Cheap design furniture online – too good to be true?
Who wouldn't be tempted by a "trendy" apartment look, a "retro" or "vintage" design with reproductions of well-known design furniture to extremely attractive prices? An increasing number of websites based in other countries offer to extremely low prices furniture « inspired by » celebrity designers. But these same websites also cause an increasing number of complaints reported to the ECC-Net.
After Infurn.com and its not so loyal business practices the ECC-Net has alerted on in 2014, several other companies « copy » the same practices in harming consumers. To inform consumers and help them in identifying serious traders to avoid traps, follow these steps:
Prior to the order: How to spot the difference between real and fake?
- Check the consumer rights mentioned on the website and ask yourself the right questions: Delivery time? Any delivery charges? How to exercise your cooling off right if you do not buy tailormade products? Are your rights under the legal guarantee of conformity detailed in the T&C?
- Beware of counterfeiting! If the price is so low that it seems too good to be true – it probably is ! Be vigilant and look out if the item you want to purchase is not covered by copyright. You risk the furniture to be confiscated by customs and destroyed/or a fine.
- Make sure you can get in touch with the seller. The website needs to provide its full contact details. do not hesitate to check them out.
- Check on forums and other channels if the trader has already been complaint about by other consumers.
After ordering: stay vigilant and react quickly if something doesn't feel right!
Additional delivery charges? Delivery time not respected? Delivery date postponed for strange reasons? Refusal of your cooling off right? The seller doesn't answer your communications anymore? Some sellers have a lot of imagination and may even ask you to travel to another country to pick up your furniture yourself. If this or anything similar happens to you, react quickly! Send a letter of formal notice asking for delivery in a reasonable time. also contact your bank or card issuer to check charge back options.
If in doubt, or if you don't manage to settle your dispute with a seller established in another EU Member State, Iceland or Norway, contact your ECC.