Illegal and doorstop sales

Illegal sales to young people

You can report a business if you suspect it is selling products to underage people. For guidance on the minimum age requirement refer to the table.

Report illegal sales to young people (opens in new window)

Products and minimum age requirements

Product 12 15 16 18
Aerosol paints     X  
Airguns and pellets       X
Alcohol       X
Butane gas lighter refills       X
Caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and Throwdowns     X  
Cigarettes       X
Crossbows       X
DVDs and computer games, depending on classification X X   X
E-Cigarettes, nicotine cartridges or nicotine refill substances - Nicotine inhaling products       X
Fireworks       X
Imitation firearms       X
Intoxicating substances - solvents       X
Knives, knife blades, razor blades and axes       X
Liqueur chocolates     X  
Lottery tickets and scratch cards     X  

What happens next

We investigate any reports of businesses illegally selling to young people.

You receive an acknowledgment within 3 working days. We close enquiries within 3 months, and you will be informed of the outcome.

Timescales may change if legal proceedings are required. If legal proceedings take place, you may not always receive information and the outcome of the enquiry.

Doorstep sales

Doorstep sales can provide a useful service, but on occasions some traders can be persuasive and persistent.

If a trader knocks on your door -

  • do not agree to on-the-spot house repairs and do not sign anything
  • be wary of special offers and warning that your house is unsafe
  • avoid snap decisions or being pressurised into buying costly home repairs or goods
  • seek advice as soon as possible if you are in doubt

The online service is currently unavailable for a temporary period. Telephone 300 300 if you wish to access this service. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

No cold calling zones

If you live in one of the no cold calling zones, remember that uninvited sales people are not welcome. Each zone is identified clearly by warning signs on lamp posts, so traders should not approach you.