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Are you a trader?

There are no hard and fast rules in law as to who is considered a trader. You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I selling my personal property? If you buy goods to resell them you could be classed as a trader
  • Do I attend car boot sales regularly? The more you do the more likely you are to be classed as a trader
  • Do I pay someone to work with me? If you employ someone to sell for you, you could be classed as a trader

If you are a trader then please see the latest guidance on the Chartered Trading Standards Institute's, Business Companion web site.

If you are not a trader

If you are genuinely a private seller you will not have to comply with the legal controls detailed in the guidance from the Business Companion website, however there are exceptions: for example if you describe goods falsely in any way then you may commit an offence.

Electrical Goods

  • Ensure electrical goods are safe, you should avoid selling electrical fires and irons.
  • Check the flex cords for wear and tear and make sure wires are not exposed.
  • The cord grip must be fitted correctly.
  • Do not change the plugs on items unless you are a qualified electrician


Look over toys, check they are no sharp points or that small parts can not be pulled off. If you still have the packaging sell the toy in it.

Second Hand Furniture

This must comply with the same rules as new furniture. Make sure all the furniture labels are present

A number of goods are covered by specific legislation if in doubt do not sell the item until you have sought advice.

Are you planning to organise a car boot sale?

Then please see our temporary markets or car boot sales page.