Consumer Rights on Second Hand Goods (2022)

If you purchase a second-hand item from a business, trader or charity shop, the consumer rights that you are entitled to are extremely similar to those you have when buying an item that's brand new. Namely the goods should be:

  • Fit for the purpose the item was sold for
  • Be of satisfactory quality
  • Be as described in any advert,marketing materials or salesperson explanation

These rights in the UK are defined in the Consumer Rights Act and cover any purchase from a trader made since October 2015.

If you discover a fault with an item, this act gives you the right to return it for a full refund within the first 30 day of purchase. After the first 30 days (but within the first six months) you can still return the item, but you must give the retailer the opportunity to replace or repair the fault.

After six months, to return the item you must prove that the fault was present when it was first purchased, which can be more difficult if a product was second hand or pre-owned from the outset.

Second hand products may have imperfections and faults that are attributed to normal wear and tear. In some cases, there may be quality issues with a product due to its age and how it has been previously used.

When considering the laws on buying second hand goods and your consumer rights, it's important to remember that second hand products orrefurbished goodsdo not have to be of the same quality as new items. Therefore, you cannot simply reject an item because it is not of the same standard as you would expect if it was brand new.

Fit For Purpose

Satisfactory Quality

As Described


Buying Online

Private Sellers

Consumer Rights on Second Hand Goods (1)

Fit for Purpose with second hand goods.

(Video) How to reject a used vehicle: consumer rights

Fit for purpose means that the item must function correctly and last for a period of time that is 'reasonable'. In relation to used goods the item should function fully for the purpose it was designed and sold for. However, being a used item, it may show signs of being pre-owned and not last as long as you would expect a brand-new item to last.

For example:

  • When buying a used vehicle from a car dealership, it should be roadworthy and safe to drive at the point of sale. However depending on its age and history at the time of purchase, maintenance and servicing may be required much sooner than the equivalent brand-new vehicle.
  • If purchasing an ex-display or refurbished laptop from a computer store, you should expect that all components are fully working. However, if it's being sold as ex-display it’s battery life may be less pristine than an unused laptop.

Satisfactory Quality with second hand goods.

Satisfactory quality is basically a standard that a reasonable person would consider as being acceptable taking into consideration the item's description, price and circumstances of the purchase. It is most often relating to a product's appearance, freedom from defect, durability and safety. Obviously, the quality of an item can be subjective, but your expectations should generally be lower if you are purchasing an item that has been previously used.

For example:

  • A pre-owned vehicle is unlikely to have pristine paintwork and interior, so it may not be considered reasonable to reject a used vehicle on this basis.
  • If you purchase a used four-year-old washing machine from a discount appliance retailer that failed after nine months. The reasonableness of it being of an 'unsatisfactory quality'may be difficult to prove if you only paid £10 for it.

As Described with second hand goods.

(Video) Consumer Rights Act 2015 - Used vehicles and how this law is all but useless

As described means that an item must be accurately advertised and described by the trader. If you asked questions about the product in store prior to purchasing, such as its warranty status, service history or how it currently operates, the information given should all be correct. Likewise, if the salesperson advises you of a fault with an item, then it is 'as described' and you can't reject it due to it having the fault.

For example:

  • If you purchase a car that is advertised as being a repaired 'category S write off', the car should be roadworthy however you cannot return it only because of past structural damage or its involvement in an accident.
  • If a shop assistant offers to sell you a discounted furniture set that is water damaged, you cannot later reject the items due to stains or damage that the water has caused.

Warranties or guarantees are an optional addition to your legal (statutory) rights as a consumer.

Warranty can be provided by the manufacturer as part of the product or able to be purchased separately and ran by a third party (e.g. used-car warranty, extended appliance guarantee etc.)

Your eligibility to claim under the warranty will depend on the warranty policy's terms and conditions, however it is not uncommon for there to be numerous exclusions. These can range from the age of the item (12 months from original purchase), where it was purchased from (an authorised retailer or dealership), being conditional on regular maintenance (serviced every year) or limited to certain faults (excludes wear and tear).

Another common exclusion is that you must be the original purchaser or at least have proof of the original purchase, such as a receipt.

The specific warranty policy needs to be checked to confirm if an item is eligible for a repair or return. But it is always worth checking especially on recently manufactured products.

(Video) Your Rights When Buying a Second Hand Car

Section 75 protection.

