Items Sold ‘As Seen’ and ‘With Warranty’
At auctions items fall into two distinct groupings.
There are those that are sold ‘as seen’ and those that are sold with some form of ‘warranty’.
As seen means you buy an item with any faults and problems and you have no recourse whatsoever if it breaks down, doesn’t work or falls to bits once you get it outside the room. Be very careful in buying an item as seen at an auction, particularly a mechanical or electronic one. Having said that though, many auctions will not warrant very much or give any warranty whatsoever for items over a certain age.
In this case you will need to know whether the goods you are buying have any serious problems or not. Except where you are at an on-site auction, it is very rare to have the opportunity to plug in the item, switch it on or try it out. It is a real gamble to buy ‘as seen’ and the odds are stacked against you, but the price of the article when sold will bear this in mind.
Do remember, however, that you are not the only one in this position, dealer and the public alike are all in the same boat. If you buy three photocopiers ‘as seen’ for £25 each and only one of them works, then you still got a bargain. In addition, the other two may come in use for spare parts and may even have scrap value. Buying an item with warranty means that you normally have a period of time ‘after sale’ to inspect the item thoroughly and ensure that it works to your satisfaction. If it does not work, you can get your money back.
Check what ‘after sale’ means, as it could mean after the fall of the hammer, after the auction ends or after you have paid your money and bought the item, it varies from place to place. Buying an item with warranty is almost as good as buying it privately and you probably have paid much less for it.
It you find a fault then you can take it back and have your money refunded. However, fewer auctions these days offer goods with warranty.