1. Scope of application and recognition
These General Auction Conditions “General Terms and Conditions for e@uction” (hereinafter referred to as GTCs for short), shall apply for all business relationships between Ulrich Felzmann GmbH & Co. KG, Immermannstr. 51, 40210 Düsseldorf, Germany (hereinafter referred to as “Auctioneer”) and the participants of an “e@uction” organised by the Auctioneer on its auction platform www.felzmann.de, upon which these GTCs can be viewed at any time and downloaded in PDF form. By submitting a bid – regardless of what form said bid takes – the applicable version of these GTCs shall be recognised as being fully and solely binding. GTCs shall also apply when other websites use the auction website www.felzmann.de in such a way that they allow full or partial access to an e@uction. Any conflicting or deviating GTCs pertaining to participants in an e@uction shall not apply, even if this is not explicitly stated, and shall not be recognised by the Auctioneer unless the (partial) application of this is expressly stated in writing.
The e@uction is a public and voluntary auction, organised by Ulrich Felzmann GmbH & Co. KG (Auctioneer), of movable goods from the field of numismatics and philately in the broadest sense. The Auctioneer shall act in its own name as a commission agent for the account of the owners (suppliers), who shall remain anonymous. As a limited-time event, the e@uction is held in accordance with the terms of the Regulation on Commercial Auctions (Federal Law Gazette (BGBl) 1976, Part I, 1346, Auction Regulations – VerstV), in accordance with the legal requirements for commission agents set out in the German Civil Code (BGB) and German Commercial Code (HGB), and in accordance with these General Auction Conditions as an online auction on the internet auction platform www.felzmann.de, overseen by an auctioneer who is present in person during the auction, in which the euro is the specified currency.
3. Registration and log-in
Following a one-time registration, participants must log into each separate e@uction with their own password. The registration shall be carried out by a natural person of full legal capacity providing complete and accurate information and choosing his or her own password, which is to be kept secret. The Auctioneer shall not be liable for damages arising from the misuse of a password. Legal persons may only be registered through named natural persons who are authorised to represent them. Only one registration is permitted per person. PO boxes may not be given as addresses. Participants are required to keep their registration data up-to-date. Damages resulting from incorrect or outdated data shall be borne by the participants in question. Deliveries made to the most recent address communicated to the Auctioneer by the auction participant shall be deemed effective regardless of whether the auction participant (still) resides there. In order to ensure maximum data security, data is transferred in encrypted form. The Auctioneer shall undertake to treat all data with absolute confidentiality. It shall only be permissible to pass on customer data if required to do so by law or in order to fulfil a contract.
4. Auction catalogue, lot descriptions and lot viewing
The items to be auctioned are presented for at least two weeks in the form of lots with descriptions in an online auction catalogue (which can also be printed out as a downloadable PDF file) as an invitation to submit an offer.
The lot descriptions are prepared by experts with the utmost care based on their subjective opinions and to the best of their knowledge and belief. They do not constitute guarantees as defined by the Sale of Goods Act or define a specific property or a specific value. Rather, they serve only the purposes of information, explanation, classification and demarcation. In the case of coins, information regarding the condition of the coins adheres strictly to the classifications that are standard in the coin trade. The lots are auctioned in the condition in which they are found at the auction.
All lots can be viewed both in detail on the internet and in physical form on two days before the auction by appointment at the Auctioneer’s offices or at another location decided upon by the Auctioneer (e.g. at a stamp fair). When viewing lots physically, interested parties can have the properties of these explained to them by experts face-to-face.
5. (Advance) bids, auction increments and bids that are lower than the starting price
Once the online auction catalogue has been presented, advance bids can be submitted online or in writing. Through advance bids, the bidder commissions and authorises the Auctioneer to submit bids on his/her behalf and, in the event that the lot is awarded, to enter into a purchase agreement for the bidder with the Auctioneer. In this case, the bidder releases the Auctioneer from the regulations of section 181 of the German Civil Code concerning self-dealing. Bids submitted to the Auctioneer (in writing) will be placed as per the defined auction increments in the interests of the bidder but without guarantee. This means that a maximum bid will only be used insofar as it is necessary to outbid (by one auction increment) an existing bid or competing bids that are placed later on.
