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.

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Watch this video to find out how you must 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 the Get Safe Online website for more tips on how to shop safely online.

  • Visit Trading Standards Checked to find a KCC Trading Standards Checked trader.
  • Don’t accept work straight away 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 (PDF, 2.3 MB) to help you get the best value.