General Terms & Conditions of Sale

Introduction

Sylvie's provides a public auction. The auction takes place in the Italiëlei 21 in Antwerp and can be followed live, by telephone and live online. The spoken language is English. The auction takes place under the supervision of a bailiff, present in the auction room.

The auction results can be viewed by everyone from Wednesday after the auction. The results show the lot numbers and hammer prices.  

The auctioneer starts the bid process by mentioning a price and inviting the audience to bid higher. You are the new owner of a lot when the auctioneer stops the bidding and you have bid the highest price.

When the bidding stops at equal highest bids, the lot goes to the bidder who placed his bid first. In case of discussion between the bids in the auction room and the bids placed online, the bids in the room take precedence. A conflict like this can happen when an online live bid becomes visible to the auction room just after a lot in the room has been sold. In order to reduce the likelihood of such a situation, the auctioneer clearly states that he is about to bring the hammer down on the lot. 

For both sellers and buyers, the sale is irrevocable. Wines can be paid for and taken away by the buyer immediately after the hammer falls on the lot. There is explicitly no cooling-off period - as in the case of online wine sales or a wine auction that only takes place online. 

All payments to sellers are made within 21 days after the auction. Buyers are requested to pay within 7 days (5 working days) after the auction.  

Your purchases are available after payment. 

When you participate in the auction, you are deemed to have read the terms and conditions of sale including the conditions of transport and the legal framework, and :

- to agree to these terms and conditions;

- to declare by means of this consent that you are at least 18 years of age;

- by this declaration that you yourself are the bidder;

- by this means you authorize the charging of your credit card, according to the rules described on this page, when you are bidding via the Sylvie's App;

- agree by this declaration to organize transport of your purchases, unless you have already indicated otherwise to Sylvie's, or if you will notify Sylvie's no later than 48 hours after the auction;

In the following text, Sylvie's uses the term "wines". However, the same rules also apply to all alcoholic beverages offered at the auction.

You trade on your own account

As a bidder, you are expected to act on your own behalf. If, after the auction, it transpires that the purchases must be transferred to another legal entity or entities, this does not absolve you from payment within 5 working days after the auction. However, if the final buyer is not accepted by Sylvie's, or may not be agreed to by the government, you remain personally responsible for the purchase.

At least 2 working days after the auction, you must provide the correct address details of the actual buyers to Sylvie's in writing. 

Estimates

Sylvie's states in the catalogues the expected yield of the wines to be auctioned in the form of estimates. There is an expected minimum (low estimate) and maximum yield (high estimate).

The indicated expectation value of the hammer price per lot is based on prices achieved at previous auctions for similar lots. These estimates change over time and do not guarantee a selling price.

The hammer price is the selling price of the wine before additional cost.

You buy wines in the condition ‘as-is’.

Sylvie's selects the wines offered by sellers. They do this on the basis of origin and condition, authenticity and estimated market value, among other things. If Sylvie's doubts the veracity of the bottles offered, it will not accept them for auction.

Sylvie's offers you wines for auction on behalf of the owners and is explicitly not the owner of these wines. 

As an agent, Sylvie's offers the wines according to the rules of a public auction, namely in the state "as-is", including any visible or hidden defects. Sylvie's is not responsible for defects that it has not been able to observe, even if a hidden defect makes the wines unsuitable for the use for which you had intended, or if the defect reduces the use of your purchase to such an extent that, if you had known these defects, you would not have purchased the wines or would have purchased them only at a lower price.

Prior to your bid, you are deemed to have thoroughly examined the lots in terms of their nature, authenticity and condition.

When buying old wines, you should be aware that wines age in different ways. Ageing affects the level of filling and the appearance of the bottle. Sylvie's records the changes since bottling as accurately as possible. Details that influence the value are taken into account, notwithstanding that you stay responsible for your own research. 

Bottles in original cardboard boxes (Oc) do not lead to higher valuations. The condition of the cardboard box is not described at Sylvie's. The photo does not always show the original cardboard packaging. The boxes are usually shipped together with the wines. However, if the cardboard boxes are not packed for whatever reason, Sylvie's is not eligible for a claim for damages.

