James D. Julia, Inc. Reviews (4)
Buyer beware. Unfortuantely I trusted the reputation of [redacted] auctions and I purchased a painting from them which has been determined to be a fake. In as much as I take responsibility for my own mistake, I relied on [redacted]s to represent reliable works of art. Upon simple analysis, the signature clearly does not match. I bought the painting almost 10 years ago but only recently learned of my mistake and was unsuccessful selling it back at a [redacted] auction in 2012. Oh well, buyer beware and don't assume [redacted]s auction house has done any homework of their own or that their good name means that they can't also represent artwork of questionable origin. Live and learn...
Review: Recently purchased at from [redacted] at auction was a bright gold pineapple chandelier from the 1930s, described as having six arms with one small leaf missing. What arrived however was a greenish-colored chandelier with eight arms with a large leaf missing.
While the company boasts that it guarantees its catalog descriptions from errors for a period of 45 days, [redacted] wrote that in the case of the number of arms, most people would consider that an enhancement and the absent large would not have a major effect on the value. Even if so, the guarantee does not mention inaccuracies that do or do not have an impact on the value.
I am entirely disappointed. This is not an item I expected or want. The photograph of the chandelier in the online auction catalog in no way resembles the chandelier that arrived. While [redacted] argues I am debating shades of yellow, but the item offered appeared a bright gold and the one that arrived appears primarily green, not at all resembling the one offered (I will be happy to provide photos for anyone interested). Further a small piece at the bottom appears to have broken off in shipping- or was broken before shipping and not mentioned in the description.
[redacted] offered to reconsign the item if I cover shipping to and from (that set me back $350 and would cost as much returning). I agreed to the reconsign if he covered the shipping. [redacted] refused.
I consider this misrepresentation at best, remain unsatisfied and will continue to tell this story to anyone who will listen.Desired Settlement: This is a case in which the auction house mis-represent their product in their catalog with significantly different color rendering and errors in description. We have contacted with the auction house the day we opened the shipping box. We would like the auction house to honor their guarantee in their terms of sale and process a full refund.
[redacted] Department conveyed on
your behalf concerns about a recent purchase of yours. I understand that you
purchased Lot #[redacted], the Pineapple Chandelier at our August 20-23rd,
2013 auction. I understand that when you received it, you felt that the color
was green rather than gold as illustrated in the catalog and you stated that it
indicated that one of the small leaves were missing when the leaf was actually
one of the larger ones and your third complaint was that it was an 8 arm rather
than a 6 arm chandelier.
First of all, I am extremely sorry that you are unhappy with
anything that you have purchased from us. It is our intention to be fair and
honest with all parties involved and we do try to do exactly that. In addition
to trying to be fair, we do something that nearly all our competitors do not do
and that is we guarantee our catalog descriptions for a period of 45 days after
the auction. The guarantee is limited; it is limited to only major issues that
have a major effect upon the value of the lot. This is not a perfect system but
we represent approximately part of 2% of auction houses that give a warranty.
Everyone else says “as is, where is” and some actually mean it. Whenever I sell
a lot at auction, I must be concerned that it is fair to the seller, fair to the
buyer, and fair to me. To that extent to ensure that there can be no
misunderstanding between myself, buyers and sellers; a guarantee is noted in
writing in the Conditions of Sale in the front of the catalog. Subsequently, I
am bound by what is written there as both buyer and seller are clearly aware of
it. If an issue occurs, I need to resort to the Conditions of Sale where it
indicates and specifies exactly what I need to do.
In regards to the
color: You maintain that the color is green rather than gold. I have since
checked our catalogs which show a gold or yellowish finish. I have also checked
the online images present on the website and they all exhibit a primarily
yellowish piece and I have also viewed the image that you took of the piece on a
sofa and once again it appears to be a yellowing colored piece rather than
green. I anticipate that the leaves may be copper and of course copper will
oxidize with time and turn slightly green but I also note in the description
that we did not indicate there was a color at all. Other than the fact that the
natural oxidation and what may be copper leaves leave a little bit of greenish
tinge (which most people want from a chandelier of this type as it gives it an
antique look). I see no justification for what you are talking about. If you
want to take better photograph and those photographs clearly indicate that these
are unquestionable green rather than yellow; I may reconsider it. But under no
circumstances can I consider it with what I have before me right now.
In regards to the 8 arm
vs. 6 arm. You indicate that it is an 8 arm chandelier rather than a 6 arm
chandelier. You are obviously correct because in simply looking at the
photograph of the piece, it clearly indicates that there are 8 arms not 6 arms.
Even though the cataloger made a mistake and wrote 6 arms, you can see clearly
if you look at the photograph and know it is an 8 arm. Whether it is a 6 arm or
an 8 arm is a moot point. It is not something that would have a major effect on
the value of the piece. In fact, with most people it would be an
One small leaf
absent. You indicate it is a large leaf. As I view the piece, none of the
leaves are real small. The ones on top of the pineapple are a little smaller
than the ones down below at the bottom of the pineapple so I gather what you are
saying is that the leaf missing is not one from the top but one from the
bottom. In any case, rather it is a small or large leaf, it was divulged in the
description that there is a leaf missing. This under no circumstances is a
major problem that has a major effect on the value.
