The regulations governing online purchases do not apply to transactions between two consumers.

Situations do however arise where merchants do not reveal the commercial nature of their activities when selling goods on classified advertisements Web sites. They are referred to as «false private vendors». They pose as private vendors, in other words, people who are not business owners.

Risk of being denied your rights

If you purchase goods from a false private vendor, you could be denied several of your rights. This is part of the reason why merchants try to hide the true nature of their activities. In addition, these merchants often cover up the poor quality of the goods they sell.

How to recognize false private vendors

Are you, for example, looking for a used car in the classified ads? Check to see if a phone number appears several times. Many classified advertisement sites provide a function that allows you to see all advertisements from the same person. This tool can help you to recognize false private vendors.

Here are some other clues to help determine if the seller is a false private vendor:

  • they claim to be selling goods for another person;
  • they are reluctant to meet you at their home;
  • they have several similar items for sale;
  • they offer to do the transfer of ownership themselves, in the case of a used car.

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Last update : May 25, 2021

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.