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Government information for entrepreneurs

Cancellation period in case of a sale

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If you sell products or services in the Netherlands, in some cases your customer has the right to cancel their order within a specific period of time (cooling off period or cancellation time). What exactly your customer is entitled to upon returning the product, depends on the situation.

Sales at a shop

There is no cancellation period for products sold in a shop. A shopkeeper supplies the product and their customer receives it at the agreed price. Shopkeepers may have specific terms and conditions with regard to cancelling a purchase. They can, for instance, choose to give a refund or issue a credit note.

Exchange goods

You may want to provide your costumers with a replacement if they wish to return their purchase, but you are not obliged to do so. If you do, you must clearly state on the receipt:

  • what conditions apply to exchanging goods
  • whether a refund is available
  • when the exchange period expires

Long-distance selling

If your customer buys a product through the Internet, by telephone, post or fax, they have a cancellation periodExternal link of at least 14 calendar days. That period starts the moment your customer receives the product. They can return the product within this period (right to return products) without stating reasons. They will, however, pay the dispatch costsExternal link. You refund the purchase price, and you reimburse the delivery chargesExternal link, if any. In case of long-distance selling, for a number of products or services there is no cancellation period. For example: travel or custom made products.

Please note: these rules only apply if you sell to consumers, not when you are selling to other businesses.

Door-to-door selling, street trading and free trips with sales pitch

If you sell products as a door-to-door salesperson or if you sell products in the street or during free trips, and the purchase price exceeds €50, then your customer is entitled to a cancellation period of 14 calendar days after the agreement. This does not apply to sales of insurance policies.

Sale at a fair

If you sell products or services at a fair, your customer can sometimes still decide not to purchase them. Some fairs have specific terms and conditions. These terms and conditions provide, for example, that your customer is entitled to a cancellation period of 8 days.

Sale of timeshare and holiday clubs

If you offer an agreement for timeshare or membership of a holiday club for a period of more than one year, you must maintain a cancellation period of 14 days. You are not allowed to ask for an advance payment.

Sale of financial products

Your customer is allowed to cancel a credit agreement within 14 days after having signed the agreement.

Sale of houses

A buyer may decide to abandon the purchase of a house. They can do so up to 3 days after their receiving the signed deed of sale or its copy. These 3 days must consist of 2 working days at least.

Cancellation by the seller

The seller can cancel a purchase when he has grounds to suspect the payment will not be made. Cancellations have to be made in writing. If part of the payment for a product has not been made, the seller can ask for restiution of the product, but will have to give the customer the amount already paid back.If you have not received the product you ordered, you must tell the seller in writing that you wish to receive the product. If you still do not receive your order, you can contact Juridisch LoketExternal link (in Dutch).

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO