condition-based return claims from absentee bidders would only be considered if they could prove that the lot in question has been grossly misdescribed in the catalog. Once the consignor has been paid in full, absolutely no return claims would be accepted. In case of any disagreement, the final and ultimate decision regarding return of any lot belongs to the auction house.
Dispute resolution and limitation of liability
In case of any contradictions between several translations of Terms and Conditions, Finnish version of the text prevails. The business of the auction house (and, therefore, these Terms and Conditions) is governed by laws of the Republic of Finland. Common law for international sale of second-hand movable goods applies to any litigation arising out of or in connection with the auction sale and/or interpretation or execution of these Terms and Conditions. The place of jurisdiction for all disputes arising out of or in connection with these Terms and Conditions shall be Finland. Under any circumstances, the auction house’s maximum responsibility is limited to the amount of commission charged on the hammer price of the item in question. Absolutely no claims of additional expenses and/or lost profit would be accepted.