What Are The Rules For Mail Order Sales?
- Since many catalogs contain pictures of enlarged items, check the text of the advertisement to be sure of the actual size of the item.
- Be aware that the quality of the product may be lower than it appears in the ad. This is particularly true of offbrand merchandise. Find out if the same product is sold locally so that you can see if the quality meets your expectations.
- The performance of the product may not match the ad's claims. Weightloss and bodyenhancing products are especially notorious for misrepresentations. The more outrageous the claim, the more likely the product will not live up to it.
- Make sure you will receive everything that is pictured. Often several items are shown in the photograph but only one or two of them are actually sent to you. Doublecheck the text of the ad before ordering to see if it lists exactly what you are paying for; don't rely on the picture alone.
- Beware of price comparisons using "list prices" or "suggested retail prices." Often, as a promotional tool, a seller will compare the price of a product to the "list price." Usually, the seller's price is a significant reduction for the "list," making it look like quite a bargain. However, before you assume that you are saving money, check with a local retailer. The same product may be available in a local store for the same "low" price (with no postage or handling charges). Since few items are ever sold at the "list price," compare the seller's price to an actual price before ordering by mail.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.