Petrus Plancius International will as a professional antiquarian bookseller and member of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers fully comply to the following "Code of Ethics":
Code of Ethics
This compendium of customs and usage of the profession of antiquarian bookseller defines the usages generally and universally recognised in all commercial transactions relating to the profession, either between professionals, or between professionals and institutions or individuals. Antiquarian bookselling in this context includes manuscripts, autograph letters, prints, maps and drawings, as well as books. In the rare instance when you, as a customer, feel that an ILAB bookseller has violated the spirit of the following code, you may click on "Complaint Form" for further information on seeking a solution.
Code of Ethics
Members of the national associations affiliated with the I.L.A.B. (hereafter, for the sake of brevity, referred to as 'members') should conduct all commercial transactions according to these usages which expressly indicate that members offer to their clients a clearly defined code of practice based on high ethical standards.
Description and disclosure
Members shall be responsible for the accurate identification and description of all material offered for sale. All defects, significant restorations and sophistications should be clearly noted and made known to those to whom the material is offered or sold. Unless the parties agree otherwise, a full cash refund shall be available to the purchaser of any misrepresented material.
Members should, as professionals, be conversant with and responsible for the correct use and interpretation of the technical terms of the trade.
Members shall be responsible for the accurate and professional pricing of all material offered for sale, regardless of whether they are dealing with experts or amateurs.
Members shall vouch for and make every reasonable effort to substantiate the authenticity of all materials offered for sale. Should it be determined that such material is not authentic or is questionable, then it shall be returnable for a full cash refund, or on some other mutually agreed terms. Material shown to be not authentic, or of disputed or undetermined nature, shall not again be offered for sale unless all facts concerning it are clearly disclosed.
Members shall be responsible for passing to the buyer clear title to all material sold, and shall not knowingly purchase, hold or attempt to re-sell stolen material. They shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that materials offered to them are the property of the seller. They shall make every effort to prevent the theft of antiquarian books and related materials. They shall cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities to recover and return stolen material, and to apprehend those responsible.
Damage in transit
Responsibility for damage in transit shall rest with the sender. Members should attend to be careful and appropriate handling, packing, posting and shipping of material to ensure that it reaches the buyer in the same condition as when purchased.
Terms and conditions
It should be understood that books are normally offered for sale in catalogues at the prices affixed, subject to prior sale, and that payment is either due in advance, or, when satisfactory credit has been established, promptly on receipt of the goods. In the case of special offers, courtesy requires that an option to purchase be assured for a certain time which should be specified. Any divergence from these generally accepted terms should be expressly stated.
The supplier must be paid the full amount of his invoice; the buyer is responsible for all clearing and bank charges relating to the transaction.
When a bookseller makes an offer to purchase books the price should be valid either for an immediate transaction or for a stated period of option.
Members should ensure that all material offered for sale in an open shop or at book fairs is clearly marked with the selling price. Material not for sale or being processed or reserved, should be appropriately segregated.
On approval: term
Consignments 'on approval' requested by a prospective buyer must be supplied with a clear indication of the term allowed for a decision. When this term elapses the sale shall be deemed to be concluded if the goods have not been returned. If returned, postal charges both ways shall be borne by the prospective buyer.
On approval: responsibility
Members who ask for material 'on approval' or 'on consignment' shall hold themselves responsible for such material from its arrival until returned or fully paid for. However, this responsibility does not extend to damage and loss due to war or to any risk which cannot be covered by insurance.
If a multiple order cannot be filled in its entirety owing to part of it having been previously sold, this does not constitute grounds for the cancellation of that order unless so stipulated on the order.
Valuations and appraisals
Valuations must be carried out scrupulously in the spirit of these usages and customs. They involve the moral responsibility of the bookseller towards the owner of the material.
Valuations: Tax Law
Members offering valuation or appraisal services shall be responsible for being conversant with the relevant regulations as stipulated by local tax laws. They shall conduct such appraisals in strict compliance with these regulations.
Members who receive from a client instructions to purchase at a public auction sale should also accept responsibility for the careful inspection of the material to be bought and should not solely rely on information supplied by the seller or by the auctioneer. He or she should, of course, also exercise the utmost discretion and eliminate any risk of conflict of interest.
Members should never approach or solicit customers in another member's shop, book fair booth, or place of business without the introduction or consent of the proprietor.
This compendium of usages and customs has been set out in English and French. If any dispute should arise as to the interpretation of a paragraph from one language to the other, the Committee of the ILAB shall decide which is the correct interpretation.