Consumer protection laws

When you sell products through Shopify, you need to comply with the consumer protection laws and regulations that apply to your business. Consumer protection laws promote consumer rights and public safety. These laws and regulations depend on the region where your store is located and the region where you sell. Use the information on this page to learn about some consumer protection laws that might apply to your business.

You can grow your business and reach new customers by selling your products in several jurisdictions. To ensure uninterrupted use of your Shopify store, ensure you're following consumer protection laws in any jurisdiction where you conduct business.

Contact information

Under the Shopify Terms of Service, you must provide current and accurate contact information on your online store. This information includes:

  • Your business name
  • An email address and phone number (if available) where customers can contact you with any questions, complaints, or claims
  • The physical address for your business

Your contact information needs to be public-facing and easy to access.

You can add store policies, or you can add a Contact Us page to your online store.

Shopify offers free policy generator tools and resources so that you can easily create the following policies for your website:

Contact information for European stores

If you're a merchant located in or selling to consumers in Europe, then European laws also apply to you. You're also required to include your company number and Value-Added Tax (VAT) number on your online store.

If a claim is handled by phone, then you can't charge the customer more than basic rates. Before you sell to consumers in Europe, review applicable consumer protection regulations such as the following directives:

Refund policy

Under the Shopify Terms of Service, you must provide current, accurate, public-facing, and easy-to-access information about your refund policy on your online store.

Your refund policy should include the following information:

  • The time in which a product must be returned.
  • The address where a return needs to be sent.
  • Information about the cost of returning a product, and who pays for the return.
  • Information about how the time to get a refund might depend on where the customer lives in relation to your location.
  • Contact information a customer can use to contact you if they don't receive a refund in a timely manner.

Learn more about adding store policies, such as a refund, privacy, terms of service, shipping, or legal store policy, to your online store.

Refund policy for European stores

If you're a merchant located in or selling to consumers in Europe, then European laws also apply to you. In your refund policy, you must provide European consumers with information about their basic rights, including the right to withdrawal and conformity of goods.

Before you sell to consumers in Europe, review applicable consumer protection regulations such as the following directives:

Order fulfillment and delivery

Under the Shopify Terms of Service, you must add information about order fulfillment, delivery, and any other relevant considerations, such as estimated shipping timelines. Before your customer completes a purchase, it should be clear to them how long it'll take for their order to arrive.

You should communicate the following information to your customers:

  • If there's a change or delay to a customer’s order.
  • If import fees or customs charges might be imposed because the customer is located in a country different from where you're shipping products.
  • [Optional] If you use dropshipping or another third-party service to fulfill orders, then it's good practice to tell your customers that products will be shipped by a third-party from a different location.

Order fulfillment and delivery for European stores

Before you sell to consumers in Europe, review applicable regulations related to order fulfillment, shipping information, and the disclosure of import or customs charges, such as the following directives:

Product performance, marketing, and pricing claims

Claims you make about your product must be true and supported by documented evidence. In some jurisdictions, the law might also require an adequate and proper test of claims made.

Under Shopify's Acceptable Use Policy, you may not deceive or mislead customers when marketing products.

Claims about the popularity and availability of a product should be clear and accurate. Examples of tactics which could be deceptive or misleading if the claims are inaccurate or false, include the following marketing tactics:

  • limited stock notifications, such as "only [x] items left”
  • countdown timers, such as “only [x] hours left”
  • claims about how many people bought a particular product, such as “[x] people bought this product today”

Product performance, marketing, and pricing claims for European stores

If you're a merchant located in or selling to consumers in Europe, then European laws also apply to you. In your product performance, marketing, and pricing claims, you must include VAT and import duties in the final prices displayed for products sold through your online store.

Starting May 28, 2022, if you're offering a discount or price reduction, then you must clearly indicate the previous price of the product.

Before you sell to consumers in Europe, review applicable consumer protection regulations such as the following directives:

Product recalls

You're required to monitor product recalls in any jurisdiction where you conduct business.

If a product that you sell, or have sold in the past, is recalled, then you must immediately remove products that were recalled from your online store.

If it's required by law, then you may need to notify customers who purchased a recalled product and advise them of next steps.

You can find specific information online about product recalls, such as the following government websites:

Consumer protection resources

You can find specific information online about a jurisdiction's consumer awareness guidelines, such as the following resources:

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