auction house lost my auction win

hi i hope that i've got the right place for some help with this problem

i won a very rare item online that i really wanted, along with a couple of other general items, so i went to the auction house office and paid for my lots

the staff members could not find the rare item that i had won, but one of them did mention that it was there a couple of days earlier, on their viewing day
the item was housed in a big, floor standing, deep glazed unit that would make it incredibly difficult for any member of the public to take 
also it'd quite possibly be on cctv 

my question is would i be able to find out exactly who was responsible for this disappearance and could i get any compensation for this because it was entirely the fault of the auction house//auction house staff, as the item was supposed to be in their possession

i am very unhappy with the situation, it has made me very upset especially as it is a well known and long standing auction house and although the auction house has refunded me .... it was the item that i wanted ....not a refund !

is there anything that i can do?
thank you
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Comments

  • kazwookie
    kazwookie Posts: 13,775
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    I reckon the best you can get it the refund as you already have.

    The auction house will need to report the item as a theft to the police and claim on their insurance, to apease the seller, who now has no money or item.

    Ask the auction house should the item be 'found' that you have 1st refusal to purchase it.
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  • wynn65
    wynn65 Posts: 31
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    hi thanks for your response
    i have put that forward to them already, as really wanted the item, so hopefully a 'miracle'may happen!

    it was pretty rare  .. only five hundred in the world so i think it's probably gone forever

    they did mention that it was possible that my lot has accidentally been posted out to a buyer, so am just waiting for any results, if any 

    i thought that i'd mention it on here as it doesn't seem fair to me or the buyer ..... it shouldn't happen .... i guess it's human error !
    do you think i'd be able to find out who was responsible?
    Thanks

  • wynn65 said:
    hi thanks for your response
    i have put that forward to them already, as really wanted the item, so hopefully a 'miracle'may happen!

    it was pretty rare  .. only five hundred in the world so i think it's probably gone forever

    they did mention that it was possible that my lot has accidentally been posted out to a buyer, so am just waiting for any results, if any 

    i thought that i'd mention it on here as it doesn't seem fair to me or the buyer ..... it shouldn't happen .... i guess it's human error !
    do you think i'd be able to find out who was responsible?
    Thanks

    And what’s your plan if you do find out who was responsible? Get them sacked?

    I do understand your frustrations, but knowing the name
    of the person that made an error is unlikely to help reclaim the goods. I think in cases like this, all that needs to be done is put you back into the position you were before the auction, hence the refund. I do hope that they have just sent it to the wrong address and that persons notify the auction house. Fingers crossed!
  • wynn65
    wynn65 Posts: 31
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    hi i don't have any plan at all ... and you are quite right   ... i wouldn't want anybody to get the sack  ......
    unless they kept on 'taking things' if that were the case
    but it is somebodys fault !
    i just feel that the auction house should at least make an apology  ...are they regulated? i suppose they must be
    and i am out of pocket ... so not quite in the place before this situation happened
    anyhow as you say ....fingers crossed 
    thanks
  • RFW
    RFW Posts: 9,992
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    wynn65 said:

    i just feel that the auction house should at least make an apology  ...are they regulated? i suppose they must be
    There's no legal regulator for auction houses. Some have affiliations to an auction group but they're self regulating.

    The only possible thing here is a "loss of bargain" type of civil action but for that you'd have to prove the item was worth considerably more than you paid for it.

    It depends on the type of auction but it's not too uncommon, lots get mixed up or moved around, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose. If a member of staff goes to get out lot 1201 and then picks up 112 by mistake it can end up at the other side of the saleroom. One thing in your favour is that if there was a mix up, most people want the item they purchased so if someone has been sent that item in error there's a good chance they'd let the auctioneer know. So depending where you are in the process if we're still within time of all goods only having recently been collected it's worth calling and asking if they've found it. Failing that keep your eye on the auction house in case thy do find it and put it in a later auction.


    .
  • GDB2222
    GDB2222 Posts: 24,338
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    Have they really not apologised? That’s surprising. Most organisations are only too happy to apologise, even though they don’t mean a word of it. 
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,232
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    How pricey was it? 
    Tell them that you do not accept the refund as closure of the incident and ask about police report reference number and if they have reported the item to the art loss database (if it is that sort of item).   
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,220
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    The buyer won’t loose out the auction house will cover their losses. 
  • GDB2222
    GDB2222 Posts: 24,338
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    How pricey was it? 
    Tell them that you do not accept the refund as closure of the incident and ask about police report reference number and if they have reported the item to the art loss database (if it is that sort of item).   
    And, when the Op does as you suggest, and the auction house don’t bother to respond, what do you suggest the OP does next?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,232
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    GDB2222 said:
    How pricey was it? 
    Tell them that you do not accept the refund as closure of the incident and ask about police report reference number and if they have reported the item to the art loss database (if it is that sort of item).   
    And, when the Op does as you suggest, and the auction house don’t bother to respond, what do you suggest the OP does next?
    Perhaps not bother up trying because the easy first step might not work?
    Continue to kick up a fuss, tell the auction house they will report to police/art loss themselves, and follow through.  Check the T&Cs on the auction but it probably became the buyer's as soon as the hammer fell so this is the OP's item that has been lost or stolen, not the auction house's to make the decision over. Even if they probably don't want to do anything much because it isn't worth the fuss to them - and the more fuss, the more damaged their reputation... There was a poster on here a few years ago where something very similar happened but the auction house then did find the painting.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
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