Lab Merchant aims to provide a fair and safe marketplace for all buyers and sellers. This page sets out the policies and practices that we expected sellers to follow when using our website. Sellers are advised to familiarise themselves with the policies and practices listed on this page before they begin to trade on the Lab Merchant website. Breaches of this policy may result in a range of actions, including listing cancellation and, in the most serious cases, account suspension. Users should note that the information below does not constitute legal or tax advice and sellers that are unsure of their obligations are advised to consult an independent advisor.
The product listing page provides information to potential buyers about your equipment and helps them to decide whether the equipment will meet their particular expectations and requirements. Listing pages should therefore only be used to communicate details about the equipment for sale and the terms on which you, as the seller, are prepared to sell the equipment. In order to set realistic buyer expectations, listings must provide complete and accurate information regarding the equipment and the terms on which they propose to transact.
- you should include photos of the item for sale. A minimum of three photos is recommended and the photos must be of the actual item for sale (as opposed to a similar model);
- you should specify the condition of the item in accordance with the options available on the listing details page
- listings should specifically identify any defects or flaws, e.g. in the physical appearance of the equipment or in its operation;
- if the equipment requires servicing or repairs before it can be used, you must draw the buyer’s attention to this during the enquiry and sales process;
- you should specify any taxes or fees that will be charged in addition to the price agreed for the item, e.g. you must make clear whether VAT will be charged on the price and your VAT number (if applicable); and
- you should keep your listings up to date, e.g. by marking items that have been sold as "sold".
Sellers are also expected to respond to enquiries with accurate information and to generally communicate promptly and professionally with potential buyers. Sellers should deal with buyer’s concerns and complaints in a courteous and professional manner. You must never use abusive or profane language in communications in dealing with others via the Lab Merchant website.
Terms of Sale
Sellers should specify the terms and conditions of sale in your listings. This should include:
- delivery options, e.g. do you have a preferred courier and can the buyer collect the item? If you are prepared to split the delivery cost with the buyer then specify this on the listing page.
- payment terms, e.g. what forms of payment are accepted? Sellers are strongly advised not to ship or release equipment to a buyer until full payment has been received in cleared funds.
- returns policy (see below).
When agreeing the terms of a sale with a particular buyer, if you agree to ship the item to the buyer then you should provide clear information as to the shipping method and the associated cost. Provide the buyer with the tracking number and give an indication as to when the buyer can expect delivery.
If you agree that the buyer can collect the item, then make clear that the item is their responsibility from the point of collection, e.g. that they bear the risk of loss or damage when removing the item from your premises.
Sellers must state their returns policy alongside their listings (in fact, business sellers are legally obliged to specify whether returns will be accepted), e.g. in what circumstances returns will be accepted and in what timeframe from completion of the sale. If you don’t specify a returns policy with your listings, then Lab Merchant will apply the default returns policy for you, which can be viewed here.
Lab Merchant recommends that sellers should have a generous returns policy as this can help to increase buyer confidence. If you trade as a business, then you are legally obliged to sort things out for your buyer if an item is faulty or arrives damaged. A private buyer also has the right to return an item to you if they change their mind.
Sellers must provide the following details on the “Seller Information” section of the website:
- full contact details for your business, including the geographical address;
- details of any relevant trade organisations to which you belong;
- details of any authorisation scheme relevant to your online business;
- clear indications of price, if relevant, including any delivery or tax charges;
- your VAT number, if your online activities are subject to VAT.