Buying online from an individual or auction site
If you buy something from an individual, either directly or through a website, you will not be protected by consumer law. Items sold in an online auction where the seller is another consumer are not covered by consumer law, so you do not have a cooling-off period or other consumer rights. Auction sites usually take no responsibility for the quality of the items for sale, or accuracy of the listings, so you should always check the terms and conditions of the auction website before making a bid.
If you buy something from outside the EU you will pay VAT, if the value of the items plus shipping comes to €22 or more. VAT must be paid on imported items at the same rate that applies in Ireland for similar goods. The Revenue website provides further information on VAT. Legally, you have to pay import charges such as customs or excise duties if you buy items from outside the EU which are valued at €150 or more.
Purchasing medicines online
There are EU rules in force since the end of June 2015 to ensure you stay safe when purchasing medicines online. The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI), is responsible for supervising the sale of non-prescription medicines online. Only suppliers registered with the PSI are authorised to sell these medicines online. The rules apply to non-prescription medicines only – prescription medicines are not allowed to be sold over the internet in Ireland. Find out more on the PSI website.