Buying goods

Buying and returning goods

What are your rights when you buy goods? When you buy something, you enter into a contract with the business who sells it to you.

Buying second-hand goods

When you buy a second-hand item from a business, you have similar rights to when you buy a new item. However, your rights very much depend on how much you paid for the item.

Guarantees and warranties

It can be hard to understand the difference between guarantees and warranties and how these work alongside your consumer rights. Find out more about how they work.

Shopping in the sales

You have the same rights shopping in the sales as you do at any other time of the year. Items sold in a sale should be of merchantable quality, fit for their intended purpose and as described to you. If an item is faulty, your rights do not change just because it was on sale.

Changing your mind

People change their mind about things they buy all the time. You might buy a shirt or dress in a shop and then decide when you get home that you don’t like it, or it doesn’t fit properly.


When you pay a deposit you are paying a percentage of the price of a product or service. Paying a deposit shows that you intend to buy the item and it means you are entering into a contract with the business.

Buying goods abroad

If you bought something while you were abroad and you have a problem with it now, there are several things you can do. Most countries have their own system of consumer protection, but if you bought something in another EU country you have consumer rights under EU law.

Door-to-door sales

Sometimes salespeople call to your door selling products and services. This is known as a door to door sale or doorstep selling. These salespeople often represent a business like a gas or electricity company or they may be a tradesperson themselves, offering you services such as housekeeping or gardening.

Gadget insurance

Gadget insurance protects you from unexpected events such as loss, theft, and accidents which may lead to you having to pay for a repair or replacement of your device. It is completely optional so you should take the time to consider what is most suitable to your needs.

In-store credit

Some shops offer finance options to help you pay for items such as electrical appliances, computers or furniture. Like some personal loans, you pay the money back at a fixed rate over a fixed term.


A pawnbroker will lend you a sum of money where you provide an acceptable item as security on the loan. Jewellery is the main item that pawn brokers accept.

Last updated on 17 September 2021