OFT offers guidelines for online auctions

Be careful - it's a jungle out there

As of today, the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) website has a handy guide to the dos-and-don'ts of Internet auctions.

The OFT has identified some common complaints about such auctions, namely:

  • Late or non-delivery of items to buyers or non-payment to sellers
  • Goods of lesser value or substantially different from the description sent to the buyer
  • Failure to disclose relevant information about a product or terms of sale

Accordingly, it is warning buyers to:

  • Make sure they understand how feedback facilities work. Feedback, when available, provides users with information about recent transactions by other users
  • Check an item's description
  • Ask questions of the seller
  • Read the terms and conditions including those relating to any dispute resolution procedures offered by the site
  • Do not be tempted to trade off-site if approached and offered a similar item to one that they have bid on unsuccessfully

More of this good, solid advice can be found here. ®

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