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Distance Selling Laws

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  • Distance Selling Laws

    I have my own website , and was informed last week quite correctly by Top 50 Crafters that the UK distance selling laws require your full name and address to be listed on your web site where you are selling goods. I have complied with this, but find most 'craft selling sites' don't. I,m not sure it the same sort of rules apply in the US? I have my goods listed in about 6 different selling sites, but none of them show my full address to potential customers. What is everybody elses experience?

  • #2
    Yep its the law..

    UK based websites selling items MUST have a address and a name of the owner..

    Simple as that..

    Promote your craft site today : Add Your CRAFTS
    (£5.50 a month or £50 per year)

    Fun new blog: Snowboard Stuff


    • #3
      It has been law for some time now, but no-one seems to enforce it. As soon as I found out a couple of weeks ago, I removed all advertising material from my website & now it is just something for interested people to look at. Also stopped selling on Ebay at the same time. The government are always banging on about not putting names & addresses on the internet, but are now demanding it for sellers! I suppose the data Protection laws have just gone out of the window now.

      I don't want to display my name & address on the interent to all & sundry although I don't mind my customers getting it before an item is sold.

      This has virtually put me out of business althought it is only something to fill my time in retirement. Usually the cry "tax evasion" goes up when I mention this, but it is not the case. I have always declared all my income from what I sell, no matter how small, & have paid tax accordingly!

      Now wondering what to do with the rest of my life - may go back to writing again until they find some way to stop that as well.



      • #4
        Shortly after posting the above, I chanced upon the programme "Identity Fraud: Outnumbered" on BBC1 last night. It had been running for about 15 minutes (out of 1 hour) when I came upon it, but is was very thought-provoking & alarming about what could be found out from names & addresses on the internet & even in computers that that had been infected with dormant scanning viruses so that the contents of the hard drive could be examined at will by hackers whilst on line. After seeing that, all thoughts of ever putting my name & address on websites, selling sites, or even in my own computer have been dispelled! I prefer to stop selling rather than lay myself open to the risks that were outlined last night.


        • #5
          I've posted about how easy it is to get hold of people info that I wouldn't one bit about putting a name and address on your site..

          One crazy example was you can spend something like £5 to view someones mortgage agreement . Yep the one you signed.. Its has your signature, bank detials and address.. So if you have a mortgage then all the info is already out...

          As you said the stuff your PC can be far worse than your name on your site.

          BTW if you own a web address then you can access your address via a "whois" record of who own it.. So again.. Don't worry..

          Promote your craft site today : Add Your CRAFTS
          (£5.50 a month or £50 per year)

          Fun new blog: Snowboard Stuff


          • #6
            Thanks for reply with further info. I had never heard of Whois, but looked it up & was unable to find my website on it, although it is a Blog type & that may make a difference. Also looked up a friend's website & found that OK, but couldn't find any reference to names & addresses. Anyway, Have already taken steps to empty my computer of all personal details, addresses etc & put it on an external hard drive that is not connected when online. Fortunately, I never had bank acoount details or anything like that in it anyway. Didn't know about the mortage either, but in my case, don't have one, so not applicable. One thing I have wondered about for a long time - when data is deleted from a computer, is it really "still there," but hidden at a deepr level? I say this because I am aware that with the vast amounts of storage now available in PCs these days, one would probably have to live to be 2,000 to fill it up with normal use. When I last changed my computer, I removed the hard drive from it & made sure it was unusable, even so, I still kept the remains of it in an environment that will assure its further deterioration over time.
            This all may sound paranoic, but I think we will be hearing a lot more about this sort of thing in the near future & the more info we have on avoiding problems, the better.


            • #7
              Yep...your name and address needs to be displayed on your site if you're selling to the public, it's part of the 'e-commerce regulations'

              And I would say if I was buying on-line I would want to know who I was sending money to.

              Do PC's hold deleted files... I suspect they do. In a past life I worked in a call centre, where there were approx 1000 PC's with a team of IT guys to look after them. If there was any 'wrong doings' by staff going on they could retrieve deleted info. Similarly, they sometimes worked with the police to retrieve deleted data from mobile phones that had been used by criminals. Deleted Text messages, phone numbers etc, could be retrieved.

              On-line bead supplier and bead lover


              • #8
                Deleted files, don't go completely, they often just become "invisible", and compacted. if you run a program such as Recover my files, you might be amazed what you'll find! (useful if you accidentally delete stuff).

                What I'd like to know tho', is how a hard drive or other storage device , can only hold x amount, but when you run a recovery program , there's loads more on there!

                A tip i was given at work, was not to delete files, but overwrite them, (preferably more than once), as there was then far less chance of the original data being recoverable ( should we have been using the machines for non-work stuff , there was less chance of being caught!!)

