E-commerce terms and conditions template: retailer of goods
- Solicitor approved
- Plain English makes editing easy
- Guidance notes included
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About this document
These e-commerce terms and conditions are suitable for most online retailers. The exact type of product does not matter provided that it is physical (rather than downloaded). This template could be used by businesses that sell headphones, computer hardware, clothing, comic books and many other products.
Although we give you many options, the template is easy to edit to suit your business.
Using this document on your website will help you:
- set out clearly how your business works and what customers can expect
- present a professional image of your business. Our use of plain English helps ensure customers do not feel intimidated by overly formal or legalistic language
- prevent misunderstandings and make solving disputes easier
- comply with consumer protection law (such as the Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013) if you sell to consumers without compromising your legal rights if you also sell to businesses
- protect your website from misuse (we include paragraphs that form an Acceptable Use Policy, useful if your visitors can interact with your website, for example, by posting reviews or exchanging messages in a customer forum)
- trade safely internationally, whether your customers are in the UK, EU or further afield
Are these terms and conditions suitable for your business?
If you are able to identify your business by reading the points below, then this template should be suitable for you. We also list similar alternatives afterwards.
- a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer
These T&C are suitable for businesses of all sizes. You may be a newly started sole trader with a single product or an established company selling thousands of different product lines.
- are other businesses or consumers (private individuals) or both
- are not further distributors or retailers of the product
- could be located in any country. These terms and conditions include provisions for sale abroad as well as within the UK
- the customer buys online, direct from your e-commerce enabled website
You are selling
- physical goods (rather than downloaded products such as software)
We have other, more suitable templates (see the section below) if you sell:
- products that are created or customised on a one-off basis to unique specifications given by the customer
- products that require on-going maintenance or additional service contracts
- products that use software that you have developed
- a contract for recurring orders that continues until the customer cancels it
- services in addition to products
Payment may be made
- immediately on the web site (e.g. by credit card)
- by cheque or bank transfer
- on a pre-arranged credit account
Delivery could be any of the following
- by your business
- by post or courier
- direct from a third party (such as the manufacturer)
- or, the customer may pick up the product from your premises
Delivery could be in a single instalment or in multiple instalments.
Example businesses that would use these T&C
- Web-based shops (for example, specialising in a niche product line such as headphones or garden furniture)
- "Bricks and mortar" shops with an e-commerce enabled website
- Manufacturers who sell directly to the public via their sites
- Wholesalers, selling mainly goods in bulk to businesses but possibly also single units to individuals
We sell other templates for businesses that sell goods via their website:
This template for a website that sells goods internationally to other businesses is suitable for a retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer that sells goods to businesses only. It doesn't include the consumer protection provisions that this template does.
This template for the sale of IT hardware and software is suitable for a business that sells products that use software developed or owned by the seller, such as a manufacturer of an electronic product sells directly to end customers, or for a software house sells third party products with their software.
This template for a business that makes, customises or sources goods to order is suitable for an online retailer who, for example, sells customised greetings cards, or sources rare wine, or makes made to measure suits.
This template for a site that allows users to part design the goods they buy is suitable where customers interact with the site to customise the product. For example, they may contribute their own artwork to be printed on products (such as clothing) in return for a royalty or free product.
We assume that you do not sell to distributors or wholesalers or retailers. If you do, you will need different terms on delivery, risk, retention of title (ownership) and return. See our sales agency documents.
We also have a large range of terms suitable for other types of website business.
If you are in any doubt as to which template you should choose, please contact us.
The law relating to this document
The law in these T&C is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, price and payment, delivery, returns, dispute resolution, liabilities and risk. Provided you comply with the law, you can set the terms you like.
The terms are valid for businesses based anywhere in the UK.
This template complies with The Sale of Goods Acts (1979 and 1994) and The Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013 allowing you to sell to businesses or consumers.
Where statute law could apply, the T&C have been drawn then applies to specific circumstances, for example, we have included provisions to comply with the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006, but these are only relevant if the type of goods sold is electronic or electrical.
We have contracted out of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 so as not to obligate you in contracts made between your customer and any other party. This is usual in a document such as this one.
The template includes provisions that cover:
- Identification of the parties
- Offer and acceptance
- Price and payment: including taxes, charges and foreign currency payments
- Consumer protection: cancellation and exclusions
- Delivery: method, timing, delayed delivery, delivery in instalments
- Foreign tax duties
- Liability for defects
- Credit card security
- Return of goods: reasons and procedure
- Information provided by the customer: includes an acceptable use policy and an indemnity
- Changes to information on your website
- Protection of your intellectual property such as content
- Dispute resolution
- Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006;
- Other miscellaneous legal provisions to protect you (warranties, exclusions, indemnities etc)
This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.
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