Cooling-off period

Are you buying a product or service online? In most cases you are entitled to a cooling-off period of 14 days in which you may cancel a purchase for any reason and without a justification. The seller may not charge any costs for the returning of the online purchase. 

The European Consumer Center provides you with free legal advice about the cooling-off period of crossborder online purchuses and mediates when you have a conflict with an entrepreneur in a different EU country, Norway or Iceland. On our website you will find tips and sample letters that helps you to move forward.

Cooling-off period, ECC Netherlands

Good to know

What exceptions are there pertaining to the cooling-off period?

The cooling-off period does not apply to all products and services. These exceptions are outlined in the legislation. The cooling-off period does not apply to:

  • Products that were made especially for you, e.g. a tailored suit;
  • Audio and video products and software with a broken seal, e.g. CDs and DVDs;
  • Products that cannot be returned for hygienic or health reasons, e.g. undergarments and swimwear;
  • Services such as holiday accommodations, transport, car rentals, catering and recreation activities with a predetermined date or period;
  • Services that can be used immediately.

If you have a question about your rights when buying online or about the cooling-off period and the answer is not found on this website, feel free to contact one of our legal advisers.


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I want to return my purchased items. What amount will be reimbursed?

If you inform the trader that you want to use your right to withdraw, the full amount needs to be reimbursed within 14 days:

  • The amount of your purchase;
  • The costs for the delivery;
  • Any other fees you had to pay to get the product delivered at your house.

However, you are obliged to pay for the return shipment. But only if the trader has informed you about that obligation when you placed the order.



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The seller is required to provide information about the cooling-off period

If there is a cooling-off period, the seller is required to inform you of this. Furthermore, they must also provide you with the following information:

  • The duration of the cooling-off period;
  • How you can invoke the cooling-off period;
  • The conditions that apply to invoking the cooling-off period;
  • The costs of returning the product;
  • A standard cancellation form.

Even if there is no cooling-off period, the seller must inform you of this. If the seller does not or not sufficiently inform you of this, the cooling-off period and all associated rights are extended by a period of up to 12 months.

If you have a question about the cooling-off period of a product and the answer is not found on this website, feel free to contact one of our legal advisers.


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