Do you want to order a product online in order to benefit from a vast choice? Be careful, because more and more online sellers are practising “drop-shipping”. In the context of drop-shipping the online shop has no storage space or stock itself. Your order is forwarded to a foreign marketplace, supplier or wholesaler. Drop-shipping websites are completely legal and are regularly promoted by influencers on social media networks. Unfortunately, this practice can lead to very bad surprises such as very long delivery times and poor quality products. Moreover, in cases ofincurring a problem it can be quite difficult to seeyour consumer rights enforced even if the drop-shipper is legally responsible for your purchase.
How do I recognize drop-shipping?
Check the general terms and conditions of the website to find out where the company is located or where you can return the products to. You should always choose companies based within the European Union as it is easier to enforce European consumer law in such instances (right of withdrawal, legal guarantee of conformity, etc.).
What are the disadvantages of drop-shipping?
As the products are shipped directly from suppliers located outside the European Union, delivery times are often very long and customs duties and other taxes may apply. In addition, the quality of the products is not always good and you may even end up receiving counterfeit products.
Even if there is a legal responsibility of the seller in case of a problem (non-delivery, late delivery, defective product, etc.), the ephemeral nature of websites promoted over a short period of time by the influencers of the moment, most often prevents you from benefiting from quality post-salesservices.
What can I do in case of problem?
First of all, it is important to contact the seller to try to find an amicable solution. If there is no response or if no amicable solution is reached, you can contact the European Consumer Centre in your country of residence. If no amicable solution can be found and provided you paid by credit card, you can contact your bank to request a refund via the chargeback procedure.