Depending on how you paid the retailer for your purchase, and if no warranty is available, there may also be some additional protections available known as Section 75. This section of the Consumer Credit Act basically means that any credit provider involved in the purchase shares responsibility if things go wrong.

Therefore if you made the purchase with a credit card, store card or car finance agreement, you should contact your card issuer or finance provider to see if there is any action they can take.

Do you need legal advice on a consumer dispute?

Our fixed fee consumer dispute review service is just £200.00, and includes solicitor advice and the drafting of a Letter Before Action to the other party.

Consumer Rights Advice

When buying second hand goods online, over the telephone, at home, or through mail order from a retailer you will also benefit from additional protections. Namely the Consumer Contract Regulations, or to give it its full name The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

These regulations cover what was previously known as 'Distance Selling' and provides some extra rights, even when purchasing a used product. These rights include:

  • a right to clear information on how the goods can be paid for, the delivery charges and who pays for returns
  • a 14 day right to cancel or change your mind on the purchase for any reason
  • a right to a refund within 14 days of returning an item

The retailer is entitled to expect that anything sent back is returned in the exact condition as it was received. This can sometimes be a point of dispute when returning second hand goods as they are likely to have not been in original packaging etc. in the first instance.

An important point to remember when buying second hand products online is that not every website purchase is classed as buying from a business. When you buy from sites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Shpock,Vinted or Amazon Marketplace you will need to check if the actual seller is a business or trader. As if they are a private individual, then consumer rights and contract protections will not apply to your purchase.

(Video) Consumer Rights | What consumer rights do I have?

However many online trading sites do have their own buyer protection policies and dispute resolution processes which may be able to be used.

Consumer Rights and private sellers.

If you purchase items from a private seller via a web advertisement, local newspaper ad or car boot sale it is important to be aware that you don't have any consumer rights. For the Consumer Rights Act to apply you need to be an individual making a purchase from a business.

If you do buy a second-hand item from a private individual it only has to match any advertised description. This limited protection falls under The Misrepresentation Act for when an untrue fact or statement is made by the seller to convince a buyer to make a purchase.

A private seller isn't under any obligation to tell you about any faults or defects, and there's no requirement for the item to be of satisfactory quality or suitable for any specific purpose.

So, as you may have heard, purchasing from a private seller is a matter of 'buyer beware'. You should check the product thoroughly to ensure you are 100% happy before buying it.

For example:

  • Should you considerbuying a used car privately, you ideally should have your own mechanic examine it and undertake checks on its history (HPI etc.) before purchasing, as you can't return it if faults are found at a later date.
  • If you privately purchase a caravan that turns out to have faults with it's electrics, cooker and shower. It will not have been misrepresented to you unless the seller specifically said all these components were in full working order.

Legal advice on second hand rights.

In the majority of cases once you make the retailer aware of the fault, they should deal with your concerns inline with your consumer rights. If they refuse, the next step is escalating the matter as a complaint and then involving any associated ombudsman which should be detailed in the retailer's terms and conditions.

If all these steps fail, your only available method of resolution may be to start court proceedings. If the value of your claim is less than £10,000, it will be treated as a 'small claim' which means there are set fees to issue the claim and only limited legal expenses are able to be added (see our guide on how much does it cost to take someone to court).

(Video) Traders Are DENYING Your Rights!

Therefore if the value of your consumer claim is significant, it will be worthwhile seeking legal advice on your dispute before beginning court action to ensure the consumer laws are on your side.


Can you get a refund on second hand items? ›

It doesn't matter whether you bought the item new or secondhand - you'll still have rights. You'll have legal rights if the item you bought is: broken or damaged ('not of satisfactory quality') unusable ('not fit for purpose')

Do distance selling regulations apply to second hand goods? ›

The regulations apply to both new and second hand goods regardless of how you pay for the item, as long as the transaction is between a supplier and a consumer.

Do I have to give a refund as a private seller? ›

As a private seller, you must accept a return if the item was not as described in the product listing. So for example, if you said something was new, and it had 11 Page 13 clearly been used you would need to pay for return costs and refund the cost of the item.

What are the 8 basic rights of the consumers? ›

  • Consumer's rights to enforce terms about goods.
  • Right to reject.
  • Partial rejection of goods.
  • Time limit for short-term right to reject.
  • Right to repair or replacement.
  • Right to price reduction or final right to reject.

