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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi we are a gallery selling art. One of customers consigned

Customer Question

Hi we are a gallery selling art. One of customers consigned work to us for sale. We managed to close the sale and have funds in our account from the buyer.
The seller then called to say dont sell it he sold it on ebay without telling us but only once our sale was concluded
His sale is a paypal payment waiting to be reviewed.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.
Alex Watts : How can I help with this today?
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

Hi Alex

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

Ok so we are a gallery. One of our customers consigned work to us to sell on his behalf for which we charge 20%. We managed to sell this work yesterday and the money was transferred into our account. The customer selling the work then e-mailed to say he had sold the work through e-bay without telling us he had it advertised and payment made by paypal which is still under review

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

ooops more to come

Alex Watts : ok. I am just on the train so may be on and offline
Alex Watts : So in short you want your 20%?
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

So he has now said dont send this work off to our buyer he will collect. Our buyer is a trusted customer and very loyal. In actual fact it is another customer who bought this work on ebay so clearly we have marketed and sold this work effectively. How do we stand on this legally my understanding is our buyer has a legal contract to buy as money has changed hands and the guy selling through ebay shouldnt have done this as he didnt inform us and is clearly trying to avoid our fees. We need to deliver this to our customer or look really bad

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

Guess your off line main objective is to deliver the artwork to our customer then pay the seller less his 20% as this piece is quite rare and he may not find another one for quite some time. The customer in question spends a significant amount with us

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

Hi Alex

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

Hi Alex this is from guy who sold work how do we stand

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :
Hello
Whilst this is perhaps an awkward situation for you with regards to your client the piece has now been sold by myself and I require it to be returned.
I have no documentation from you stating that you have exclusivity in marketing the piece. In any case this would refer to the piece being placed with other galleries as opposed to me selling it personally. I have no obligation to inform you if I am marketing it personally.
I was not informed by you that you had sold the piece. I was not informed that you had accepted an offer from your client and that he was transferring funds. I had no idea. You sent me an email in september saying that you had received an offer but that is very very different to having sold the piece. You did not state that the offer had been accepted and that the piece was now sold and that the funds were on their way.
Any contractual arrangements you may have with your client are not my concern. You shouldn't really enter into contracts without full disclosure of information to the person who owns the piece. Don't forget it belongs to me and not opus.
You do not have my permission to sell my piece to your client. I will be making arrangements to pick it up and will be in touch about this
Alex Watts : Was it ever said that he could also sell it?
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

No it wasnt discussed but generally if its consigned then an understanding but then again he didnt tell us he was selling this

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

just checked with the other director and this was explained verbally to him

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

the customer has now been into the gallery and collected the work that's our customer

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

also meant its an understanding that we sell this only other wise we market the work and he takes the benefit

Alex Watts : Who has collected the work, the artist or customer?
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

the customer has

Alex Watts : Ok and paid for it?
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

yes money was transferred to our account yesterday before the seller told us he had sold the work on ebay and payment under review

Alex Watts : So you had sold it before being informed?
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

yes we had the offer in before he told us he had sold on paypal then we checked and money was in

Alex Watts : Ok. What does the artist now want to do?
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

He mentioned he might have a buyer we told him we had invoiced our customer then he came back and said buyer made a payment on paypal which was being reviewed and he didnt understand what that was

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

Its not an artist its just a guy who owns the work he wants us to return the work and not sell it as per his e-mail in the body of the chat above

Alex Watts : Sorry yes. But he wants it back?
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

yes so he can take payment through paypal and sell the work himself

Alex Watts : Ok. What does he want to do now?
Alex Watts : Get it back
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

well he has saod dont sell the work he wants to pick it up and sell it himself we have told him its sold and he is claiming we dont have the right to do this as per his email. We have sold this and its been sent so how do we stand on this

Alex Watts : Well if it was agreed that you would show it only then you can not sell it. Unless it was specifically agreed that his consent was needed then you do not need it.
Alex Watts : Therefore unless he said you can not sell it without his permission, you have done nothing wrong.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about your question today? If not, can I invite you to rate my service which I hope has been excellent. If you need more help then please click reply. Thanks - Alex
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

no when its consigned its consigned for sale not just for viewing the agreement is we take it on consignment to sell the work on the clients behalf then we market the work and sell it and charge a flat commission

Alex Watts : Great, then you have nothing to worry about. Alex
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

Ok so what do we say to this then

JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :
Whilst this is perhaps an awkward situation for you with regards to your client the piece has now been sold by myself and I require it to be returned.
I have no documentation from you stating that you have exclusivity in marketing the piece. In any case this would refer to the piece being placed with other galleries as opposed to me selling it personally. I have no obligation to inform you if I am marketing it personally.
I was not informed by you that you had sold the piece. I was not informed that you had accepted an offer from your client and that he was transferring funds. I had no idea. You sent me an email in september saying that you had received an offer but that is very very different to having sold the piece. You did not state that the offer had been accepted and that the piece was now sold and that the funds were on their way.
Any contractual arrangements you may have with your client are not my concern. You shouldn't really enter into contracts without full disclosure of information to the person who owns the piece. Don't forget it belongs to me and not opus.
You do not have my permission to sell my piece to your client. I will be making arrangements to pick it up and will be in touch about this
Alex Watts : I am just on the train so will respond shortly
JACUSTOMER-29jve4jc- :

Ok no problem

Alex Watts :

You just reply back and say that the placement was NOT conditional upon you agreeing to seek HIS consent to sell the piece.

Alex Watts :

If he wanted approval before it was sold HE should have told YOU

Alex Watts :

Does that help? Alex

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
If I could invite you to rate my service before you leave today, hopefully it has been excellent. If you do need more help or information please click reply. Thanks – Alex.

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