Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; buyer subscribes for access
This is a terms and conditions template for a membership subscription website, selling services. Your site connects sellers of services with buyers. You operate it as a subscription service. Buyers subscribe to your marketplace site in order to obtain discounts you have negotiated with your sellers. This T&C template defines the relationship between you and your buyers. It provides protection in case a transaction between users of your website fails, and gives you strong legal protection against malicious use of your website and misuse of your intellectual property.
- Solicitor approved
- Plain English makes editing easy
- Guidance notes included
- Money back guarantee
About this terms and conditions document
Your website is a marketplace, where your sellers advertise and offer services for sale to your buyers. You may have negotiated special deals with your sellers. We have provided for a subscription model, but you can very easily remove those references if a buyer does not have to become a member. This website terms and conditions template sets out the subscription process and the relationship between your business and buyers who use your website to buy. The services bought and sold could be anything. They may be ordered via computer, smartphone, tablet or any other mobile device.
We have provided for basic contract procedures, but delivery information must come from the seller as it will not be the same for a personal trainer as for computer servicing or for ditching your farm land.
It is likely that you will specialise in one niche, but you could cover a wide variety of services. You do not need to have more than one seller client but we assume that you will. Most of your sellers probably use your services because they do not have an internet facility for taking money or because your marketing service is better than they could achieve. You are simply marketing and collecting money.
Because each marketplace website has its own business model, we provide separate agreements for terms with buyers and sellers. You should therefore pair this document with the most suitable seller side marketplace T&C document we offer.
Note that we do not provide a seller side document that relates specifically to a membership site because the seller is selling his services no differently because you have set up special deals with his clients. See below.
Is this template suitable for your website?
If you recognise your business model from the description below then the template should be suitable.
Your site might:
- offer services for sale anywhere in the World;
- provide payment facilities, collect taxes, fees, payment and reimburse the seller the net sales value;
- have sellers that pay you either by commission or by a transaction fee;
- either allow sellers to upload their own service marketing pages or product advertisements OR instruct you to do that for them;
- provide a marketing service to sellers;
- have either regular sellers (for example, ones that operate their business through your site), or allow one-off sales;
- require buyers to to join a membership programme (paid or free) to be able to access the market;
- provide functionality that allows buyers to interact with sellers or with other site visitors. For example, you may provide for service reviews, feedback, forums, or questions to sellers;
- Both buyers and sellers could be businesses or individuals. Users of your website could be frequent or one-off.
The benefit of clear terms and conditions
Website terms and conditions are probably the best example of a legal document where use of plain language strengthens the legal effect of the document. If a dispute should arise, it would be hard for a user of your site to claim that he did not understand, even if English is not his first language.
Using this document on your website will help you to:
- set out clearly how your business works and how buyers should act and behave;
- ensure that sellers and buyers receive the quality of service that you aim to provide;
- present a professional image of your business. Our use of plain language helps ensure that sellers do not feel intimidated by overly formal or legalistic language;
- prevent misunderstandings and make solving disputes easier;
- protect your website from misuse (we include paragraphs that set out exactly how buyers can interact with your website, and what they cannot do);
- protect your business from complaints about content that your buyers posted - particularly important if buyers can post product information or interact with sellers without you actively monitoring every post or message.
- If your site creates a marketplace for services, not for goods. For goods, see Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for goods; buyer side.
- If there are no restrictions on membership before purchase, then Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; buyer subscribes for access should be suitable.
- The complementary template that provides terms for sellers of services can be found at Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; seller side.
If you are in any doubt as to which T&C template you should choose, please contact us.
The law in this document
The law in these T&C is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, price and payment, provision of service, liabilities and risk. By and large, you can set the terms you want, particularly the commercial ones. The document should be edited so that it reflects exactly how your business works. Our guidance notes tell you what you can and cannot change safely.
This template allows you to comply with the Consumer Protection Act 2008, and other consumer protection legislation allowing your sellers to sell to businesses or consumers.
Contents of this terms and conditions
Because buyers are likely to contribute content to your site (such as product reviews, forum posts and comments) we have included a large menu of provisions relating to user contributed content within the sections that form an Acceptable Use Policy.
- Basis of contract between your business and the buyer
- Responsibility of the buyer to provide accurate personal information to you
- The buying and payment procedure
- Membership requirements and provision
- Optional guarantee by you
- Extensive options for re-assurance to customers that you will take care of data
- Option for consumer rights information
- Handling buyer’s personal data, credit card and content uploaded or posted
- Very extensive options as to what a buyer may or may not do on your website.
- Removal of offensive content
- Protection of copyright and other intellectual property rights
- Termination of membership
- Interruption to service
- Disclaimers and limitation of liability
- Miscellaneous legal matters to protect your business
- Over 3,100 words of drafting notes to help you
This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current South Africa law.
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