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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10944
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Recently I purchased a number of items from an auctioneer based

Customer Question

Recently I purchased a number of items from an auctioneer based in Bristol using the internet hosting site The items were intended for re-sale in a fledgling business. I had purchased from this auctioneer on two or three previous occasions with no problems however this time my experience was very different. All items bar one were listed as "new" and "new, sealed in box". Unfortunately the items proved to be used, missing parts or damaged. Frankly anyone taking the trouble to examine the items would have realised the problem. I contacted the auctioneer as soon as I was aware and initially received an apology, an explanation that the person that normally deals with the cataloguing of sale items had been on holiday and a promise that I would be called back. Instead I received an email denying my request for a refund, pointing out that the auctioneers terms of business stated that no guarantee is given. My argument is that by describing the items in the way they did they have induced me to purchase by making false, misleading and outrageous statements in their listing and subsequent pro-forma invoice.

Although I'm in Scotland the seller is in England so i assume thuis will be dealt with under English law.
I need to know if I have any chance of bringing a successful action?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 years ago.

Buachaill :

1. You certainly would have a good cause of action to get your money back. The relevant terms of the auctioneer do not override the mandatory consumer law provisions which are applicable in England whereby all items sold must be of merchantable quality and correspond to description. Here the items were not of merchantable quality as they had parts missing and did not accord with their description as "new". So you can successfully sue the Bristol auctioneer in a court in England and recover your costs. The auctioneer's clause that no guarantee is given is not operative to prevent the application of these standard clauses which are implied into every contract of sale of goods. It makes no difference that you are based in Scotland. The law still applies to the goods sold to you by the seller in England.

JACUSTOMER-b8q4cu8k- :

Just want to make sure the advice is valid when goods are being purchased in the execution of a business rather than for personal use. All items I purchase are ultimately re-sold on ebay for example. The items that are subject to the dispute were delivered directly to the end user from the supplier at it was the end user who first reported the issues with the products. I am making sure I have reasonable grounds to take action based on the false descriptions of the items I bought.

Buachaill :

2. These implied terms are no dependent upon your being a consumer. They apply to business dealings as well. It makes no difference that you were an intermediate seller in a chain which ultimately ended up with the EBay buyer. The same warranties and implied terms apply and you can sue for damages. However, be aware that you should inspect or get an agent to inspect the goods as delivered to ensure there actually was the problem with them the EBay buyer is asserting.