This delivery policy has been designed for websites selling products, whether B2C or B2B. The policy can serve either as:
- general guidance for customers, so that they have an idea of the seller's usual delivery policies and practices; or
- a legally-binding document placing enforceable obligations on the parties.
The delivery policy can be used in conjunction with our terms and conditions of sale documents and our returns policy template. It is included in all the versions of our online shop pack.
Some notes on the contents of the template delivery policy are set out below.
The template prompts sellers to explain any geographical limitations on delivery services. This will assure in-area customers that deliveries are available; and deter out-of-area customers. In relation to consumer contracts, it will also help the seller comply with its legal disclosure obligations.
Delivery charges should if possible be specified; if they cannot be specified, then the manner of their calculation should be clearly stated.
Sellers should consider whether it makes financial sense to track deliveries and have customers sign for them, rather than use the standard post and hope for the best. The value of the goods or their scarcity may be important factors in this regard. If a customer denies having received the goods and there is no evidence of delivery, the seller may in practice have to absorb the loss.
Handling delivery problems
The policy explains what the customer should do in the event of any issues with the delivery, including non-delivery and loss.
Guidance vs contract
Some of the suggested wording of the policy is more friendly to the business owner than the customer; in particular, the working allows for flexibility with delivery times and dates.
Nonetheless, if the policy is to be treated as part of the contract of sale and the seller fails to abide by the terms, the seller could face the risk of a claim for breach of contract.