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Overview of the Terms and conditions for sale of goods to consumers

This document is GDPR compliant.

Protect your business with clear and fair standard terms and conditions of sale of goods to consumers (except online). Use these business-to-consumer (B2C) terms and conditions for any business in England, Wales or Scotland that sells goods to consumers other than online, eg, in a shop, or as part of a home business. 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 and data protection.

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

  • selling goods to customers not acting in the course of a business (ie consumers)
  • selling from your business premises only
  • selling goods to specification and/or standard goods

You do not need to use these terms and conditions if you offer goods on a daily basis which are sold immediately when the contract is entered into (eg groceries or newspapers).

These terms and conditions cover:

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

Terms and conditions for the sale of goods to consumers (also known as T&Cs) should be used if you want to supply goods to a consumer on standard terms. They should cover key issues such as orders, delivery, pricing, payment, guarantees, liabilities, cancellation and termination.

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

T&Cs should appear on the back of all contractual documents, including quotations, order forms, acknowledgements of orders, delivery notes or in a brochure or catalogue. They should be available to a customer before or at the time an order is placed. This helps to ensure they are binding.

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 seller operates. 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 delivery).

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 unsure whether you need to use these terms and conditions
  • for unusual goods, like perishable goods, or regulated goods
  • if you are selling digital content

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

Other names for Terms and conditions for sale of goods to consumers

T&C's for the sale of goods B2C.