Selling on eBay: Your Legal Obligations Part 2

Selling on eBay: Your Legal Obligations (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of our “Selling on eBay” series.  Make sure to read Part 1, Setting up Shop, so that you have a solid foundation for a great long-term business.

In this article, we will be discussing your legal obligations as an eBay seller under Australian law.

Make sure your item descriptions are accurate and not misleading 

eBay stores must abide by the same laws as brick and mortar businesses.  You could be hit with huge penalties for misleading and deceptive conduct by the ACCC; make sure that you do not accidentally provide a misleading overall impression of your product.

Misleading activity can extend to more than just your physical product descriptions.  For example, if you use an Australian symbol (such as the country outline, a flag or green and gold logo) or an Australian Made logo on your product images, you could be providing a misleading overall impression that your product is being manufactured in Australia (‘Aussie Beer’ was faced a $10,000 penalty).

If you want to emphasise that you are an Australian seller, then make sure that this is clear on your images.

Make sure your Terms and Conditions are not inconsistent with Australian Law and eBay offerings 

It is recommended that you formulate your own trading terms that can be attached to your listings.  They will provide you with an added level of certainty and protection.    Copy and paste terms and conditions will not often be enough, as these are always written very generally and may not operate in your state or country.  It is important to obtain legal assistance when drafting your terms and conditions.  A legal advisor can also assist you to ensure that your terms and conditions are consistent with Australian Law.

For example, you cannot refuse refunds for items that are not as described, unacceptable quality or faulty (for more details, visit the ACCC website).  You are not obliged to accept returns for change of mind, but if you do, a Returns Policy is recommended so that you have a document to rely on if something goes wrong.

eBay offers a money back guarantee if the item does not arrive or was not as described, its important to ensure that you are aware of this guarantee and that your terms are consistent.

Use the correct wording for product guarantees 

If you provide a guarantee on a product above the minimum legal requirements – for example, an extended warranty, there is specific wording you must use.  It must be very clear what the extended warranty would provide over and above a consumer’s existing legal rights.

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We hope you enjoyed Part 2 of our series on Selling on eBay.  Follow us on social media @GladwinLegal (Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) to get updated on the release of Part 3.

Gladwin Legal can assist you in drafting your terms and conditions or clarifying your obligations under consumer law. For an obligation-free chat, contact us on    or  1300 033 934.