These businesses tend to work on a model of convenience and instant access to credit. The 'get it now and pay later' method they use can appeal to consumers who do not have easy access to transport or credit.
The mobile trader business model is usually based on selling goods on credit at higher prices than offered by traditional retail stores.
It is important that you know how much the total price of your goods will be as well as the weekly price. For example a pair of shoes could be paid off over six months at $10 per week. This may not seem much but the end price could end up being $260 instead of $70 for the same shoes on the high street.
Tips when buying from a mobile trader
If a salesperson knocks on your door or calls unexpectedly and you are unsure if you want to purchase something or don't fully understand the offer – don't feel pressured, just say no.
Make sure you know what the goods are, when you will get them, the total amount you will pay, the end date for your payments and what will happen if you can't meet payments.
You will have a short right of cancellation depending on the type of agreement you have entered into.
The seller should give you a clear description of the product for sale and a total price that you will have to pay.
Make sure you have the trader's contact details (email and phone number) should you need to contact the trader such as about your payments or delivery of goods.
Making a complaint
In the first instance, try to resolve the issue with the trader. If you still have an issue that you believe we should be aware of you can make a complaint to us.
Our mobile trader project
We undertook a year-long project into the industry after a rising number of complaints. We published our report in 2015. Read our full report on the mobile trader industry.