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You should definitely keep this in mind when selling privately on the Internet.

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Private sales on the Internet are also legally binding. To protect themselves against claims from dissatisfied buyers, sellers resort to copywriting, not all of which are effective. We reveal what you should pay attention to as a seller.

When it comes to private sales on trading platforms like Ebay, transparency and accuracy are important. (Iconic Image: Getty Images)

“This is a private sale, so no return or exchange can be granted”: With these formulas and others like them, private sellers on trading platforms like Ebay and eBay classifieds hope to protect themselves from claims from dissatisfied buyers. However, such information “should be ineffective” in court, says consumer protection organization Stiftung Warentest. Why? They are not the real problem in a private sale.

In any case, there is no right to exchange or return an item in private sales. The seller may very well be held responsible for this. This is when you have knowingly or unknowingly made a misstep in the trade agreement, either because you concealed any flaws in the description of the goods or failed to provide a proper, and by the way correctly worded, disclaimer to ensure .

Therefore, transparency, diligence, and correctness are important in private business contracts. This also and especially means a truthful description of the products. “Anyone who sells something must guarantee that the merchandise corresponds to the description,” he explains. Stiftung Warentest. Otherwise, under certain circumstances, the seller would “assume all legal responsibility for material defects.” That means he would have to “guarantee for two years from delivery that the goods are as good as the buyer can expect from the item’s description.”

Properly exclude liability

Even the most conscientious seller can prevent minor or major damage to merchandise. To protect yourself against claims from the disappointed buyer in such a case, you must exclude liability for hidden or unknown defects in the trade agreement. But that alone is not enough, as it restricts the consumer protection organization. “Correct wording is important for a disclaimer” otherwise it wouldn’t stand up in court.

The consumer protection organization gives an example of a “court-proof” disclaimer. “I exclude any liability for material defects.” The organization also advises private sellers to add the following sentence to the item description “to be on the safe side.” “Liability for damages due to injury to health, body or life and gross negligence and/or intentional violations of my duties as a seller remains unrestricted.”

But even the “strongest” disclaimer risks being challenged in court if the description doesn’t accurately reflect the item. In this case, the seller must respond to the material defect even if he has ruled it out previously. Therefore, the accuracy of the item description is essential in a private sale. And if the seller can’t be accurate, for example because he doesn’t know if an item works, he must be honest. It is valid, so Stiftung Warentestto “reveal” this fact.

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