Is there a residual warranty on used purchases

Is there a “residual warranty” for second-hand purchases?

Who buys used items from private, should not be dazzled by a “residual warranty”.

Especially on sales platforms like ebay and Co. or classified ad pages one finds again and again data, which say that for the offered commodity still a remainder warranty of the manufacturer would exist. As a buyer, you should not let yourself be blinded by this, because if the worst comes to the worst, the manufacturer can get in the way and reject warranty claims.

Second owners usually have no claim

Especially with fast-moving but expensive products, such as cell phones, smartphones or tablet computers, many private sellers advertise that there would still be a residual warranty on the item offered. On the one hand, this is to suggest that this product is still relatively new, and on the other hand, it is to give the buyer the security that he has not thrown his money out of the window in case of a hardware defect occurring after the purchase, because the manufacturer will eliminate this defect within the warranty free of charge.

But this security is deceptive. Of course, the goods are still relatively new if the seller replaces his smartphone with a new one after 24 months during a contract extension and sells the old one privately. In the area of hardware for communication devices or computers, however, 2 years is an extremely long period of time in the current stormy technical development. But such a smartphone is of course not completely obsolete after 2 years and should easily suffice for the vast majority of requirements. In this respect, one can certainly advise the purchase of used smartphones.

With the warranty and a possibly existing residual warranty, however, this looks quite different. Because second owners usually have no claim from the warranty pronounced by the manufacturer.

Manufacturer warranty vs. Guarantee

Unfortunately, many consumers still confuse the statutory warranty with the voluntary manufacturer’s warranty or. mix these.

The legal warranty states that a product must be delivered free of defects, d.h. it must be suitable for the intended use. A hotplate, for example, should generate enough heat to fry a steak. If the stove does not manage this, then the goods are defective. The dealer must therefore repair the goods, exchange them or refund the money.
If the defect occurs within the first 6 months, it is assumed that the product was defective from the beginning. If the goods do not break until later, the buyer must prove that the goods were defective from the outset. Thus it stands in the law.

A Manufacturer warranty is against it always a voluntary achievement of the manufacturer of a commodity. The type, scope, duration and which things it covers, all that the manufacturer is completely free to define in its warranty.
Thus, the manufacturer can also specify that its warranty applies only to the first buyer of the goods. If the seller resells the goods, the voluntary warranty is automatically gone.

Second owner goes empty-handed

That means that a buyer who buys a product from a private supplier can identify the manufacturer or. Dealer can claim neither through the warranty nor through the guarantee. The second owner of a commodity goes then as a rule empty out.

But he can hold on to the private seller, if he has neglected to exclude any warranty claims in his sales information. As a private seller, he is allowed to do this and should do it. If he misses this reference to the exclusion of the guarantee however, then the second owner can turn to the previous owner with the complaint, and the previous owner must regulate the damage.


One should not be blinded by the claims of a supposed “residual warranty”. Rather, one must check these points carefully before buying:

  • Is there theoretically still a manufacturer’s warranty?
  • Does the manufacturer allow this warranty to be transferred to others?
  • Is the proof of purchase perhaps anonymous and could one therefore also enforce warranty claims against the dealer as a second owner?
  • Does the complaint run on a serial number independent of customer data? This is the case with many technical devices.
  • Do the terms and conditions on the invoice allow an assignment of warranty rights?
  • If the private seller has forgotten to exclude the warranty claims?

So there are also a few loopholes for the second owner, with which he could claim his used goods in case of damage. One should not rely blindly on it however, because as a rule second owners go empty out.

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