Terms and Conditions

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Many websites post “terms and conditions” the define the rules for using a website.  Do you need conditions and terms at your eBay listings, your eBay store, or at your Web store, too? Maybe.

  • Disclaimers. You may want to include disclaimers — statements that inform customers that you won’t be liable for certain kinds of losses they might incur. For example, you may disclaim responsibility for losses that result if pottery breaks when a customer ships it back for return.

  • If you are gathering information from your customers, including credit card information, you should post a privacy policy detailing how this information will be used or not used. Yahoo!’s privacy policy is a good example of a broad, easy-to-understand policy. Whatever policy you adopt, be consistent, and if you are going to change it, make an effort to notify your customers of the change.

  • If your website provides space for chats or postings from the Web-surfing public, you’ll want to limit your liability from offensive or libelous postings or similar chat room comments. There are three things you can do. First, regularly monitor all postings and promptly take down those you think are offensive or libelous. Second, if a third party asks you to remove a posting, remove it while you investigate. If you determine — after speaking with an attorney — that you are entitled to keep the post, then you can put it back up. Third, include a disclaimer on your site that explains that you don’t endorse and aren’t responsible for the accuracy or reliability of statements made by third parties. This won’t shield you from claims, but it may minimize your financial damages if you’re involved in a lawsuit over the posting.

  • Include notices regarding copyright and trademark — for example, “Copyright © 2006 ndasforfree.com” or “Cyzuki is a trademark of Cynthia Lloyd.” 

  • If you are catering to an audience under 13 years old, special rules apply. You should learn more about dealing with children at the Federal Trade Commission website.

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