Auctions

When you buy secondhand goods at an auction, you may not be able to get your money back if you find out later that the goods are faulty. You have rights when you buy new goods at an auction.

Buying secondhand goods at an auction

You should always check the auction's conditions of sale which should be prominently displayed on the property where the auction is taking place or in the sale catalogue. As auctions are treated as "trade sales", it is very important to know the auction's policy on secondhand goods.

For example, the conditions of sale often include words such as "we are not responsible for the authenticity or condition of any item".

However, if you buy second-hand goods at an auction that consumers cannot take part in person, for example from a trader via an online auction, then you still have the protection offered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

Auctioneers must not falsely describe or misrepresent goods.

Buying new goods at an auction

Your consumer rights under the Sale of Goods Act when are protected when you buy new goods at an auction.

Find out more about your consumer rights when buying goods and services.

Tips when you go to an auction

If you've never been to an auction before, it's always a good idea to go along and see what happens before you bid at your first auction. When you go again and plan to bid, you should:

  • read and understand the auction's conditions of sale before you bid
  • be careful when an auctioneer describes an item as "AF" (as found) or "SAS" (sold as seen) - this could be a warning that there is something wrong with the item
  • examine the item very closely before you bid
  • decide on the maximum amount you're prepared to bid and keep to this budget
  • be aware that fees might be added to your bid as some auctions charge additional fees to which VAT applies
  • remember that you can't change your mind after the auctioneer's hammer falls

If you have a complaint about an auction

Most auction houses are members of trade bodies such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers (NAVA) or the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV).

Members will usually display the organisation's logo on their website or documents.

If you aren't satisfied with the service you got at an auction, complain first to the auction house. Then, if the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you should contact any trade body they claim to be a member of, as the trade body will usually offer some form of arbitration service.

If you require advice about the auctions in general, contact Consumerline.

 

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.