Wooden crates are sent separately as standard, unless you do not want this or when the crate is still closed. In the latter case, it is possible that the wines are shipped in OWC itself. If an OWC or Oc is mentioned in the catalogue, but it does not appear to be present at the time of shipment, Sylvie's will correct the hammer price, but only for the wines for which there would be a difference in yield at a Sylvie’s auction. Personal opinions and considerations or a lower price yield from your target group of wine buyers are not reasons for a price reduction.  

Despite Sylvie's best efforts to produce a perfect catalogue for each auction, errors may occur. They are no ground for compensation. It is up to you to determine whether or not there are any imperfections, and Sylvie's gives you the opportunity to do so: there are many photos in the catalogue and if you wish, Sylvie's can provide you with extra photos. Up to 10 photos can be requested free of charge. You can request a quote if you wish to receive more photos.

The wines at auction are kept in an air-conditioned showroom. You are welcome to view the wines as soon as the catalogue has been published. The catalogue will be published online no later than 10 days prior to an auction. Sylvie's is open 6 days a week and you may come in without an appointment. An exception on this rule are wines that are to be sold under bond. They are stored in a secured area in the Port of Antwerp and can only be seen on pictures before the sale.

As a bidder you acknowledge by your participation in the auction that you are aware that there is no right of recourse with regard to the wines. Your bids are unconditional and irrevocable.

Reserve price

Sylvie's represents the interests of buyers and sellers. A price is usually agreed with the seller below which the wine may not be sold at the auction. This price is not mentioned in the catalogue.

The reserve price will never exceed the low estimate.

An unsold lot is withdrawn from the auction or re-listed in another auction.

Sylvie's is entitled to sell an unsold lot on behalf of the seller in a direct sale to third parties at a price agreed with the seller.

Hammer price and buyer's commission: bonded and unbonded sales

The price of the wines mentioned in the auction room is the hammer price. This is the lot price, excluding additional costs. You can find all additional costs in an overview on this website.

Regular auctions

Sylvies' auctions include both wines subject to VAT (‘VAT lots’) and not subject to VAT (‘margin lots’). Typically the majority of the wines in an auction represent margin lots. VAT lots are marked with a bullet after the lot number or with an asterisk on the App. The Belgian VAT amounts 21%.

The buyer premium is 20% inclusive of VAT (rounded 16,53% excluding VAT) over the hammer price.

For VAT lots, the VAT over the lot price and over the buyer premium does not apply for buyers outside the EU, if the wines are shipped outside the EU. Within the EU the VAT is deductible for Belgian legal entities subject to VAT (‘companies’) and for non-Belgian companies registered within the EU the VAT can be shifted to another VAT number (according to article 138 EU Directive 2006/112/CE), if the wines are shipped outside Belgium. For margin lots the 20% buyer premium applies to all buyers.  

Sales under bond

For sales under bond all lots are subject to VAT. Wines under bond are temporarily stored in the Port of Antwerp free of VAT and excise, as long as they are bonded. Buyer will move the wines from our bonded warehouse to his planned destination and will – depending on the destination - take care of applicable VAT, excise and tax formalities. The buyer premium of a bonded sale is 20% exclusive of VAT (24,2% inclusive of VAT).

Temporarily means that a time frame will be communicated for the collection of your purchases. In order to have no VAT or excise on your invoice, you have to take into account this time frame. If you make use of storage under bond in the EU, you need a direct transport from the harbour to your bonded warehouse.   

Marking of lots subject to VAT 

Most of the lots at Sylvie's auction are free of VAT.

When lots are subject to VAT then these lots are marked with •.

The VAT-liable lots come from a business vendor where the wines have not yet been released for public sale and therefore VAT still has to be paid or the wines come from a wine cellar outside the EU.

Auction progression

The auction will take place by bidding. You can bid until the hammer is brought down on the lot. The highest bidder will in principle be the winner. 

The order in which the lots are listed in the catalogue is followed in principle, but Sylvie's reserves the right to merge lots or change the order in which the lots are listed, to take or re-bid lots from the auction, or to provide additional or different information about the lots.

