Code of Ethics


Whereas, it is necessary in order to fit ourselves for the responsibility of Auctioneers, to cultivate the spirit of cooperation, improve our profession and protect the interest of the Auctioneer, to protect the public against unscrupulous practices; therefore, we do constitute ourselves the Virginia Auctioneers Association.

The auction business is said to be the medium through which the lifeblood of the nation attains greater momentum and brings to the nation greater balance, prosperity and stability. It chases the ghost out of the ghost town. It brings hope, confidence and joy to individuals and communities. It turns the loss of an unsold business into profit for both seller and buyer. The Auctioneer should ever hold aloft the dignity and importance to the nation of his profession. He should never lose sight of his personal and professional integrity, his great responsibility and his sense of patriotism.

The Auctioneer realizes that his profession is both competitive and cooperative and that he shares with others a common responsibility for its honor and that by being true to himself, he is true to all men.

With these principles ever before him, the Auctioneer pledges himself to their observance and to conduct his business in conformity to the following Code of Ethics adopted by the Virginia Auctioneers Association.

PART I: Professional Relations

Article 1. In the best interest of the public, of his fellow Auctioneers and of his own business, the Auctioneer should be loyal to the Virginia Auctioneers Association.

Article 2. The Auctioneer should so conduct his business as to avoid disputes with his fellow Auctioneers, but in the event of a controversy between two Auctioneers who are members of the Virginia Auctioneers Association, he should not resort to a law suit, but submit his difference to arbitration by the Virginia Auctioneers Association and the decision of such arbitration should be accepted as final and binding. If the dispute should be with a non-member, he should offer the services of this Board to arbitrate.

Article 3. Where a member is charged with unethical practice, he should promptly and voluntarily place all the pertinent facts before the proper committee for investigation and report.

Article 4. A member should never publicly criticize a competitor, and where an opinion is specially requested it should be rendered in conformity with strict professional courtesy and dignity.

Article 5. A member should not solicit the services of an employee of a follow Auctioneer without his knowledge and consent.

Article 6. In the best interest of society, of his associates, and of his own business, the Auctioneer should at all times be loyal to the Virginia Auctioneers Association and active in its work. He should also willingly share with his fel1ow members the lessons of his experience.

PART II: Relations to Clients

Article 7.  In justice to those who place their interests in his hands, the Auctioneer should endeavor to keep abreast of business conditions, to keep informed in matters of law and proposed legislation affecting such interests, so as to give intelligent business advice and effective service.

Article 8.  In accepting the sale of real or personal property, the member pledges himself to be fair to both seller and buyer, and to protect the owner's interest as he would his own.

Article 9. When consulted for an appraisal of value or liquidation problem, a member should give a well considered opinion, reflecting expert knowledge and sound judgment, taking requisite time for study, inquiry and deliberation. His counsel represents a professional service which he should render in writing and for which he should make a reasonable charge. A member should not undertake to give an appraisal or offer an opinion on any proposition on which he has a direct or even indirect interest without a full disclosure of such interest.

Article 10. Before accepting a sale it is the duty of the Auctioneer to advise the owner intelligently and honestly regarding the market value of the business or proposition and the reasonable chance of selling at value or above.

PART III: Relations to the Public

Article 11. It is the duty of every member 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 ca11ed upon to dispose of at public auction.

Article 12. It is the duty of a member to ascertain all pertinent facts concerning every sale for which he is engaged, so that in offering he may avoid error, exag­geration and misrepresentation.

Article 13. An Auctioneer is a confidential trustee of the information given by the seller or gained by him through relationship and the Auctioneer must never disclose the gross receipts of a sale or any other information that would tend to be a violation of the profession.

Article 14. No special condition, real or assumed, or inducements or directions from anyone relieve the member from his responsibility strictly to observe the Code of Ethics in letter and spirit.

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Since its founding in 1958, the mission of the Virginia Auctioneers Association (VAA) has been to promote the professionalism of auctioneers and auctions through education and technology.

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