Tie-In Sales: issues for the consumer


Yannick Labelle


Union des consommateurs




In a tied-in sale, the consumer can purchase a desired good or service only if he also purchases another good or service. Tied selling may occur either at purchase time, when the merchant makes the desired acquisition conditional on another acquisition; or after the contract is entered into, for example by imposing on the consumer the acquisition of goods or services chosen exclusively by the merchant.

In chapter 1 of this report, tied-in sales are defined. In chapter 2, the Canadian legislative framework for the practice is described. In chapter 3, remedies available to consumers are determined; the remedies’ effectiveness is assessed and a few court decisions are reported. In chapter 4, the author explores the reality of the practice in Canada.

The situation of tied-in sales in Europe, France, Belgium, the United States, Canada and three Canadian provinces is described both in terms of legislation and practice. In addition, the pros and cons for consumers of tied-in sales are specified, as well as the rights and remedies available to consumers confronted by this practice.

This report establishes that tied-in sales are more and more widespread and are not specifically regulated or prohibited in a general way.

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OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

Union des consommateurs
7000 Parc Ave, Suite 201
Montreal, QC  H3N 1X1
(514) 521-6820
(514) 521-0736

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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