Trading Standards Advice: Buying Online, Deliveries and Refunds

Dear Watch Member,

As Christmas approaches you will possibly be making increased online purchases.

Trading Standards offer these tips for buying goods online:

Look at reviews to build a picture of how reliable the seller is. Look for terms & conditions on their website.

Check if you are dealing with an online trader or a private seller on an online marketplace; your rights can be different. When buying from a private seller, goods must be as described and can’t be misrepresented (e.g. claiming used item is brand new) but private sellers don’t have to disclose faults of the items.

Before ordering, check delivery times and costs, and also the process / cost of returning items.

If you won’t be home, state where item should be left or ask a neighbour / friend to receive it at their address. This will be seen as receipt of delivery, so only do so if the space is safe, or the recipient will be home.

Your purchase and agreement (contract) is with the trader, so if a parcel goes missing, contact the trader, not the courier.

If you struggle to get a refund, check if the seller is part of a trade association or alternative dispute resolution scheme (see link below).

If you don’t get your money back from a seller, you may be able to ask your card provider or PayPal to help if your order hasn’t arrived, is faulty, not as described, or a seller has gone out of business. Send your card provider / PayPal a copy of your complaint email to the seller. You get valuable protection from using a credit card under S.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (only for purchases between £100 – £30,000). If you used a debit card, charge card, (or credit card but S.75 doesn’t apply), you may be able to claim under the chargeback system.

For more details visit:


If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]