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DTMark

"this Item Is Sold By Our Merchant..."

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Quick question about consumer rights...

Both Amazon and Play.com enable merchants to sell their products through their website. I've used this before with Amazon for things like computer cables, coffee - small value items. Not the sort of things you often find yourself returning.

I want to buy something electrical which is not that common and both sites have it, but sold via "our vendor.. [insert name]" and it's important to me that it's brand new.

I don't mean it was sold and returned but unused so it's effectively new, I mean new.

This is why I don't use eBay, because the word "new" is meaningless on there. With eBay you have a closer relationship with the vendor and anyone (it would seem) can sell anything so buyer beware to some extent.

If I buy something from one of Amazon's merchants which is described as "New" and it isn't, or if I have some problem with it - my perception is that the contract is between the customer and the merchant. Which to me means the payer and the payee. Which means me and Amazon (or Play.com).

Who it is that actually has the item and where it is shipped from is therefore irrelevant... isn't it? As the contracted party responsible for ensuring the thing is as described, and for providing care under the Sale of Goods Act, will be Amazon or Play.com. That is the name that appears on the bank statement.

Is that right?

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Quick question about consumer rights...

Both Amazon and Play.com enable merchants to sell their products through their website. I've used this before with Amazon for things like computer cables, coffee - small value items. Not the sort of things you often find yourself returning.

I want to buy something electrical which is not that common and both sites have it, but sold via "our vendor.. [insert name]" and it's important to me that it's brand new.

I don't mean it was sold and returned but unused so it's effectively new, I mean new.

This is why I don't use eBay, because the word "new" is meaningless on there. With eBay you have a closer relationship with the vendor and anyone (it would seem) can sell anything so buyer beware to some extent.

If I buy something from one of Amazon's merchants which is described as "New" and it isn't, or if I have some problem with it - my perception is that the contract is between the customer and the merchant. Which to me means the payer and the payee. Which means me and Amazon (or Play.com).

Who it is that actually has the item and where it is shipped from is therefore irrelevant... isn't it? As the contracted party responsible for ensuring the thing is as described, and for providing care under the Sale of Goods Act, will be Amazon or Play.com. That is the name that appears on the bank statement.

Is that right?

I've bought stuff off Amazon shops/merchants. Your receipt is issued by the merchant though payment and order tracking is done through Amazon's systems.

They seem to be hyper-paranoid about bad feedback (usually there's a slip inside the package stating that they hope you are satisfied and give them positive feedback but if you have any issues, please contact them first to get them resolved) so from this I infer that Amazon impose strict terms on Merchants who wish to trade via their website.

I did have an issue years ago with something I ordered from a 'Play' merchant not showing up (back when Play had their own retail operation too), I just contacted Play and a new item was dispatched from the merchant with no quibbles.

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You effectively have 2 levels of protection, 3 if you pay with a credit card

1. The merchant. You can check with her to see if the item is brand new sealed never been on a horse's back before you purchase and stress that this is a condition on which you will make the purchase

2. If the item arrives and it isn't to your satisfaction, you go back to the merchant to sort it. If she doesn't, then you go to Amazon who, one way or another through the AZ guarantee claim, refund you in full

3. If you pay with a credit card, there is an element of joint liability of course

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In my experience Amazon and ebay will do next to nothing to help you resolve any issues with third party sellers.

Credit cards and ebay will often do chargebacks, but typically without doing any investigation into the problem.

Credit card section 75 protection only applies to items that cost > £100

Often the same people are selling on both ebay and amazon - it's worth googling the shop name to see if they have a website.

Websites for small retailers are usually dreadful, but one option is to phone them up and place an order with a credit card.

My rule of thumb for third party sellers is that if I can't find some decent contact information (a mobile phone doesn't count) then I won't place an order.

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In my experience Amazon and ebay will do next to nothing to help you resolve any issues with third party sellers.

Credit cards and ebay will often do chargebacks, but typically without doing any investigation into the problem.

Credit card section 75 protection only applies to items that cost > £100

Often the same people are selling on both ebay and amazon - it's worth googling the shop name to see if they have a website.

Websites for small retailers are usually dreadful, but one option is to phone them up and place an order with a credit card.

My rule of thumb for third party sellers is that if I can't find some decent contact information (a mobile phone doesn't count) then I won't place an order.

