Ecommerce Legal Dos and Don’ts

158580307Earning the moniker “Always-on Commerce,” and named as a key trend for 2014 by eMarketer, U.S. ecommerce sales are predicted to reach $434 billion by 2017. But building an ecommerce website without first making sure you’re following ecommerce laws could land you in hot water with the FTC and put your business in danger of lawsuits. Here are some basics dos and don’ts for your ecommerce site:

Do have a Terms of Use/Terms of Sale page: This is where you make it clear who is selling the product, including the physical business address, phone and email address. Also include all costs including taxes, delivery costs, plus information about delivery method/s, return and cancellation policies, warranties and any age requirements.

Do post disclaimer information:  You must disclose any paid ads, sponsors, affiliates and testimonials. Also, if necessary, qualify any marketing claims.

Do post rules for contests: This includes any promotions or sweepstakes where a winner will be chosen. You must clarify time limitations of the promotion, entry requirements, odds of winning, how entries will be judged, how prizes will be announced and delivered, etc.

Don’t overpromise in your Privacy Policy: If you say you’ll never share data you’ve collected on your website, you’re not being truthful. What if your company goes bankrupt or you sell the business? You will need to share information about your customers.

Don’t misrepresent your products: According to product liability laws, you cannot mislead customers with untrue or inaccurate product descriptions. Make sure your website’s descriptions give truthful information.

Photo Credit: Maksym Yemelynov/iStock/Thinkstock