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Consumer Rights.

What are my rights when buying second-hand goods?

If your second-hand goods aren’t good enough, you could be entitled to a refund. But it depends on if you bought your items from a retailer or an individual.
Which?Editorial team

Key Information

Your second-hand shopping rights

  • Second-hand goods bought from online retailers are covered by the Consumer Contracts Regulations.
  • If you buy second-hand goods from a retailer, you're also covered by the Consumer Rights Act.
  • Buyer beware if you’re buying from a private seller - they don't have to draw attention to defects.

Did you buy it from a retailer or trader?

When you buy from an online retailer, you’re protected by the Consumer Contracts Regulations and you can choose to cancel the order from the moment you place your order up to 14 days from the day you receive it.

You should get a refund within 14 days of either the trader getting the goods back, or you providing evidence of having returned the goods (for example, a proof of postage receipt from the post office), whichever is the sooner.

If the retailer has offered to collect the goods, it should refund you 14 days from the date you informed it you wanted to cancel the contract. So, this means you don't have to wait for the retailer to have collected the goods to get your refund.

You'll also be covered by the Consumer Rights Act, which states that goods must be as described,  fit for purpose and of a satisfactory quality.

The seller is required to tell you about any faults or problems - just remember to factor in realistic wear and tear.

After the first six months, the burden will be on you to prove that the product was faulty at the time of delivery.

Claim a refund, repair or replacement 

If you're second-hand purchase is faulty, you can claim a refund, repair or replacement from the retailer that sold it to you.

Make a faulty goods complaint

You could be entitled to a repair, replacement or a refund, answer some simple questions and Which? can help you start your complaint for free.

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Did you buy it from a private seller?

When you buy from an individual (as opposed to a retailer), the Consumer Rights Act says that the goods you get must be as they were described to you by the seller.

There's no obligation on the seller to disclose any faults, but misrepresenting goods isn't allowed.

For example, something second-hand should not be described as new. If it is, the seller will be in breach of contract.

But putting things right can be tricky. If you can’t reach an agreement between yourselves you’ll have to try alternative dispute resolution or the small claims court.