HARRIS COUNTY AUCTION RULES AND PROCEDURES
FOR USE ON PUBLIC SURPLUS AUCTION WEBSITE
1. General: Items are offered for sale by Harris County, Texas, identified herein as the "county". However, a third-party web site provider, an online auction services contractor, is utilized. Those submitting bids are identified herein as "bidder(s)" or "buyer(s)".
2. Eligibility: A buyer must be a minimum of 18 years old and legally able to form binding contracts as a buyer in an auction.
3. Viewing: Typically, buyers may view auction items Monday thru Thursday from 7:00-11:30 AM to 12:00-3:00 PM at the warehouse located at 601 Lockwood Street, Houston, Texas, unless otherwise stated on the auction website. Due to liability reasons, no children, and only two (2) adult customers at a time, are allowed in the warehouse. Auction preview is limited to items available for sale during the next 30 days.
4. Inspection: The responsibility to determine the condition of the property rests with the bidder. Prospective bidders are encouraged to inspect the property prior to bidding, and to place bids based solely on their personal inspection and evaluation. Prospective bidders will not be allowed to test, operate or disassemble any item featured in an auction.
5. Warranty: All equipment will be sold "as is", "where is", and "with all faults, if any". The county disclaims all warranties or guarantees, expressed or implied, as to the condition, quality, completeness or fitness for any particular or general purpose or compliance to safety regulations of the equipment being sold. Descriptions of items appearing in this online auction are believed to be correct. However, neither those descriptions, nor any oral statements made concerning any item, shall be considered as a warranty, expressed or implied.
The county offers no guarantees or warranties. Determination of condition, function, and perceived or assumed value is the sole responsibility of the buyer.
6. Ownership: At the end of the auction, the highest bidder has entered into a binding contract with the county, and is obligated to pay the price bid. Placing the winning bid, but not paying for the product, is illegal in most states, and may result in prosecution. The winning bid cannot be retracted unless due to a fault of the county, for example, typographical or other error.
Awarded items must be removed from the county's premises within 5 business days of the close of auction. However, no property may be claimed or removed prior to making full payment. If unclaimed by winning bidders, the county reserves the right to re-auction or award the item to the next highest bidder.
Bidders that fail to claim, pay for, and remove auction items from the county's premises by the close of business on the 5th business day after the close of the auction shall forfeit their rights to the auction item, and be declared as a default bidders. The county may ban a default bidder from participating in future online auction events. If one item goes into default, all items won by the bidder go into default and are subject to resale. Bidders should verify winning status before traveling to the county location.
7. Payments: Payment for an awarded item must be made by cash or credit card and brought to 601 Lockwood, together with the email notification of winning and proof of identity, or over the phone by calling (713) 274-1440. All sales are final and may be subject to the applicable sales tax rates, currently 8.25%, unless the buyer provides a valid tax-exempt certificate at the time of payment. Payments will be accepted from 7:00-11:30 AM to 12:00-3:00 PM, Monday through Thursday.
8. Shipping: Unless otherwise noted, all items sold must be picked up at the Lockwood warehouse. The county is not equipped to ship items, or prepare items for shipping. Winning bidders will be solely responsible for pick-up or shipping arrangements, and all associated costs. The county will not be responsible for items after buyer, or designated shipper, takes possession. Allow sufficient time to load items into vehicles before close of business for the county location at which such items are being picked up.
9. Indemnification: Buyers agree to indemnify and hold harmless the county for any and all damages, claims, or liability of any nature or kind in the sale of, or the buyer's use of, the property. The buyer, its predecessors, successors and assigns hereby release, relinquish and discharge the county, its former, present and future agents, employees, officers, officials and legal representatives (collectively known as "the county") from any liability arising out of the sale and/or concurrent negligence of the county for any injury, including death or damage to persons or property, where such damage is sustained in connection with, or arising out of, the sale of county owned property.
10. Liability: Items are offered for sale using the services and web site of the online auction services contractor. Under no circumstances will the county be liable to any person or business entity for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, or other damages or losses based on, or caused by, any use of the auction web site, or any other web site to which the site is linked, the content of such web sites, or any viruses or other harmful components derived from any such web sites, including, without limitation, any lost profits, revenue, or use, business interruption, or loss of computer programs or information. The county strives to make the online auction system as accurate as possible. However, errors and equipment malfunctions are possible and may occur without notice. In case of malfunctions of hardware or software, the county reserves the right to cancel any sale, even if an award notification e-mail has been received. The county cannot and will not guarantee uninterrupted access to the auction system.
11. Links: Links to other web sites or internet locations from this web site have been provided for convenience only. The county does not endorse, sponsor, or approve any of the content of such web sites or locations. Access to any other web site or internet locations through this web site is at your own risk.
12. Reproduction of Auction Materials and Resale of Items Listed: Bidders or website users may reproduce or copy images, photographs, or descriptions of property listed on the auction site for personal use only. Bidders and website users may not reproduce, display, or broadcast online auction materials by any means, or by using any media, without the express written permission of the county. The county reserves the right to disallow participation in the online auction by any website user or bidders at any time for violating applicable laws, ordinances, terms and conditions listed here, or for activity deemed unacceptable by the county. Before paying for and taking possession of the items listed for sale by the county, successful bidders and website users shall not post or list the same items for sale by any other means. Please be advised that the county auction staff reports suspected fraud or criminal activity to the proper authorities.
13. Privacy: The county gathers information from bidders so that it will know who has won an auction item. Personal information is not sold or rented. Personal information is used for the purpose of conducting online auctions and not used for any other purpose. Be advised that transactions of the county auction are subject to Chapter 552 of the Government Code entitled Public Information, also known as the Texas Public Information Act.
14. Applicable Law: Although this site may be accessed from any state, bidders who participate in this auction agree that the laws of the State of Texas shall govern all matters relating to the use of this auction and purchase of items listed by the county on this site.
Office of the County Purchasing Agent
Purchasing Services Division
Houston, TX 77011