Before purchasing

Most traders are honest and in compliance with the law. So most consumers who shop on-line do so without any trouble. However there are exceptions so it is best to be careful. According to the Icelandic law on door-to-door sales and distance contracts the consumer should for example be supplied with the following information before a contract is made:

The consumer is entitled to the following information within a reasonable time before a contract covered by this Act is made:

1. The name and address of the vendor.

2. The principal characteristics of the goods or services covered by the contract.

3. The price of the goods or services, including all public levies, as well as the cost of delivery, if applicable.

4. Arrangements for payment, delivery and time of delivery.

5. Right to withdraw from the contract, subject to the provisions of Article 10.

6. The cost of using a means of distance communication which is calculated in another manner than as a basic rate.

7. The period of validity of the offer and the offer price.

8. The minimum duration of the contract.

The information shall be clear and comprehensible and accessible to the consumer. The consumer shall be provided with written confirmation, or, in the case of distance sales, confirmation by another durable medium available and accessible to the consumer, of the information listed in Items 1-6.

 So if this information is not supplied there might be cause for concern. If the trader for instance neither supplies you with his name nor address how will you contact him or send the product back should something go wrong?

Is everything included in the price?

As for the price the thing to consider is that when a price is stated on traders’ websites in many cases only the initial price is shown. Then the cost of packing and delivery is added and then (at least when items are being imported to Iceland) customs and taxes. Plus, the postal service in Iceland charges a fee for handling the package.  So the final cost might quite easily be double the initial price! So price comparison isn’t all that easy!

Another thing to keep in mind is that many traders don’t send their products to all countries. Web traders should state very clearly which countries they deliver to. Many traders only deliver within their own country so this would save consumers a lot of time. Also the traders should state clearly what the delivery cost, packaging cost and other fees are. These are essential information when comparing prices.

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