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Online auctions

Sometimes things don't add up: to make online auctions more appealing auction managers recommend vendors to begin with a very low bid price. So,it may happens that if you offer a product for sale hoping to make a certain amount of money you'll see the bidding closed for a much lower price.

Do not fail to deliver the product sold by auction. The Italian Civil Code clearly states that it is an "offer to the public" which is binding upon the proposer and has to be finalized by a sale contract after being knocked down at the highest bidder.

Be careful who wins the auction: if the buyer is a private person (which is not always clear) it is not possible to apply the 10-day return policy as provided for by distance selling regulations. In this case the contract is binding to all intents and purposes upon all parties from the moment the winning offer is accepted.

Lastly: when auctioning online you could run into a cunning old dog, who can disappear from the web after cashing your money without leaving any trace.

Our quick tips:

Check whether the vendor is a private person or a business trader.

If you win an online auction, before sending the money, check whether the vendor is really existing.

Be aware that in case of cross-border purchases or auctioneers footed overseas other factors come into play (higher shipping costs, higher customs duties if from outside the EU, different legal customer rights).

25/03/2011


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