What categories of rules or terms and conditions do you need?
Given that a marketplace brings buyers and sellers together on your website you should have the following types or categories of rules/terms and conditions:
- Terms applicable to buyers only
- Terms applicable to sellers only
- Terms dealing with people just browsing your website and buyers and sellers jointly (i.e. common terms that are applicable to all users of your marketplace website).
This way every type of user on your website has terms and conditions that apply to them, which will help you reduce your legal liability as much as reasonably possible.
What sort of things do I need to have terms and conditions about?
If you are running a marketplace website you would want to specify the following sorts of things:
1. Membership – do either sellers or buyers have to sign up to transact business on your website?
2. Communication or Posting rules – you should also consider having rules that apply when a buyer or seller wants to post comments or feedback about a buyer or seller, or when communicating as between themselves;
3. Images – if a seller (or buyer – when giving feedback) can upload their own marketing text and images on to the website and what rules are there around those images;
4. Advertising – can a seller advertise on your website? If so what rules apply?
5. Disputes – how are disputes dealt with;
6. Refund, shipping and order cancellation policies – should all be set out so that there is no doubt as to what the relevant requirements are;
7. Fees – what you charge buyers and sellers to use your website;
8. Limitation of Liability clause – to reduce your liability as much as possible;
9. Indemnity – if required you might also seek an indemnity from users of your website to protect you;
10. Other terms and conditions – you might also have other terms and conditions that are relevant to your particular website (for instance can minors or people under the age of 18 use your website etc.)
If you are planning on running a marketplace type website you have plenty to think about already, don’t worry about the legal terms and conditions. Leave that to us.