[HISTORY: Derived from Art. I-A of Ch. V of the Charter and Ordinances, 1974, of the City of Buffalo; amended in its entirety 4-19-2005, effective 4-29-2005. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Where used in this chapter, the following terms and words shall have the meaning and effect as follows:
- ASSOCIATE AUCTIONEER
- Every person, licensed as an auctioneer, may designate employees who may be authorized by him to conduct auctions. Notice containing the names of the employees so designated must be given to the Director of Licenses for the Department of Permit and Inspection Services, and an employee's license shall be issued on the payment of the prescribed fee. An associate auctioneer's license may be issued to an individual who is a citizen of the United States or a legal alien, is employed under the direct supervision of a licensed auctioneer, and has not been convicted of a felony.
- Includes any person conducting a sale by public auction of personal property or real property of his own or as an agent for another.
- Includes all goods, wares, merchandise, commodities, compounds, things, chattels, jewelry and all other property of whatsoever form or nature, but does not include choses in action or real property.
- PUBLIC AUCTION
- Includes any public offer to sell personal property or real property to the highest bidder or to the person offering to pay the highest price therefor and without any reservation, unless, at the time of the offer of each article or parcel and before any bids are asked thereon, a minimum price therefor is publicly stated.
- REAL PROPERTY
- The land, together with the improvements thereon and attached thereto.
- SELL AT PUBLIC AUCTION
- Shall not include judicial sales, sales by public officers in the manner prescribed by law, sales pursuant to statute to satisfy any lien on the property sold, resales, pursuant to statutes, of property retaken under a conditional sales contract, sales of horses, cattle or other live animals or sales of personal property at any public convention in regular session in the City of Buffalo at the place or places where the convention is being held.
No sale at public auction of any personal or real property, as defined in this chapter, shall be held within the City of Buffalo unless such sale is directly conducted by an auctioneer licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
Every applicant for a license pursuant to this chapter shall present to the Director of Licenses and Permits a written application signed and duly verified by him, stating his full name, age, residence by street, number and place and present occupation; that he is a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of New York; the place where he intends to conduct the business of auctioneer in the City of Buffalo; his qualifications, including education and business engaged in during the past five years, giving location, kind and extent; where and when he was previously licensed as an auctioneer; whether any previous license as an auctioneer was canceled for cause; and such further facts as may be required by the Director of Licenses and Permits to show the good character, competency and integrity of the applicant.
Such applications shall not be granted to any person, corporation or entity convicted of any felony, or any misdemeanor or violation offense relating to the theft or receipt of stolen property, or fraud of any sort, or any series of convictions for petit larceny that would indicate a pattern of disregard for laws related to personal property.
The applicant shall also present to the Director of Licenses and Permits with his application for such license a bond to the City of Buffalo executed by a duly authorized surety company, in the penal sum of $5,000, conditioned for the faithful observance of the laws of the State of New York and of the ordinances of the City of Buffalo then in effect or thereafter enacted, for the performance of all duties, the rendition of all accounts and the payment of all moneys required of him by law to be paid and also conditioned for the payment to any person who shall be defrauded or suffer loss by reason of the violation by such auctioneer of any of the provisions of this chapter. Such bond shall be approved as provided by ordinance.
Upon the Director of Licenses and Permits being satisfied of the good character, competency and integrity of the applicant and upon proof of the payment of the license fee, he shall issue to the applicant an auctioneer's license, authorizing him to conduct auction sales in the City of Buffalo as provided by law and by this chapter.
At least three business days before any auction sale is held, the auctioneer shall keep on file a statement, in typewriting or other print, giving the name and address of the owner of the property proposed to be sold, the street and number where the property is located, the place where the sale is to be conducted, the times of operation, the reasons why an auction sale is desired, and the name and address of the auctioneer who will conduct the auction sale; also an itemized inventory of the property to be offered for sale, specifying as to each item the quantity, quality, kind and grade and the material of which it is composed, with a distinctive number for each item. This itemized inventory statement must remain on file with the auction house for one year and shall be made available for immediate viewing by the City of Buffalo upon request by the City of Buffalo. If said inventory statement is not available for one year as required by this section, or is not made available for immediate viewing when requested by the City of Buffalo, the auction house license may be immediately revoked.
If the property to be sold consists of a stock of goods in trade, in whole or in part, of a person, firm or corporation engaged in the wholesale or retail sale thereof immediately preceding the time of the filing of the inventory, there shall be attached to the inventory a complete statement, including the name of such person so engaged, the location by place, street and number where so engaged, the length of time so engaged and that each and every article contained in the aforesaid inventory is a part of the stock of goods of said person and has been a part of the stock of goods of said person for a period of at least 90 days prior to the date of the filing of the said inventory and that no property purchased, procured or placed in stock specially for such public auction sale is included therein. If the property to be sold is real property, the inventory shall briefly describe the same, so as to identify its dimensions, the improvements thereon and the location thereof.
If such property consists of the household furniture of a householder or the fixtures and equipment of a business, the inventory shall be accompanied by a statement that each article was a part of the household goods of the householder (naming him) or, in the case of fixtures and equipment, was a part of the fixtures and equipment of the person (naming him) for at least 90 days prior to the date of sale; provided, however, that the aforesaid required statement shall not apply to any person who in good faith has purchased at a judicial sale or public auction sale in bulk the fixtures, machinery and/or equipment of any business and thereafter in good faith desires to resell the same at public auction within 30 days thereof.
