benefit from various protections under the Sale of Goods Act 1979.
This Act was updated and amended by the Sale and Supply of Goods
Act 1994. To benefit you must have entered into a contract
of sale. Section 2(1) of the 1979 Act defines this
as: a contract by which the seller transfers or agrees to
transfer the property in goods to the buyer for a money
consideration, called the price.
Section 14 of the 1979 Act may impose various implied terms
into your contract of sale. Two important statutory implied terms
relate to satisfactory quality
and goods being reasonably fit for
any particular purpose for
which they were bought.
Section 1 of the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 substantially
updated section 14 of the 1979 Act. Satisfactory quality
is now defined by section 14(2A) - goods are of
satisfactory quality if they meet the standard that a reasonable
person would regard as satisfactory, taking account of any
description of the goods, the price (if relevant) and all the other
Satisfactory quality is further defined by section
14(2B) of the 1979 Act, so that the quality of goods includes
their state and condition and the following (among others) are in
appropriate cases aspects of the quality of goods
for all purposes for which goods of the kind in question are
(b) appearance and finish,
freedom from minor defects,
If you buy goods described as second
hand it would not be reasonable in terms of section
14(2A) to expect the quality of new goods.
Goods also have to be fit for
their purpose. If you make your particular purpose
for the goods known to a seller, this may create an implied term
of contract in other words there may be a legal
implication that the goods are reasonably fit for that purpose
(even if that purpose is not the purpose for which the goods are
commonly supplied see section 14(3) of the 1979 Act).
If good are not of a satisfactory
quality or reasonably
fit for their purpose the law provides you with remedies.
Legal remedies or options include the right to reject the goods
(return them and ask for a refund section 15B, 1979 Act),
and/or seek damages and treat the contract as repudiated (ended).
It is important that you intimate your intention to reject goods as
soon as possible if in doubt you should obtain formal legal
advice. You can obtain legal assistance and representation
from a local law centre, or local firm of solicitors. Your local
trading standards department may be able to help you with more
consumer rights information.