Are you selling legally?

As a website builder and host, we see many small businesses not meeting the necessary requirements to legally sell things online.  Here is a guide as to what is required of you as a seller:

You must provide certain information for your customers if you’re selling goods online, through digital TV, by mail order or by phone, text message or fax.

Before an order is placed

All distance sellers must follow certain rules before and after an order is placed.

You must display information such as:

  • your business name and contact details
  • a description of your goods or services
  • the price, including all taxes
  • how a customer can pay
  • delivery arrangements, costs and how long goods will take to arrive
  • the minimum length of their contract
  • conditions for terminating contracts
  • information about the customer’s right to cancel within 14 days

You must tell the customer if they will be responsible for paying for the return of goods if they cancel. If you don’t, they’re not liable for the costs.

After an order is placed

You must get in touch with your customer in writing after an order is placed and before the goods or services have been delivered.

You must tell them:

  • details of what they have purchased
  • the total cost
  • arrangements for delivery
  • the minimum duration of any contract and arrangements for terminating the contract
  • how and when they can cancel an order and who pays for returning goods
  • an address where complaints can be sent
  • any guarantees or after-sales services you offer
  • conditions for terminating contracts
  • any helpline call charges that are more than calling an 01, 02 or 03 number, or a mobile or free number

Selling online

As well as the general rules for distance selling, there are some extra rules for selling online.

You must:

  • list the steps involved in a customer placing an order
  • acknowledge receipt of any orders electronically as soon as possible
  • take reasonable steps to allow customers to correct any errors in their order
  • let customers know what languages are available to them
  • make sure customers can store and reproduce your terms and conditions, ie these can be downloaded and printed off
  • give your email address
  • give your VAT number (if your business is registered for VAT)
  • give clear prices and delivery costs for your products

Returns

You must offer a full refund if an item is faulty, not as described or doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.

Check when you have to offer refunds and accept returns.

Customers have exactly the same rights to refunds when they buy items in a sale as when they buy them at full price.

When you don’t have to offer a refund

You don’t have to refund a customer if they:

  • knew an item was faulty when they bought it
  • damaged an item by trying to repair it themselves or getting someone else to do it (though they may still have the right to a repair, replacement or partial refund)
  • no longer want an item (eg because it’s the wrong size or colour) unless they bought it without seeing it

You have to offer a refund for certain items only if they’re faulty, such as:

  • personalised items and custom-made items, eg curtains
  • perishable items, eg frozen food or flowers
  • newspapers and magazines
  • unwrapped CDs, DVDs and computer software

Online, mail and phone order sales

Online, mail and telephone order customers have the right to cancel their order for a limited time even if the goods aren’t faulty. Sales of this kind are known as ‘distance selling’.

You must offer a refund to customers if they’ve told you within 14 days of receiving their goods that they want to cancel. They have another 14 days to return the goods once they’ve told you.

You must refund the customer within 14 days of receiving the goods back. They don’t have to provide a reason.

 

(source of above information https://www.gov.uk)