Auction – sale to the highest bidder
An auction means sale of goods. However, in contrast to the conventional sales contract, a different method of price determination is used. Instead of a fixed price, interested buyers submit bids. The last, highest bid wins if there is no further interest in buying the item at a higher price.
Legal basis of an auction
The conduct of an auction is based on Section 156 of the German Civil Code. If applicable, the Ordinance on Commercial Auctions as well as Section 34b GewO must also be taken into account, provided that the auction is a commercial auction. However, Internet auctions must be distinguished from conventional auctions. They do not correspond to the basic definition of an auction, since here the knockdown does not go to the highest bidder, but to the highest bidder at the end of the auction. However, this does not mean that someone might not have bid higher if there had been more time. Internet auctions therefore fall under the right of withdrawal, so buyers at commercial auctions have a right of withdrawal of two weeks, as they are entering into a distance contract with the seller.
Differences between Internet auction and traditional auction house
Internet auction houses differ significantly from traditional auction houses. In an Internet auction, the description and valuation of the goods is usually carried out subjectively by the seller, whereas in a traditional auction house, independent experts carry out an appraisal. It is usually not possible for the buyer to inspect the auctioned item at an Internet auction house. An auction on the Internet usually lasts between one and 14 days. In the traditional auction house, an auction often ends after a few seconds or minutes, namely when no more interested parties can be found who would like to bid higher. Buying in a traditional auction house is safer due to the verification of the identities of the buyer and seller than on the Internet, where such verification does not take place. When dealing with payments and complaints, the traditional auction house intervenes directly to find a satisfactory solution for both parties. On the Internet, payment for an auction or the handling of complaints often leads to disputes due to the lack of an independent authority.
Legal pitfalls in online auctions
Anyone who wants to trade commercially on auction platforms on the Internet faces a huge range of legal pitfalls. According to a survey by ibi-Research, 44 percent of online retailers see the avoidance of warnings due to violations of legal framework conditions as one of the three biggest challenges in e-commerce. The starting points for warnings are often non-existent or incorrect revocation instructions, illegal general terms and conditions clauses or non-existent provider identification. But the unauthorized use of copyrighted images in an auction or trademark infringements also lead to problems time and again.
- Payment Processing
- Marketplace & Affiliates
- Automated Invoicing
- Membership & Subscriptions
- MOTO & Pay-by-link
- Instant Plugins
- Payment Processing