You can bid in five ways: in the auction hall, by telephone, in writing, by mandate in case of absence or (live) online. You can place a maximum bid on the website, either by e-mail or via the Sylvie's App. Some of these possibilities are not open for all bidders when auctioning wines stored in a bonded warehouse. Participation for wines under bond is possible for all bidders in the auction room, through the Sylvie's App and using www.sylvies.be for placing maximum bids. Other possibilities are only open for bidders already known to Sylvie's.   

It is recommended that you choose one bidding method per lot in order to prevent you from bidding against yourself.

The auctioneer usually calls up the lots per auction in steps according to the following overview:
 

Bidding steps during the auction in Euro's
From Until Step
0 80 5
80 300 10
300 800 20
800 2000 50
2000 4000 100
4000 higher At the discretion of the auctioneer


When you submit a bid online or in writing, this is considered to be a maximum bid. If the bidders in the room, by phone or live online bid less, the lot will be won by one step above the highest bid of any of these parties.

If there are two or more bids remaining that are equal highest bidders, the one who made the first bid becomes the new owner of the lot.

It is up to the auctioneer to determine the starting bid in the sale, to cancel a sale and to extend or shorten the bidding time. In exceptional cases, the auctioneer can also introduce another bidding step. This change can be seen on the Sylvie's App. In none of these cases do you have a right of recourse or a right to compensation.

There are 5 ways to place your bids in our regular auctions

Option 1. Bidding in the auction room

In the auction room you can follow the auction progress and bid live.

You do not need to register your arrival in advance. Anyone can participate in the auction room after showing a valid proof of identity at the desk. Companies must provide their company registration number.

You will receive a bid number from Sylvie's on a bid sign so that the auctioneer knows to which buyer number your bid should be registered. The registration itself takes little time, but you should take into account that there may be peak traffic at the counter. We advise you to be present 30 minutes before you want to place your bid.

Lots that you win during the auction can be paid for at the counter and taken with you. You can pay a maximum of €3000.00 in cash per auction.

The auctioneer reserves the right to set a spending limit during the auction.

If you buy as a company, and you are not yet known to Sylvie's and you transport the wines without an official waybill across the border, you will have to hand over a copy of a passport and submit additional documentation showing that the wines will cross the border for use in another country. If you are unable to provide this information, Sylvie's will state Belgian VAT on your proof of purchase.

Option 2. Participate live online via the Sylvie's App on your smartphone or tablet

Participation via the App comes closest to experiencing the auction in the room. On the Sylvie's App you can:

- bid online live via your smartphone or tablet;

- place a maximum bid and,

- place a maximum bid on a series of lots of which you only want to win one. If you enter e.g. three lots, and you don't win the first lot, the App saves your bid for the second lot. If you win this lot, the app no longer places a bid on the third.

- ask us to set a spending limit for you;

All bids placed are immediately visible to all other bidders on the App. Once you place your maximum bid it will be final. If you do not want this, Sylvie's suggests to place your maximum bids on our website www.sylvies.be.

The bids in the room can be tracked with image and sound. Each bid coming in from the auction room will appear on your smartphone or tablet.

Online live bidding is easy, because the bidding steps are already pre-programmed according to the table on this page. However, during the auction, the auctioneer can decide to adjust the bidding steps for a specific lot. You will see this adjustment appear automatically before you start bidding.

If you place a maximum bid, you have also the freedom to bid live online during the auction. You cannot bid against yourself via the App provided you do not register a maximum bid in any other way.

The auctioneer will call the bids in the room. If the highest bid there is lower than your maximum bid, you win the lot with one bidding step above the highest bid in the room. If more bidders have left a maximum bid, the lot goes to the one who placed a maximum bid first. When you place a maximum bid, it is best to do so quickly. In order to be able to determine the first bidder, all bids are logged at Sylvie's.

You will immediately see if your bids were successful and what the results were for the lots that were not won by you. You will also see your hammer costs. When it comes to delivery, please read the transport conditions carefully. Sylvie's will send you your shipping costs within 2 working days after the auction.

The results will only be final after publication of the results on the website www.sylvies.be. There will be a waiting period while this is done. The final auction results will be published no later than the Wednesday after the auction.

