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  • selling soap online

    does anyone on here have their own website that they sell there soaps on?
    I'm looking into setting up my own website selling soaps but I need some help regarding the distance selling regulations which i'm a bit flummoxed by.
    I under stand that by law, i must offer a 7 day cooling off period, however, does soap and bath bombs come into the excepmtions, where i do not have to offer this cooling off period, unless the item is damaged and/or faulty? Its just for example if a customer buys a slice of soap, i will be cutting the slice of the loaf as and when it is sold, wrapping it in film and posting, as with the bath bombs, they will be loose, until i sell them, then i'll wrap them in film and post them. At the moment i'm thinking i could put a clause in the terms and conditions saying that the wrapping must not have been opened if they are returning the item. I think this is fair as i wouldn't want to re-sell an item i'd had sent back, that had someones great finger prints all over it, as its a bit unhygeinic. is it legal to state this? or even better, are soaps and bath bombs excempt from distance selling regs? what does anyone else do? help!

  • #2

    The 'right to cancel' DOES have exceptions:

    "Also the right to cancel does not apply to the following, unless you agree otherwise:
    • personalised goods or goods made to a consumer's specification
    • goods that cannot, by their nature, be returned
    • perishable goods (eg flowers, fresh food)
    • un-sealed audio or video recordings or computer software
    • newspapers, periodicals or magazines
    • betting, gaming or lottery services
    • services that begin, by agreement, before the end of the cancellation period providing the supplier has informed the consumer before the conclusion of the contract, in writing or another durable medium, that he will not be able to cancel once performance of the services has begun with his agreement
    • goods or services, the price of which is dependent on fluctuations in the financial market. "

    My understanding is that the customer would have to return the goods in a re-saleable condition but I would think they do have a right to inspect it, which would suggest to me that they can unwrap it. (Maybe someone else knows for sure??) Although I do agree with you about the fingerprints / hygiene part... so you could maybe explicitly state in your t&cs that 'resaleable' means free of fingerprints etc.

    Your best bet is probably to give your local trading standards a call and ask what they think. They tend to be very helpful - and will appreciate that you've got in touch to make sure you're doing things right (rather than THEM contacting YOU because you're doing things wrong!!).

    A lot of my soap is made to order (in terms of colour/fragrance), so it's exempt under the "personalised goods or goods made to a consumer's specification" part. So far, I've never had a bar returned, but I'd be happy to accept a return as long as the soap was returned in the same condition I sent it in.

    Resin jewellery, encaustic art paintings & gifts | Twitter!


    • #3
      Cbld, covered this topic very well but feel free to have a look at the T&C's of my site. That's what I did, looked through other sites then added bits of my own. I think you could word it in your favour.


      • #4
        thanks for your replys. i have been in contact from someone from trading stabdards regarding the sellin of soap olnine and i must say its all rather confusing. i have asked them regarding the returns issue and they will get back to me. i doubt i will have many returns, but i just need to sort my terms and conditions out legally. i really hope they get back to me and say that i can specify that it has to be unopened, because i think its a bit minging if i'm honest, someone poking and prodding a slice of soap with unwashed hands, and then me selling it on to some unwitting customer! i mean, you wouldn't go back to boots if you'd opened your soap and said, can i return this please, i don't like the smell!!


        • #5
          I know what you mean!! Hmmm ... got me thinking .... this is from the Boots website returns policy:

          "You can return any unwanted items free of charge within 28 days for a refund or replacement, as long as they are unused and in their original packaging and condition. For any refunds we will remove the Boots Advantage Card points collected with these items from your card.

