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EU Directive on Consumer Rights

On June 13, 2014, regulations took effect in the European Union (EU) that may impact certain Etsy transactions. The regulations, which will implement the EU Directive on Consumer Rights, apply to all Etsy sellers who sell to buyers in the EU (even if an Etsy seller is based outside of the EU) and buyers based in EU member countries. Each EU Member state has adopted its own unique national laws incorporating the directive. Failure to comply with these regulations can invalidate a sale and possibly even violate the law.

Buyers residing in countries that are subject to these regulations have the right to return an item within 14 days of receiving the item. Sellers affected by the regulations must clearly inform buyers residing in these countries about their right to return an item before the buyer makes a purchase (such as in the listing or the seller’s shop policies). Failure to do so will extend the withdrawal period by an additional year, meaning that buyers will have a period of one year and 14 fourteen days in which to return the item.

This right does not extend to custom-made products and certain perishable goods, unless otherwise specified by the seller. Digital content, including artwork and patterns, may not be eligible for return. Rules governing digital content vary by EU member country.

If a buyer exercises their right to return an item, a seller must reimburse all payments, including the original shipping charges, received from the buyer. If a seller has not received returned goods from a buyer, the seller may withhold such reimbursement provided that reimbursement occurs within 14 days of receipt of the returned goods. The buyer is responsible for paying return shipping costs unless the seller has agreed to bear those costs. If a seller has not agreed to bear return costs and the item cannot, due to its nature, be returned by post, an estimate of the return costs should be included in the information provided to the buyer relating to cancellation and return.

Sellers must also provide buyers with a model withdrawal form (in other words, a cancellation form) that they can- but are not obliged to- use if they wish to return a product.

Below are links to a model withdrawal form.

German Withdrawal Form
English Withdrawal Form
French Withdrawal Form

Disclaimer: This Help article contains legal information and not legal advice. If you are uncertain which laws apply to you or you have other legal questions or concerns, please consult an attorney. The reader assumes all responsibility for any and all use of this information. This page may be updated periodically.

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