I run a new apparels ecommerce business and I manually pieced up a terms & conditions page from various sources. I was just wondering if it is at all crucial to have these drafted out by a lawyer instead? If not, are there any an online versions which I can refer to?
I've compared with my competitors and theirs are much more detailed and contains legal terms (eg. clauses). So I am kinda stuck to how should I proceed further.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks in advance.
I think it really depends on where you are running your site.
I can speak for Germany where your terms&conditions (t&c) better be legally correct. There are plenty of law firms scanning sites for faulty t&c making a living on "calls to order" (don't know the correct term in English) with a hefty handling fee attached.
So, why you can always write something up yourself, you should know the pitfalls to avoid.
If you don't want to go through a lawyer - in Germany there is an association for eCommerce shops called "Haendlerbund ", where you get legally correct terms&conditons for a 9,90€ monthly membership. Maybe there is something similar whereever you are sitting, which I guess would be the best alternative for you.
There are some open source examples on Docracy * that you can download or branch, unfortunately I don't think there's one from an e-commerce site, but it's actually a good idea to take a peak at your competitors' and see if you missed out something. I would draft at least a first version and then ask a lawyer to review it - this should limit the damage to just a couple hundred dollars usually, and you get to sleep at night.
*Disclosure: I work there