Sellers of professional or private goods who sell to consumers in Switzerland are affected by these rights, taking into account all of the following rules: 

  1. Consumers are protected not only by the justice system, but also by consumer protection associations. 
  2. Non-professional consumers have difficulty interpreting ambiguous restrictive clauses, and so often do not consent to them validly, rendering them null and void. 
  3. Consumers have more rights than professional buyers, and your duty to inform them is more extensive. 
  4. Consumers are in principle protected by more favourable rules in their country of domicile, unless they travel abroad to buy, and international sales may therefore involve more extensive rights than are available in Switzerland. This is particularly true of the European Union, which gives consumers more rights. 

In what follows, we’ll outline the main legal rules you need to be aware of in terms of consumer rights in Switzerland. Here are the key points to remember: 



To better manage the rules governing consumers’ main rights, here are a few golden recommendations to bear in mind: 

  1. Please clearly state whether you intend to sell only to professionals or also to consumers. Different rules must be followed and applied. Our templates allow you to deal separately with the rights of consumers and those of professional buyers. 
  2. Clearly assess whether or not you wish to offer online products to consumers in other countries. In this case, we recommend that you create another web domain with terms and conditions adapted to these countries. 
  3. Don’t forget to include the necessary information about the merchant and the products on the website. Pay particular attention to prices and charges or taxes. 
  4. Make sure that the buttons on the website are clear and unambiguous, and that you clearly state the order summary before confirming it. 

To protect yourself against consumer complaints, you can use our model sales contracts. 

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Sellers of professional or private goods, whether they sell to consumers or businesses in Switzerland, are affected by the rules on delivery and liability. 

Here are the main points to be aware of under Swiss law: 

Any private individual who sells goods privately is also affected, since the seller’s liability is not reduced if you are not a professional. 

Now that we have an overview of the context, let’s look at the main legal rules governing delivery times. Here are a few key points to bear in mind: 

The deadline therefore relates to the handover of the goods to the carrier and not to the buyer. 



To avoid disputes linked to late delivery, here are our recommendations: 

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In Switzerland, the seller’s liability for defects in goods applies to all sellers of goods, whether they are selling to consumers or businesses, and whether they are professionals or private individuals. 

Here are the different rules governing this responsibility: 

  1. The seller is liable for defects even if he is not at fault or was unaware of them. 
  2. Although the seller’s liability is often limited, there are limits. 
  3. The contract of sale must not only regulate how the transaction will proceed if all goes well, but above all must provide for and resolve in advance all issues relating to defects, their discovery, repair and the buyer’s rights, as well as limiting these rights as far as possible. 
  4. The absence of a written sales contract does not mean that you, as the seller, do not undertake to guarantee the quality of the goods sold. 

Any private individual who sells second-hand goods privately is also affected, since the seller’s liability is not reduced in the case of used goods, but specific safeguards can and must be stipulated in the contract. 

Main rules governing the seller’s liability for defects 

The following is a list of the main legal rules on the seller’s liability for defects in Switzerland. Here are the main points to bear in mind: 

In the event of cancellation of the sale, if the defective item has perished as a result of its defects or an act of God, the buyer is only obliged to return what remains of the item. For the rest, the buyer is obliged to keep the item and examine it regularly, and cannot simply return it to the seller without further formality. 

Liability for defects passes to the buyer at the time of transfer of risk. The time specified in the contract – for example, handover to the carrier or delivery – is decisive. After this point, the seller is not liable for the loss, damage, theft or destruction of the goods. 



In this final section, we’ll give you some recommendations on how best to manage your liability for defects as a seller in Switzerland. Here is our advice: 

All these options are available in our various sales contract models.

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