The Consumer Rights Act 2015: 2nd Hand Goods

By Chris Dawson October 15, 2015 - 5:59 am

Amanda J WilliamsAmanda J Williams has kindly agreed to trawl through the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into effect this month and translate it into bite sized chunks explaining how it will impact your business.

Amanda is Senior Legal Counsel at Business Law Online, who offer services at an hourly rate of just £135 plus VAT, but they also offer fixed price legal services taking into consideration every legal situation a business may encounter. Their fixed price contract includes legal advice and services, guidance, document preparation, review and more. Their services could include redrafting your Terms and Conditions of sale to take into account the new Consumer Rights.

Today Amanda looks at 2nd hand goods rights in the Consumer Rights Act:

The Consumer Rights Act 2015: 2nd Hand Goods

The Consumer Rights Act came into force on 01 October 2015 and only applies to transactions made AFTER 1st October 2015.

This new act replaces three key pieces of former legislation – the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations and the Supply of Goods and Services Act.

This Act also covers second-hand goods when bought through a retailer.

When buying 2nd hand goods through a retailer or online from an Ebay trader you have the same rights as if you were purchasing the goods as new. This means that the item must be of satisfactory quality, based on what a reasonable person would expect, taking into account the price, it must be fit for purpose and it must meet the expectations of the consumer, bearing in mind of course that the item is 2nd hand and so reasonable wear and tear should be expected. If it doesn’t or the item is faulty, you can demand a refund and the 30 day right applies.

If, however, you are buying from a private seller the goods sold just have to be as described, the private seller doesn’t even have to disclose faults. For example, if you are buying second hand baby clothes and the private seller tells you they’re “blue” and they turn out to be blue with lots of baby stains on them, you’ve got no claim. If however, they had described the clothes as “blue and like new”, and they’ve got some kind of stain on them, they’ve misrepresented the items – even if the stains aren’t baby-related – you can ask for a refund or replacement.

A second-hand retailer – just like any other – is under no legal obligation to provide a refund or even a return because you have simply changed your mind about a purchase. That said, many retailers (including 2nd hand dealers) do allow you to change your mind but they are not forced to do so by law.

  • Liam
    2 years ago

    So, if an eBay trader is selling second-hand/used items that are faulty or damaged, but is listing them as for spares or repair and is detailing the faults and damage in the listing, the buyer can still request a refund?

  • 2 years ago

    “A second-hand retailer – just like any other – is under no legal obligation to provide a refund or even a return because you have simply changed your mind about a purchase. That said, many retailers (including 2nd hand dealers) do allow you to change your mind but they are not forced to do so by law.”

    Does that mean that ANY other retailer does not have to refund for a change of mind?

    • Liam
      2 years ago

      Good point Mik, because eBay insist that sellers offer at least a 14 day change-of-mind returns service. They say it’s to comply with distance selling regulations

    • Chris
      2 years ago

      Interesting point, definitely need to know the ins and outs of this.

    • 2 years ago

      I sell used mobile phones so this is a hot topic for me. One point I wish Ms Williams discussed is the 6 month period for repair or replacement. As I read it I now have to effectively provide a 6 month guarantee against defect. The legistation says that if a consumer finds a fault within 6 months it is assumed the fault existed at time of sale. With a new product the manufacturer will repair or replace a defective item, but with a used product I seem to be on the hook even though I didn’t design or build the thing.

    • 2 years ago

      I’m pretty sure that line applies to retail outlets but not online stores. Distance selling gives the buyer the right of inspection, whereas a retail store does not have to (it’s assumed the buyer had the chance to inspect prior to purchase).

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    law or no law! if you sell on ebay you refund, or your forced to refund ,dont matter what or who its that simple

    • annie
      2 years ago

      Thats right….Distance seller laws are very clear that a seller does have the right to refuse a refund for any items of body jewellery,, if the buyer wants to return due to change of mind. I read up on this very clearly, as I do sell some earrings and sets, with necklaces and earrings on ebay (among watches and other jewellery items)
      I am always happy to accept returns on anything from my store, within 14 days of receipt, as long as they are unused and in original packaging. However, I have clearly placed a disclaimer on all listings including body jewellery, that I cannot accept a return on that particular item, due to reasons of health and hygiene. This is withing keeping of European Distance selling laws.
      However, I recently had a situation where a lady purchased a set including earrings, and stated the item did not match her dress and wished to return. I explained why she could not and pointed out the disclaimer in the description. She stated that i could either accept a return amicably, or she will open a case for return.
      I called ebay and explained the matter to them, and was told by one of their customer service staff that the buyer was right, and that I would have to accept the return as it was within the 14 days. I pointed out that under DSL’s I did not have to accept the item back and have made that clear in the description AND in my terms and conditions of sale.
      He said that although ebay work alongside European DSL’s, the seller is obliged to follow EBays policies first and foremost, and this means that ANYTHING can be returned within 14 days, if the buyer wishes to return. This includes 2nd hand items, body jewellery, underwear, etc, etc.
      If I want to keep selling on ebay, I have to abide by their rules first and everything else comes 2nd.
      I did tell him i was recording the conversation at the outset, so I have this on tape, and am absolutely disgusted, but what can you do? If you strike a deal with the devil, then you have to go along with his whims.

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