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

These T&C are 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 your merchants who use your app and/or website. It gives you best protection against problems with the CC(ICAC) Regulations and extensive notes advise you. It also provides 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 a 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 merchants should use your website or app to manage their product listings and sales.

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 website works to benefit a merchant. 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 merchants and possibly their customers 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 within the site. This may be more than you need, but can be edited easily by deletion, as can any text in a 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 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.

This template is ideal for a site:

  • owned by a UK business
  • connects buyers and sellers anywhere in the world
  • provides payment facilities, collect taxes and fees and pays over to the seller the net sales value
  • has sellers that pay you either by commission or by a transaction fee
  • either allows sellers to upload their own product pages or product advertisements or instructs you to do that for them
  • provides a marketing service to sellers
  • has either regular sellers who operate their business from your site continuously, or allows one-off sales

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 merchants 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 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 sellers 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 post product information or 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 merchants, and the obligations that a seller has to a buyer who comes through your website.

The corresponding document that provides terms for buyers is Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for goods; accessed through a site or by app; buyer 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, delivery, liabilities and risk. By and large, you can set the terms you want, to match your business model. The document can be edited easily 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 allows you to comply with The Sale of Goods Acts (1979 and 1994) and The Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013 allowing your sellers to sell to businesses or consumers.

Contents of this document

This template includes terms relating to:

  • Definitions and interpretation
  • Basis of contract between your business and the buyer
  • Sellers' licence and permission for you to handle their material
  • Conditions of product placement
  • The buying procedure
  • Selling procedure
  • Goods returned
  • Payment for sales made
  • Product warranties
  • Indemnity by seller
  • Very extensive options as to what a buyer may or may not do on your website.
  • Removal of offensive content
  • Website security
  • Protection of copyright and other intellectual property rights
  • Interruption to service
  • Disclaimers and limitation of liability
  • Miscellaneous legal matters to protect your business
  • Over 3,000 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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