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Thursday 30 September 2010

Handmade Crafts Terms and Conditions

Apologies in advance if I bore you with this week’s blog post, but I am going to talk a little about website Terms and Conditions (T&Cs)...well I did warn you!

If you are selling online you will hopefully have Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) covering your website shop, including amongst other things shipping policies and returns/exchanges.

Selling online is very different to selling from a physical location such as a shop or store because the consumer can’t see or touch the item that they are buying. Because of this, the Distance Selling Regulations were introduced to protect the consumer in the UK.

Terms & Conditions example
Terms & Conditions example

I cannot claim to be an expert in this area but the following advice was given to me by my local Trading Standards Officer after I asked her to review my website Terms and Conditions. I got these things wrong in my website Terms and Conditions, and many people still do.

Returning Earrings

Whilst the returning of earrings can be seen a health hazard, they are still returnable. What you can do, however, is seal the bag with hygiene seals and ‘ask’ that if they are returned then the seal must not be broken.

Seven day return policy

#The seven day returns policy whereby a consumer can return their purchase without giving a reason, for example changing their mind about the purchase upon receiving the product.

The seven day return policy is seven working days, starting the day after receipt of the product. The consumers’ time limit does not start until the day after they have received the goods.

Return of goods in an unused state

You cannot state that the goods have to be returned in an unused state as legally the consumer does not have to return the goods. You can however, 'ask' that the consumer returns the goods as soon as possible.

Consumer responsible for returned goods

The Distance Selling Regulations also state that as soon as a consumer has posted the item for return or given it to a courier, the trader is then responsible for it. This means that you are responsible for any goods lost in transit and therefore you cannot put that you are not held responsible.

Displaying Prices

It is best if you include VAT on all of your prices when they are first displayed as this will prevent the consumer from being confused or mislead.

Geographical Address

The website must display your geographical address of the place of business to which the consumer may address any complaints

I hope that this was of some help and that I didn’t bore you too much. If you would like a good bed-time read, grab a copy of the Distance Selling Regulations...Enjoy!


  1. That's really great information. Thank you for sharing it. I think sometimes we end up with 'chinese whispers' with things like this where we take the basics from someone elses and change it a little. It's good to get back to the actual legal terms.

  2. Thanks for that I had an email yesterday from someone telling me that my T&C was incorrect in that I had stated the return date to be 7 days I've now changed it to 30. I guess I'll also have to go and remove the bit about not being responsible for the item after it's been mailed out.

    So many rules and regulations for the consumer but seems we as traders can do nothing if someone decides that they want a refund and there is no way of getting them to return the item whether used or unused.

  3. Thanks Mick, I keep popping back to have another read.
    Really must get around to adding them to Folksy shop, on todo list.


  4. Good work there Mick!! As said it is always the consumer who seems to fair better in these matters!! I think we have to hope that we have honest customers!! :-))


Thank you for your comments. I do appreciate the time and trouble taken to comment and will publish as soon as possible.