Buying second-hand goods

Buying second-hand goods from a business

When you buy a second-hand item from a business, you have similar rights to when you buy a new item. A business must always sell you a product that:

  • is fit for the purpose it is normally used for
  • matches what is outlined in your contract or any descriptions or samples you saw
  • can be used for the purpose the business knew you bought it for

While you cannot expect second-hand items to be the same standard as new ones, the quality should reflect the price you paid. Read more about your rights when you buy goods.

Always make sure to examine a second-hand item carefully so that you are aware of any faults, imperfections or wear and tear before you buy. With used cars, you should use our car buyers checklist. For expensive items such as jewellery or antiques, you may want to get an independent expert opinion before buying.

If you have a problem after you buy something, consumer law sets out the steps a business has to take to resolve your issue. Find out more on what you can if you have a problem with a product. Remember that these rights will not apply if the fault, including wear and tear, was pointed out to you before you bought the item.

Buying second-hand goods from a consumer

When you buy goods from another consumer you do not have consumer rights as they only apply if you buy from a business. It is important to check the item before you buy and it’s very much a case of buyer beware.

You can buy second-hand goods on websites called online marketplaces. These are websites where businesses and/or consumers sell products or services. The platform has to show you if a good or service is sold by a business or consumer. A business or trader is not allowed to pretend to be another consumer when making a sale. This is called disguised trading.

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