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Ebay Legal Contract

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Hi everybody,


I have found out tonight that Ebay is a legally binding contract once you win a bid or click buy it now. I personally dont use Ebay because I cannot deal with the hassle but a family member has recently been threatened with legal proceedings for a item worth £25 - twenty minutes before hand they messaged the buyer stating that they did not want the item anymore but due to nobody else bidding on this item they won it.

I have dealt with many Contracts with regards to insurance but I am hoping that someone can help me with an Act which would make the contract void. Considering they had messaged before the auction had ended saying they did not want the item anymore.

Usually Insurance contracts are on a cooling down period of 14 days but this would not be applicable to the seller as it is a private individual and not a business account.


Any help will be appreciated.


Many thanks in advance



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Hi mate, I am no expert on this, but this may help.


The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000


This regulation gives you protection when buying item(s) from 'a distance'


The regulations say that you:


must be given clear information about the goods or services before you buy. This is called pre-purchase information

must receive written information after you have bought the goods or services

have a right to cancel your order within a seven day cooling-off period

have a right to have goods or services provided within 30 days after the order was sent, unless otherwise agreed

can get a refund if items aren’t delivered on the agreed delivery date. If no delivery date is given, you can get a refund if items aren’t delivered within 30 days of placing your order

have a right to a refund if someone has used your payment card without your permission

have a right to keep goods delivered to you that you didn’t ask for. These are called unsolicited goods.


Another thing, items bought online must be 'as described' so if the item arrives as 'not described' this is also grounds for a refund


If it was me, I would let the payment go through, then write/email the seller saying i dont want it anymore (which I am 99% certain you can do)


I (personally) think the threat of 'legal proceedings' are nothing more than a scare tactic on the sellers behalf. I wouldn't worry


Again, I am no expert, I may be completely wrong

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Thank you for the replies. Unfortunately the Distance Selling Regulations would not apply to this situation because according to the business centre; The UK Distance Selling Regulations do not apply to eBay auction format listings on eBay.co.uk, and do not apply to all types of items. I would agree that this is just a scare tactic, but it is always a good idea to double check this sort of thing. I have just given my advice from dealing with parking companies which is to ignore everything until you get some sort of summons (completely different topic I know) Many Thanks

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