According to the ECJ, anyone who posts a series of advertisements on sales portals is not automatically considered a trader. It depends on regularity and the intention to win.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg

Whe places a series of advertisements on sales portals, is not automatically a trader within the meaning of the law. As the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in Luxembourg on Thursday, it depends on whether a person is acting in the context of their commercial, craft or professional activity. Then there are special obligations that do not apply to private sellers. (File number C-105/17)

A Bulgarian administrative court had asked the ECJ about a preliminary ruling in a legal dispute between the Bulgarian Consumer Protection Commission and an internet seller. The latter had sold a used watch via an online platform which, in the buyer’s opinion, did not correspond to the description. Therefore, the buyer wanted to send the watch back, which the seller refused. The buyer then switched on the consumer advocates.

Scheduled, regularly or with the intention of making a profit

They found that the seller had placed eight other sales advertisements simultaneously. The Commission therefore classified the seller as a trader and fined her. In the opinion of the Commission, the seller should have provided information on address data, payment, delivery and service conditions as well as warranty and right of return in all advertisements. The seller sued the Commission’s decision because she was not a trader.

After the preliminary ruling of the ECJ, the Bulgarian court must now determine whether the seller sold goods according to plan, regularly or with the intention of making a profit. For example, an offer limited to a few goods and the technical skills of the seller could speak for this. If so, the seller would have committed an administrative offense.