E-commerce terms and conditions template: retailer of goods
- Attorney approved
- Plain English makes editing easy
- Guidance notes included
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About this e-commerce terms and conditions template
These e-commerce terms and conditions are suitable for most online retailers. The exact type of product does not matter provided that it is physical (rather than downloaded). This template could be used by businesses that sell headphones, computer hardware, clothing, comic books and many other products.
Although we give you many options, the template is easy to edit to suit your business.
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 language 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 Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002) 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 Republic of South Africa or further afield.
Are these terms and conditions suitable 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.
- a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer
These T&C are suitable for 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.
- are other businesses or consumers (private individuals) 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 Republic of South Africa
- the customer buys online, direct from your e-commerce enabled website
You are selling
- physical goods (rather than downloaded products such as software)
We have other, more suitable templates (see the section below) if you sell:
- products that are created or customised on a one-off basis to unique specifications given by the customer;
- products that require on-going maintenance or additional service contracts;
- products that use software that you have developed;
- a contract for recurring orders that continues until the customer cancels it;
- services in addition to products.
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 e-commerce terms and conditions
- Web-based shops (for example, specialising in a niche product line such as headphones or garden furniture)
- "Bricks and mortar" shops with an e-commerce enabled website
- Manufacturers who sell directly to the public via their sites
- Wholesalers, selling mainly goods in bulk to businesses but possibly also single units to individuals
We sell other templates for businesses that sell goods via their website:
Website terms and conditions template: international sale of goods to business is suitable for a retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer that sells goods to businesses only. It doesn't include the consumer protection provisions that this template does.
Website terms and conditions template: retail of hardware and licensed software is suitable for a business that sells products that use software developed or owned by the seller. This template is likely to be suitable for a manufacturer of an electronic product sells directly to end customers, or for a software house sells third party products with their software.
Website terms and conditions template: retail of sourced or made to order products is suitable for a retailer who sources, creates or customises some products to a specification given by customers. For example, you may sell customised greetings cards, or source rare wine, or make made to measure suits.
Website terms and conditions template: retailer of goods part designed by site visitors is suitable for a business that sells products that have been designed by site visitors. For example, site visitors may contribute their own artwork to be printed on products (such as clothing) in return for a royalty or free product.
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.
We also have a large range of website terms and conditions templates suitable for other businesses.
If you are in any doubt as to which template you should choose, please contact us.
The law relating to terms and conditions of sale
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 Republic of South Africa.
This template complies with Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 the Consumer Protection Act 2008, and other latest consumer protection legislation allowing you to sell to businesses or consumers.
The e-commerce terms and conditions template includes provisions that cover:
- Identification of the parties;
- Offer and acceptance;
- Price and payment: including taxes, charges and foreign currency payments;
- Consumer protection: cancellation and exclusions;
- Delivery: method, timing, delayed delivery, delivery in instalments;
- Foreign tax duties;
- Liability for defects;
- Credit card security;;
- Return of goods: reasons and procedure;
- Information provided by the customer: includes an acceptable use policy and an indemnity;
- Changes to information on your website;
- Protection of your intellectual property;
- Dispute resolution;
- Other miscellaneous legal provisions to protect you (warranties, exclusions, indemnities etc).
This document was written by an attorney for Net Lawman. It complies with current South African law.
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