Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of Man Government Crest


Isle of Man Government Office of Fair Trading

The Advantages of Buying On-Island

“Buying local” should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the moment. Buying local allows money to be kept on the Island which protects local businesses, local jobs and our economy. What are the advantages to consumers? There are quite a few.

Consumer rights law states that:-

All goods bought in the Isle of Man and from the UK have to be:-

  • as described – they must fit the description given by the seller
  • of satisfactory quality – they are reasonably finished, are safe, and will last for a reasonable length of time
  • fit for the purpose – they do the job they are supposed to do

So what is the advantage in “buying local”?

Buying on the Island

  • You can physically see the goods and try them on or try out them out
  • You can usually take them home with you that day
  • Obtaining refunds or exchanging goods if required is generally straightforward in the case of faulty goods
  • There are virtually no costs in taking goods “back to the shop”
  • In the rare case of a dispute with a local trader the OFT may be able to mediate between you and the trader so that you do not have to rely on UK trading standards services which may not regard your case as a priority
  • If you are sold counterfeit or unsafe goods by a local trader the trader is likely to remain on the Island making it easier for the OFT to investigate and take action

Buying in the UK

Although those consumer rights set out above still apply to those purchases made in the UK you should be aware that if things go wrong and you have to return goods you will have to pay for this as the law is quite clear that it becomes your responsibility to return items to the retailer. The retailer does not have to pay for return postage or arrange for faulty items to be collected.

This could of course be expensive with larger items. Also bear in mind when buying a large item that it may need servicing or repairing at a later date so before you buy off-Island make sure that there is a local service agent.

Buying goods from abroad

Remember that if you have problems like faulty goods or non-delivery, it might be difficult to get your complaint dealt with. Although your contract will probably be covered by UK law if you paid for the goods using a major credit card, getting money out of a company based abroad may be impractical.

For that reason, give careful consideration to buying expensive items from companies outside the UK or Europe unless you know them well.

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