Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for goods; accessed through a site or by app; buyer side

This terms and conditions template is for a business that operates a marketplace, connecting buyers and sellers of goods. The marketplace is operated in part, or wholly through an app. This document sets out the relationship between your business and buyers within the marketplace who use your app and/or website. This document 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 gives you strong legal protection against malicious use of your website and misuse of your intellectual property.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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About this terms and conditions document

These are terms and conditions for a business that connects buyers and sellers of goods through an app and through a website. The app and the website act as marketplace, allowing third party retailers to advertise their products and take payment.

This document that you create using this template should be placed on your website. It sets out how buyers should use your website or app to manage their product listings and sales. You don't need separate T&C for your app provided that you reference your website T&C (those that you use this template to create) at the point of sale and ask your buyers to agree to those terms. Alternatively, you could include the same terms within the app, and keep both versions identical.

This document has three main purposes

  • First it protects you in law from a huge array of potential problems arising from disputes between your merchants and their customers.
  • Second, it enables you to set out how your app and website work to benefit a buyer. It is assumed that you will insist on some standard terms of sale by all merchants so that a buyer can return to your site later and buy from a different merchant without the terms being markedly different.
  • Third, as far as possible it reduces your obligations imposed by 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.

Wide ranging protection for your business

It is assumed that either merchants or their customers or both will have access to your website for one or more reasons, such as:

  • to upload their own marketing text and images
  • to place adverts
  • to contribute to forums
  • to communicate with each other
  • to resolve disputes
  • to give testimonials
  • to communicate with you

We have therefore provided very wide ranging protection, particularly of your intellectual property. This may be more than you need, but can be edited easily by deletion, as can any text in Net Lawman document.

Is this template suitable for your business?

The template contains the necessary provisions for merchants to sell consumers or businesses.

You could operate the buyer experience entirely through an app for any device or operating system, or through both a website and an app.

The nature of the goods is not important to this document - your business could specialise creating a marketplace for a particular type of good, or allow merchants to sell a wide range. This template is for a business based in the UK. The buyers and the merchants could be located anywhere - you could connect European buyers with Asian manufacturers selling directly into a new market, or US buyers with UK merchants.

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 buyers do not feel intimidated by overly formal or legalistic language.
  • prevent misunderstandings and make solving disputes easier
  • protect your website and app from misuse (we include paragraphs that set out exactly how users can interact 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 create a marketplace accessed through an app or website. This document sets out the terms of use for your buyers.

You should pair this document with Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for goods; accessed through a site or by app; seller side.

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 includes 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 document

This terms and conditions template includes provisions that cover both the relationship between the seller and the buyer and the relationship between your business and the buyer.

It includes terms relating to:

  • Definitions and interpretation
  • Basis of contract between your business and the buyer
  • Responsibility of the buyer to provide accurate personal information to you
  • The buying procedure
  • Optional guarantee by you
  • Matters of payment
  • Extensive options for re-assurance to customers that you will take care of data
  • Option for consumer rights information
  • Defects and returns
  • Handling your personal data and credit card
  • Very extensive options as to what a buyer may or may not do on your website.
  • Removal of offensive content
  • Licence to use your app
  • Protection of copyright and other intellectual property rights
  • Interruption to service
  • Disclaimers and limitation of liability
  • Miscellaneous legal matters to protect your business
  • Over 3,700 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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