Delivery policy

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A delivery policy for goods sold online, that can be used to create binding obligations or as non-contractual guidance.

Author: Alasdair Taylor
Updated: 08 April 2019
Length: 3 pages
Notes: 4 pages
Format: MS Word (.DOCX)

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.

Geographical limitations

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

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.

  1. Introduction
  2. Free delivery
  3. Geographical limitations
  4. Delivery methods and periods
  5. Delivery charges
  6. Delivery tracking
  7. Receipt and signature
  8. Additional deliveries
  9. Collection
  10. Delivery problems

Is it a legal requirement to have a delivery policy on a website selling products?

Not as such.  However if you are selling B2C, Schedule 2 to the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 does have this to say: "the arrangements for ... delivery ..., and the time by which the trader undertakes to deliver the goods ..." must be disclosed to customers.

If having a delivery policy isn't a legal requirement, why have one at all?

It is good commercial practice for ecommerce websites to have a written delivery policy. A clear delivery policy means that that customers are not left wondering what happens after an order has been submitted. If customers have no idea when to expect delivery, they may resort to phoning or emailing the seller, using up seller resources.

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A copy of this delivery policy is included in these packs:

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Clear Policy
16 June 2021  | 

Very helpful policy comes with draft notes and quiet straight forward to edit.