Basic rule for allocation

The auctioneer will receive your online bid with a minimal delay in the auction room. When the auctioneer is about to bring the hammer down, he will usually communicate this by giving a "fair warning" or a "last call". Your mobile might vibrate when this stage is reached.

Because of the small delay, you must make sure that if you are interested in a wine, you place your bid as soon as possible so that it reaches the auctioneer in time. Bidders in the room always have priority over all other bidders in case of uncertainty about who placed a bid first.

Registration

There is no link between the bid platform on the website and the one on the App. You must register as a new account, even if you have already bid at Sylvie's in other ways. You must provide a valid email address and a username. You provide a billing address and the telephone number where you can be reached during the day.

The credit card number is required for registration, but you are still free to pay by bank transfer or in cash.

You do not need to send any personal data to Sylvie's for identification by e-mail. What you do need, however, is a valid credit card from VISA, MasterCard, Discover or AMEX.

Acceptance test 

Stripe Bank investigates on behalf of Sylvie's whether you have a basic balance of $1000,00 on your account to in order to participate in the auction. Your credit card company may contact you about this topic. This procedure replaces the old means of identification in which you had to send a copy of your passport, address or credit card by e-mail.  

Your credit card number remains hidden from Sylvie's.

Payment by credit card

You have 5 working days to make your payment to Sylvie's. However, if your payment has not been received in the 2nd week after the auction, you have authorized Sylvie's to charge your VISA or MasterCard by accepting the terms and conditions of sale. This charge can be executed as from the second week after the auction via Stripe. 

Option 3. Participating by telephone

Sylvie's must be notified in writing of your request to participate by telephone no later than 48 hours before the start of the auction. If you do not act before this time, Sylvie's can no longer guarantee participation in the auction.

For bidding by telephone, please inform Sylvie's by e-mail for which lots you want to be called and on which telephone number.

You must be prepared to offer at least the low estimate.

You can use the website to find out which lot number the auction is at during the auction.

You must ensure that you can be reached when you receive a call. In case of a missed call, you cannot call the auction room. Each member of the phone team has their own list of bidders to call and it is not possible to connect you during the auction. If the Sylvie's team cannot reach you when it comes to your lots, it is best to wait for them to make a second attempt.

If you want to participate by phone for the first time, you must prove your credibility. 

You must indicate in advance whether your bids are:

  • business or private, or
  • personal only or on behalf of others as well.

In the latter case, please indicate in advance who they are, giving full details of the company or personal address(es). A copy of a passport and a copy of a bank statement can be demanded. If this information is not given in advance, the bidder will receive one purchase list after the auction and will be held liable in person for all purchases.

Option 4. Participate via the website

Via the website www.sylvies.be you can leave maximum bids but you cannot participate live online. You can place and change your bids until the line closes one hour before the start of each auction on either Friday or Saturday. 

Please register as early as possible, at least 48 hours prior to the auction, so that Sylvie's can process your registration in a timely manner. If you register later, Sylvie's cannot guarantee your participation.

You need to indicate before the auction whether your bids are business or private. You enter a billing address and a telephone number where you can be reached during the day.

If you want to participate as a new bidder via the website, we may require a copy of both a passport as well as a bank statement. Sylvie's reserves the right to request a copy of a credit card from bidders outside the EU.

Companies that bid via the website must send a copy of their company registration details.

Detail:

When allocating bids via the website, priority is not given to bidders who bid slightly more than the indicated bidding steps in the table. For example, if bidding €101,00 instead of €100,00. The €101,00 bid will be rounded to the nearest bidding step. In this case it is €100,00. The lot goes to the bidder who first offered €100,00.

Option 5. Participating via mandate in the auction room if unable to attend

Sylvie's can bid on your behalf in the room if you are unable to attend. You give your instructions in writing with the maximum amount per lot that you wish to offer.

This service from Sylvie's is only possible as long as there is sufficient capacity to process your participation.

Special: Participation in auctions with wines under bond

Having wines placed "in bond" means that the payment of Belgian VAT and excise duties is deferred. The bonded warehouse is located at a different location from the auction house. The bonded warehouse is double secured, fully air-conditioned and all-risk insured.

