Southern Entrepreneurs – Training

29 Sep 2016

Wessex House – EASTLEIGH

Selling Legally On-line

The internet is the new high street and e-commerce is a great way of getting products and services to market. This course aims to help you make sure you don’t fall into the legal pitfalls thus reducing the competitive advantage, please note we will not be covering EU VAT rules.


Find out more …


Ebay have refunded a purchaser under Ebays own policy. The trader is another business and we will have to collect the item which we know they have misused. What can we do?

Clearly if you are trading on ebay as your main channel to market you will have to be sensitive to the policies so as to avoid ebay banning you. However if your terms and conditions are robust and bearing in mind that traders do not enjoy the same rights as consumers you could take the view that your customer is in breach of contract i.e. you have supplied goods which they effectively have not paid for. This seems to be a fundamental breach of the contract terms for which they could be pursued through the County Court with all that entails. Just to reiterate you would need to ensure that this was not in contravention of your agreement with ebay and you would need to ensure that your agreement was enforceable.

I have an online shop. What happens if I don't tell my customers that they have 14 days to decide if they want to keep the goods I've posted to them?

The law says that in ‘distance sales’ to consumers you have to tell your customers that they have a 14 day cancellation right, what they need to do if they want to cancel and who pays for the return postage.

If you fail to tell them then the period is extended to a maximum of one year and 14 days from the date of delivery. If they do cancel within the year and 14 days then you will have no option but to refund the total cost, including the outbound and return postage costs in full.

If you sell goods or services away from your usual trade premises and you do not tell your customers of their cancellation rights you are also committing a criminal offence for which you could be prosecuted.

I have an online shop which is aimed at the UK marketplace but what happens if someone outside of the UK buys one of the products and in particular where do I stand with returns, postage and faulty goods?

This is a minefield, essentially you should make sure that you are crystal clear about which territories/countries/areas you are going to do business in. Don’t ‘accept’ a customer order from, or enter into a legally binding contract with, someone outside your catchment area.
You should also specify where you will make deliveries, if applicable, and don’t rely on the fact that your website is in English to restrict the sales.
Your terms and conditions of business should be carefully crafted to comply with legal obligations particularly if you are making sales to consumers. Beware the proposed EU rules on geographical discrimination in terms of pricing.
If the buyer is in the EU then you will need to comply with EU consumer legislation with respect to returns etc, however as this is harmonised across the EU as long as you comply with UK law you should be OK.
You may wish to ask us to review and amend your terms and conditions to ensure they are current >read more…