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Thursday , August 13 2020

Be careful when dealing with sellers on Instagram – Consumer Protection Dept takes action against fraudulent traders

THE Commercial Law governs small businesses but people usually put up their own business without paying attention to the rules stipulated in this law, so they end up in an illegal situation and they could be penalized.

I have noticed the extensive use of Instagram as a method of promoting a business and tons of fraudulent deals as consumers do not see the products with their own eyes, they generally decide to buy just by looking at the pictures.  This is where the Commercial Law applies: when a vendor sells a bogus or broken item or if the item does not match the buyer’s request, the Consumer Protection Department takes action against the seller by obligating him to refund the amount paid by the buyer and take back the defective item.  The department also penalizes the erring seller.

Unfortunately, when buying from an Instagrammer whose identity is unknown and has no main shop where the buyer can find him; the process of finding and penalizing him could be hard for the Consumer Protection Department.  They might end up not finding him; thus, my advice for those are buying from sellers on Instagram is to be careful about whom they are dealing with.

For sellers who do business on Instagram, it is very important to know the Commercial Law in order to avoid legal problems.  The Ministry of Commerce should issue a license for you to do business; otherwise, your business will not be protected by the law no matter how difficult the situation you are in.   Actually, you will be in an illegal situation and will be penalized.

For deals that are not considered commercial such as when selling an item for one time only, the Civil Law is applied, not the Commercial Law.

Since some sellers sell their items on Instagram only once, it is legal for them to do so even if they did not get a license from the Ministry of Commerce.

Email: lawyeratyabalshatti@gmail.com

By Atyab Alshatti, Esq.

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