In regular auctions, wines can be physically viewed in the air-conditioned showroom. For auctions with wines "in bond" this is not possible. Sylvie's only provides photos for such auctions.

Payment is expected within 7 days, but in this case, Sylvie's will ask to see proof of bank transfer within 5 working days. If you cannot prove this, Sylvie's is free to offer the wines to others or have you share in extra costs Sylvie's is forced to make as a result of your delay. 

Partial payments will not be accepted, unless the total is paid within one week. 

Sylvie's is free to refuse participants if there is any doubt about the fulfillment of obligations.

The wines must be collected within a specific time frame. Immediately after receipt of your payment, we will contact you about the shipment. You will receive a date, address and a time slot within which your carrier must report to the bonded warehouse. If your carrier does not show up in time, we will calculate €500,00 for each missed opportunity. 

Sylvie's determines the day and the time slot for service, logistics and financial reasons. Each buyer may expect a 100% attention for the dispatchment of his wines. There's also a limit to which the temporary storage is available against the calculated costs. Buyers that do not respect this, will find the costs on their invoice.   

If you are bidding from outside the EU, you must transport the wines directly from the bonded warehouse in Antwerp to your bonded warehouse elsewhere in order to avoid the payment of VAT, excise duty and other levies. Due to the nature of direct bonded shipment, if you have already stored wines at Sylvie's, we cannot guarantee to have these wines packed and shipped together.

Publication of results

The results will be available online no later than the Wednesday after the auction on www.sylvies.be. The results are in Euros and contain the hammer prices excluding commission and other costs as well as hammer prices including commission.

Resale purchase without possession

If you buy wines and sell them to third parties without already having taken ownership, you act on your own responsibility. Sylvie's is not liable for any consequential loss resulting from this.

Easy importation of wines

If you are a buyer from outside the EU, then you do not have to pay VAT in the EU. The condition is that the wines should demonstrably leave the EU. Proof of this is provided by freight documentation from accredited carriers. Sylvie's will provide you with an invoice without VAT on the basis of official freight documentation.

In your own country, however, you may be liable for the costs of importing your wines. Nowadays, international transporters can determine these costs for you and arrange the payment to the government for you. This concerns VAT, excise duty and other levies and taxes. However, you remain responsible for ascertaining the rules in your country and making the payment. In some countries alcohol is not allowed to be imported or there are very strict rules for strong alcoholic beverages. 

When you buy on behalf of a Belgian company, you pay VAT, but you can reclaim the VAT from the tax authorities. You must show the tax authorities an invoice with a valid VAT number and you must provide Sylvie's with this VAT number in order to make your invoice.

If you, as a business bidder, buy from an EU member state other than Belgium, you do not have to pay VAT in Belgium. You can pay VAT later in your own country when selling the wines to consumers. You will need an invoice with a valid VAT number and Sylvie's will take care of that. However, your wines will only leave Antwerp if Sylvie's has proof in the form of a copy of a waybill, stating that recognized carriers will transport your wines abroad. If proof cannot be given, Sylvie's will send an invoice showing VAT. 

As a business buyer with an excise duty permit, you should check whether you must pay excise duty. Sylvie's can arrange an EAD for you if necessary. Also in this case your wines will only leave Antwerp if Sylvie's has proof in the form of a copy of a waybill, stating that recognized carriers will transport your wines abroad. If proof cannot be given, Sylvie's will send an invoice showing VAT. 

All business clients must provide Sylvie's with their VAT number (if applicable) in due time and check their invoices for correctness. As soon as an auction closes, Sylvie's will no longer draw up invoices for you.

Payment within 7 days 

All payment transactions take place in Euros.

The lots purchased must be paid for within 7 days after the auction.

Delivery or collection of the wines can only take place after receipt of payment. Payment is possible in cash, with a bank card, by bank transfer, via VISA or MasterCard. Payment in cash is possible up to €3000,00 per auction transaction. Payment in cash is only possible in Antwerp in order to ensure the safety of our drivers.

Bank charges are always the responsibility of the buyer. If Sylvie's must charge your credit card from Antwerp, a processing fee of 1.5% will be charged.

