Co-funded by
the European Union
European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office


Online Shopping: avoid bad surprises under the Christmas tree

Do you want to surprise your family and friends with Christmas presents and not spend too much? Then the Internet can be helpful. The European Consumer Center Italy (ECC) informs you about to what you should pay attention when shopping on the Internet.
The selection is huge on the Internet and you can also save a lot of money, but you should keep in mind that delays may occur during delivery, and the retailer may not be able to send the gifts for the promised delivery date. This is why it is important to order as early as possible to not be under the Christmas tree with empty hands.

A further tip of the ECC is connected with this advice: This concerns the right of withdrawal. This must be requested also during Christmas time within 14 days from the date of delivery. So this period may have already expired at Christmas when you get the gifts. For this reason, you should ask your loved ones for their wishes before ordering. Attention: there is not always a right of withdrawal! For example, in the case of custom-made goods, as well as in the case of leisure contracts for which the service is to be effected on a specific date or during a certain period, such as concert tickets, package tours, flights. There is also no right of rescission if a sealed product (for example: CD, DVD, computer game) has been opened. Information on the exercise of the right of wtihdrawal can be found in our e-commerce brochure (only in Italian and German).

Now some more tips for safe online Christmas shopping:

  • Inform yourself about the seller before ordering (enter the name of the website in a search engine).
  • Caution at particularly cheap offers: Nothing is for free!
  • The website should contain at least the contact details of the company (postal address, telephone number, e-mail address), information on price, payment, right of withdrawal and legal guarantee.
  • When paying, you should avoid prepayment; Otherwise we recommend a secure payment method like credit card or Paypal.
  • Please read the product description carefully and ask the dealer if in doubt.
  • Print out all documents from purchase and keep them; Make screenshots during the ordering process.
  • If the packaging looks damaged at the time of delivery, you should accept the goods in any case only "with reservation" (con riserva) or refuse it. Be sure to provide the reason for the reservation or refusal (eg "package corrupted").
  • Please check immediately after delivery if goods are working, if all is complete and corresponds to the product description, otherwise you should complain immediately by letter.

For further information, please refer to the ECC brochure on e-commerce (only in Italian and German). In addition, the ECC provides information under the telephone number 0471/980939 and

Press information
Bolzano, 21.11.2016