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Overview of the Terms and conditions for sale of goods to consumers via a website

This document is GDPR compliant.

Protect your business with clear and fair terms and conditions for the sale of goods to consumers via a website. Use these standard terms and conditions for any business in England and Wales that sells goods online to consumers. They are designed to be straightforward and comprehensive so that customers know where they stand and needless disputes can be avoided. They cover key issues such as orders, delivery, pricing, payment, guarantees, cancellation, liability, data privacy and security, and they are compliant with consumer rights legislation.

Use these terms and conditions for sale of goods to consumers via a website when:

  • you are selling goods to customers not acting in the course of a business (ie consumers)
  • selling from your website
  • you are selling goods to specification and/or standard services
  • the goods are of the type requiring statutory cancellation rights

These terms and conditions cover:

  • supply and contract formation
  • price and specification
  • delivery
  • warranties
  • information and cancellation rights which must by law be included in certain consumer contracts

Terms and conditions for the sale of goods to consumers via a website (also known as T&Cs) should be used if you want to sell goods online to a consumer on standard terms. They should cover key issues such as orders, delivery, pricing, payment, guarantees, cancellation, liability, data privacy and security.

Terms and conditions for the sale of goods to consumers via a website protect your business interests, ensure that customers know where they stand and help avoid disputes.

Terms and conditions must be clearly brought to the customer's attention before the sale takes place to ensure that they are binding on the customer. There are various ways of doing this. Usually customers are deemed to accept the T&Cs by placing an order. However, the best way to ensure that the T&Cs are accepted are by requiring the customer to check a box stating that they accept them before the order is placed. Ideally the tick box includes the terms and conditions or a hyperlink to them allowing the customer to store and reproduce them at any time.

When a business deals with a consumer, the consumer benefits from considerable legal protection or 'statutory rights'. Compliance with consumer rights must be integral to the way the website operates. For example, there must be appropriate and compliant back-office procedures in place to ensure that all orders are confirmed and that any changes to the terms are clearly updated on the website. You cannot legally change or exclude statutory rights, which belong to the consumer. The words 'your statutory rights are not affected' are often used to ensure that this is understood by the consumer. Some rights are that the goods:

  • are of satisfactory quality
  • are fit for their intended purpose
  • match the description that was used to advertise or sell the goods to the consumer

Read Doing Business with consumers for more information.

Consumers are entitled to reject the goods if they are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for their purpose or not as described within 30 days from the date they bought the product. You can also choose to offer a returns policy whereby the consumer may change their mind about the goods for any reason (or for no reason) within a short period of time after receipt of the goods.

You may wish to provide a guarantee to repair, replace or refund goods which are faulty. In addition to the manufacturer's guarantee, you may wish to offer a guarantee if you are in a position to repair, replace or refund the goods. In any case, such a guarantee also exists as a statutory right, as long as the customer can show that the goods are faulty.

You can state in the T&Cs the time period for which payment is required for the goods. However, the time period between payment and delivery of the goods can't be too far apart (eg 1 year in advance of the service).

You should agree beforehand in the T&Cs whether you will charge interest on overdue payments. It will be up to the parties to agree on the amount of interest payable. However, the interest rate should not be unfair or unreasonable to the consumer.

It is possible to exclude the possibility of a refund in the case of goods which are made to order. However, such an exception wouldn't affect a customer's statutory rights in relation to faulty of misrepresented goods.

It's a good idea to provide an email and/or postal address where the customer can send communications which must be in writing, such as a notice cancelling the order or return of purchase. You should also set out the accepted payment methods and terms (eg provide that payment must be made when an order is placed but credit and debit cards will not be charged until goods are dispatched).

Ask a lawyer

  • if you are unsure whether you need to use these terms and conditions
  • if you are unsure whether the goods are of the type requiring statutory cancellation rights
  • for regulated goods
  • for goods which focus on intellectual property
  • if you are selling digital content
  • if you are selling goods overseas

These terms and conditions are governed by the law of England and Wales.

Other names for Terms and conditions for sale of goods to consumers via a website

T&C's for sale of goods on a website.