What is consumer law?
When a customer buys something from you, the transaction is an oral or written agreement between you and the buyer. This agreement describes rights and obligations. Your customer must pay the agreed price. You as a seller must deliver a reliable product. For example, the product must meet certain requirements. Consumer law is a collection of laws to protect consumers. Consumers also have obligations.
Consumer law does not apply to sales to businesses
If you sell a product to another business, this does not come under consumer law. Your customer has no statutory cooling-off period and different guarantee rules apply.
The product you sell must be reliable, of good quality. This is the legal guarantee to which your customer is entitled. For example, if the product is broken, you must replace or repair it. Besides the legal guarantee, you can also give or sell an extra guarantee. For example, a seller's guarantee or an extended warranty.
Read more about giving a guarantee.
Providing a cooling-off period
Your customer is often entitled to a reflection or cooling-off period. This means the purchase can be reversed. This is called the right of withdrawal or dissolution. Your customer is not always entitled to the statutory cooling-off period. Exceptions are, for example, products that are custom-made or that can spoil.
Read when you must give a reflection period and which rules you must follow.
Determine payment term
You may determine within which period consumers must pay. You put this payment term in the contract or your general terms and conditions.
If your customer does not pay, you can send a payment reminder. You are not allowed to charge extra costs in the first payment reminder. After that, you can charge collection costs. These are the costs that you have to incur yourself to ensure that you still receive your money.
Selling outside of a store
Selling door-to-door (off-premises sales)
Do you sell outside an official retail space, for example on the street or door-to-door? Then you must follow the rules for doorstep selling (colportage). The buyer is entitled to a cooling-off period with a purchase over €50, and you and the buyer must both sign a deed of sale.
Read what rules apply to door-to-door and street selling.
Do you sell online via a web shop or by telephone? Then you must follow the rules for long-distance sales. For example, in most cases, your customer is entitled to the statutory cooling-off period. You must provide clear information about that right, the price, and how you deliver the product, among other things.
Read more about the rules for online sales.
You are not allowed to automatically renew a subscription, such as an energy or telephone subscription. Automatic or silent renewal means that the subscription continues without the subscriber's knowledge.
Read what rules apply to the sale of subscriptions.
Selling trips, vacations, or timeshares
You must clearly inform your customer about the product you are selling and what exactly they are paying for. For example, for how many people, what is included in the price, and any costs your customer still has to pay.
Read which rules you have to take into account when you sell (package) trips.
Protecting personal data
Do you receive personal data from your customers, for example via your online shop? And do you store, use or share the data? You must protect this data. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy law tells you what you can and cannot do.
Do you comply with the GDPR?
Read what falls under the General Data Protection Regulation. And how you comply with the rules.
Protecting personal data
Read what personal data is and what you can do with it.
Drafting a privacy statement
Read whether you need a privacy statement to comply with privacy legislation.