The terms and conditions on your website form the contract between you and your visitors and customers. Clear, precise and complete T&C should protect your business from claims and reassure visitors that they should trade with you. The terms and conditions templates on this page are for online retailers of physical goods. They take account of the distance selling regulations and provide options for alternative payment systems, delivery methods, and goods returned.
Website terms and conditions: retail of physical goods
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- Topic Overview
This is a set of website terms and conditions for an online seller that sells goods to other businesses internationally. Easy to customise to reflect how your business operates, this template is suitable for of all sizes and types, from newly established sole traders to companies with extensive product lines. Inclusion of Incoterms makes the template suitable for exporters as well as businesses that supply the South African market.
This e-commerce terms and conditions template is ideal for most online shops. It complies with the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 and other consumer protection legislation allowing you to sell products of any sort to businesses or consumers all over the world. Whether you are a start-up specialising in small range of niche products or a well established company selling thousands of product lines, this template can be easily customised to suit your requirements.
This website terms and conditions template has been written for online shops that sell products where part of the design is contributed by visitors or customers. For example, site visitors may contribute their own artwork to be printed on products. The template complies with the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 and other consumer protection legislation allowing you to sell to businesses or consumers all over the world. It is easy to adapt to suit your own business.
These are website terms and conditions for a online retailer that sells goods that are sourced, created or customised to order for individual customers. You may be buying specialist goods to order (such as high value perishables) that you want to ensure will be taken by the customer; or customising an existing product in such a way as to only have value to the customer (for example, custom engraving jewellery or embroidery); or creating a limited number of products for a specific use (such as made to measure clothing). These T&C comply with the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 and other consumer protection legislation allowing you to sell to businesses or consumers. The template is suitable for e-commerce sites that sell internationally.
These terms and conditions are for a business that sells products from a website, all or some of which are sold with a licence to use software that the retailer has developed or owns. The users of this template are most likely either to be software developers that sell hardware products that are compatible with their software, or hardware manufacturers that have developed software for their products. This T&C template is easy to adapt to the way your business sells, and suitable for selling internationally.
If the document isn’t right for your circumstances for any reason, just tell us and we’ll refund you in full immediately.
We avoid legal terminology unless necessary. Plain English makes our documents easy to understand, easy to edit and more likely to be accepted.
You don’t need legal knowledge to use our documents. We explain what to edit and how in the guidance notes included at the end of the document.
We offer free support by email in respect of editing the document. You can also use our Document Review Service if you want to our legal team to check that the document will do as you intend.
Our documents comply with the latest relevant law. Our lawyers regularly review how new law affects each document in our library.
Terms that protect your e-commerce enabled website
Because your terms and conditions are your contract with your client or customer, and because consumers have so much legal protection when shopping online, it is very important to get them right.
If your T&C don’t cover certain matters, it might be not just that you don’t have the same rights in law that you could have, but you could be breaking the law, with the possibility of being fined.
What we include in all these documents
Our terms cover both use of the website as a visitor – an Acceptable Use Policy – and terms of sale relevant to the business model you have.
As with all Net Lawman documents, we use plain English in this document. Particularly for T&C, plain language strengthens the contract because clearly setting out how a business works prevents misunderstandings and makes resolving disputes much easier. Of course, it also makes editing the template easier as well.
We provide extensive guidance notes that explain each paragraph. Despite our efforts to draw documents to fit common business models, there may be paragraphs that you will want to change because your business is different.
We can check your edits as part of our additional review service if you would like us to confirm that they fit.
Protection from misuse
We believe that site security is very important. Having strong security terms in your T&C is not going to stop visitors behaving badly, but it does:
- provide a deterrent to any misuse for which you could sue in court
- prevent you being blamed for criminal or nuisance activity
- reduce the chance of your being the subject of some bad social medium campaign - particularly important if your members can contribute content to your site that you might not moderate in real time
- give a message that you are not a “soft touch”
- allow you to stay in full control of what happens on your website
By using these provisions, we give you the best possible defence against anyone who claims he has been insulted, injured, or defamed.
We provide disclaimers. They are not always binding because you can disclaim only so far as the law allows. The law is complicated and much depends on the facts of each case. If you overstep the mark, your disclaimer will be void.
We use disclaimers strongly but we use words that we hope will avoid upsetting your clients and customers.
Intellectual property protection and confidentiality
We provide the strongest protection for your IP rights, whether your site is “IP light” or involves complex software and systems.
Your confidential information is defined at length. We help you safeguard all your secrets.
Suitable for sites with international visitors
Our documents are written to cover international use because most websites are likely to attract visitors from across the world.
Every document is drawn under the South African laws. Much is likely to be enforceable in many other legal jurisdictions as well.
Your business model might include advertising in some way, such as advertising brands in a particular category of products.
Our documents do not regulate the terms you and your advertiser, but we do include general terms intended to protect you from a claim by a visitor in respect of anything he or she might claim against you.
Customer data storage
We make sure your user does not expect you to keep his or her data indefinitely, or at all. We also cover you against any claim that you are in breach of any customer “right” covering that data.
Basis of contract
You cannot impose rules. You can only make a contract.
A contract is only formed if your visitor ticks a box to do so explicitly. No tick, no contract. So, if you have a site that is entirely open to use, or even pages than can be explored before registration, it cannot be fully protected by any T&C document. Despite that principle, there are circumstances in which you could claim that your T&Cs apply, so it is always worth having them.
Price and payment
We give you options on every part of the charging process, from straight unit price to royalty, to payment on running credit account, to commission on sales. Like all other terms, we make it easy for you by limiting options to what is appropriate for a site like yours.
Consumer protection, order cancellation and returns
The law in this area starts with common law dealing with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, price and payment, provision of service, liabilities, returns, retention of title and risk. Then there are acts and regulations on every element of trading.
If you sell to consumers, you must comply with the consumer laws. Every relevant document includes an extensive explanation and instructions as to how to deal. We tell you what you need to know, but give you only what you need in your particular business.
We provide sensible terms. However, the law everywhere provides that if you sell defective goods or services you are obliged to pay for all foreseeable resulting loss and expense. That is the common law, pre-dating any sale of goods act.
The law in these terms and conditions templates
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.
I was not expecting to feel so confident in my edits!
Thank you to you guys for providing such a service! Most certainly a service to recommend.