                Regarding the legislation

                Is it EU law or just UK?

                And you mentioned UK based websites, so does that mean those physically based in UK or any addresses?

                Is it no longer possible to have it registered via a holding co, or whatever they were called, who have all your details, but kept private and their details come up on something like a who is search?


                • #9
                  Another question, (should anyone know)

                  Does this apply to any internet business, or just to those selling physical products, as opposed to , say, internet services , or anything else where nothing concrete changes hands. iyswim


                  • #10
                    As far as buyers getting my name & address, I have no objection at all, but I draw a line at having them displayed permanently for all to see. The programme on TV the other night re-enforced this view. I wonder why MPs are so sensitive about making public their addresses? one rule for them, another for us, I suppose! These rules have virtually put me out of business, but I am still "ticking over" with ex satisfied customers coming back for more. "Data protection" seems to have gone out of the window with these new Distance Selling Rules!


                    • #11
                      The way I see it... if someone wants your details.. they can look online without the need for worrying about your address..

                      I have had people I know had their lives cloned due to a misplaced driving licence.. others bank accounts hacked due to the rubbish they put out..

                      If it is going to happen.. it will.. I mean the government lose details left, right and centre.. atleast if mine get lost.. it's my own fault..

                      Personally.. as long as you check bank/credit card statements regularly and make sure that you keep an eye on your credit score.. you will be no worse of than someone who doesn't..

                      For a few pound.. with just a name I can find out an address on the electoral roll.. a criminal record history, old addresses and even marriage/birth and death certificate details..

                      You are not as safe as you think.. no matter where you put your address online.. and to be honest.. how many of us shred whatever we throw away.. which almost ALWAYS contains your address and name.. and doesn't even need the internet to make use of..

                      Just my opinion of course....
                      Nikki x
                      Behind all great men are suprised mother in laws.

             for clear stamps with a difference..


                      • #12
                        You don't actually need to display either your name or home address if you don't want to. What is required by the distance selling regulations is a postal address where you can be contacted, so a virtual office or even a PO box (although not advised) can be used for this, and your business name not your own name.
                        Full details can be found on the office of fair trading website (can't post links yet!).

                        Although I agree, if anyone wanted my details they could get them very easily whether I display them on my website or not, so I'm not really bothered about displaying them! Also, I wouldn't buy from any website that doesn't give full contact details so I wouldn't expect anyone to buy from me if I didn't display them
                        Patchwork fabric shop online
                        Quilting tools at great prices!


                        • #13
                          P.O. Box number are most definitely prohibited - it has to be your full address. I have often purchased from unknown sellers on Ebay, but I notice that the moment I "win" the item, I get their name & address! Similarly, when I sell, the moment I send an invoice, they get my full address & I have no objection to this! My website is but I doubt whether you can find my postal address from it (I may be wrong of course). To comply with the rules, I have removed all references to selling from my website & it is now only a "hobby" site for interested people to look at! For the same reason, I have quit selling on Ebay & have more or less settled down to enjoying retirement. (Well done European rules for getting rid of another small source of income. i.e. I stop selling, I pay less tax, gov. makes less money!).

                          We are becoming overburdened with rules in the UK. We are shortly going to London for an overnight stay. Hotel says "Toast is not included in an English breakfast anymore!" We ask why - "Health & safety rules is the answer!" So - the British are now terrified of a bit of toast catching fire! Sir Francis Drake would have turned in his grave!

                          Forget not the heritage we leave,
                          Aye & teach your children its value,
                          That NEVER in the coming centuries,
                          May their hearts fail them, or their minds grow weak!
                          (Sir Francis Drake)

                          This is what I build, but the "rules" now prevent "distant" sellers from buying them because I will not bow down to petty rules - So something I have been doing for over 50 years must now be restricted to almost nothing!


                          • #14
                            Just tried for your address but it only gives 'Blogspot' as the registrar. You're safe ish on that one! If you have a registered domain name like mine, anyone can get your details, there again, if you advertise you want everybody to get your details! The internet is a huge multinational village where everyone knows everyone else - good or bad - you pays your money and takes your choice! It took me ages to release my personal stuff, until I realised it was public property anyway once you post on a forum for google to pick it up, so I am now going for the whole shebang...................!
                            BTW....................try googling your name frequently, it's worth it to check up! ..........................and another's only EEC sites - put your work on Etsy!!
                            Last edited by Peter; 15-04-2008, 08:42 PM.


                            • #15
                              Yes, I thought it was secure. I am quite well-known now, so models will probably continue to trickle out to old satisfied customers, pity the rules had to put the stoppers on me (only because I won't comply, of course).
                              Here's another - no longer in my possession!