For the bidders using the App, if your payment has not been received (in full) in the 2nd week after the auction, you have tacitly authorized Sylvie's to charge your credit card. This charge will be made by Stripe from the second week after the auction, as many times as is necessary to collect the invoice amount of your purchase.

Sylvie's bank details are:

ING Bank Kapellen

IBAN BE11393050135248

Swift BBRUBBEBB

Payment in favour of: Sylvie's Wine Auctions, Italiëlei 21, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium.

Official name: Hoger Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis en Antiek (HIKA)

Late payment

Sylvie's undertakes to pay out all contributors within three weeks. When you buy at the auction, you undertake to pay within 7 days after the auction.

In case of late payment Sylvie's may auction your purchases again, exclude participation in subsequent auctions, and legally enforce you to pay until all costs are covered. If these measures were not needed, but there's doubt about payment in time, Sylvie's can:

- accept only part of your bids at any subsequent auction, or

- take a deposit for a subsequent participation, or

- set a spending limit. 

When a deposit is agreed, Sylvie's will deduct this amount from your purchases in the first week after the auction.

Buyers from countries with a restriction on the movement of outgoing daily cash may be asked to provide an overview of the schedule of payments. In the event of a deviation from this schedule, Sylvie's is entitled to charge interest in accordance with the statutory interest rate on the outstanding amount.

Restrictions by the government

If Sylvie's is not allowed by government to accept your payments (or is no longer allowed to do so), Sylvie's will not be able to deliver your purchases (or will no longer be able to do so). In such cases, Sylvie's will still pay the consigners of the wine(s) but is entitled to send you an invoice for the statutory interest costs on the invoice amount Sylvie's has paid on your behalf.  

If you still have wines in storage at Sylvie's, Sylvie's is entitled to obtain this statutory interest amount by selling as many of your wines as needed to cover the costs. The remaining wines will be available for collection after deduction of the statutory interest costs. 

The interest is due as soon as becomes clear that you are not allowed to pay for your wines.

Collection of wines within 21 days

You must pick up your purchases yourself or have them picked up within 21 days, unless explicitly agreed otherwise in writing.

After the auction, Sylvie's will send you proof of purchase or an invoice within 48 hours of the auction. These documents will be produced for buyers already known to Sylvie’s using the information we have on file. If you pick up your wines yourself, your invoice does not include any transport costs.

Sylvie's works with a number of principles for new buyers:

- Within Belgium, Sylvie's assumes that you will pick up your wines yourself when you live at a distance of about 30 minutes to Antwerp in ideal circumstances.

- For all other new buyers, you have already authorized Sylvie's to organise your transport by agreeing to the terms & conditions for participation in the auction.

You can always ask Sylvie's to change the system settings to reflect your preferred transport. 

After receipt of your payment, you will receive a confirmation of receipt. In principle, your purchase will be shipped within 48 hours thereafter. Sylvie's only works with carriers selected by us for shipment. If you would like to work with other carriers, you can do so at your own expense and risk. You must request the shipping yourself and inform Sylvie's when your wines need to be ready for shipping.

Sylvie's is entitled to avoid conditions that may hinder the proper arrival of your wines.

When you pick up your wines, you may only do so by appointment. Sylvie's makes every effort to pick up your wine at the requested times, but the available capacity is limited. Your desired day and time of collection is therefore only guaranteed after confirmation from Sylvie's.

Sylvie's invites you to read the transport conditions carefully.

Liability

Coats and bags are not allowed in the auction room. Anyone who causes damage to the wines shown in the exhibition hall will be held personally responsible. 

Refusal of access

Sylvie's reserves the right to refuse visitors access to the auction room or to exclude prospective participants from the auction without reason.

Recording of data

Bids are recorded by the bailiff and all other bids are digitally recorded. Bids made over the telephone are recorded as well.

Last change to terms and conditions of sale

August 29, 2019

Changes:

20.08.2019 Additional information about the investigation by Stripe Bank in the section about participation via the Sylvie's App.

29.08.2019 Text additions for wines under bond and placing bids using the Sylvie's App.  

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