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Sales at trade fairs and the right of withdrawal?

This post is also available in: Deutsch

In online retailing, the issue of the right of withdrawal is actually dead in the water. Anyone who sells products online must inform the customer about their right of withdrawal. But what about buyers at trade shows? Z. For example, at GamesCom, Dreamhack or other public trade fairs?

This depends on whether the booth is “business premises.” To determine when this is the case, the Federal Court of Justice recently called on the European Court of Justice to clarify whether an exhibition stand used by an entrepreneur to sell his products constitutes “business premises”.

In this regard, the ECJ ruled that this would depend significantly on the appearance of the trade fair stand.

In the view of the ECJ, this is the case if an exhibition stand presents itself in the eyes of an average consumer as a place where the entrepreneur usually carries out his activities, so that such a consumer can reasonably expect that he will be approached for commercial purposes when he goes there.

It therefore depends on whether it is clearly evident to the customer that it is a sales booth. Thus, if it presents itself in the eyes of the average consumer as a place where an entrepreneur offers goods for sale, it constitutes a business premises, so that the consumer’s right of withdrawal is excluded. So, if we are talking about booths at trade fairs that are only for sales, as a seller you don’t have to worry about the right of withdrawal.

However, if it is a normal exhibition stand, which primarily serves to advertise its own products, it should not be business premises. The reason lies in the meaning and purpose of the right of withdrawal. The latter should not feel psychologically pressured outside business premises that a seller offers him goods.

Consequently, this must of course also apply to services. If, for example, an agency or an online platform or other service is advertised, it is better to think about the clarification regarding the right of withdrawal in the event of a sale or registration on this platform. If this is missing, not only warnings can threaten, but customers can also revoke the concluded contracts almost indefinitely.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


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