My experience (as a buyer and a seller) is that both ebay and amazon will do anything they can to leave the buyer OK. Even if that is at the expense of a no fault seller

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I like & use Amazon a lot. I do not trust E bay. One draw back with Amazon though is if you need to return items then the seller can and often does take their postage costs off the refund ( even if it was supposedly free postage to start with) and also you have to pay the postage costs to return said item. So that can work out at a quite a few pounds and you end up with nothing in return.

The one thing I miss from buying at shops is the face to face contact with an assistant.

I have just returned to an item to Amazon, because It was not fit for purpose and I have had to pay return postage. I guess someone will tell me to dispute the costs but I cannot be bothered to get into that....

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My experience is that Amazon will make it right, while eBay (or Paypal) have traditionally given you the shaft. Got f***ed so many times by eBay sellers and PayPal that I never buy anything mainstream from ordinary joe public. I'll only use sellers with good feedback in the tens of thousands - even then I'll tend to use Amazon if the price is the same. I'll never sell anything valuable via eBay for similar reasons.

I will concede that eBay appear to be taking fraud and scumbag sellers more seriously judging by the various communications and notices around the site, but I'm never going to test it out again.

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My experience (as a buyer and a seller) is that both ebay and amazon will do anything they can to leave the buyer OK. Even if that is at the expense of a no fault seller

Quite. Ebay rarely side with the seller so I'm not sure how some can say they've been shafted. There is so much protection in place now for ebay buyers.

I like & use Amazon a lot. I do not trust E bay. One draw back with Amazon though is if you need to return items then the seller can and often does take their postage costs off the refund ( even if it was supposedly free postage to start with) and also you have to pay the postage costs to return said item. So that can work out at a quite a few pounds and you end up with nothing in return.

The one thing I miss from buying at shops is the face to face contact with an assistant.

I have just returned to an item to Amazon, because It was not fit for purpose and I have had to pay return postage. I guess someone will tell me to dispute the costs but I cannot be bothered to get into that....

Under DS regs the seller should always refund original postage paid.

Regards return postage costs, If the seller stipulates that the buyer is responsible for paying the return cost of an item, except in the case of a fault, the buyer is responsible for paying return postage. If the seller fails to make this clear in their T & C's then the seller must also refund the return costs.

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Thanks for the feedback.

This is the thing in question:

http://www.amazon.co...A&condition=new

A year ago my iPhone 3GS basically died - just ancient. I want one that lasts. So I want a new one. They were £350 then. I thought the price would come down. It hasn't. Not really. So I have no option but to bite the bullet and pay the £350. I do have a Windows phone and it is quite good, but it's not as easy to live with. I could elaborate but it's not really relevant to the topic.

If I pay this I want it to last for years. So if I'm going to pay that for something described as "new" I want a new one. I don't think this is unreasonable.

I know I have a cynical nature. I look down that list. "Opened box to check contents". Really? Did you? Hmmm. Shops always open every box a manufacturer sends in to check it before they sell it, don't they? Er, no. The top one is misrepresented anyway - says 8GB model. Amazon are selling it as the 16GB model. That's what the order confirmation is going to say. And so on.

If I get it having paid that and there's even the faintest evidence of use or misrepresentation, I'll want a refund. As a second hand one costs half the price. I don't want a second hand one. The buttons on these wear out in the end hence paying for a brand new one.

So as far as I can see, if I'm paying Amazon then Amazon is the contracted party. If it is not as described Amazon are the only party who could give a refund (it's their name on my bank account - so they are the seller, the "Merchant" is purely the "fulfiller" - very different) and are obligated under the Sale of Goods Act to do so. If the Merchant has lied about the details, then they can separately pursue the Merchant themselves for compensation.

I cannot see any other possible legal position with regard to the Sale of Goods Act and/or any way in which Amazon could absolve themselves of total responsibility for ensuring that the goods are as described even though they won't see them and they have no idea whether their merchant is telling the truth or not - the ignorance of same changes absolutely nothing.

I think the best answer to this is to buy it in an Apple shop assuming they still sell them and it costs about the same.

But having seen these sorts of disputes quite a lot on the internet, I'd love to know if my interpretation is the only possible correct one.

