Distance selling is becoming more prevalent across a range of industries. With the rise of online additional regulations have been complied to ensure consumers are protected throughout these transactions. One of the more comprehensive sets of distance selling regulations is the EU Distance Selling Directive.
Distance selling is the process of selling products or services without face to face contact and without the consumer physically seeing the product before they make a purchase. Distance selling can be completed over the phone, via mail order, or online, either using your own domain or through an online marketplace.
If your business conducts distance selling then it must comply with Distance Selling Regulations (DSR), and if your business operates within the EU, then it must also comply with the EU Distance Selling Directive.
The EU Distance Selling Directive is a comprehensive list of requirements that merchants must adhere to, designed to protect consumers who are making purchases either online or over the phone from businesses within the EU. These regulations outline certain practises and information that businesses must provide to their consumers and ultimately ensure that consumers receive items that are exactly as described. The directive also upholds consumer’s rights to returns, cancellations and refunds for any reason. These regulations apply to new and secondhand products.
There are also some other regulations to be aware of if your business conducts distance selling. If your business sells to individuals rather than to other businesses, you will need to also comply with Consumer Contracts Regulations. If you sell online, regardless of your customer base, your business will need to meet Ecommerce Regulations. Additionally, all businesses, whether they offer distance selling or not, need to comply with the Consumer Rights Act. Being aware of these regulations is important for proper business practice and for protecting your customers.