Buying and selling goods yourself is now a reality. Thanks to technology, one can easily purchase or sell a variety of items. What can you do, however, if you’re not satisfied with a transaction?

Here are a few practical tips:

Point out the flaw and demand compensation

The first thing to do is to identify the item’s flaw, or problem, or inform the buyer that the payment has not been received in full. Ask the latter to act to fix the problem, i.e., ask for the payment, a reimbursement or to send you the item. Negotiating amicably is always the cheapest and quickest solution (when it works, of course).

Practical tip 1: we recommend that you use methods of communication that leave a paper trail, such as email. If things escalate between the parties, you will be able to use the email exchange as evidence to prove your point.

Practical tip 2: it is possible that the Law protects you and that you could benefit from a reimbursement. Be careful, however, as in some circumstances, you may have a short deadline to ask for the compensation (sometimes as short as 7 days). We therefore recommend that you don’t waste any time and immediately notify the other party or merchant who sold you the good.

Bought something online? You have rights!

There are specific regulations that protect consumers when they purchase something online from a merchant rather than from a private individual. Under specific conditions set out in the Law, it is possible to cancel a transaction without costs.

If everything is in order and you meet the conditions and the deadlines, the merchant must reimburse you within 15 days as well as pay for the shipping costs for the merchandise’s return.

For more information we recommend you verify whether you are in fact protected by your provincial consumer protection laws.

The other party does not want to pay or compensate you? Send a demand letter!

If negotiating does not lead to a successful outcome and you are not dealing with a merchant, you still have a recourse against someone who does not respect his contractual obligations. We recommend that you send them a demand letter to obtain what you are owed! For more information regarding demand letters, click here.

The other party does not want to negotiate? You should still open up an online communication channel!

Despite the deadlock, we still recommend that you try to negotiate online on Even when parties think they are in a gridlock, the majority of disputes do settle anyway. It is crucial to keep an open communication channel with the other party. This is precisely what BidSettle’s online negotiation tool can do.

Still in a deadlock? Submit a legal action.

Because of costs associated with a trial, this option is reserved for situations in which higher amounts are at play. However, commencing your legal procedures doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to finish them. Submitting a legal action keeps your options open and also demonstrates to the opposing party that your intentions are very serious.

Practical tips: take a moment to properly evaluate the costs associated with a legal action. We do not provide legal advice or opinions on this blog so when in doubt, please consult a lawyer. We can refer you to a lawyer!

This text explains in a general manner the law that applies and does not constitute a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, write to us and we will refer you to a lawyer.