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I could obviously write near endlessly on this type of topic, so I'm going to restrain myself.

I think you'll probably find though that Amazon will have structured themselves so the payment processing side is a separate legal entity and wouldn't have any more liability than Mastercard or Visa.

Can't you get another handset off the network provider?

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Thanks for the feedback.

This is the thing in question:

http://www.amazon.co...A&condition=new

A year ago my iPhone 3GS basically died - just ancient. I want one that lasts. So I want a new one. They were £350 then. I thought the price would come down. It hasn't. Not really. So I have no option but to bite the bullet and pay the £350. I do have a Windows phone and it is quite good, but it's not as easy to live with. I could elaborate but it's not really relevant to the topic.

If I pay this I want it to last for years. So if I'm going to pay that for something described as "new" I want a new one. I don't think this is unreasonable.

I know I have a cynical nature. I look down that list. "Opened box to check contents". Really? Did you? Hmmm. Shops always open every box a manufacturer sends in to check it before they sell it, don't they? Er, no. The top one is misrepresented anyway - says 8GB model. Amazon are selling it as the 16GB model. That's what the order confirmation is going to say. And so on.

If I get it having paid that and there's even the faintest evidence of use or misrepresentation, I'll want a refund. As a second hand one costs half the price. I don't want a second hand one. The buttons on these wear out in the end hence paying for a brand new one.

So as far as I can see, if I'm paying Amazon then Amazon is the contracted party. If it is not as described Amazon are the only party who could give a refund (it's their name on my bank account - so they are the seller, the "Merchant" is purely the "fulfiller" - very different) and are obligated under the Sale of Goods Act to do so. If the Merchant has lied about the details, then they can separately pursue the Merchant themselves for compensation.

I cannot see any other possible legal position with regard to the Sale of Goods Act and/or any way in which Amazon could absolve themselves of total responsibility for ensuring that the goods are as described even though they won't see them and they have no idea whether their merchant is telling the truth or not - the ignorance of same changes absolutely nothing.

I think the best answer to this is to buy it in an Apple shop assuming they still sell them and it costs about the same.

But having seen these sorts of disputes quite a lot on the internet, I'd love to know if my interpretation is the only possible correct one.

An 8gb iPhone 4s direct from apple is £349.

http://store.apple.com/uk/iphone/family/iphone/compare

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Quite. Ebay rarely side with the seller so I'm not sure how some can say they've been shafted. There is so much protection in place now for ebay buyers.

That might be the case now.

But in the earlier days it was like the wild west. Sellers doesn't have much feedback? Sorry, no guarantee for you. Price of object over/under a certain amount? Sorry, no guarantee for you. Seller keeps you on the hook for 45 days? Sorry, no chance of a claim now. Need to speak to a human being? Sorry, there isn't one available. Never mind all of the frauds like low prices and high postage, selling pictures of the good, rather than the actual thing, fakes etc.

As a seller, it was no less risky either - what with chargebacks, buyers denying something had turned up, locks on accounts etc.

Sorry, it permanently tainted the brand for me - especially as the scammers seemed to move faster in coming up with new schemes than eBay/Paypal did in combatting it for quite a few years. Maybe it's OK now, but I'm not risking my money anymore. With Amazon, there was never any suggestion you wouldn't get your money back as a buyer if something went wrong.

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Thanks for the feedback.

This is the thing in question:

http://www.amazon.co...A&condition=new

Apple run a very very tight ship, you will not get an iPhone cheaper than the official apple list price.

If you do find one there will be something wrong with it in some way 100% guaranteed (i.e. it won't be a brand new and unopened). While they generally work well and last these are highly technical and complicated computers, doesn't take much to ****** one up.

As you say if you read all the listings on Amazon there is something very suspect about all of them. Like you my definition of new is very different to the people selling on market place.

Rule of thumb for buying on the internet is never spend more than you are willing to lose. Especially true on ebay and Amazon market place.

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I've recently bought a 2nd hand double CD off play, when it turned up it had 2xCD2 contacted the seller they didn't have another copy but offered me anything in store of equal value.

Had similar with Amazon and it's always been resolved in a positive fashion.

Even with ebay I've not had any issues, bought a replacement bowl for the halogen which cracked after a couple of uses and it got replaced just sent the seller a picture of it.

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