Different sales methods

Catalog, telephone sales, network marketing.

Telephone sales

Many retailers offer their products and services over the phone. Although ordering goods and services in this way is convenient and perhaps cheaper, you need to be careful.

If the parties conclude a contract by telephone, the consumer will only be bound by the obligations entered into during the call if the trader has confirmed the contract and the consumer has confirmed his intention to make a purchase in a reproducible form. If the trader breaches this obligation, no claims can be made against the consumer, unless the contract is concluded at the initiative of the consumer.

  • Read the Terms. If you order a product or service by phone, you may not fully understand the terms of the offer and may not remember all the information provided during the sales call. It is important to specify whether it is a one-time or recurring service.
  • Find out the final price of the product or service. The seller may add the shipping cost to the cost of the product or service. If it is a recurring service, remember that each additional package will incur new costs.

Ask how you can return the ordered goods or cancel the service if it does not suit you. Do this even if the seller has already notified you.

  • Think about it. Before you say a clear yes, evaluate your financial situation and the necessity of the product or service. Take some time to think to avoid buying on the basis of emotion. If the sales representative behaves in an annoying way and influences you to conclude a deal, this is an unfair trading practice.
  • Acceptance of the contract is only binding for you if you have confirmed your will to the dealer by e-mail or letter. In other words, the dealer cannot send you products until you have received a telephone confirmation.
  • Check the materials when you receive the product or have used the service; carefully read all the materials provided or sent to you. You will learn how to indicate that you wish to cancel the product or service you have ordered or that you do not wish to engage in a recurring service in the future. Retailers may offer a free trial package on the first order.
  • Specify the terms and conditions. Find out if the trial package is a one-time free order or if you are starting to receive the products consistently - in which case you will have to pay for it.
  • If you have received a free trial package and do not want any more in the future, contact the dealer immediately and tell him that you want to refuse.
  • However, when the next parcel arrives, you must return it immediately. You do not have to bear the cost of returning the parcel.
  • If you have not ordered the goods on offer, but still receive a package and an invoice, do not ignore it. Tell the dealer that you are cancelling the shipment. Otherwise, you may soon receive a financial claim from a debt collection agency, but by then it is too late to give up the package and you will still have to pay for it.


  • Your verbal consent to the conclusion of the contract during the sales interview is not binding on you.
  • The trader is obliged to send you the terms and conditions of the contract in writing before he receives your "yes."
  • You have the right to withdraw from a product or service ordered by telephone within 14 days without giving reasons.

Network marketing

Network marketing or referral marketing is a form of direct sales that operates on the principle that a person who joins the system invites another person to sell the products of the system. In addition to the revenue from the sale of products or services, they can also receive a share of the profits of the persons involved. It is important that the system is based on the sale of a genuine product or service and that the fee charged to consumers comes only from the sale. Otherwise, it is a pyramid scheme.

A pyramid scheme is a system in which people earn by involving other people and benefit from those who join the pyramid scheme, in which the real products are not sold or the prices of the products are unreasonably high.

It would be best if you were skeptical about joining network marketing systems. However, if you want to join the network, you should do the groundwork.

  • Research the background. Check what the network is doing. Find out if the focus is on recruiting new employees, for example.
  • Indicate the costs. Find out how high the so-called start-up fee is when you join. In the case of network marketing, it is quite low and mainly covers the start-up costs. When you participate in a pyramid scheme, you usually have to pay an unreasonably high connection fee.
  • Read the contract. Be sure to read all the terms and conditions before signing it. Pay particular attention to the options for cancellation. Also, find out if the company will buy your products or shares when you leave the company.


When you join the network, you are no longer a consumer and are no longer protected by consumer rights. Therefore, the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority cannot help you to withdraw from the contract or in case of problems.

Catalog sales

Ordering products from the catalog is an alternative to buying in a normal store. If you decide to order clothing, household appliances or other items from the catalog, you should be careful.

  • Think rationally: When ordering clothes from the catalog, do not pay attention to what the clothes in the picture look like. Consider carefully whether a particular item of clothing is right for you. Remember that the object in the picture may not look the same in reality.
  • Keep track of the sizes. Clothing and shoe sizes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so you should choose a size based on the catalog size chart, not the sizes you normally buy.
  • Read the terms and conditions. Read all the terms and instructions related to the order from the catalog. If you have any questions, contact the company by phone or email.
  • Before placing an order, evaluate your financial situation and the necessity of the product for you. Take time to think to avoid that you buy because of emotions. Also compare prices and conditions of other suppliers.
  • Check the final price of the product. Often, shipping costs are added to the cost of the product. Also, consider whether the size of the product or other parameters affect the final price or shipping costs.
  • Check the delivery. Upon receipt of the ordered product, check immediately whether you have received the goods that meet all the parameters specified in the catalog.


  • It would be best to be skeptical about so-called miracle products such as miracle creams, especially if the effect of their use is significantly exaggerated.
  • Prefer traders who use a ransom service, where you pay the order to a courier or a post office upon their arrival at you.
  • If the catalog offers products in installments, remember that installments represent a financial obligation.
  • You have the right to withdraw from the catalog business without giving reasons within 14 days of receipt of the goods.

Out-of-company contracts

An out-of-company contract is a contract concluded at the place of residence or workplace of the consumer, in public transport, on the road or at leisure events.

Although it may seem easy and convenient to make purchases in this way, you should be aware that your rights are slightly different from those of a consumer shopping in a normal shop.

Before concluding the contract, the entrepreneur must provide you with detailed information about the goods or services to be purchased and the contractual conditions, as well as the usual instructions for withdrawal from the contract in accordance with the regulation approved by the Minister of Justice.

In the case of an out-of-company contract, it may also be possible to pay in installments.

In accordance with the Code of Obligations, you have the right to withdraw from an out-of-company contract within 14 days of receipt of the goods or, in the case of a service, after conclusion of the contract.

If the trader has not informed you of the right of withdrawal, you can do so within 12 months of receiving the goods or the conclusion of the service contract.

If you withdraw from the contract, the trader must return the money paid to you immediately, but no later than 14 days after the cancellation of the contract. You must return the goods to the trader within the same time.

In addition, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the seller if goods that do not comply with the terms of the contract, such as if the purchased goods no longer function properly within two years of receipt of the goods. If the trader or service provider refuses to resolve your complaint or you do not agree with the solution it proposes, you can contact the Consumer Dispute Committee to resolve the dispute.


  • The terms of an out-of-company contract do not apply if the goods or services you purchase cost 20 euros or less.
  • For some items, it is advisable to check the availability of possible spare parts, e.g. where and at what price vacuum cleaner filters can be purchased.
  • The dealer must provide you with a properly executed proof of purchase. If it is a technically complex product or requires special knowledge in use, please ask for the operating instructions.
  • Such a trading practice, in which a sales representative ignores your request to leave your home and not return when you visit your home, is prohibited by law. It is also prohibited to explicitly inform you that refusing to buy goods or services endangers the trader's job or income.
  • Be sure to inform the management of the company about such cases and sales methods.

Last updated: 08.04.2021