Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for goods; buyer subscribes for access

These terms are for a website that creates a subscription based marketplace for goods - physical products - between buyers and sellers. The template sets out the relationship between you and your buyers. It gives you best protection against problems with the CC(ICAC) Regulations and extensive notes advise you. As far as possible it insulates you from conflict between your suppliers and buyers from your website. It comes with legal protection against malicious use of your website and misuse of your intellectual property. The reason for using a subscription system is not important. An example of a site that might use this template might be one that provides members of the website with access to stock clearance deals.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
£24.00 inc VAT ( £20.00 ex VAT )
  • Solicitor approved
  • Plain English makes editing easy
  • Guidance notes included
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About this terms and conditions document

Your website is a marketplace, where your sellers advertise and offer goods for sale to your buyers through a subscription system. Possible reasons why you have used a subscriptions are:

  • you have negotiated special deals with your sellers, and your buyers must subscribe to your site to take advantage;
  • you sell a high value product and you wish to present an image of a seller of quality brands;
  • you wish to restrict sales to some particular market segment.

This website terms and conditions template sets out the subscription process and the relationship between your business and buyers who use your website to buy. This document can be used for the sale of any type of goods ordered through your website by any means. We include provisions for the sellers and buyers to be businesses or consumers.

This document is suitable for a marketplace site that sells any type of physical product. So far as the Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations are concerned, we have provided as far as possible for your suppliers to be responsible for compliance with the regulations, so as to minimise the weight on you. If you sell only to business, you can easily remove the provisions relating to the Regulations.

Is this template suitable for your website?

This template should be used for a site that creates a marketplace for physical goods where the opportunity to buy is limited to subscribers. If you recognise your business model from the description below then the template should be suitable.

This template is suitable for sites that:

  • are hosted in the UK - although sellers and buyers could be located anywhere in the world.
  • provide payment facilities, collect taxes, fees, payment and reimburse the seller the net sales value.
  • have sellers that pay you either by commission or by a transaction fee.
  • either allow sellers to upload their own product pages or product advertisements or instruct you to do that for them.
  • provide a marketing service to sellers.
  • have either regular sellers (for example, ones that operate their business from your site), or allow one-off sales.
  • require buyers to join a membership programme (paid or free) to be able to access the market.
  • provide functionality that allows buyers to interact with sellers or with other site visitors. For example, you may provide for product reviews, feedback, forums, or questions to sellers.

The benefit of clear terms and conditions

Website terms and conditions are probably the best example of a legal document where use of plain English strengthens the legal effect of the document. If a dispute should arise, it would be hard for a user of your site to claim that he did not understand, even if English is not his first language.

Using this document on your website will help you to:

  • set out clearly how your business works and how buyers should act and behave.
  • ensure that sellers and buyers receive the quality of service that you aim to provide
  • present a professional image of your business. Our use of plain English helps to ensure that sellers do not feel intimidated by overly formal or legalistic language
  • prevent misunderstandings and make solving disputes easier
  • protect your website from misuse (we include paragraphs that set out exactly how buyers can interact with your website, and what they cannot do)
  • protect your business from complaints about content that your buyers posted - particularly important if buyers can interact with sellers without you actively monitoring every post or message

Similar templates

This is one of the two T&C documents you'll need if you operate a website that provides a marketplace. This document sets out the terms of use for your buyers, and the obligations that a buyer has to a seller located through your website. You will need a corresponding one for your sellers.

Note that the requirement for a buyer to register does not change the relationship you have with sellers. So you do not need T&C that deal with subscription to the site for your sellers.

If you are in any doubt as to which T&C template you should choose, please contact us.

The law in this document

The law in these T&C is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, price and payment, provision of service, liabilities and risk. By and large, you can set the terms you want, particularly the commercial ones. The document should be edited so that it reflects exactly how your business works. Our guidance notes will tell you what you can change safely, and what we don't advise changing.

This template include provisions that allow your sellers to comply with The Sale of Goods Acts (1979 and 1994) and The Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013 while selling to businesses or consumers.

Contents of this terms and conditions

Because buyers are likely to contribute content to your site (such as product reviews, forum posts and comments) we have included a large menu of provisions relating to user contributed content within the sections that form an Acceptable Use Policy.

Terms include:

  • Definitions
  • Basis of contract between your business and the buyer
  • Responsibility of the buyer to provide accurate personal information to you
  • The buying and payment procedure
  • Membership requirements and provision
  • Optional guarantee by you
  • Extensive options for re-assurance to customers that you will take care of data
  • Option for consumer rights information
  • Defects and returns
  • Handling buyer's personal data, credit card and content uploaded or posted
  • Very extensive options as to what a buyer may or may not do on your website.
  • Removal of offensive content
  • Protection of copyright and other intellectual property rights
  • Termination of membership
  • Interruption to service
  • Disclaimers and limitation of liability
  • Miscellaneous legal matters to protect your business
  • Over 3,500 words of drafting notes to help you

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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