What you should know before buying
Wherever you buy a product or service in the EU the trader must provide you with clear, correct and understandable information about the product or service before you make the purchase.
This contract information should include:
- the main product characteristics
- the total price inclusive of taxes and all charges
- delivery costs, (if applicable) - and any other additional charges
- arrangements for payment, delivery or performance
- the trader's identity, address and telephone number
- the duration of the contract (if applicable)
Some of this information may not have to be provided explicitly, if it is apparent from the context - such as the characteristics of a product which are displayed on a shelf in the shop.
Moreover, if you buy online, by telephone, by mail order catalogue or from a door-to-door salesperson, the following more detailed information must also be provided before you make a purchase:
- e-mail address of the trader
- any delivery restrictions in certain countries
- the right to cancel your order within 14 days
- available after-sales services
- dispute resolution mechanisms
- trade register number of the trader
- professional title and VAT details of the trader (if applicable)
- professional association to which the trader belongs (if applicable)
For such purchases, you should bear in mind that you do not have to pay any delivery costs or other charges of which you were not informed.
Prior information forms part of the contract unless you and the trader jointly agree on changes to the terms given on, for example, the trader's website.
Contracts must be written in plain and understandable language and cannot contain unfair contract terms.
In some EU countries, the right to receive confirmation for your order, to cancel it and other legal requirements do not apply to door-to-door purchases of less than EUR 50.
Specific information requirements apply when you buy digital content online, e.g. when downloading or streaming music or video. Before you make the purchase, you must also be informed how the content operates with relevant hardware/software (interoperability) and about its functionalities, including whether any geographical restrictions apply to the use of the content and if private copies are allowed.
Your consumer rights under EU rules normally also apply to purchases from non-EU online traders targeting consumers in the EU. However, you may have difficulties in asserting your rights with traders based outside the EU.
It's always good to check where the trader is registered. An internet address ending ".eu", ".ie", or ".co.uk", etc. does NOT guarantee that the trader is based – and registered – in the EU.
Once you have made a purchase online or from a door-to-door salesperson, you must receive written confirmation of your transaction. The confirmation must be on paper or on another durable medium such as e-mail, fax or a message to your personal account on the trader's website – provided it is something you can store and which the trader cannot unilaterally change.
Traders who provide after-sales telephone lines for consumers must make sure that such calls are charged at the basic rate. It is forbidden for traders to require consumers to use, for example, premium-rate telephone lines to make enquiries or complaints about their purchase or contract.
Pricing and payments
When you buy goods or services in the EU, you have to be clearly informed about the total price, including all taxes and additional charges.
For online purchases, you should explicitly acknowledge – for example by pressing a button – that you are aware that placing your order implies an obligation to pay.
Traders in the EU are not allowed to charge you extra for using your credit or debit card. The only exceptions to this rule are American Express/Diners Club cards and business or corporate credit cards, where your employer is billed instead of you. If you use these cards, you may still be charged a fee but the fee can't be more than what it actually costs the trader to process your payment.
You should be aware that if you're paying in EU currencies other than euros, you may still be charged a currency conversion fee by your card provider when you use your card in another EU country.
You must give your consent to any additional payment requested by the trader, for example express delivery, gift wrapping or travel insurance.
A trader is not allowed to charge you for these services unless you explicitly selected them. Using a pre-ticked box on the trader's website does not constitute consent, so you would be entitled to have any payment reimbursed which has been collected in that way.
As an EU national or resident you can't be charged a higher price when buying products or services in the EU just because of your nationality or country of residence.
When you buy goods online in the EU, prices may vary from country to country or across different versions of the same website, for example due to differences in delivery costs. However, if you buy goods online without cross-border delivery – such as when you buy something online which you intend to collect from a trader or shop yourself – you should have access to the same prices and special offers as buyers living in that EU country. You cannot be charged more or prevented from buying something just because you live in another country.
Thesame rules apply when you buy services provided at the trader's premises, for example when you buy entry tickets for an amusement park, book a hotel, rent a car, or when you buy electronically supplied services (such as cloud services or website hosting), you are entitled to have access to the same prices as local buyers.
