In response to concerns about 'rogue traders' which are often highlighted in the media, a partnership of Local Authority Trading Standards Services have taken a ground-breaking step by putting together the Buy With Confidence Scheme. The scheme provides consumers with a list of local businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks by professionally qualified trading standards staff before being approved as a member of the scheme.
The Buy With Confidence scheme was first launched by Hampshire Trading Standards in 1999. At around the same time, Devon Trading Standards initiated a similar scheme called 'CustomerFirst'. The two schemes became successful, and were also adopted by neighbouring Trading Standards Services. As the schemes grew larger and began sharing information, it became clear that there were benefits to working together under the same rules and branding.
The two schemes merged formally in 2008 as 'Buy With Confidence', by which time over 20 local authorities were participating. Buy With Confidence is the largest scheme of its kind nationally and continues to expand its geographical coverage.