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Shopping online for Valentine’s Day? Know your rights if your online order was delayed or cancelled.

Playing cupid? A quick online shopping scroll shows tons of exciting Valentine’s gifts for those you love. If you order now, many sellers guarantee delivery on or before Valentine’s Day. But what happens when your order doesn’t arrive by that guaranteed date? As a customer, you have rights. Here’s what to know.  

By law, sellers must ship your order within the time they say they’ll ship. If they don’t give a specific time, your order must ship within 30 days. When shipping will be delayed, the seller has to let you know about it. Sellers also have to give you the choice to either accept the delay or cancel your order for a full refund.

Anytime you shop online:

  • Research the seller first. Search the company online, especially if you haven’t shopped with the company before. Look up the company’s name, plus words like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam” and see what other people say.
  • Read the seller’s refund and return policies carefully. Sellers often have different refund and return policies, and dishonest sellers will use tricky disclosures and fine print to deny refund requests.
  • Use a credit card for online purchases, if possible. Credit cards offer the most protection against fraud compared to other types of payments including the right to dispute charges if there are problems with your purchase.
  • Save your receipts and confirmation emails. If something goes wrong, these can help you get your money back from the seller or file a dispute with your credit card company.

If you think you were scammed through an online shopping experience, report it to the FTC at

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Marilyn Dungo
February 06, 2024

I wait

Cheryl Butler
February 09, 2024

In reply to by Marilyn Dungo

Thank you so much for such an enlightening article. I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to “ My rights as a consumer,” however, your article was like: “ wait-what?????”
I love all you guys at the FTC do to keep myself, and others safe from internet money predators.
Have a great rest of your day……

Robert Krupka
February 06, 2024

What are my rights if the seller ships on time but the carrier delays or loses the item?

Michael N. Lazenby
February 06, 2024

All good to know! I buy a lot of stuff on eBay & 95% of sellers are honest + try to right by their customers. EBay guaranty if invoked within 30 days of getting the stuff will cover the full refund from the intermediary!

February 06, 2024

Wish you said more on this topic. Doesn't really tell you much about your rights. What can I do if package is late or doesn't show on time? Can I sue and get more? Tell me what all can a consumer do to a company that doesn't hold up to their side of a deal?

Donna Hanford
February 06, 2024

Thank you for this vital information. I sincerely appreciate it.

Charmaine Gage
February 06, 2024

Thank you , I am learning and appreciating all the support and updates regarding identity theft. I feel so much better knowing now. Wishing that I knew better before I became a victim. I pray that all people are made aware of all of these scams and concerning your rights.

February 13, 2024