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The Sale of Goods Act 1979


When you buy goods you enter into a contract with the seller of those goods.

Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 goods must be:

  • the sellers to sell
  • as described
  • of satisfactory quality
  • fit for purpose made known – this means both their everyday purpose, and also any specific purpose that you agreed with the seller (for example, if you specifically asked for a printer that would be compatible with your computer).
  • Goods sold must also match any sample you were shown in-store, or any description in a brochure.

In most cases, your rights are against the retailer – the company that sold you the product – not the manufacturer, and so you must make any claim against the retailer. However, if you have bought something on hire purchase (HP), it is the HP company that is responsible.

If you have a problem with goods that you have purchased, that fall under any of the above reasons,  you have several possible remedies, depending on the circumstances and on what you want done.

For a full description of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and what you can do if you have a problem please see the following link to The Sale of Goods Fact Sheet.

View the Office of Fair Trading's consumer friendly Sale of Goods flow chart on your rights.

Funded by BIS

The European Consumer Centre for Services is hosted by the Trading Standards Institute and funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.