This document can be used to create terms and conditions for a marketplace website - that is, a website that enables users to come together to buy and sell physical products.
The document is structured so that the website operator will not be party to the contracts of sale entered into by buyers and sellers, notwithstanding that the operator may process buyers' payments on behalf of sellers.
The terms and conditions include a comprehensive "user content" provision, prohibiting the submission of unlawful and other undesirable content to the website, whether as part of a product listing, product review or otherwise.
Optional provisions are included to cover website functionality that allows sellers to create their own stores within the website space.
The operator of a marketplace website must consider the terms and conditions that apply between buyers and sellers. Even though the operator will not be party to contracts governed by those terms and conditions, they will have an impact upon the success of the website. The approach taken to this issue in this template is to set out some basic provisions covering sales, which may be either minimum standards or fall-back type provisions. However, under this document, it remains the responsibility of sellers (not the website operator) to ensure compliance with the legislation relating to online sales (notably, in the case of sales by businesses to consumers, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013).
These terms and conditions are unsuitable for use in relation to auction websites and websites enabling the sale of services and intangible products (such as downloads), at least without significant alteration.