Such statement and inventory must be signed by the auctioneer who is to conduct the sale and verified by him to the effect that it is, to the best of his knowledge, information and belief, true. Such statement and inventory shall also be signed by the owner of said property and shall be verified by him by affidavit, stating that said inventory is true and correct in all particulars. All statements shall be kept on file with the auction house for one year and shall be available for immediate viewing by the City of Buffalo upon request by the City of Buffalo.
Upon the receipt and approval of the inventory required by the preceding section, the Director of Licenses and Permits shall issue to the auctioneer therein named an authorization to conduct the sale. A copy of the itemized inventory of the property to be offered for sale filed with the Director of Licenses and Permits shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises where the sale is conducted, available for examination by the bidder. The Director of Licenses and Permits shall issue a permit authorizing the sale, and the list of items for the sale shall be kept on file by the auction house for one year.
In addition to the records required to be kept by §§ 25 and 26 of the General Business Law, the auctioneer shall attach or cause to be attached securely to each article to be offered for sale a tag or label upon which shall be plainly written or printed in the English language a true and correct statement of the kind and quality of the material or substance of which such article is made or composed and the distinctive number of such article on the itemized inventory and appraisal filed with the Director of Licenses and Permits. If said article is one of those commonly classed as "jewelry" or articles commonly carried by persons engaged in the jewelry business, the tag shall state the percentage or carat of purity of such material; in case the articles are plated or overlaid, a true statement of the kind of plate and the percentage of purity thereof and the kind of material or metal under the plating; if the article is one commonly known as "precious, semiprecious, synthetic or imitation stones," the true names, weight, quality and color of said stones; if watches or clocks, the true name of the manufacturers, the number of jewels and adjustments and the County of manufacture; and if any of such articles or parts thereof are used or secondhand, the length of time the same has been in use and in a conspicuous place on said tag the word "secondhand" or "used." Said tag in each and every case shall remain upon the article and be delivered with the article to the purchaser. Auction houses shall provide reasonable descriptions of the property to be auctioned and must disclose special knowledge of any items.
When any article or combination of articles is offered for sale at public auction, the article or combination of articles shall be sold to the person with the highest offered bid, if there is more than one bid or offer, unless a predetermined minimum or reserve price has been set. Such minimum or reserve price must be announced prior to the commencement of the bidding process.
During the time when and while such auction sale is being conducted, no sale of any property, whether or not it be a part of the inventoried property, shall be permitted by private sale or otherwise than by public auction sale, within the same room or in any room opening therefrom.
No property not included in the inventory list on file prior to the commencement of the sale as hereinbefore required shall be sold or offered for sale at public auction or prior sale during the time that such auction sale is being conducted in the same room or in a room opening therefrom. No property can be offered for sale that is not included on the inventory sale list.
Within 10 days after the conclusion of such auction sale, the auctioneer shall keep on file a report which shall consist of a copy of said inventory with a list of the articles sold and a statement that no other articles were sold during said sale superimposed thereon, which report shall be subscribed by said auctioneer and verified by his oath before an officer authorized to take oaths in the County of Erie and shall be kept on file by the auction house for one year and made available for immediate viewing by the City of Buffalo upon request by the City of Buffalo.
Sale at public auction shall be held only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., Buffalo time, and at no time within the hours beginning at 11:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 a.m., Buffalo time.
An auction sale shall be held on successive days, Sundays and legal holidays excepted, and shall not continue for a period longer than 60 days.
No auctioneer shall:
Make any false representations as to the character, quality, condition, value or ownership of any property offered for sale or falsely represent that such property is in whole or in part bankrupt or insolvent stock or damaged goods or goods saved from fire.
Substitute any other article for the article sold to a bidder.
Bid in or withdraw from sale any article after receiving a second bid therefor or receive any bid from a person not a bona fide bidder at such sale or any person acting as a capper, booster or shiller. An article may be withdrawn from sale if the item is in reserve and does not meet the reserve.
Employ or permit to be employed any bellman, crier, instrument of music or means of attracting the attention of passersby other than a sign or flag.
Conduct a sale where entertainment for the prospective bidders is provided on the premises where the sale is conducted.
Offer for sale or sell any article of property not included in the final inventory filed as provided in § 81-6 of this chapter.
Open or conduct any public auction sale until all the provisions of this chapter have been complied with and an authorization for such sale obtained.
If the property to be sold is, in whole or in part, a stock of goods in trade of a merchant in business or who has been in business, wholesale or retail, an auctioneer may transport said property to a location approved by the Director of Licenses for the purpose of conducting said auction.
Each license issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire on the first day of June next succeeding its issue.
The fee for such license shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees, and shall be paid by the applicant before the issuance of the license.
The Director of Licenses and Permits may revoke any license or authorization to conduct a sale, issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, if he shall have cause to believe that the holder of such license or authorization to conduct a sale is violating any statute of the State of New York relative to auctions and auctioneers or any provision of this chapter. A conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction of such offense or recovery upon a bond pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be conclusive evidence of such violation.
The Director of Licenses and Permits may, upon the complaint of any person, cause notice to be served upon the holder of such license or holder of authorization to conduct a sale, specifying the grounds of complaint or reason assigned for the revocation of such license or authorization to conduct a sale, which notice shall fix a time and place, not less than three days after the service of such notice, at which said Director of Licenses and Permits shall hear the evidence of the person making such complaint and such other evidence as may be presented to him or be in his possession; and the holder of such license or the holder of such authorization to conduct a sale shall have an opportunity to be heard in his own defense. If the Director of Licenses and Permits shall believe that sufficient grounds therefor exist, he shall revoke such license or such authorization to conduct a sale.