General Terms & Conditions of Sale

Introduction

Sylvie's provides a public auction. This takes place in an auction room in English and can be followed live online.

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 (maximum) bid first. If an online live bid is only visible to the auction room after a lot in the room has already been sold, the bid made in the auction room takes precedence. 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.

Sylvie's starts paying out the sellers immediately after the auction and all payments are made to sellers within 21 days. There is explicitly no cooling-off period - as in the case of online wine sales or a wine auction that only takes place online. 

The auction takes place under the supervision of a bailiff. 

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 authorise 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 48 hours before the start of the auction, you must provide the correct address details of the actual buyers to Sylvie's in writing.

Restrictions by the government

If you bid yourself and Sylvie's is not or no longer allowed by government to accept your payments, 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 in your place. The interest is due in the weeks leading up to the next auction.

If you still have wines in storage at Sylvie's, Sylvie's is entitled to obtain this interest amount by selling (part of) the wines.interest costs on the invoice amount. The interest is due in the weeks leading up to the next auction. Of course the wines in storage you have already paid for will be available for collection after deduction of the statutory interest costs.  

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 and maximum yield.

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 at no 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.

Sylvie's wine experts inspect all wines offered for sale thoroughly and describe the wines as accurately as possible. 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.

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 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 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. 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 are 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.

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 in a direct sale to third parties at a price agreed with the seller.

Hammer price and buyer's commission

The price at the auction is the hammer price. This is the price of a lot at no additional cost. 

Our commission is a 20% buyer premium over the hammer price, VAT and all-risk storage included. The VAT amounts 21%.(16,53% excluding VAT).

You pay a 20% buyer premium over the hammer price, all-risk storage included but VAT excluded for sales under bond.  

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.

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.

A different auction situation arises when auctioning wines stored in a bonded warehouse. The rules for this are described separately.

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.

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 make 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.

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 hall. 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 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.

All bids placed are immediately visible to all other bidders on the App. You can adjust your maximum bid until the auctioneer starts auctioning that lot. The bids in the room can be tracked with image and sound. Each bid coming in from the auction room will appear on your app.

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 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 transport costs within 2 working days after the auction.

The results will only be final after publication of the results on the website. 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 will 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 website and the App. If you are already known to Sylvie's as a bidder, you should first register as a new account on the App. You can use the same password as you previously used for your registration on the Sylvie's website.

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.

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.

Acceptance test 

Stripe Banl 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 2st week after the auction, you have authorized Sylvie's to charge your credit card by accepting the terms and conditions of sale. This charge will be executed as from the second week after the auction via Stripe.

Participating by phone

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 must indicate in advance whether your bids are business or private or whether you are bidding on behalf of others. In the latter case, please indicate in advance who they are, giving full details of the company or personal address(es), accompanied by a copy of a passport and a copy of a bank statement. If this information is not given in advance, the bidder will only receive one proof of purchase after the auction. 

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.

A prerequisite for telephone participation is that you have already bid at Sylvie's and have proven to be a timely payer.

Participate via the website

Via the website you can leave a maximum bid. However, you cannot bid live and place a bid on a group of lots as you can if you bid via the Sylvie's App. 

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 a passport and a copy of a bank statement from private individuals. Sylvie's reserves the right to request a copy of a credit card from bidders from outside the EU.

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 can bid up to one hour before the start of the auction on either Friday or Saturday.

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.

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

Participating via mandate in the auditorium if unable to attend

Sylvie's can bid for you 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 is only available if you have participated in an auction with us before and your payments have been made on time.

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

When auctioning wines that are located in a bonded warehouse, bidding via a mandate is not possible.

Participation in auctions with wines under bond

Sylvie's auctions wines from all over the EU, but also from outside the EU. An auction with only wines from outside the EU concerns wines of exceptionally high quality and value.

These exceptional wines will be placed "in bond", which means that the payment of Belgian VAT and excise duties will be 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 makes photos available for such auctions.

Bidders who have recently and repeatedly failed to meet their payment obligations on time are excluded from participation, unless a deposit is made prior to the auction. The total value of the auction purchases may never exceed the deposit. The surplus of the deposit shall be returned in the week following the auction.

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 shipment, if you have already stored wines at Sylvie's, you cannot have these wines packed and shipped together.

Payment is expected within 7 days, but in this case, Sylvie's will ask to see proof of bank transfer within 4 working days. If you cannot prove this, Sylvie's is free to offer the wines to other bidders, or to resell the wines outside the auction. This is done in coordination with the producer of the wines.

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

The wines must be collected within 14 days. Immediately after receipt of your payment, you will receive a date and a time slot within which your carrier must report to the bonded warehouse. Sylvie's determines the day and the time slot for security reasons and/or will take into account the capacity of the carrier. You will only receive the address of the warehouse and your local contact person after receipt of your payment. It is also for safety reasons that the wines must be collected within the shortest possible time frame.

Your purchases are packed in Styrofoam and protect against temperature fluctuations during transport by road for at least one day. 

Publication of results

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

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 a VAT number in order to do this.

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 need proof in the form of a copy of a waybill that recognized carriers have transported the wines abroad. You do not need to request this information from your carrier. Sylvie's will take care of this for you when your carrier reports to Sylvie's.

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, but you can also arrange this yourself.

Business clients must provide Sylvie's with their VAT number in good time and check their invoices for correctness. As soon as an auction closes, Sylvie's will no longer draw up a new invoice 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.

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.

Only bidders using the Sylvie's App can also pay via AMEX or Discover. This payment is made via a collection order from Sylvie's to Stripe.

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.

Payment in cash is only possible in Antwerp in order to ensure the safety of our drivers.

Sylvie's bank details are:

ING Bank Kapelle

IBAN BE11393050135248

Swift BBRUBBEBB

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

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.

Sylvie's may also:

- auction your purchases again and exclude participation in subsequent auctions, or

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

- take a deposit for a subsequent participation, or

- set a spending limit, or

- legally enforce your payment. 

By setting a limit, it is possible that lots you would otherwise have won will be allocated to another bidder. 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.

When you participate in an auction of wines stored in a bonded warehouse, specific rules for payment apply, which are described separately in these terms and conditions.

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. Preferably, Sylvie's will ship wines by refrigerated transport and weekend storage is avoided in the case of refrigerated transport. Your wine is packaged to provide protection against temperature fluctuations before it is shipped via Sylvie's, and for the assurance of safe transport, waiting times at customs are taken into account. Refrigerated transport is always possible for pallet shipments and sometimes for packages.

It is usually not possible to deliver refrigerated consignments to private individuals because these carriers cannot guarantee their presence and will not usually call the client half an hour before arrival. 

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.

Last change to terms and conditions of sale

August 20, 2019

Changes:

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

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