Does the consumer Protection Act apply to second-hand goods? ›

In conclusion, the Act does not only afford protection to consumers who purchase defective new goods, it extends such protection to consumers who purchase defective second-hand or used goods.

What are the 5 rights of a consumer? ›

Consumers are protected by the Consumer Bill of Rights. The bill states that consumers have the right to be informed, the right to choose, the right to safety, the right to be heard, the right to have problems corrected, the right to consumer education, and the right to service.

Do second hand items have warranty? ›

Q: Are secondhand consumer products covered by a warranty? A: Generally, there is no implied warranty in the sale of secondhand articles, except when the goods are sold as to raise an implied warranty, i.e. if such buyer makes known to the seller, the particular purpose for which the goods are acquired.

Do second hand goods have a warranty? ›

Second-hand goods are covered by the same guarantees as other goods, if you buy the goods from a second-hand dealer and they're goods that are usually bought for personal, domestic or household use. However, your rights will depend on: the age and condition of the goods. the price you paid for the goods.

What is classed as second hand goods? ›

More Definitions of Secondhand goods. Secondhand goods means any new or used property that has been sold, traded, exchanged, consigned or otherwise disposed of by its original owner.

In what circumstances is a seller allowed to refuse a refund? ›

A business can refuse to give you a free repair, replacement or refund if: you simply changed your mind. you misused the product or service in a way that contributed to the problem. you asked for a service to be done in a certain way against the advice of the business, or were unclear about what you wanted.

What if seller does not give refund? ›

If you qualify for a return but the seller won't give you your money back, you have some options: Write a complaint letter: we have advice to help you do that and a sample letter. Consider getting help from a consumer organization like Call for Action, Consumer Action , or the Better Business Bureau.

Is it illegal to not give someone a refund? ›

Most retail stores allow you to return things you buy within a reasonable time for a full refund, credit, or an exchange. When a store clearly displays a limited or no-refund policy, however, refunds and exchanges are not required by law.

What happens if you breach the Consumer Rights Act 2015? ›

Remedy for breach

If the trader breaches the contract for the supply of services by failing to meet the standards required under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the consumer is entitled to repeat performance of the service or to a price reduction.

What are the 7 consumer responsibilities? ›

1Be honest with the information you provide.
4Know how to make a complaint.
5Use the product or service in line with the terms and conditions.
6Avoiding risk.
7Apply for products and/or services that meet your needs.
11 more rows

What are my rights under the Sale of Goods Act? ›

If it was essential that the goods were delivered on time, you have the right to cancel the purchase and get a full refund. If the delivery was not time-essential, but another reasonable delivery time cannot be agreed, you are also within your right to cancel the order for a full refund.

What to do if someone sells you a faulty item? ›

Contact the seller straightaway to tell them that the item is faulty and explain why. State whether you want a refund or a repair or replacement. If they refuse, explain that you are exercising your statutory legal rights and if they still refuse, contact the specialist solicitors at Warners Solicitors.

Who does the Consumer Protection Act not apply to? ›

The Act will not apply to transactions where the consumer is a juristic person with an asset value or annual turnover of more than a threshold value determined by the Minister (section 6).

What does Part 2 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 cover? ›

(2)Where a term of a consumer contract, or a consumer notice, purports to exclude or restrict a trader's liability for negligence, a person is not to be taken to have voluntarily accepted any risk merely because the person agreed to or knew about the term or notice.

How long is a consumer guarantee? ›

Voluntary warranties usually apply for a set period – typically 12 months.

What are the 4 types of consumer goods? ›

Types of consumer products
  • Convenience products.
  • Shopping products.
  • Specialty products.
  • Unsought products.
7 May 2022

What are 5 things that consumers can do to protect themselves? ›

Consumers can protect themselves from these recession-related scams and others by following these recommendations:
  • Look at the track record. ...
  • Hire licensed professionals. ...
  • Pay the safest way. ...
  • Use gift cards and gift certificates promptly. ...
  • Don't pay in full upfront. ...
  • Recognize the danger signs of fraud.
9 Jan 2010

How long is a manufacturer's guarantee? ›

The standard manufacturer's warranty usually runs for the first one or two years after you have bought an appliance. An extended warranty could provide cover for two, three or four more years.

Does second owner get warranty? ›

Do Warranties Transfer to New Owners? In nearly every case, factory new car warranties are tied to the vehicle identification number (VIN). Therefore, the new car warranty will be valid for the entire warranty term regardless of ownership.

