If a consumer bought a product from an overseas business such as; buying watches on eBay from a business in Hong Kong, or buying books or DVDs from London then you should be aware of the following steps:
Step 1: Know your rights
The business must comply with the laws of their own country. They may also have their own refunds and returns policy with additional rights. The Australian Consumer Law applies to anyone conducting business within Australia - this includes overseas businesses. However, if a business is overseas, you may experience difficulties in obtaining a refund, repair or replacement for your product.
Find out more about consumer protection in other countries by visiting Worldwide competition and consumer protection authorities
Step 2 - Contact the business
Contact the business to try and resolve the issue. This may include putting your concerns in writing to the seller.
Step 3 - Taker your complaint further
If the business does not resolve your issue, then you may wish to take the complaint further. What you do next will depend on how you paid for the item.
|Payment method||What to do|
|You bought through an online auction house, such as eBay||If the consumer bought products or services from an online auction site, such as eBay or Gumtree, they should first refer to the complaint options available on the website.|
|You paid via PayPal||Consumers may be covered by PayPal’s Buyer Protection. You can lodge your complaint through PayPal's Resolution Centre within 180 days of paying for the item.|
|You paid via credit card||Contact your bank or financial institution to organise a chargeback. This reverses the credit card charge, similar to a refund.|
|You paid via online cash transfer||If consumers used cash transfer or direct deposit into the seller's bank account, it can be difficult to track the money. In this case, consumers should contact the police.|
This page has been produced and published by the Consumer Building and Occupational Services Division of the Department of Justice. Although every care has been taken in production, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the user's purpose of the information. Those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the relevant government department, local government body or other source and to obtain any appropriate professional advice. The Crown, its officers, employees and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information and/or reliance on its availability at any time.