Amazon Black Friday– do you know your online shopping rights?

Black Friday is almost upon us and once again, online retail giant Amazon hope to dominate on the day by smashing last year's sales figures.

Earlier this year, Amazon celebrated it's 20th birthday by running a day of massive sales on 15th July, saying the site would be "filled with more deals than Black Friday" and in order to take advantage of the sales, customer's had to be a member of Amazon Prime. Prime is Amazon's subscription service which offers multiple benefits including, among other things, one hour delivery in London and Amazon are hopping that even more online shoppers will sign up to the service to do their festive shopping. With Amazon Prime, users pay £79 per year for faster delivery and access to Amazon streaming services, however many have complained that it's difficult to stop being a member and that the service is cunningly sold to them. 

Black friday sale


When you buy products online, this is a form of distance selling. Whilst generally most online sales are problem free, often the products or services purchased don't live up to you expectations. Reputable online retailers usually have good returns policies and procedures. However, where matters are not resolved in the way you would expect, what are your rights? We have come a long way from 'buyer beware' under the law and now buyers are afforded certain protections when they purchase goods or services online. 

A Quick Guide to Your Rights When Buying Online

We have created a full guide to distance selling including an outline of the law, your rights as a buyer, the obligations of a seller and how to take matters further. However, listed below is a quick run down of the buyers rights and responsibilities:

  • The buyer has a right to withdraw from a sale made at a distance for up to fourteen days. Withdrawal allows the buyer to change their mind about whether or not they want the goods.
  • The buyer must however, withdraw from the sale by using an acceptable method. This will usually be outlines in the sellers terms and conditions – you may have to follow a returns or cancellation process.
  • You should keep evidence of your attempt to cancel or withdraw from the sale, incase the seller does not respond to you or refuses you the return. If you make a phone call to the seller, keep a written log of this.
  • The buyer's right to withdraw or cancel is unconditional. Where you cancel your purchase before the goods arrive, the total cost and shipping must be refunded.
  • If you have cancelled the transaction but the goods arrive, you can refuse to accept the delivery.
  • If the goods you have ordered are lost in transit, the seller must either send new goods or give you a full refund including delivery cost. This information must be provided by the seller,usually through their terms and conditions. If it is not, the buyer will have a claim against the seller.
  • If you choose to return the goods after you have received them, you have an obligation to take reasonable care of them – if the goods are damaged, or you do not return them after you have been issued a refund the seller may have a claim against you. 

What if I forget to unsubscribe to Amazon prime?

This information includes signing up to Amazon Prime and usually Amazon will return the funds paid if you forget to unsubscribe after your free 30 day period.

Further Resources

Read our guide about your rights in distance selling

Amazon Statutory Rights Statement

Amazon Returns Policy 

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