Code of Ethics

The Georgia Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association (GABA) was founded to encourage and promote interest in and appreciation of antiquarian books and other printed materials, prints, and manuscripts; to establish and maintain professional and ethical standards; and to foster friendly relations among both the membership, and the bookselling community at large.

GABA recognizes that members are obligated to operate their businesses in accordance with local, state, and federal laws. Association members are expected to exercise common sense and courtesy in dealing with each other and with the general public. Members must share in the responsibility of furthering mutual trust and respect between the trade and the public by conducting their businesses with fairness and integrity.

The privilege of membership in GABA and the display of its logo carry with it the responsibility of maintaining and furthering the objectives of GABA. Toward this end the following ethical guidelines are provided:

1. A GABA member shall be responsible for the understanding and use of the specific terminology of the trade.

2. A GABA member shall be responsible for the accurate description of all material offered for sale. All significant defects, restorations and sophistications should be clearly noted and made known to those to whom the material is offered or sold. Unless both parties agree otherwise, a full cash refund shall be made available to the purchaser of any misrepresented material.

3 (a). A GABA member shall be responsible for passing to the buyer clear title to all material sold, and shall not knowingly purchase, hold, or attempt to resell stolen materials. A GABA member shall make all reasonable efforts to ascertain that materials offered to him or her are the property of the seller.

3 (b). A GABA member shall make every effort to prevent the theft or distribution of stolen antiquarian books and related materials. A GABA member shall cooperate with law enforcement authorities and GABA’s Directors in the effort to recover and return stolen materials, and apprehend and prosecute those responsible for the theft, including, but not limited to, providing the names of the persons involved.

3 (c). GABA endorses the principles embodied in national and international copyright laws. A GABA member shall not knowingly violate copyright laws by selling, trading, distributing, or creating unlawfully produced copies of works currently protected by copyright, without the written, oral, or implied consent of the copyright owner.

4. A GABA member shall vouch for the authenticity of all materials offered for sale, and shall make every reasonable effort to establish their true nature. Should it be determined that material offered as authentic is not authentic or is questionable, that material shall be returnable for a full cash refund, or other mutually agreeable arrangement. Material proven to be not authentic, or of disputed or undetermined nature, shall not again be offered for sale unless all facts concerning it are disclosed in writing.

5. Terms and conditions of sale should be clearly and explicitly stated in all catalogues and in offers, and it should be made clear at the time of offer whether or not material is offered subject to prior sale. An Association member should pay in full for all material purchased within 30 days from date of invoice unless other arrangements are made. Terms of sale should be clearly defined between seller and buyer at the time of sale and payment should be made in accordance with these terms. However these terms are not immutable and may be renegotiated by mutual consent.

6. Responsibility for damage in transit shall rest with the sender unless otherwise stipulated. GABA members should see to the careful and appropriate handling, packing, and shipping of material in order to insure that it arrives in the same condition as when purchased. The cost of returning material incorrectly described shall be the responsibility of the seller.

7. A GABA member should permit any other Association member in good standing to buy from his or her inventory any material offered for sale [i.e. priced], and to extend to that GABA member a reciprocal trade discount.

8. A GABA member should have all material offered for sale clearly marked with the selling price. Material not for sale or in the process of being catalogued should be appropriately segregated.

9. A GABA member offering appraisal services shall be responsible for knowing current appraisal regulations as stipulated by the Internal Revenue Service. A GABA member shall conduct such appraisals in strict compliance with these regulations.

10. A GABA member should neither approach nor solicit customers in any other booksellers shop, book fair booth, or place of business without the introduction or consent of the proprietor.

GABA members should abide by the decisions of the Directors. Violation of any GABA guideline may be grounds for censure, suspension, or expulsion from GABA.