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How to protect yourself when buying a second hand items on-line

Buying second hand items has never been easier.

There are so many buying channels available; Ebay, Gumtree and Preloved to local seller pages on Facebook and Twitter.

There is a definite trend for people seeking out bargain second hand/preloved items,  seeing both the environmental and cost saving advantages. Previously these items were only available through local press adverts, Charity Shops and Jumble Sales but now with the click of keyboard a plethora of items become available to buy.

There is plenty advice out there helping buyers make the best choice for them however as the owner of a company which sells Second Hand/Used Kitchens we often get asked ‘what happens if there is a problem’ or ‘what do I do if I don’t like the kitchen when we receive it?’

When trading on-line, companies have to adhere to same legislation as any other high street retail outlet ie The Sales of Goods Act 1979 and Misrepresentation 1967  however when buying an item on-line there is another set of regulation that can apply, these are called the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013.

The Customer Contract Regulations 2013  are specific to businesses who are trading on line, and offer the buyer greater protection with their purchase. However buyers need to be aware that they do not apply when buying second hand items from a private seller. If you make any purchase through a sales channel on-line I would strongly advise you read their Terms of Sale to see who the sales contract is between. For example, if you buy a car via Autotrader, are you buying the car from Autotrader the company or the person who is advertising it for sale through Autotrader’s website? You also need to understand what protection (if any) is given to purchasers by the ‘Advertising Channel’ themselves,  if the item is not as described or faulty. A lot of on-line channels selling Second Hand/Used items will offer buyers protection, even though in the case of the CCR 2013 this is not legally required if the item is second hand and  being sold by a domestic seller. At Used Kitchen Exchange Ltd , for example, we offer buyers a 14-day protection period from the date of collection for all our second hand kitchen sales,  Ebay too can offer a buyer an extended protection period as does the payment channel Paypal.

Just following a few simple rules should ensure that you happy with your purchase and that there are no nasty surprises in store for you:

Pearls of Wisdom when buying a Used/Second Hand Item On-line

  • Check out the protection policy being made available to you by the Vendor, for items that are found to be faulty or not as described (this should be stated on their Terms of Sale) NB: Please note for items not as described, this will also be covered by Trading Standards’ Legislation
  • Make sure you understand your ‘buyer obligations’ ie are you required to view items prior to purchase to check for quality, accuracy of description and condition? If you ignore your obligations you may have a problem if there is an issue.
  • For larger items that are to be collected, try to be present during collection or send a ‘trusted agent’ with an inventory of what they collecting (a check-list). They may also be part of your ‘buyer obligations’ as well.
  • Check your purchase thoroughly as soon as you receive it and if there is a problem, let the Vendor know as soon as possible and definitely within their stipulated timescales, for Used Kitchen Exchange this is 14 days, otherwise they might not be able to help you.

This article is not meant to scare anyone. Buying second hand/used items is still a fantastic way of saving money and reducing household waste, however we all have to maintain a sensible view and understand what part we play in the sales transaction to ensure everything goes smoothly and of course we are delighted with our purchase.

Helen Lord


Used Kitchen Exchange





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