The phenomenaon of "buyers remorse" is a common experience among consumers, common enough to be the subject of various consumer protection laws. New York residents have several laws that afford them some rights to cancel or rescind sales contracts after entering into them, though the kind of contracts you can cancel depends on the particular product and nature of the sale.
New York Buyer's Remorse
Buyer's remorse laws are sometimes known as "cooling off" laws, as they allow consumers a certain amount of time after agreeing to a sale to reconsider it. There is no general cooling off law in New York, but there are numerous laws that provide cooling off periods based on the kind of product sold. For example, if you enter into a health or fitness club agreement, you have 15 days to cancel it, while if you enter into a home improvement contract, you have three days to cancel it.
Federal "Cooling Off" Rules
Under the Federal Trade Commission's cooling-off rule, consumers in New York can cancel a sales contract in some situations up to three days after entering into the agreement. The rule allows anyone who agreed to purchase goods of $25 or more via door-to-door sale at home, or a nonhome sale made somewhere other than the seller's place of business (e.g., a sales presentation or trade show), to cancel the sales contract until the third business day following the sale.
To properly cancel a sales contract after entering into it, consumers should take the appropriate steps or they may lose the right to cancel. New York consumers should send a written cancellation notice to the seller via mail, preferably by certified or registered mail so that you have a record of sending it. Many sales contracts come with a cancellation form, but if a sales contract does not, consumers in New York can create their own cancellation notice.
New York State also has an automobile "lemon law," a law that applies to car sales. However, while this law allows consumers to return a car purchase if the car has recurring problems that impact the driver's ability to use it, it does not allow car buyers to return the car simply because they regret the purchase. Under New York's lemon law, a manufacturer or dealer has to refund your car purchase if it cannot make your car conform to the terms of the written warranty.