Can an auction house changed the terms of purchase after someone has bid on the item?

UPDATED: Dec 18, 2011

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Can an auction house changed the terms of purchase after someone has bid on the item?

I spoke with the auction house and verified the terms as they were listed on the invoice: they would allow a certain amount to be paid by credit card and the rest by cash. When I went to pay, the site said they now want an e-check, which I cannot give them. Can they change terms like that? I only bid on it because of the terms they offered.

Asked on December 18, 2011 under Business Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The auction house can change the terms of the bid payment after you successfully bid on the item. However, if you have a written receipt from the auction house stating that a certain percentage would be paid by cash and the balance by  credit card as to your purchase, you are in good shape to stand your grounds and insist upon making payment under the terms of the written receipt provided you as opposed by e-check.

If the auction house's representative still refuses to honor the terms of your receipt as to the manner of payment, I would speak in person to the owner of the establishment in order to try and resolve the issue you have.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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