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Thinking of buying online? Here’s a few helpful tips…

Recent years have seen massive growth in online retail sales. In many product groups this is straight forward after all a book is a book or a CD is the same wherever you buy it from. However, there are many other product areas where life is a little more complicated such as the bathroom. Here there are many choices to be made and it can be a more difficult path to tread.

Retail showrooms are a good source of knowledge, choice and can generally guide you on your way. You also have the added comfort of being able to see products in the ‘flesh’ to touch and feel them, which will help you make your decision.

As with many new routes to market there are good and bad suppliers that come to market and online bathroom retail is no exception. But to help you choose we’ve put together some tips that will lead you down the right track:-

1. Check to see if the bath is CE marked and compliant with EN 14516* to be fit for purpose and sale within the European Union

2. Trustpilot or similar independent review sites are a good indication of how a website performs and services its’ customers

3. Good online retailers will prominently display their name, address and often their company & VAT registration numbers – it gives confidence when you know they are ‘bricks & mortar’ and not just out there somewhere in the ‘ether’

4. Make sure you have the retailer’s telephone contact numbers and email addresses should you have any problems

5. Under the EU Directive on Distance Selling law, prior to making any purchase, the online reseller must provide you with & then confirm in writing (or any other means you have access to such as email or SMS text) and it helps to keep a copy for reference should it be needed at a later date:-

a. The main characteristics of the goods or services

b. The price of the goods or services including all taxes

c. Delivery costs, where appropriate

d. The arrangements for payment, delivery or performance

e. The existence of a right of withdrawal for you the customer

f. Their returns policy

g. The period for which the price remains valid

6. Remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is

*This standard specifies requirements, test methods and procedures for evaluation of conformity of baths used for domestic purposes and personal hygiene, which ensures that the product, when installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, will satisfy requirements for cleanability and durability within the European Union. This document is applicable to all sizes and shapes of baths.