Copyright protected media, such as films, ebooks and music, often need different intellectual property rights in different countries. Therefore you may not have the same access to the same products at the same price in all EU countries.
You can't be charged more just because of your country of residence
Hilda from Denmark wanted to book a hire car in Spain for her summer holidays. She chose the car she wanted to book on the website of a Spanish car rental company. However, when she entered her address to finalise the reservation, she saw that the total price for her car rental increased by EUR 140.
Hilda contacted her local European Consumer Centre to complain about this price discrimination. They helped her introduce a formal complaint, highlighting the discriminatory pricing on the car rental company's website. As the car company failed to comply with EU rules, they may be fined by the competent national authority.
EU rules on pricing also apply when you buy travel tickets, such as flights or train tickets, either online or in person. This means that when you buy your tickets, all taxes, fees and charges must be included and appear in the total price from the beginning of the booking process. This makes it easier for you to compare prices with other travel operators.
Any optional supplements (such as travel insurance) must be clearly indicated as such and suggested only on an opt-in basis.
For the purchase of airline tickets, if you discover unclear online pricing when booking a flight, you can report it to the national authorities in your EU country of residence.
Where several versions of a traders' website exist, you cannot be automatically redirected, unless you give your permission. For example, if you live in France and you choose directly to go to a .be website (Belgium), the trader can suggest that you might want to consult the .fr version of their website. However, unless you give your explicit permission for this redirection, you should have access to the .be website you originally selected.
You should also be able to change your choice at any time – for example, via a "choose country" box. This allows you to see the prices and promotions for products and services offered by the trader in other countries. However, you should always check a trader's terms and conditions to understand the delivery options and charges for your country.
VAT – Value Added Tax
As a private individual shopping in the EU, you should only pay VAT once, in the country where you make your purchase.
You can bring home anything you buy in another EU country, without stopping at the border or making a customs declaration. The only condition is that your purchases must be for your own or your family's personal use, and not intended for resale.
If you are visiting from outside the EU you are entitled to a VAT refund on goods you have bought during your stay in the EU if the goods are shown to customs on departure within 3 months of their purchase together with the VAT refund documents. These are normally prepared by the seller although, as the scheme is voluntary, not all merchants participate. Some countries set a minimum value of purchases to qualify for a refund.
Special rules may apply when you buy goods from another EU country for delivery to your country of residence. If the company you buy from sells goods over a certain value to your country, where the goods are delivered, they cannot charge VAT in the country where you make your purchase.
Instead, they have to apply VAT in the country where the goods are delivered – VAT of destination. The maximum amount for these cross-border sales is set by each EU country at either EUR 35 000 or EUR 100 000. This means that most major online retailers delivering within the EU will have to apply the VAT of destination rule.
Please allow between 15-45 days for your order to arrive. If more than 45 days have passed please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to review the status of your order. Refunds will be handled through email if necessary.
Returns (if applicable)
Our policy lasts 30 days. If 30 days have gone by since your order was received, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.
To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging. Your item needs to have the receipt or proof of purchase.
You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are nonrefundable.
Please do not send your purchase back to the manufacturer.
Once we receive your item, we will inspect it and notify you that we have received your returned item. We will immediately notify you on the status of your refund after inspecting the item.
If your return is approved, we will initiate a refund to your credit card (or original method of payment).
You will receive the credit within a certain amount of days, depending on your card issuer's policies.
If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.
Late or missing refunds (if applicable)
If you haven’t received a refund yet, first check your bank account again.
Then contact your credit card company, it may take some time before your refund is officially posted.
Next contact your bank. There is often some processing time before a refund is posted.
If you’ve done all of this and you still have not received your refund yet, please contact us at email@example.com
Sale items (if applicable)
Only regular priced items may be refunded, unfortunately sale items cannot be refunded.
Exchanges (if applicable)
We only replace items if they are defective or damaged. If you need to exchange it for the same item, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions on how to return your item to us, contact us.
Copenhagen, Fiskedamsgade 20
CVR number: 40053891