          Please note:
          • Electrical and photographic equipment will only be accepted if complete with all leads, accessories and software. Any software must have its original seal intact to be accepted.
          • Cosmetics, jewellery and fragrance will only be accepted if unopened and with the product seal intact.
          • Swimwear will only be accepted if tried on over underwear and if its original packaging and all labels are still attached.
          • Health and fitness equipment will only be accepted if dismantled and boxed as received.
          • All returns are evaluated before being processed.
          • Faulty items will be accepted up to the manufacturer's warranty terms. This does not affect your statutory rights.
          For returns from our partner sites in Other Shops please see their returns policy on their Help section or Terms and conditions.
          We can only offer a refund or an exact replacement for your return, we cannot offer to exchange an item for a different item. If you need a different item, you need to request a refund and then place a new order."


          Resin jewellery, encaustic art paintings & gifts | Twitter!


          • #6
            well i will see what mr trading standards man says and if he says that cannot state that it needs to be sealed, i will email him boots terms and conditions and see what he says about that!


            • #7
              trading standard got back in touch and told me it was illegal to stipulate that items returned must be sealed (there is not reason why i couldnt suggest that they didn't open the item though) - i told them to go look at and tell me why they could and i couldn't. and also, because my items are technically loose before i post them, i do not have to label them up with weights, batch numbers and all the legal stuff. however by doing this, i also cannot advertise them as 100g or even approx 100g, as the law ignores the approx part of it and just takes into account the value i have stated. so i now cannot show any weights or dimensions of the products either, if i do, i must label up every item and weigh it, showing that it is the weight i said it was.
              how confusing
              so has anyone any ideas as to how i can describe the size of something without actually saying it!!!


              • #8
                I wonder if TS meant the outer wrapping of the parcel rather than the inner wrapping of the product?

                Most soapers give the weight as a minimum on the label and onsite - you're not going to be prosecuted for selling overweight.
                ElaineJ soap and other stuff


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ElaineJ View Post
                  I wonder if TS meant the outer wrapping of the parcel rather than the inner wrapping of the product?

                  Most soapers give the weight as a minimum on the label and onsite - you're not going to be prosecuted for selling overweight.
                  I presume so - it seems totally unrealistic to bar you from requiring items not be opened - surely cosmetics and perishables are all in the same category?

                  If I open a bag of crisps, I can't take them back because I don't like the flavour (though I could if they were "faulty" or contained a foreign object - but thats a different story altogether).

                  DSRs are really looking a bit old fashioned these days, and don't cope too well with all the cases, sadly!

                  Web Development
                  Beads, Charms & Findings - Jersey Craft Shop


                  • #10
                    hhhhm interesting thought on the weight issue!
                    i never thought of it like that, i could say minimum 100g, and as long as its over that, i would be fine i presume. although some idiot could read that all wrong and expect well over 100g and then return the item!
                    but the way he told me, confused me a great deal, as ive seen loads of online soap sellers stating weights etc and i can almost guarantee they aren't exactly what they've said. its not like at a fair or market where you can selling it by the weight, e.g. £2.00 per 100g or whatever, you can only have set prices online.

                    how he said it was on the webpage, it would say: name of item, description, ingriedients, price. then in the package, the item would be i a grip seal bag (for example) and then its shipping packaging (e.g. a box) and in the shipping packaging i would have to put a note saying what it was, ingriedients and also my website adress. no mention of weights whatsoever.

                    what exactly are the consequences of getting caught with the weights issue. i mean i know some guy who owns a shop and he sells penny sweet type sweets already bagged up for 59p and the only thing it says is: at least 150g. he's never been told off (if he has, he's still doing it!!), he's been doing it for 20 years! although i know the rules for soaps and confectionary are different!

                    i just have this horrible feeling now trading standards are aware of me, they will be keeping an eye out!

                    oh and regarding the t&c's, he says they are wrong, and he is going to get in touch with them about it.

                    p.s. i must say, i do love this smiley!!!


                    • #11
                      I have only just started selling my soaps but I started off selling them on Ebay first. I am currently having a website made and there are quite alot of free webspace links you can find on google and webspace creators etc.

                      Worth having a look around first before you comit to something as there is alot of info on google that could prove usefull to you.