Trading Standards Officers at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are asking the Administrators of local social media selling sites to be aware of sellers who regularly sell on their sales sites.
A spokesperson said:
"There may be situations where individuals who appear to be consumers selling products to other consumers could in fact be either traders themselves or acting on behalf of traders.
Consumers have less protection in law should goods fail or not perform correctly when they buy from private sellers. Traders who conceal their identity in order to avoid their legal responsibilities by falsely claiming or by creating the impression that they are a private seller, may be in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008."
In taking into consideration if someone is a trader, Courts can look at criteria such as
· Whether the seller purchases products in order to resell them.
· Whether the seller has a profit seeking motive
· The number, amount and frequency of transactions
By advertising sales on behalf of Traders, the Administrators of selling sites may themselves become subject to Consumer protection legislation.
Further guidance can be found on the European Commission website: Consumer Protection (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)