Website terms and conditions template: retailer of goods part designed by site visitors

This set of terms has been written for online shops that sell products where part of the design is contributed by visitors or customers. For example, site visitors may contribute their own artwork to be printed on products.

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

The terms in this template are designed to be used by a retailer that sells products that have had design input from web site visitors. The retailer is likely to buy or manufacture "white label" products then enhance them with designs suggested by visitors. The products could be anything: from prints of artwork to clothing to laptop covers.

In these T&C, the incentive for the designer to submit his designs is his satisfaction that his design is being used. Because of technical legal reasons relating to consumer law we have not included options where free products are given in return, or where a royalty fee is paid.

However, any business orientated retailer who isn't too worried about the technical application of the law could bend the rules, for example, by occasionally sending samples without notice to product testers who happen to have part designed a product.

How these T&C should help you

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

Is this the right template 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.

You are

  • a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer

These T&C can be used by 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.

Your customers

  • are consumers (private individuals) or other businesses or both
  • are not further distributors or retailers of the product

Your customers could be located in any country. These terms and conditions include provisions for sale abroad as well as within the UK.

Order method

  • the customer buys online, direct from your e-commerce enabled website

You are selling

  • physical goods (rather than downloaded products such as software)
  • some products that have a design element contributed by visitors to your website

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

  • Retailers selling t-shirts that have graphics on them designed by website visitors

  • Retailers selling posters or artwork that have been designed by website visitors

Alternative templates

We sell other templates for businesses that sell goods via their website.

If you sell products that are partially or fully sourced, created or customised on a one-off basis to unique specifications given by the customer, use this template for sourced or made to order products. For example, you may sell customised greetings cards, or source rare wine, or make made to measure suits.

Our standard terms for an ecommerce site are for use by a business selling any products to businesses or consumers. For example, you might sell computer components primarily to businesses, but also perhaps to private individuals.

If you just sell goods to businesses, perhaps internationally, this template for sale of goods to business has been drawn for a retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer.

If you sell a product that uses software that you have developed, you will need terms for the sale of the product and the licence of the software. This template for retail of hardware and licensed software is suitable for a manufacturer of an electronic product sells directly to end customers, or for software house sells third party products with their software.

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 suitable for sales agency arrangements.

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 and conditions 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 types of goods sold are 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.

Document contents

We have included provisions that cover:

  • Identification of the parties
  • Contract with customers
  • Contract with designers
  • Terms of licence with designers
  • Offer and acceptance
  • Price and payment: including taxes, charges and foreign currency payments, payment on credit account
  • Security of credit card information
  • Consumer protection: cancellation and exclusions
  • Delivery: method, timing, delayed delivery, delivery in instalments
  • Foreign tax duties
  • Risk and retention of title
  • Liability for subsequent defects
  • Cancellation
  • Return of goods: reasons and procedure
  • Disclaimers
  • Information provided by the customer: includes acceptable use policy and indemnity
  • Changes to information on your website
  • Protection of your intellectual property
  • Security of your website
  • Dispute resolution
  • Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006
  • Other miscellaneous legal provisions to protect you (warranties, exclusions, indemnities etc)
Draftsman

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

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