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

These T&C are for a website that offers a marketplace for goods, and which is accessible through an app. Specifically, they set out the rules that merchants must follow.

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

This template allows you to create terms of use to place on your website that set out how people who use your site (and any associated apps) to sell to other visitors should do so.

It has three main purposes:

  • It protects you in law from a huge array of potential problems arising from disputes between your merchants and their customers.

  • It makes clear how your site works and the rules for using it. We assume 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.

  • As far as possible it reduces your obligations imposed by the Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations. We have provided for sellers to be responsible for compliance with the regulations, so as to minimise the burden on you. If your merchants sell only to businesses, you can easily remove the provisions relating to the Regulations.

The document gives you strong legal protection, particularly of your intellectual property. This is necessary when visitors could have the ability to engage with the site (such as by asking and answering questions or posting reviews).

The type of products sold is not important - your business could specialise by creating a marketplace for a particular good, or allow merchants to sell a wide range.

Your business should be based in the UK. Visitors could be located anywhere in the world. For example, you could connect European buyers with Asian manufacturers, allowing them to sell directly into a new market, or you might join US buyers with UK exporters.

The benefit of having clear terms

Website terms are an excellent example of where use of plain English can strengthen the legal effect of a document. If a dispute should arise, it would be hard for a visitor to your site to claim that he or she did not understand the rules, even if English is not his first language.

Using these terms 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

  • prevent misunderstandings and make solving disputes easier

  • protect your site and app from misuse

  • reduce the number of complaints about content that your visitors posted - particularly important if you don’t actively moderate every post or message

Similar templates

This is one of the two T&C documents you'll need if you operate create a marketplace. This one deals with the rules for sellers. You will also need the corresponding one that provides terms for buyers.

The law in this document

The law relating to website terms of use is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts.

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.

Because there is little other statutory law you can set terms to match your business model. The document can be edited easily for this purpose. Our guidance notes will tell you what you can change safely, and what we don't advise editing.

Contents

This provisions covered by these terms include:

  • Definitions and interpretation
  • Basis of contract
  • 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 site
  • 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

We include more than 3,000 words of drafting notes to help you edit the document precisely.

Draftsman

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

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