The auction increments are:
Up to €50 €2
up to €100 €5
from €100 €10
from €300 20€
from 700€ 50€
from 1,000€ 100€
from 3,000€ 200€
from 7,000€ 500€
from 10,000€ 1,000€
from 30,000€ 2,000€
Bids that are lower than the starting price will not be accepted. Bids that do not correspond to the auction increments shall be rounded up; bids such as “in all cases” and “at all costs” will, at the discretion of the Auctioneer, be carried out up to ten times the starting price but will not necessarily be entitled to be awarded the lot. If more than one bid is submitted for the same amount, the one that was received first shall take priority. Queries regarding (the size of) existing bids will not be answered. All advance bids must be received by the Auctioneer two hours before the auction begins or they will not be taken into account.
The Auctioneers shall – without being required to furnish reasons – be entitled to reject bids, to withdraw lots from the auction, to combine lots into a single lot or split up lots into several individual lots, to block IP addresses for the e@uction, to exclude individuals from the auction completely and to remove any bids that these may have submitted for the current auction. Individuals who have been excluded from an e@uction may only re-register to take part with the express permission of the Auctioneer – even if this is done indirectly via third parties; otherwise the excluded individual shall be liable for all costs and damages resulting from its new registration and (steps takes to counter) its activities on the Auctioneer’s auction platform.
6. Pricing procedure and awarding of lots
Once a lot has been called up – e.g. with a starting bid that has been increased through advance bids – a higher bid (greater by one auction increment) can be submitted directly as a live online bid. For the highest current bid in each case, the Auctioneer will call the sequence “GOING, GOING, GONE!” (in German: “ZUM ERSTEN, ZUM ZWEITEN UND ZUM DRITTEN!”). This sequence will be repeated anew for each higher bid. Only when the sequence is no longer interrupted by a higher bid will it be closed with “GONE” (in German: “ZUM DRITTEN”), i.e. the lot is awarded to the highest bidder.
Through this pricing procedure, in which bidders compete directly in an unlimited period of time and can respond by placing higher bids – an essential element of an auction – the best possible price is reached on the market for sellers and buyers at the point in time at which the auction is held. If only one bid has been submitted for a lot, it shall be awarded at the starting bid. In justified cases, the Auctioneers shall be entitled to cancel the awarding of the lot and to auction it again. When the lot is awarded, the risk for loss or damage beyond the control of the Auctioneer shall be transferred to the buyer; however, ownership of the purchased item shall only be transferred to the buyer once payment has been made in full to the auction house.
7. Formation of contract and total invoice account
Each bid for a lot constitutes a legally binding offer to enter into a purchase agreement with the Auctioneer which remains effective until a higher bid is placed or the auction is closed without the lot being awarded. With the declaration to accept the highest bid pronounced in connection with the awarding of the lot by the Auctioneer, a purchase agreement between the bidder and the Auctioneer shall take effect (section 156 German Civil Code (BGB)). The purchase agreement requires the buyer to accept all lots acquired and to settle the total invoice account in euros. This shall also apply for lots awarded as a result of incorrect information being given by the bidder.
8. Premiums and VAT
The (net) acquisition price forms the basis for calculating the premium to be paid by the buyer, which is subject to differential taxation without indicating VAT.
For buyers in European Union countries: Consumers pay a standard premium of 23.8%. Dealers (as defined in the German VAT Act – UStG) pay a premium of 23.8% on goods that are subject to differential taxation (this premium includes 19% VAT) plus postage and insurance. For dealers, the invoice can be issued with regular taxation. In this case, the premium is 20% plus 19% VAT on the total of acquisition price and premium and postage/insurance. The movement of goods within the EU can be exempted from VAT in accordance with statutory provisions (with VAT registration identification number).
For buyers resident in third-party countries (outside the EU): Buyers pay a premium of 20%. If Auktionshaus Ulrich Felzmann GmbH & Co. KG exports the goods to third-party countries itself or through third parties, the invoice will not contain VAT. If the goods are exported by the buyer him/herself or via a third party, VAT will be charged and reimbursed on presentation of the necessary proof of export. In all cases, the buyer him/herself will assume any import taxes or customs duties.
A premium of 20% will be charged for gold coins that are exempt from VAT.
