The Auctioneers Act
Information for Consumers
Requirement to be Licensed
The Auctioneers Act regulates the sale of most items or property sold by auction. Unless specifically exempted, an auction must be conducted by provincially licensed auction companies and auctioneers.
Exemptions from the Requirement to use a Licensed Auctioneer (section 4)
If the only items being sold at auction are specifically excluded from the provisions of The Auctioneers Act by a provincial act or regulation, the auction does not have to be conducted by a licensed auctioneer and auction company.
Items that are specifically excluded are:
a. property sold at auction on behalf of a religious, charitable, non-profit or similar organization, provided that the person conducting the bidding is not paid;
General Auction Rules under The Sale of Goods Act (section 57)
Section 57 of The Sale of Goods Act reads:
57 In the case of a sale by auction:
1 Where goods are put up for sale by auction in lots each lot is … deemed to be the subject of a separate contract of sale;
Selling or Consigning Goods at Auctions
Consumers or business operators selling or consigning goods for auction, should obtain a written contract that outlines the terms of the auction agreement. As a minimum, the contract should include:
1. Details of the items being sold or consigned
Internet Sales Contract Legislation
Internet Sales Contract legislation under The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act establishes rules for internet sellers and provides some protection for Saskatchewan consumers who buy goods or services online.
When purchasing on-line, consumers are strongly recommended to use a credit card or a reputable internet payment service that offers protection for non-delivery. Certain refund obligations are required of the credit card company if services purchased on-line are not received or goods delivered.
Vehicles Consigned for Auction by a Licensed Dealer
All vehicle sales consigned to an auction by a licensed motor dealer are also subject to the provisions in the Vehicle Dealer Regulations.
If a motor vehicle is consigned by a licensed motor dealer, the purchaser is entitled to be informed of the name of the dealer consigning the goods. In addition, such vehicles must be “roadworthy” or fit to drive pursuant to The Traffic Safety Act, unless the vehicle was specifically identified to the buyer in the written contract for sale that it was not “roadworthy” or fit to drive.
Indicating either verbally or in writing that the dealer’s vehicle is sold “as is” is not sufficient.
If required, consumers who purchase a personal-use vehicle that was consigned by a motor dealer may also pursue a claim for breaches of the warranty provisions under the statutory and express warranties provided under The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act.
Excerpts from the Consumer Handbook
Internet auctions held outside of Saskatchewan may not be subject to Saskatchewan rules. Be cautious. Note the following excerpts from The Consumer Handbook (a federal government publication).
• Online Auctions
When you are buying from a private individual, consumer protection laws may not protect you. Read the rules of the auction site; better sites will keep records of customer satisfaction and should also have dispute resolution mechanisms.
• Buying Internationally
Check the Canada Border Services Agency Web site regarding the admissibility requirements of certain goods.
When calculating the price, factor in shipping and handling costs, taxes, duty and currency conversion.
Check that products meet Canadian safety standards…visit the Canadian Standards Association’s International Web site.
Common Auction Terms
Conditions of sale are the terms of the auction sales contract may include the acceptable methods of payment, terms, buyer’s premium, or reserve bids.
Reserve bid is a minimum selling price for the item. If that price is not met, the item does not have to be sold.
Opening bid is the starting bid amount. One does not have to bid that amount.
Minimum bid is the lowest acceptable amount at which bidding must start
Buyer’s premium is a flat fee or percentage of the accepted bid added to the bid to determine the price to be paid.
• Buyers do not have a right to return goods purchased at an auction unless informed that goods may be returned.
• GST is payable on most auctioned items.
• Know which currency is being used for that particular sale.