Think before you buy

Did you know that even when you make small purchases, you’re entering into a contract? Think about your rights before you buy to help avoid problems if things go wrong later, as sometimes they do. Make sure you are aware of your rights - think before you buy.

Get advice

For advice or to report any consumer issues visit the Citizens Advice consumer service for more detailed guidance about your rights.

  • If you do not know the online shop, do some research. Check review sites, social media pages and look for customer reviews online. These are often the best source of information.
  • Check the online shop is legitimate. Somewhere on the website there should be an address, a contact telephone number, an email address and a VAT registration number.
  • Make sure the payment pages are secure. The web page address should start with https:// the ‘s’ stands for secure.
  • Read terms and conditions, especially the delivery times and returns policies
  • Remember, you cannot return personalised or custom made goods
  • Buying outside the UK?  Find out if you’ll have to pay for tax import duty before you buy
  • Visit for more tips on how to shop safely online.
  • Visit Checkatrade to find a Kent County Council Trading Standards approved tradesperson
  • Don’t accept work straight way from a trader that just knocks on your door
  • Always get 3 quotes
  • Ask the trader for contact details including the business name, address and contact number, a landline number as well if possible. Check their details online and look for customer reviews
  • Ask the trader for paperwork including a written quote with a description of the work to be carried out, the price (including VAT) and the timescale
  • Ask a friend or neighbour for advice if you are unsure about a trader, a quote, a warranty or any other paperwork you have been given
  • Read terms and conditions. Don’t just sign them.
  • Find out what else you can do to avoid doorstep criminals.
  • Find out if you can afford the running costs including any finance payments
  • Take the car for at least one test drive
  • Read terms and conditions.  Don’t just sign them.
  • Read the warranty or guarantee and make sure you understand what is and what isn’t covered.
  • Ask the trader for paperwork including a receipt describing exactly what you have bought and details of any warranty if there is one
  • Read our 4 steps to help you get the best value