Private Seller Vs Business Seller

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The important differences between a private seller and a business seller

Definition of a Private Seller

Generally, a 'Private Seller' is anyone selling items that were originally bought for themselves to make use of (or for their family), regardless of whether the items were ever used.

A buyer has limited rights when purchasing from a 'Private Seller'. An advert must not be misleading, that is, no lies must be told, however a buyer has no comeback if they make an assumption about the suitability or quality of an item that was never mentioned.

If a buyer collects an item from a 'Private Seller', as in a Cash on Collection transaction, the buyer should inspect the item thoroughly before agreeing to the sale. The buyer usually wont have a right to return the item if it is later found to be faulty.

If a 'Private Seller' posts an item to a buyer, it is the seller's responsibility to ensure the safe, timely arrival of the item. If the item is damaged during delivery, the buyer is entitled to a full refund.

Definition of a Business Seller

A 'Business Seller' would consider the people who buy their items as customers and is anyone who buys or produces goods for the specific purpose of selling to make a profit. A 'Business Seller' could be a sole trader or a partnership and does not necessarily need to register a business name, form a company or register for VAT.

When it comes to distance selling, the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 make it unlawful for a 'Business Seller' not to give consumers information about their default rights. A 'Business Seller' must also disclose the contact informaton for their business, including their full geographical address prior to any contract of sale being formed.

A buyer has the right to change their mind and cancel a purchase made at a distance up to 14 days after receiving an item from a 'Business Seller'. The seller must refund the sale amount including the postage fee, however the buyer must pay the cost of returning the item to the seller and be able to prove the item has been returned.

If a buyer receives an item not as described, not fit for purpose or it develops a fault within 30 days, the buyer has the right to reject the item and is entitled to a full refund, including the original postage plus the reasonable cost of returning it to the seller.

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