Terms & conditions

Information Pages: eCommerce Guide

As an eCommerce provider you are required by law to show a whole variety of legal information on your website, including terms and conditions governing both the sale of goods and use of your website.

These terms and conditions are a detailed set of policy statements, notices, restrictions, codes of conduct, rules and regulations that the visitor acknowledges and accepts as agreement to use your site.

They form a legally binding contract between you and your visitor from the moment they enter your site right through to the completion of their dealings with you, usually when they leave your site or when they receive their items in the post.

It’s important that you get them right as they provide legal protection for both you and your customer in the event of any problem. And if a customer breaches your terms and conditions, then they can be instrumental in resolving an issue in your favour.

You should remind your customer that they are agreeing to your terms and conditions of sale when they purchase an item from you, preferably by presenting them with a check box that they have to tick before confirming their order. It is also important that you set out your terms and conditions so that the customer can easily print them off for future reference.

Help is available

There is a wealth of information available on the web, including samples and templates that make a great starting point for your own terms and conditions document.

But whatever you do, never be tempted to copy and paste from another company’s website, as it is illegal to knowingly use another company’s terms and conditions as your own. But not only that, those terms and conditions will also be very specific to that company and therefore unlikely to cover the different issues involved in your own eCommerce operation.

And as any errors or omissions in your terms and conditions could jeopardise your legal standing, it is worth the time, money and effort in getting them right.

If you’re in any doubt then contact your local trading standards office or get a solicitor to check over your terms and conditions for you. Most solicitors also have a terms and conditions service where, for a nominal fee, they can prepare you a bespoke set of lawful terms and conditions.

A good eCommerce service provider is also a great source of advice and guidance on the legal aspects of running an online retail store. So if you’re still in the process of looking for your eCommerce web design solution then give us a call today on 01785 250222.

What you need to consider

There are any number of issues that you may need to accommodate in your own terms and conditions. However, the following is a list of typical areas that you should cover:

If you are based in the UK or anywhere in the European Economic Area then you must comply with the requirements of the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2000, which specify in detail the information that you must make available on your website.