Be alert to sales of goods from vans

Published Date: 

15 Sep 2017 - 14:17

HOUSEHOLDERS are being warned to be wary of unknown traders selling items from the back of vans.

It comes from Argyll and Bute Council’s Trading Standards team following reports of sellers operating in the area in recent days.

Policy Lead for Planning and Regulatory Services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: “We are asking everyone to be careful if they are offered goods from the back of a van.

“There are regulations in place to protect consumers but if you buy something from an unknown van, you may find it hard to get a replacement or refund if goods are faulty.

“If you don’t know who they are or where they’re based, you’ve little hope of redress.

“If you believe there are unscrupulous operators in your area, please contact your local police station or Police Scotland on 101.

“You can also get further advice from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.

“Be aware of your rights – it may look like a bargain but might turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth.”

Anyone selling goods – in this case believed to be items such as generators and lawnmowers – is legally bound to provide you with a written notice entitling you to cancel the purchase within 14 days. Traders who do not face fines of up to £5,000.

Trading Standards’ advice is that anyone approached by a stranger offering to sell goods directly to you on the street or your doorstep should proceed with caution – if the items are faulty the buyer has no way of contacting the seller. Be careful of any seller who does not give a name, UK contact address or phone number. All businesses who approach a consumer on their doorstep must by law provide details of their name and address.

Take particular care if buying electrical items – if they are sold in the UK they must bear a CE mark to show they comply with European safety legislation.

Councillor Kinniburgh added: “Never feel you are under any obligation to buy items from someone on the doorstep. It is always your decision to buy or not – don’t be pressured and report anything that causes you concern.”