9. Dispatch, self-collection and cash payment
The acquired lots are dispatched at cost price shortly after receipt of payment – the Auctioneer will decide whether this is done by post or by a private delivery company. Any other type of dispatch requires the consent of the Auctioneer. The items will be sent to the address communicated to the Auctioneer by the buyer and, if the latter is a businessman or woman, at his or her own risk. If communicated by the buyer beforehand, it is possible for the latter to collect his/her acquired lots in person from the Auctioneer – and to pay for the entire amount in cash – up to seven days after the close of the auction.
10. Due date for payment
The total invoice account is due for payment within one week of being invoiced. The buyer shall pay said amount – in advance and free of any charges – by bank transfer to one of the bank accounts indicated in the auction invoice. The payment shall be effected in such a way that it is received by the Auctioneer no later than 14 days after the invoicing date. The buyer shall bear any transaction costs that are incurred. Payments in foreign currency shall be accepted based on the settlement day and the euro amount credited by a major bank, whereby any differences owing to exchange rate fluctuations shall be borne by the buyer. Buyers shall only be entitled to delivery of their acquired lots once the total invoice account – for all lots acquired by the buyer in the auction plus any accumulated costs and interest – has been settled in full. Any other payment shall only be permitted if agreed with the Auctioneer in writing beforehand. Where the purchase is made for a third party, the bidder and the third party shall be jointly and severally liable. If, at the request of the buyer, an invoice is issued by the Auctioneer in the name of a third party, only an additional settlement obligation shall be recognised for said third party: no additional rights shall be granted to him/her. This shall not affect the buyer’s liability.
11. Payment delay, refusal to accept acquired lots and partial payments
In the event of a payment delay or refusal to accept the acquired lots, the buyer shall lose his/her rights relating to said lots. Interest of 1.5% per month shall be charged in the event of a payment delay.
In addition, the Auctioneer can demand, as it sees fit, fulfilment or, after setting a deadline, compensation for non-fulfilment. The compensation can also be calculated in such a way that the item is auctioned again in a further auction whereby the defaulting purchaser is liable for any shortfall between the proceeds of the new auction and those due from the previous auction, as well as the special costs associated with the new auction, including auctioneer fees. In the event that sold lots are not paid for in full within a maximum of three months after the original auction date, the Auctioneer shall invoice said purchaser for at least the forgone auctioneer’s fees as compensation for non-fulfilment. The onus shall be on the purchaser to demonstrate that the Auctioneer did not incur any damages or incurred damages of a significantly lesser degree than the amount in question. Partial payments on the part of a buyer for several acquired lots may, at the behest of the Auctioneer, be offset against any claims against the buyer, irrespective of their legal grounds. The buyer shall only be entitled to offset such counterclaims against the Auctioneer and/or the supplier if these are related to his/her liability and are legally established or expressly recognised by the Auctioneer or the supplier. The buyer shall not be entitled to any rights of retention owing to claims from other business with the Auctioneer or the supplier.
The Auctioneer will assume no liability for defects insofar as it has complied with its duty of care. All collections, group lots, dealer stock, wholesale lots and inherited collections shall be auctioned “as is” – notices of defects shall not be accepted. However, with the exception of collections, the auction house does engage to claim warranty rights from the supplier for justified claims; these must be notified to the auction house within one week of receiving the item and within the one-year period of limitation. In the event of a successful claim against the supplier, the paid purchase price, including the buyer’s premium, shall be refunded. Any additional claim – including compensation for the costs of the claim, such as postage, inspection fees, etc. – shall be excluded.
13. Place of performance and jurisdiction
German law shall apply. The terms of the United Nations Sale of Goods Act and regulations governing distance sales shall not apply. Should one of these General Auction Conditions prove to be wholly or partly void, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining conditions. In this case, the invalid conditions shall be replaced by valid conditions that most closely approximate the commercial substance and intent of the invalid conditions. The same shall apply for legal loopholes. When texts are provided in several languages, the German version shall be binding in the event of differences of opinion.
The place of fulfilment and jurisdiction for business transactions shall be Düsseldorf, Germany.
14. Special e@uction conditions
The participation in the e@uction and use of the systems relating to the e@uction is limited by the auction houses equipment and the current technical state of said equipment. The auction house reserves the right to implement any changes to said equipment to improve the service provided. The participants accept that technical faults can occur and shall inform the auction house when this happens. The auction house/auctioneer shall not be liable for any disruption to the online connection nor for the compatibility of the hardware and software used. Sellers and bidders have no claims against the auction house/auctioneer, if a bid or closure does not come through or is delayed.
Last modified: January 2018