Code of Ethics (unabridged)
The privilege of membership in the Association carries with it the responsibility of maintaining and furthering the objectives of the Association. Toward this end, the following standards are required:
1. An Association member agrees to share the responsibility of furthering mutual trust and respect between autograph dealers and the public by conducting his or her business with honesty, fairness and integrity. Members will exercise common sense and courtesy in dealing with each other and the public.
2. An Association member is responsible for the accurate description of all material offered for sale. All significant information must be disclosed to those to whom the material is offered or sold, including, but not limited to, information on defects, mechanical and secretarial signature. Unless both parties agree otherwise, a full cash refund shall be made available to the purchaser of any misrepresented or incompletely represented material.
3. An association member shall vouch for the authenticity of all materials offered for sale, and shall make every reasonable effort to establish their real nature. Should it be determined or should it be the good faith opinion of a majority of the Authentication Committee that material offered as authentic is not authentic or is questionable, that material shall be returnable for a full refund of the purchase price or other mutually agreeable arrangement. Materials thus shown to be not authentic, or of disputed or undetermined nature, shall not again be offered for sale unless all facts concerning them are disclosed in writing to every proposed purchaser. The right to a full cash refund hereunder must be without time limit to the original purchaser.
4. Every Association member without exception shall guarantee the authenticity of all autographs he or she sells without time limit to the original purchaser.
5. An Association member shall abide by all published terms and conditions of sale. Terms and conditions of sales shall be clearly and explicitly stated in all catalogues and offers.
6. An Association member shall hold intact, pending acceptance from the seller, all items sent to him or her for offer, and should the offer be unacceptable, promptly and carefully return them to their proper owner. The member shall pay in full for all material purchased in accordance with the payment terms, and in no event beyond thirty (30) days from the date of an invoice unless other arrangements are made or explicitly stated in the terms of sale. Terms of sale may be negotiated from time to time by mutual consent between buyer and seller.
7. An Association member shall permit any other member in good standing to buy from his or her inventory any material being offered for sale to the public, The Association encourages but does not require that members offer a reciprocal trade discount.
8. An Association member shall have all material offered for sale clearly marked with the selling price. Material not for sale, or in the process of being catalogued and not yet priced, should be appropriately segregated.
9. Association members, other than auctioneer members selling at auction, shall promote customer satisfaction, and to do so, shall permit a customer to return any authentic and properly described item for a full refund or credit for any reason whatsoever, so long as the member is notified by the customer immediately upon receipt of the item and it is returned within a few days of receipt in the same condition as received. Members shall make prompt refunds for any returned merchandise.
10. An Association member shall resolve in a manner befitting the objectives of the Association, any claims or disputes between that member and another member of the public. Association members will abide by the decision of the board of Directors relating to any complaint or dispute. Violation of any Association by-law, guideline, code or policy may be grounds for fine, censure, suspension or expulsion from the Association.
11. An Association member recognizes that members are obligated to operate their businesses in accordance with all applicable laws.
12. An Association member is responsible for passing to the buyer clear title to all materials sold, except where the member is acting as an agent and the agency status is fully disclosed. He or she shall not knowingly purchase, hold or attempt to sell stolen materials or materials whose origin is suspect. An Association member shall make all reasonable efforts to ascertain that materials offered to him or her are the property of the seller. Every effort to prevent the theft or distribution of stolen materials must be made. An Association member shall cooperate with the Association and legal authorities in any effort to recover or return stolen materials, and apprehend and prosecute those responsible for a theft.
13. An Association member shall provide any consignors with a written agreement stating all conditions and legal obligations. The auctioneer member shall publish a Prices Realized within a reasonable time after any auction, accurately reflecting which items have been sold, passed or withdrawn.
14. An Association member shall make it clear at the time of offer whether or not material is offered subject to prior sale. Notwithstanding this, an item offered in a published catalog or on display at a retail establishment shall be considered subject to prior sale unless the member and prospective customer agree to the contrary. Members shall not offer items for sale unless they are available to the member at the time of the advertisement or offer.
15. An Association member will cooperate with the Association by providing information it requests on thefts, suspicious transactions, bad credit risks, offers of material of doubtful authenticity and related matters.