What are the benefits of buying second-hand items? ›

New to buying used? 5 Benefits of buying secondhand
  • Saving money. One of the most obvious and well-known benefits of buying secondhand is the cost savings. ...
  • Helping the environment and preserving natural resources. ...
  • No packaging. ...
  • Supporting local businesses. ...
  • Finding unique items.

Do all goods have a 12 month warranty? ›

There is no such thing as a 12 month guarantee with the retailer/seller. The length of time you have to return any product depends upon the life expectancy of the product.

What is the law for returning goods? ›

Your legal rights to a refund

You have 30 days to return faulty goods and receive a full refund. You're entitled to ask for a refund or price reduction after one failed attempt by the retailer to repair or replace a faulty item. Or you can request another repair or price reduction at no extra cost.

What does a 2 year warranty mean? ›

noun. (Retail: Service) If a warranty is offered with goods, the buyer is given a written guarantee that the manufacturer or retailer will repair or replace the goods, under certain conditions. The service contract extended the warranty on the product to two years.

What is the difference between pre owned and second-hand? ›

Pre-owned is generally a bit of a gray area. While it technically refers to any second-hand product, in most cases it usually refers to a well-taken-care-of item. This category of device sits between Refurbished and Used, where it is in good, but not exactly new, condition.

Does the Consumer Protection Act apply to private sellers? ›

Private sales aren't covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act or the Fair Trading Act. You do have rights if: the seller misled you. they don't have a right to sell the products.

Is eBay 2nd hand stuff? ›

EBay started as an online auction site where people could sell their unwanted goods to the highest bidder. Thus, the site has always been more open to secondhand goods than Amazon. In general, you can sell pretty much anything on eBay, either new or used. However, there are certain items that eBay doesn't allow.

What does the consumer Protection Act say about refunds? ›

If a consumer is entitled to a refund in terms of the CPA, such right shall be interpreted to mean that the consumer has the right to choose how to receive the refund.

Can a shop or store refuse a refund or exchange and why? ›

Q: Can a store exercise only a policy of exchange but not refund? A: Consumers are entitled to either an exchange or refund, as long as there is a defect in the quality of goods or imperfection in the service.

Who is responsible for a faulty product? ›

Who is responsible for fixing the faulty item? The answer to this is quite simple – you bought the item from the shop and your contract is with the shop. You do not have a contract with the manufacturer. The shop has the legal liability to fix the item.

How do I insist a refund? ›

Strong ways to request a refund in English
  1. – I feel you should, at the very least, refund the sum of €50 I paid for … (strong)
  2. – I insist that you refund my money at once (strong)
  3. – I must insist on a full refund immediately (strong)
  4. – I'd like a refund.
  5. – I want to have my money back.
28 Sept 2021

How long does a seller have to give a refund? ›

Retailers are required to clearly post their refund policy unless they offer a full cash refund, exchange, or store credit within seven days of the purchase date. Retailers failing this requirement are required to accept full refunds within 30 days of purchase.

Who is getting rights of resale unpaid seller? ›

Unpaid seller resells the goods post exercising his right of lien or stoppage: The subsequent buyer acquires a good title to the goods even if the seller has not given a notice of resale to the original buyer.

What is return and refund policy? ›

A return and refund policy is an agreement between customers and your business regarding returns and refunds. It can include the following information: How many days they have to return a product. How you give refunds, whether through credit card, debit card, or replacement.

Can you return clothes without receipt? ›

If you don't have a receipt, try to make the return within 30 days and the company may be able to find your purchase in its system if you used a debit or credit card for the transaction. You'll need to show ID to return items without a receipt.

Can my bank help me get a refund? ›

The chargeback process lets you ask your bank to refund a payment on your debit card when a purchase has gone wrong. You should contact the seller first, as you cannot start a chargeback claim unless you have done this. Then, if you can't resolve the issue, get in touch with your bank.

What is Section 41 Consumer Protection Act? ›

Appeal against order of District Commission. 41. Any person aggrieved by an order made by the District Commission may prefer an appeal against such order to the State Commission on the grounds of facts or law within a period of forty-five days from t .....

What is an example of violation of consumer right? ›

An example of the violation of the right to choose would be a telecom company wanting the customers to buy even the mobile phone from them if they want to avail their internet services.

