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Communtity Law Manual | Consumer protection | Protections when buying privately

Protections when buying privately


You’re not protected by the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 or the Fair Trading Act 1986 when you buy goods privately, rather than from a shop or other business. So the guarantees and protections under those Acts don’t cover you if, for example, you buy through a newspaper advertisement or garage sale, or from a private person on Trade Me or from a neighbour.

However, when you buy privately you may have some protections under the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 or under the common law (judge-made law) for contracts.

Note: The Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 has been in force since 1 September 2017. This new Act didn’t change the law on private sales, it was simply meant to restate the old law in a clearer, more modern way. Until September 2017, this area of law was still covered by the Contractual Remedies Act 1979 (for misleading statements) and the Sale of Goods Act 1908 (for when a private seller doesn’t have clear ownership).

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