- Never ever reply to unsolicited emails (spam) and be careful when clicking on links or attachments in emails to avoid potential threats such as phishing.
- Watch out for tell-tale signs of scams: promises of huge rewards such as lottery winnings, messages stating urgent action is required to claim your winnings, and requests for upfront payment or private information. Be sceptical of all unsolicited contact and remember if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.
- Do not disclose personal information that is not necessary to complete a transaction. Certain personal details, combined with your credit card number, place you at risk of identity theft.
- Avoid buying counterfeit goods. Such products are often dangerous or of poor quality and it can be very difficult to get redress if something should go wrong. Bear in mind that the sale of fake goods is illegal and is often linked to organised crime. Also buying counterfeit goods can be illegal (for example in Italy). Be wary of large discounts of the recommended retail price, often a good indicator that an item is counterfeit. If in doubt contact the brand/rights holder directly to verify if the seller is an authorised agent.
Read the terms and conditions and keep documentation
Always read the terms and conditions applicable to your order and know exactly what you are agreeing to before going ahead with the contract. In particular, ensure you are aware of the trader’s cancellation and return policies.
To be on the safe side, in case you need evidence later on, the following is recommended:
- Print and save the terms and conditions before ordering.
- Make screenshots during the selling procedure in order to keep records of all steps that have been taken.
- Keep copies of your order confirmation, receipts, letters, e-mails, all correspondence exchanged and screenshots of anything unusual.
The term commercial guarantee, relates to the willingness of the guarantor, who voluntarily assumes liability for certain defects. It is defined as follows: "any additional undertaking given by a seller or producer, over and above the legal rules governing the sale of consumer goods, to reimburse the price paid, to exchange, repair or handle product in any way, in the case of non-conformity of the product with the contract". Commercial guarantees are in addition to, and not in substitution for, consumers’ statutory rights.
The term legal guarantee relates to the legal protection of the consumer in respect of defects in the goods acquired. This legal protection is rendered compulsory by the law and is not dependent upon the contract. It is the seller of the product who is responsible for faulty goods under consumer legislation.