What are the grounds for filing a complaint by a consumer? ›

Consumer Courts at national level or National Consumer Forum Complaint– National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
A Consumer Complaint may be filed on the following grounds:
  • Deficiency of services.
  • Unfair trade practices.
  • Manufacturing defect in the product.
  • Medical negligence.

What are the six rights of consumers? ›

Rights of consumers: Six consumer rights have been defined in the Bill, including the right to: (i) be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property; (ii) be informed of the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services; (iii) be assured of ...

What is an unfair trade? ›

Unfair trading includes a trader making misleading statements, leaving out important information about a product or behaving aggressively.

Does a private seller have to refund? ›

offer returns

As a private seller, you must accept a return if the item was not as described in the product listing. So for example, if you said something was new, and it had 11 Page 13 clearly been used you would need to pay for return costs and refund the cost of the item.

What is Section 31 of the Sale of Goods Act? ›

31. Duties of seller and buyer. —It is the duty of the seller to deliver the goods and of the buyer to accept and pay for them, in accordance with the terms of the contract of sale.

What is Section 27 of the Sale of Goods Act? ›

—Subject to the provisions of this Act and of any other law for the time being in force, where goods are sold by a person who is not the owner thereof and who does not sell them under the authority or with the consent of the owner, the buyer acquires no better title to the goods than the seller had, unless the owner of ...

Does a shop legally have to give a refund? ›

Typically a store is legally required to give refunds if a purchase breaches the customer's satisfactory rights.

What are your rights to a refund? ›

Your legal rights to a refund

You have 30 days to return faulty goods and receive a full refund. You're entitled to ask for a refund or price reduction after one failed attempt by the retailer to repair or replace a faulty item. Or you can request another repair or price reduction at no extra cost.

What 3 things must goods be under the Consumer Rights Act 2015? ›

Under The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (for purchases made before 1 October 2015) the law says that any goods you buy must be: Of satisfactory quality; Fit for any particular purpose made known to the seller; and. As described.

Can a retailer refuse refund or exchange? ›

A business can refuse to give you a free repair, replacement or refund if: you simply changed your mind. you misused the product or service in a way that contributed to the problem. you asked for a service to be done in a certain way against the advice of the business, or were unclear about what you wanted.

What can you do if a store won't give you a refund? ›

Company Won't Give You a Refund? Here's How to Get Your Money Back
  1. Try to Work it Out with the Merchant First.
  2. Option 1: Request a Chargeback.
  3. Option 2: Consider Mediation.
  4. Option 3: Sue in Small Claims.
  5. Option 4: Pursue Consumer Arbitration.
  6. FairShake Can Help Make Arbitrating a Breeze.

What is classed as second-hand goods? ›

More Definitions of Secondhand goods. Secondhand goods means any new or used property that has been sold, traded, exchanged, consigned or otherwise disposed of by its original owner.

What are the 4 consumer guarantees? ›

Consumers have the following guarantees in respect of goods: goods are of acceptable quality—that is, they are safe, durable and free from defects, are acceptable in appearance and finish and do what they are ordinarily expected to do (ACL section 54)

Does warranty apply to second owner? ›

In nearly every case, factory new car warranties are tied to the vehicle identification number (VIN). Therefore, the new car warranty will be valid for the entire warranty term regardless of ownership. In other words, the warranty is connected to that specific vehicle and not the owner.

What counts as refund abuse? ›

Refund abuse (aka. returns abuse) occurs when a customer uses the returns policy of a merchant so much that it becomes unprofitable. Customers may also abuse refunds by faking returns/receipts, or reselling merchandise.

What are the 3 principles of consumer law? ›

Goods must be: described accurately – businesses should not describe goods and services in a misleading way. fit for purpose – goods must do what they are designed to do. satisfactory quality – goods should not be damaged or faulty when sold as new.

How do you argue for a refund? ›

Contact the business.
  1. Be clear with your complaint. State why you are unhappy. ...
  2. Also state you want a refund. The company might try to give you something else, such as store credit, if you aren't clear.
  3. Realize that the first person you speak to might not be able to help you.


1. Consumer rights summary
2. Consumer rights when goods & services disappoint
(SABC News)
3. Consumer Rights and Consumer Law | Your rights under CRA 2015 and CCR | BlackBeltBarrister
4. Faulty Product or Poor Service? - Consumer Rights Everyone Should Know
6. The Big Second Hand Con

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