The new Consumer Rights Act which became law on October 1st has already been criticised for not going far enough and now for its grey areas when it comes to online auctions. Will buyers get the same protection as they do when they buy new from a retailer and will sellers be more vulnerable to bidders changing their minds on purchases?
Under the new laws buyers will have the right to reject items they have bought within 30 days if they do not meet the sellers’ description. This doesn’t change the process much for shoppers as many stores offer money back guarantees anyway, but when it comes to antiques which are by their nature old and not always in perfect condition then the complying with the new law becomes less than straightforward.
Auctioneers are particularly irritated that the new law has come into effect without much consideration for their position in online auctions. People could easily purchase an item, then change their minds if they haven’t seen it and it doesn’t meet their expectations.
Lawyers are calling the new law ‘bizarre’ even if the new legislation is more likely to affect antiques dealers rather than private individuals.