Auctioneers Association of Ontario
The public auction subjects all possessions to equitable public appraisal and competitive offer and thereby determines fair and current value of all personal goods and estates. The Auctioneer is the master of procedure and conduct of the public auction. The Auctioneer is a confidante of the public, balancing the needs of both Sellers and Buyers; this is a grave responsibility and duty, reaching beyond ordinary business policy, to which the Auctioneer must dedicate himself/herself, striving to maintain the highest professional standards.
The Auctioneer shares a common responsibility for Integrity and Honour of the Auctioneer profession with members and non-members alike. Accepting the Golden Rule as his/her standard, the Auctioneer pledges to observe the Laws of the Land in all dealings, and to conduct business in accordance with this Code of Ethics. No special conditions, real or assumed, or inducements or directions from anyone relieve the Auctioneer from the responsibility to strictly observe the Code of Ethics of the Auctioneers Association of Ontario.
PART 1 – PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
Article 1. In the best interest of the public, the Auctioneer profession, and his/her own business, the Auctioneer should be loyal to the Auctioneers Association of Ontario and active in its works, willingly sharing the lessons of his/her experience with fellow Auctioneers.
Article 2. The Auctioneer should so conduct business as to avoid disputes with fellow Auctioneers. In the event of a dispute between two Auctioneers who are members of the Auctioneers Association of Ontario, they should not resort to a lawsuit, but should submit their difference to arbitration by the Auctioneers Association of Ontario, and the decision of such arbitration should be accepted as final and binding. If the dispute should be with a non-member, the Auctioneer should offer the services of this Board to arbitrate.
Article 3. Where the Auctioneer is charged with unethical practice or is asked to present evidence of such unethical practice, he/she shall promptly place all the pertinent facts before the Board for investigation and report.
Article 4. The Auctioneer shall not publicly criticize a competitor’s business practice or transaction; where an opinion is especially requested and the Auctioneer deems it appropriate to respond, it shall be rendered in conformity with strict professional courtesy and dignity.
Article 5. The Auctioneer should not solicit the services of an employee of a fellow Auctioneer without prior notice to the other Auctioneer.
PART II – RELATIONSHIP TO CLIENTS
Article 6. The Auctioneer is expected to provide the highest level of competent service in those fields in which the Auctioneer customarily engages. In justice of those who place their interests in his/her hands, the Auctioneer shall keep informed of matters affecting the auction profession, of business conditions, and of matters of law and proposed legislation affecting such interests, so as to give intelligent business advice and effective service.
Article 7. In accepting an assignment for sale of real or personal property, the Auctioneer pledges to protect and promote the interests of his/her client. This obligation of responsibility to the Seller is primary, but does not relieve the Auctioneer of responsibility to treat fairly all parties to the transaction. The Auctioneer shall not undertake an assignment in which he/she has a irect or indirect interest, without full disclosure of such interest to the client, and other affected parties.
Article 8. When consulted for an appraisal of value or liquidation problem, the Auctioneer shall give a well considered opinion, reflecting expert knowledge and sound judgment, taking requisite time for study, inquiry and deliberation. The Auctioneer’s counsel represents a professional service which should be rendered in writing and for which he/she should make a reasonable charge. The Auctioneer shall not undertake to give an appraisal or offer an opinion on any proposition in which he/she has a direct or even indirect interest, without full disclosure of such interest to the client, and other affected parties.
Article 9. Before accepting assignment of a sale, it is the duty of the Auctioneer to seek out and understand the motivation, objective(s) and interest(s) of the Seller, and thereupon to advise the Seller intelligently and honestly regarding the likelihood of achieving those expectations.
PART III – RELATIONSHIP TO THE PUBLIC
Article 10. It is the duty of the Auctioneer to protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation or unethical practices in connection with the sale, disposal or liquidation of any real or personal property the Auctioneer is called upon to dispose of at public auction. All members shall include their name/company or corporation name and phone number in all advertising.
Article 11. The Auctioneer shall be careful at all times to present a true picture in advertising and representations to the public. It is the duty of the Auctioneer to ascertain all pertinent facts concerning every sale for which he/she is engaged to avoid error, exaggeration and misrepresentation.
Article 12. The Auctioneer is the confidential trustee of the information given by the Seller or otherwise gained by him through the Seller/Auctioneer relationship. The Auctioneer must never disclose the gross receipts of a sale or any other information that would tend to be a violation of the Seller’s right to privacy, without the consent of the Seller and/or being in receipt of legally constituted instructions to release that information.
Article 13. For the protection of all parties, the Auctioneer shall ensure that financial obligations and commitments regarding auction transactions are fully understood and agreed by the Seller. Where appropriate, the Auctioneer shall commit the exact agreement in writing, furnishing a copy to each party.
Date of Last Amendment: February 15, 2002