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This company offers auctions.
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Clars Auction Gallery meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.
Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Clars Auction Gallery include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Response to 3 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||1|
|Total Closed Complaints||3|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Business ManagementMr. Redge Martin, Owner/President
Number of Employees
Alternate Business NamesHarvey Clars Auction Gallery Harvey Clars Auctioneers & Appraisers
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Additional Phone Numbers
- (925) 258-9959(Phone)
Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.
|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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Read Complaint Details
Complaint: Won a lot on November 14, 2015. When I went to pick up the lot I was told that the lot was missing from a locked display case!!! I want my lot. Won a lot (consisted of two framed newspapers from 1850 and 1860) at the November 14, 2015 auction. The lot number was ***** and was located in a locked display case. When I went to pick up the lot I was told that the 1850 newspaper was missing. I contacted to Clars by email and I was told that they are a big company with numerous items and these things could happen. But they did not answer to my simple question: How could they loose a locked item when only they have the key to open and lock the display case?? I strongly beleive that they sold the item to somebody else who offered them more money than my winning bid. My reason for thinking this way is that they made no effort to look for the missing item. I just want my lot back as I spent hours at the auction house to purchase that lot. Thank you very much.
Desired Settlement: I just want my lot back. Clars knows very well to whom they gave my lot (as they opened the lock with their key and gave it to somebody) and they should return it to me as I am the official winner of that lot.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2015/11/25) */ Contact Name and Title: ***********, V.P. Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX x *** Contact Email: *****@clars.com Mr. ****** is correct that he purchased a lot of two framed newspaper articles in our November auction, and when he came to the gallery to claim his items one of the two was missing. How or when it went missing we do not know. Mr, ****** is incorrect in stating that we know where the missing item is. Mr. ****** is also incorrect in that we made no effort to look for the item. When the initial logistics member could not locate the piece she asked for assistance from at least two other members of our staff who were familiar with the item and the location where it was displayed to try and locate it. Mr. ****** waited a long time while we tried to locate the missing piece. I was informed prior to canceling the sale that there was in issue, and that they were looking, but it appeared an item was missing. After continuing to search for some time but being unable to locate it we offered Mr ****** the option to keep the one item at a reduced rate, or we could cancel the sale entirely. We are a service industry and rely on our reputation to both sellers and buyers. We do not give away items to people that did not buy them, or sell sold items out from under the winning bidder. A bid is a contract and we take that seriously. We handle over 2000 lots, many lots consisting of multiple items, on a monthly basis and although loss and damage is rare, it does occasionally happen. Like any other business we are not immune to accidents, theft, and dishonest people who may be on or premises at any given time. We gave Mr. ****** a full refund for his purchase and he did not seem upset at the time. He emailed us directly with his complaint and we emailed him back a sincere apology. We cannot turn over his item to him because we don't know where it is. It is missing. I apologize again to Mr. ****** for this unfortunate loss. He purchased the lot of two items for $75 and was refunded in full. Lastly, please refer to our Risk Of Loss section in our Conditions of Sale that all buyers must agree to prior to bidding: "RISK OF LOSS: In the event delivery cannot be made because of loss due to fire, theft, or any other reason, the Gallery shall only be liable for the return of any deposits or payments made by the purchaser." Best regards, *********** Clars Auction Gallery Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2015/12/14) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) Every statement made by this business is false. I was in and out no more than 10 minutes. This is a total lie that I waited long time!!!The person who assisted me went back to the display case with one of her coworkers and came back in a few minutes. Refunded my credit card payment and that was it. This is what they call a long search!!!! Walking few yards to the locked display case. It is hilarious. Also Mrs. ***** admits that two of the staff members were familiar with my lot(among their thousands of items for such a cheap lot!!!) This is very interesting to learn!!! Nobody offered me to keep the second item!! (I wouldn't keep it either as they sold the valuable item to their preferred costumer!!) Again, this is an outrageous lie. They just returned my money and said goodbye!!! Mrs. ***** also knows that I was not upset!! Sorry, my bad, next time I scream really loud that you may understand that I was upset!!! It is so hilarious!! Here is another lie from Mrs. *****(as she is now going at full speed!!) to show that the lot was cheap, that it was only $75. They charged my credit card $89.25!!! She just forgot to add the hammer price!!! Lets be serious now: Your company policy does not apply here as this item is not lost(can not be lost from a locked display case where you have the key) or stolen (if stolen where is the police report?). It is sold by you, by the Clars Auction Gallery from a locked display case, to somebody who offered more money than my winning bid. May be this is done by your two members of staff who knew the lot very well(as you stated.) Please do return my lot. A locked lot where you have the keys does not get disappear like this in an auction house. I'll be also contacting to the TV channels and to an attorney to show your dubious business practices unless you return my lot in the upcoming days. Please do keep in mind that responding to my questions and statements with lies doesn't help you at all. Just be honest and tell me to whom you sold my lot and bring it back. That's so simple. Thank you. Final Consumer Response /* (4200, 11, 2016/01/13) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) This company constantly making false statements. Probably they have a CLO (Chief Lying Offaaicer!!) who is responding to my messages poorly. And during this process her ridiculous answers make me only laugh in tears!! Here is the best one: She is saying that their locked display cases are unlocked at all other times!!!! REALLY!!! What a lie!!!! When I went to pick up my item we walked to the locked display case and guess what "Mrs. Liar": the display case was locked!!! Your colleague had opened the case by the key!!! I am really sickened by your lies AND RUBBISH EXCUSES. Believe me even a few years old child don't buy your poorly fabricated stories. I contacted to some other auction houses and I was always told that items do not get missing from locked display cases. You sold my item to somebody who offered you more money. Your CONDITIONS OF SALE does not apply here: You deliberately sold the item to somebody else. It is not lost or stolen. EVERYBODY SHOULD KEEP IN MIND THAT WHENEVER OFFERED MORE MONEY CLARS AUCTION GALLERY COULD RESELL ANY ITEM EVEN IF THERE IS A WINNER FOR THAT AUCTION. I really appreciate if you return my item. And please stop answering to my messages with silly answers!! I know how hard you are looking for the item!!!!! but just contact to the person to whom you resold the lot. It will be so easy. Thank you. Final Business Response /* (4000, 13, 2016/01/22) */ The lost framed newspaper page has been found. We will let Mr. ****** have it for no charge. The second item that was originally in the lot is no longer available. We will contact Mr. ****** to let him know.
Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: I consigned fine art to the gallery pending their authentication. They then sold the painting without my permission and I want it back. Seldom gile artwork, under "inspection" not to be sold without permission.
Desired Settlement: Return of artwork improperly sold.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2015/08/14) */ Dear BBB, Following is the text of a letter we sent to **** ********* that summarizes our business transaction with her: April 29, 2014 Ms. **** ********* *** *** Ave. ******** ** XXXXX Dear Ms. *********, Thank you for giving Clars the opportunity to sell your property over the last couple years. I'm sorry that you are unhappy with the auction results on one of your paintings. We sold several other pieces for you, with some works achieving more than estimate. With regards to the work in question we had several specialists review the piece, and received confirmation that the piece was in fact not authentic, and it is 'in the manner of ****** ****'. When you consigned the piece in September of 2013 along with other property, you told ***** ******, our Fine Art Specialist, that your Uncle had purchased the piece at an estate sale and believed the work to be authentic. As there are many forgeries and copies of ****** ****** ****'s work, Ms. ****** explained to you that the piece would have to be authenticated. At this time, you only provided Ms. ****** with the piece you thought was possibly by ****** ****** ****, and no other documentation. There is no notation of any documentation accompanying the piece. She then spoke to many experts, which was at no cost to you for her research, and determined the work was not authentic. The original in fact is hanging at the Oakland Museum of California. Ms. ****** further spoke to you on the phone close to the date that the work was brought in, to let you know the work was not authentic and that you could pick it up or we would offer it as "in the manner of ****". No one ever picked up the work and it stayed in Clars in storage. You called in November again to enquire about the piece. We sent an e-mail on 11/5 to let you know that the piece was not authentic, and we could either offer the piece with an estimate of $50-100, or you would be able to pick the piece up. We did not hear from you. After not hearing from you for another 5 months Clars decided to offer the work at its appropriate estimate based on it not being authentic. More than fifty thousand people look at Clars' online catalogs and saw this piece. Further, thousands of people came in the weekend of our preview and could see the work in person before the sale. Overall, it was the strongest April sale in our history. The work still sold for $75. Many early California experts come to Clars to purchase works for their galleries or collections. None of these individuals signed up to bid on this piece, further confirming it to be inauthentic. The piece has sold, and unfortunately, we cannot get it back. Ms. ****** is very conscientious in her duties and I feel she took the appropriate actions. Sincerely, ***** A. ****** ***** A. ****** President Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2015/08/17) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) It is clearly stated in my receipt, Clars accepts this item for an option pending authentication it was not yet consigned. It is not at all unusual to wait a long time for an item to be authenticated. Clars states that after repeated emails and phone calls to me THEY decided to offer the piece "in the style of"... I have made repeated requests for proof of their phone calls and emails to me to no avail. Further, when I requested proof of the aforementioned proof of contact ***** ****** advised their further conversation with me would not be fruitful. I believe The art was offered and sold incorrectly and outside of the contract agreement. Finally I never received any compensation from the sale of the piece - Clars also declined to provide it. The artwork was purchased at an estate sale and it hung in my uncles house for many years . The famous California art critic, publisher. and museum curator Will South believed the art to be a study for one of ****s larger paintings, Will South told me that no one ever contacted him for his opinion and he is a known subject matter expert. In the end Clars cannot prove they notified me prior to offering it for sale. It is not unreasonable to request my property back . The issue is not whether they believed it was authentic or not - the issue is whether they had the right to sell it - and whether when they determined it wasn't "authentic" they contacted me. Clars needs to admit they made a mistake and never contacted me via phone or email to advise the work was not authentic in their opinion. We want the artwork back, or just compensation. I would have never approved of sale for the artwork as not authentic. It is not unusual for auction houses like Christie's, and Butterfields to hold a piece for months, indeed up to and over a year determining authenticity or the correct auction placement. Final Business Response /* (4000, 9, 2015/08/18) */ Hello, The seller was informed both in writing and verbally that the artwork was not authentic and she could pick it up or we would sell it as inauthentic. We never heard from the seller. The painting was sold as inauthentic as we informed the seller it would be if it wasn't picked up. The painting is sold and we cannot get the painting back. Please refer to our initial response for a more thorough and detailed explanation. Best regards, Clars Auction Gallery