Terms and Conditions

Website Terms and Conditions of Sale

This document can be used to create the terms and conditions of sale for a website. It sets out the basis on which a user purchases goods, services and/or digital content from a website and can be modified to take account of numerous issues including:

  • consumer and business customers;
  • goods, services and digital content sales;
  • dispute resolution;
  • cancellation rights and consequences.

It should be noted that this document only includes the terms and conditions of sale. It can refer to and incorporate into its terms other documents which may be applicable, such as a privacy policy and terms and conditions of use. Website operators should always consider whether any further documents such as a privacy policy or cookie policy are required. While this document has been updated to reflect the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) when used in conjunction with a privacy policy, such documents are not included and must be obtained separately.

Websites using the document should consider and be aware of the EU’s Online Dispute Resolution platformwhich is referred to within the document.

Additionally, if any third party services are used on the site (such as payment providers), consideration must be paid to whether any further terms must be added to the document. Typically such terms will be mandated by such services and can be determined through a request to the provider.

Finally, it should be noted that this document has been created for use by general, common sites, which do not present more specific legal issues. If the website has content which is likely to create more specific issues, or is targeted at a sensitive audience, this document is not appropriate for use. In particular, if the website concerns regulated activities (including those covered by the Financial Conduct Authority), encourages dangerous or risky activities, offers legally restricted content or products, or is aimed at use by children, this document should not be used.

How to use the document

Firstly, the terms and conditions will need to be published on the website in order for them to be legally binding on a user of the website, and the user will have to have been made consciously aware of them and considered to have willingly agreed to them.

Some websites simply make the terms and conditions of sale available somewhere on the respective site (usually on a separate page, accessible via a hyperlink) and claim that by using the site and making purchases, users agree to the terms and conditions. This is known as a “browsewrap” agreement.

Other websites make the user take positive steps to confirm that they have read, understood and accepted the terms and conditions of sale. For example, sites might have a pop-up box that contains the entire terms and conditions. The user has to scroll to the bottom of the terms and conditions and then check a box (that is otherwise unchecked) to say “I have read and understood these terms and conditions and agree to be bound by them” prior to completing any sale. This is known as a “clickwrap” agreement.

Websites that use clickwrap agreements often also make sure that the “I agree” box appears on the same page as the entire terms and conditions (so that the user cannot argue that although they checked the box, they did not actually see the terms and conditions). It is also common for websites to bring specific terms to the user’s attention if those terms might be seen as particularly unfair on the user.

Similarly, if the terms exclude under 18s from using the site, it is typical for a website to require the user to confirm their age on a separate page or pop-up.

In addition to terms and conditions of sale, many websites will require a terms and conditions of use which set out the terms on which a user accesses the website. Business owners who also collect any information from users of the website are likely to need a privacy policy in order to explain how the user’s information is collected, stored and used. If cookies are used, a cookie policy will also be required. Finally, an acceptable use policy may also help set out the ways in which the website may be used.