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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Madam I was sold some costume jewelry by an auctioneer

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Dear Sir/Madam
I was sold some costume jewelry by an auctioneer company who I believe misled me? My reason for this is they described the items with Swarovski Elements which one would assume that the crystals were Swarovski? I challenged them on this discrepancy as the so called elements were not Swarovski? They fobbed me off with "it is a commonly used term in the jewelry industry". I took this as a fact until I saw the same jewelry being sold under a different name later, this new name was Swarozki with a Z not a V. I feel that in the first place they should not have listed the item as Swarovski in the first place?
What do you think?
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a solicitor based in London. I’ll be happy to assist you with your question. Right now I’m writing your answer. In a few minutes I will give you a professional, high-quality response.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi AliceThat's great, waiting for your adviseStephen
What you've described amounts to breach of contract based on misrepresentation. You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. You need to retain all the evidence you have to support your claim. When you write to them make sure you tell them that describing an item as Swarovski when it's not is misrepresentation and may amount to passing off and as such you will notify Swarovski of this infringement of copyright.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This problem arose last year and I have only decided to act on it now, it is well past a 14 day time laps, would that make it a problem ?
No, not at all. You are still within time to sue for breach of contract - the time limit is 6 years.
14 days is the time you should give them to respond.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi AliceOK that's clear now. I will pursue this through the courts as advised, I have the relevant documentation to substantiate my case which to me is watertight, I just wanted a second opinion.Many thanks.Stephen
My pleasure. It's not uncommon for for unscrupulous retailers to pass items off as being genuine. There is no reason to tolerate such behaviour. I wish you all the best - please remember to take a moment to rate my answer so that I am paid for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alice.
Just one point, this company is not a retailer, it is an auctioneering company who I think do have different trading terms?Please see belowIMPORTANT INFORMATION - PLEASE ENSURE YOU READ AND UNDERSTANDPlease be advised that any items won in our auction that have been de-branded are to remain de-branded.
Any of our customers who breach these conditions of sale by re-selling any de-branded goods using the brand name will be immediately barred from all future auctions and removed from our database.
All bidders are deemed to have viewed or requested an appraisal for a lot being bid on. All lots are sold as seen there are no guarantees. All descriptions and Pictures are produced as a guideline only. Please ensure you read our Terms and Conditions of sale before you proceed to bid.
Please be advised that we do not test electricals.
Bidders will be deemed to have read and understood the terms below. No refunds, credits or storage waivers will be given once acceptance and registration is approved.
Viewing is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 2pm to 6pm, and 9am-10am before the Auction begins on Saturdays, Tuesdays . All verbal appraisals must be obtained in office hours 9am to 5pm Mondays – Fridays and 9am- 4pm Saturdays.
Please ensure you check your items before leaving site. No refunds will be given once items have left the premises.
For any Sale enquiries please contact the office on *********** or for after hours enquiries please email***@******.*** for details of items!
We send proforma invoices the day after the auction has ended via Email. If you have not received a proforma invoice – Please Contact the office immediately the day after the auction has ended. Please ensure you check your spam/junk mail for proforma invoices sent.
All lots are subject to VAT at 20%, unless stated otherwise in the description.
If VAT is not Applicable on the Lot, please be aware it will still apply to the Buyers Premium & Surcharge.
Buyers Premium
A 22.5% buyer’s premium is to be added to all lots plus VAT on this buyer’s premium. There is also an additional 3% plus VAT Internet surcharge for items purchased through
SORT CODE: 77 01 10
Payment and Collections as follows
Saturday Live Auction-Collected and Paid for by 4.00pm Monday following the sale end date
Tuesday Live Auction-Collected and Paid for by 4.00pm Wednesday following the sale end date
Timed General Ends Monday Evening-Collected and Paid for by 4.00pm Tuesday following the sale end date
Timed Vehicle Ends Tuesday Evening-Paid for by Wednesday 4.00pm following the sale end date. Please ring to arrange collection allow 24 hours notice to ensure the vehicle has been brought to site. Deliveries cannot be arranged on Vehicles.
Timed Jewellery Ends Sunday & Wednesday Evening - Collected and Paid for by 4.00pm Monday & Thursday following the sale end date.
For Any other Timed Auctions – Payment & Collection Must be made no later than 4.00pm 1 days after the end Sale day.
If goods are not collected by this deadline then a charge of £10 per lot per night for storage will apply – This is not negotiable. Also please note, all items won are the sole responsibility of the buyer and All items must be cleared. If you are arranging a courier, then YOUR NAME must be quoted by the courier service or your goods will not be released and the courier turned away. We now charge 12.5% for packing items for courier collection which is automatically Added to your Bill.
Deliveries can now be arranged – Please contact the office for details and prices. There are no deliveries offered on Mattresses or Vehicles. Pallets can be delivered to kerb side only.
All Collections and Payments for all Auctions are at Unit C Westwood Industrial Estate, Arkwright Street, Chadderton, Oldham, OL9 9LZ. NO GOODS WILL BE RELEASED UNLESS A STAMPED PAID INVOICE IS PRODUCED.
If you have any queries or do not understand the terms please contact the office before entering your bid.
terms and conditions
Venue Address:
The Auction Centre, Unit C, Westwood Industrial Estate, Arkwright Street, Oldham, Greater Manchester, OL9 9LZ, United Kingdom
The auctioneer has inserted an exclusion clause in the terms and agreements excluding liability. Your legal action would be against the seller, therefore, and not the auction house. Furthermore, what are relying on a legal doctrine of caveat emptor, in English 'buyer beware', and are saying that the item is sold as seen. Nevertheless, even though the auctioneer is excluding liability, you still have a claim against the seller and should proceed against them for the misrepresentation and loss you have suffered.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
one problem is they will and have not given me the sellers details Ii have a suspicion that they are the seller but i'm not sure?
Hi Stephen - happy to discuss further but please review the additional services offer and rate the answers given so far :) I will consider the additional issue right now. Alice.
Alice H and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Aliceoffer excepted and appraisal carried out.What do you think I should do? should I take this on by myself of take legal representation?
I have reviewed some law and can see that an auction house is not obliged to give you the details of the seller. However, what you could do is make an application to the County Court for pre-action disclosure of all the documentation relating to the sale and purchase which may reveal the details of the seller. The procedure is made under Part 31.16 of the Civil Procedure Rules and is made using form N244 application notice. You would be seeking all documents relating to the sale of the items and you could also ask for details of the seller. If the court makes such an order for disclosure you can decide to proceed against the seller and/or auction house. You do not need a lawyer for this procedure but the process is complicated and it maybe worthwhile spending a little money to get this done properly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok AliceI will ponder on what to do, I think I will go forward with this at some time, after all I do have 6 years?ThanksStephen
You do have six years but, of course, the longer you leave it the less likely people will retain documents etc so you may lose evidence over time. Just out of interest, how much is the property worth?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Its not a fortune to be honest it comes to just under £2000.00
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is a multiple of items not just one, it really is the principal now not so much the money.
I think it's worth pursuing at least by way of sending letters of claim and perhaps making an application to try and get some information from the auctioneer. In fact, as this is a small claim, you have nothing to lose by suing the auctioneer. The court costs will come to around a couple of hundred pounds and, so long as you have acted reasonably, costs will not be awarded against you. You never know the auctioneer might make an offer or ask their insurer to deal with your claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I understand that they would more than likely just pay to get me off there backs as I had a genuine problem with Hermes Logistics braking product which I had taken out extra insurance for them to tell me they won't pay, they were going to defend against the claim but the end decided to pay just to put it to bed so to speak, I may go that route to begin with and see what happens ,thanks again