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National Consumer Week 2018

National Consumer Week is an annual campaign, this year focusing on online marketplaces and the rights of consumers using them. This year's campaign launches on Cyber Monday - Monday 26th November.

Each year, National Consumer Week raises awareness of specific consumer issues. Every year covers a different topic and in previous years, the campaign has promoted awareness of issues such as electrical safety, subscription traps, and consumer rights. Launching on Cyber Monday, the campaign will focus on raising awareness of issues that consumers can face when using online marketplaces. Online marketplaces sell goods, such as GumTree, eBay and Amazon Marketplace. Generally the platforms don't own the good being sold, so the sales are often consumer to consumer.

This is a national awareness campaign and we hope to educate consumers about their rights when using online marketplaces, raise awareness of routes to redress where something goes wrong, and raise understanding amongst private sellers of their responsibilities when selling goods online. 

We want to make sure you know what your rights are when buying something online, and how they might be different from buying goods from different sellers or buying in person from the high street.

Take a look at our leaflet for an overview of your consumer rights when you use online marketplaces and information on what to do if something goes wrong.

5 top tips to follow before you buy from an online marketplace

  1. Read the description carefully, especially if it's second-hand
  2. Check the images of the item you're buying to help you spot fake goods- does the image look genuine or copied from somewhere else? Try a reverse image search on Google.
  3. Read the marketplace's terms and conditions - what's their complaints handling process?
  4. Check the reviews and ratings for a seller and their items - what are other customer's experiences with the seller? Does the marketplace moderate the reviews to ensure they're genuine?
  5. Check how much postage is and if you have to pay for returns - a great deal on the surface might be inflated by postage costs.

Useful links to pages on our public advice website