Know your rights: Shopping online

I bought presents online during the Black Friday sales. Can I get a refund if I’m not happy with them when they arrive?

When you buy online from a seller based in Ireland or elsewhere in the EU, you have strong protections under consumer law. This is because you do not enter the contract in person and you cannot check the products before you buy.

Your rights are the same whether the item was bought at full price or on sale.

What are my cancellation rights?

You have 14 calendar days to change your mind without having to give a reason. This is known as the ‘cooling-off period’.

If you bought a product online your 14 day ‘cooling-off period’ starts when you get the product.

Does my right to cancel apply to all online purchases?

The cooling-off period does not apply to certain purchases. Examples are leisure services such as hotel bookings, car rental or concert tickets or if the product was made especially for you.

How do I cancel?

Before the end of your ‘cooling-off period’, let the seller know in writing that you want to cancel. You can do this by email or post, or by using the cancellation form provided by the seller.

You do not have to give a reason for cancellation, but you may have to pay for the cost of returning the goods.

When will I get my refund?

You must be refunded within 14 days of cancellation, including standard delivery costs. The seller may not process the refund until they have proof that you sent the goods back.

Brexit and buying online from a UK business

If you are buying online from a UK trader, your consumer rights remain the same during the transition period (until 31 December 2020). You should keep in mind that after the transition period those rights may change. You can find out more about shopping online on

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on