In our bid to be more sustainable, pay lower prices or make some money from our used belongings, buying and selling second-hand goods in Spain is increasingly popular. Whether it’s between individuals, via the internet or an app or in specialized establishments, we all participate in the ‘pre-loved’ market. But what are your guarantees and rights when you buy or sell second-hand goods? This guide has all the answers.
Which legislation regulates buying and selling second-hand goods in Spain?
Different laws apply to different transactions. For example, if it takes place between two people, the guarantees and rights set out in the Spanish Civil Code apply. If, on the other hand, the transaction is between a person and a company, consumer protection legislation applies.
Buying second-hand goods from a company
What are the obligations for companies selling second-hand goods?
Consumer protection laws in Spain mean that companies must comply with the following:
- The final price of the product including taxes.
- The second-hand good available for purchase must be correctly labeled and include details such as the manufacturer’s data, instructions, warnings and risks of the product, composition, and CE marking. If it’s a toy, the label must state the recommended age range.
- The establishment must issue a receipt or invoice that states the product information.
- Companies must have complaint forms available for consumers. You can then file your complaint through the usual channels such a local consumer Information office, the Directorate General for Trade and Consumption or online, just as you would do if you were buying a new product.
What guarantees apply to second-hand goods bought from a company?
Second-hand goods purchased in a store have a two-year guarantee unless you have agreed to a shorter period with the store. In this case, it may not be less than one year.
Unlike new products, the guarantee does not include replacing the product if it is faulty or you aren’t happy with the purchase. A warranty for a second-hand product only allows for repair, a discounted price, or the product’s return.
What about the sale of second-hand cars in Spain?
The store must provide the following information about the vehicle:
- Model and registration number
- Whether or not it is owned by the establishment
- Date of first registration
- Service it was used for previously
What’s the guarantee on second-hand cars in Spain?
Second-hand cars have a legal guarantee of two years, which may be less if agreed, but never less than one. Within the first six months of delivery, if the car develops a fault, it’s presumed to have existed when it was delivered and it, therefore, forms part of the guarantee. So, remember that if you buy a second-hand vehicle and it breaks down within the first six months, the seller is responsible for the repair.
Read more: Car Transfers
Buying second-hand goods in Spain from an individual
What are the guarantees when you buy for an individual?
The increase in apps and websites that allow individuals to buy, sell or exchange second-hand goods has grown rapidly over the last few years. However, this type of transaction comes with fewer guarantees than those carried out in commercial establishments because it’s regulated by the Civil Code and not specific consumer legislation.
But, there are specific steps you can take to ensure you have some sort of warranty.
Ask for a receipt
When you buy something from an individual, ask for a receipt that includes:
- The seller’s full name and address.
- Date of purchase.
- A description of the product.
- The full price.
This receipt will serve as proof of purchase if you need to claim against the seller.
Know your rights
Under Spanish legislation, you have six months from the date of purchase to claim against the seller for hidden defects or issues with the product you bought. In this case, you have two options, but in both, you must prove that the defect or issue already existed in the product before you bought it. If you can do this, you may:
- Withdraw from the contract and get a full refund on the purchase.
- Or, request a reduction on the original price agreed and paid.
Did you know? A hidden defect is defined as a serious internal defect that the buyer could not be expected to notice at the time of purchase.
The good news about buying online is that you have the same guarantees and claims rights as you do when you buy a second-hand product in person at an establishment.
Right to return the goods
If you buy second-hand goods online, you have the same right to return them as you do when you buy something new. Under Spanish law, you have 14 days from receipt of the product to return the goods if you decide you don’t want them. You do not have to provide a reason for returning the product and the seller must give you a full refund.
Recommendations when buying online
- Make sure the site you are buying from is trustworthy.
- Always use a secure payment method.
- Register the seller’s details in case there is a problem.
- Find out who pays for the product’s shipping and, in the event of a problem, the return shipping costs.
Know your consumer rights
At Costaluz Lawyers, we are champions of consumer rights and have a long track record in defending them. So if you have a consumer issue and need advice on how to solve it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team.