Purchase of goods
A purchase is a binding agreement between the seller and the consumer. Specific protective rules apply to consumer purchases.
The term 'consumer purchase' refers to the event when a private party purchases chattels – common goods purchased for daily use, e.g. appliances, cars, clothes, furniture, pets, etc. – from a seller whose employment is selling. Special rules apply to the purchase and sale of real property and services.
Rights and obligations at a glance
Do not pay for goods you have not ordered
If goods are sent to a consumer who has not purchased or ordered such goods, no payment need be made for them. In the case of a consumer not responding to a sales offer within a specified period, a purchase agreement has not been established. Such a lack of response cannot be regarded as a silent consent.
Know the price If the price has not been negotiated, the buyer must pay the price stated. The general rule is that pricing is unrestricted. However, sellers are under obligation to price their goods fairly. The stated price shall always be the final price to the consumer – VAT and any other fees, however they are called, shall be included in the price.
Immediate payment If no agreement has been reached on when and how the purchase price shall be paid, the consumer must pay the seller on demand. But not, however, until the item has been delivered or the consumer is able take control of the item in question. The consumer is responsible for examining the item before paying the purchase price.
No additional payments If a consumer has, in good faith, purchased goods or services at a price that was too low, the seller cannot demand additional payment.
No right to return When purchasing goods in a shop, the buyer has no right to return the goods unless otherwise negotiated. In distance sales, however, the consumer has 14 days to withdraw from the purchase without providing a reason and to have the goods refunded.
Complain as soon as possible! If an item proves to be defective or if the seller has provided misleading information, the consumer is responsible for complaining as soon as possible, preferably within two months from the date that he or she became aware of the defect. The final deadline for submitting a complaint about a defect is generally 2 years. The deadline is 5 years if the lifetime of the product is estimated to be longer than is generally the case.
Keep receipts! In order to complain about a defect the buyer must be able to prove the transaction took place. The simplest method is to show the receipt.
Consumer claims The consumer may claim for the repair of defects, new delivery, a discount, the termination of the purchase agreement, and compensation, as well as to defer payment.
Only two attempts The seller is not entitled to try to remedy a defect or deliver a new product relating to the same defect more than twice.
Examination fee The consumer may have to pay an examination fee for a defect search if the defect is not apparent, only however, if the seller has demanded payment of such fee in advance.