How to write good policies and terms and conditions for eBay

Writing policies is a difficult thing. You want to protect yourself incase something goes wrong, but at the same time you don’t want to put people off buying your stuff. I follow these three golden rules

Don’t be anal. It really does not look good if you write really harsh things in CAPITALS like I WILL LEAVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK FOR NON PAYING BIDDERS or PLEASE DON’T BID IF YOU DON’T INTEND TO PAY. Will saying things like that really put off people who are going to much you around? It may even encourage them!

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. I think that buyer just want to know where they stand. Don’t promise next day delivery if you can’t manage it, you may find that your customer are happy to receive their items within 7 days.

Keep them short. Make sure your T&Cs are short and readable. Break them up using plenty of white space. You may want to keep them on a separate custom page on your shop or on your about me page.
Return Policies

Here are some guidlines from the office of fair trading for writing return policies.

The regulations give consumers an unconditional right to cancel an order. This is to allow the consumer the opportunity to examine the goods or consider the nature of a service.

If a consumer cancels an order, written notice must be given to you by:

  • goods – seven working days from the day after that on which the goods are received by the consumer;
  • services – seven working days from the day after that on which the consumer agrees to go ahead with the contract.

If you fail to provide consumers with written confirmation of all the required information, then the cancellation periods can be extended up to a maximum of three months and seven working days. If the missing information is provided during this time, then the cancellation period ends seven working days beginning with the day after the full written confirmation is received by the consumer.

Where a contract is cancelled, the consumer must ensure that reasonable care is taken of any goods received and ‘restore’ them to you. This does not mean that they have to return them – unless you stipulate this in the contract – only that they make them available for you to collect.

You must refund the consumer’s money as soon as possible and, at the latest, within 30 days of receiving the written notice of cancellation. The consumer may, at your discretion, be charged the direct cost of returning the goods, but you must tell them about this in the written information you give them.

If payment for the goods or services is under a related credit agreement, the consumer’s cancellation notice also has the effect of cancelling the credit agreement.

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