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Improving Trading Standards in Wales

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Advice and guidance to retailers

Retailers need to be aware of a variety of legislation depending on the types of products being sold. For example, a newsagent would need to know the specific rules relating to pricing, business names, underage sales and the safety of toys, fireworks and food. In addition retailers need to be aware of the Sale of Goods Act which sets out people's rights when they buy consumer products. These are that goods must be as described, fit for their purpose and of satisfactory quality.

The 'Everthing Regulatory When It Is Needed (ERWIN)' website contains a wealth of advice and guidance for retailers broken down by the category of business. The website can be accessed using the link below. Alternatively, retailers can ring their local Trading Standards department the details of which can be found on our Contact us pages.


Frequently asked questions

A customer has brought back a faulty item, do I have to give a refund?

When buying goods they must be of satisfactory quality: generally free from faults, fit for their usual purpose, of a reasonable appearance, safe and durable. For a short period after purchase the consumer would be entitled to a full refund; after a longer period they would be entitled to a repair, replacement or partial refund. Shops cannot simply say they do not give refunds, and if they display notices saying this they are likely to be committing a criminal offence.

Can a customer return goods for a refund if they decide they do not like them?

No, there is no legal right to a refund unless the goods are faulty or were wrongly described. However, there is nothing to stop you offering a refund in such circumstances as a matter of goodwill.
For more detailed advice on consumer rights see the Sale of Goods Act hub for business.

Do you only advise consumers of their rights?

No, we also advise business on their transactions with consumers, to access your local Trading Standards Service see our Contact us pages.

Citizens Advice Consumer Service are the first point of contact for consumer advice. Their telephone numbers are:

03454 04 05 06 – English
03454 04 05 05 - Welsh

I sell from a website, are there any special rules?

Yes, internet sales are considered as 'off premises' contracts, as are contracts by mail or phone. These allow the consumer a 14 day 'cooling off' period to examine goods. They can return the goods for a full refund as long as they notify you of their wish to cancel within 14 days and return the goods in the same condition as they were delivered to them. You can require them to pay the cost of returning them to you. You are not allowed to make a 'restocking charge' or anything similar.

This provision is in addition to sale of goods rights and does not affect consumers' rights to a refund or repair for faulty goods.

Web retailers are also required to provide certain details including their name and geographical address and confirmation of any orders to buy goods or services.

For more detailed advice on selling on the internet see our dedicated business advice page, 'Selling on the Net'

On-line protection for small businesses

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