I realize that some collectors are very discerning and they
want items that are exact. An 8 arm chandelier opposed to a 6 arm chandelier is
something of critical importance to them or that an absence of a leaf might be
okay if it is the smaller of the two but if it is the larger of the two it
definitely is not alright; or the color of the metal be goldish rather than
greenish. All of these above are discerning factors and something that I
realize that might not be acceptable to some people as they want it to be exact,
perfect, etc. To those people, I clearly indicate in the Conditions of Sale
that you should not be bidding at our auction or anyone else’s auction because
any amount of describing the piece will be adequate if the person that is very,
very discerning. To those people, I indicate that the only way you should bid
is to come yourself in person or have an agent come in person; or in the very
least, call up and ask someone here to identify which leaf is missing and if the
color is critical, confirm whether it is yellow all over or green, etc.
Otherwise, if there is a slight variation in color, if it is a larger leaf
rather than a smaller leaf, if there are a couple of extra arms on the
chandelier; none of those things qualify for a major problem that has a major
effect on the value. Under such circumstances, I cannot cancel the sale. If I
were to do such a thing, the seller who sold it would have full right to expect
from me, their money back.
What I will do is contact the seller whom I see was hoping to
get $5000.00 for this chandelier; the sale price was considerably less than that
so there is an outside possibility that he may prefer to have the chandelier
back. If so, then I will make two people happy; you and them, if it is returned
in the same condition. But only if they want the cancel of sale, there is
absolutely nothing I can do about cancelling the sale. The only alternative I
will have at that point is to resell it for you if you wanted. You could
re-consign it to our auction and we could sell it for you at no charge and
whatever it drew at auction we would remit the proceeds to you. This would mean
that if it brought more than what you originally paid for it, you would receive
that money but on the other hand if it brought less that is what you would
I will not accept the response by the auction house. By what standard, can any business owner to take the liberty to disregard misrepresentation in their catalog as minor and acceptable? The item is substantially different in color, shape and condition than described. This is an attempt to appear to have a guarantee, but in practicality offering no such guarantee. It is fraud in my book. It is extremely dangerous if any business owner can use the enhanced and modified photos and incorrect information in a description and then sell items that are substantially different than advertised.
Unfortunately we are unable to resolve this issue. Bidding online or remotely from a catalog description comes with its risks and because of that many clients choose to spend the time to visit our gallery. We do our best to photograph and describe the lots in our sale as our website will show. I'm sorry that we were not able to meet this clients expectations as that is our goal.
Anyone who sees the before and after pictures will undoubtedly agree that this is anything but an accurate portrayal of the item. The notion that James D. Julia tried to photograph and describe this lot accurately is laughable. We will be happy to provide the image to anyone who asks. We were treated unfairly and James D. Julia acted
This is strong advice beyond the normal complaint. I won an extremely rare unused original enamel sign in perfect condition from Julia in their last auction, paid 2x over market prices just to have it. Though I told myself to take the 3 hour drive to pick it up, I reluctantly decided to trust their "strict packaging procedures", as the piece would likely arrive in the next day via [redacted], which it did. When it got here the sign was significantly damaged, not because of [redacted], the box was normally handled, but Julia miserably failed at packaging the sign anything close to how they should have. In fact, their packaging procedures are a completely embarrassing, and they charge you top dollar for the materials and their time, yet only to fail in dramatic fashion, and they ruined what was a rare perfect piece that cannot be repaired restored, its value is lost. Now to be fair Julia did apologize in many ways, but their "form" letter for the reply apology was actually addressed to a different person's name than my own! The point is, maybe these guys know how to do an auction, but their organization is dysfunctional and incompetent. They know how to acquire valuable items to auction, yet they are extremely deficient in actually delivering an item won, which for an auction company is humiliatiing to say the least. In the end I got my refund, but there is a deep emotional loss for having to return an item due to their own handling. Therefore, if you do plan to bid to win an item, do not suffer as I have, and all the run around to get a refund, you don't get to charge them back for all your time wasted, go to the aucton and pick the items up as this auction house is completely incompetent. Now I say this because I am a packaging expert, and this company does not even know what "proper dunnage" even means, and this operation is handling very valuable items. Best of luck, but try to avoid if possible.
TERRIBLE Customer Service.
Won auction Nov. 23, 2013... sent payment Nov. 25, 2013.
They don't put their phone number on anything, so took me a few days to get a number. Called today, 12/12/03 to find out where my items were at and they said I would not receive until after Christmas.
Had I know it would take over a month to receive the items, I would never have bid.
The girl on the phone had no knowledge of good customer service. All she could state was that they had two auctions in a row and it put them behind. So maybe this company needs to hire some help and treat the customers with respect instead of just taking the buyers money and then not even bothering to send the merchandise.
I will stick with [redacted] where you get your items in a couple of days!
James D. Julia, Inc. Rating
Address: 203 Skowhegan Rd, Fairfield, Maine, United States, 04937-3305
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