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Distance selling rights for small businesses

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Hi, couldn't find an answer to this but apologies if this has been covered before..



I am the owner of a small business and I have purchased an item from a well known online retailer. I wish to return the item I have purchased due to it not being as advertised.



they have told me that because I have purchased this for a business that the distance selling rules where the consumer is entitled to a cooling off period do not apply and I am not entitled to return this product for a refund.



is this correct?







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It could be, depends why you bought it. If you bought a shop fitting such as a lamp housing then you are the consumer and the DSR's apply. If you bought something that is purely a business item such as a price label gun then the answer would be no. Buy a computer and you are in a grey area as there is room for argument about its intended use and also whether the seller was making a B2B sale. Did you get a business discount or ask for a separate VAT invoice? If no then the retailer (note- not business supplier) is on shaky ground by denying rights under DSR's to a customer but it will be down to a judge on a particular day and they can decide either way if they think the intention of either or both parties was to make a business transaction.

In your case the reason for returning is not striclty a DSR matter but sale of good act and possible misrepresentation or misdescription of the goods. this is firmer ground for you so let them know this.

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Yes, that is correct. The distance selling regulations only apply if you are dealing as a consumer.


The definition of consumer (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/regulation/4/made) is 'an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession'. It sounds like this does not apply to you.


Even though you were buying as a business, you are still protected by the Sale of Goods Act. This requires goods sold by description to match the description. It also requires goods sold by a business to be satisfactory quality, taking into account any description of the goods. If the goods do not meet these standards in a significant way and you inform the seller quickly, you can reject the goods and require a refund.


So, it sounds like you have a right to return the item, but it will be under SOGA not under the DSRs.




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