Free Privacy Policy, Return Policy and Terms of Service for eCommerce

Let's face it. Even thinking about a privacy policy, return policy or terms of service page sounds dull. However, it's required for you to protect yourself, your customers and the overall environment on your ecommerce store. These policies take a long time to write up, and they are far from cheap if you go to a lawyer. However, we don't recommend writing these up alone. Otherwise, you could end with some loopholes in your return policy or privacy policy, making a sticky situation for you and your customer. Luckily, quite a few options are available online for finding a free privacy policy, along with various templates for things like return policies and terms of service.

The best one is the policy generator (outlined below) offered by Shopify, but you can technically complete a quick Google search to see what else comes up.

As for understanding the importance of all these policies, we recommend reading below to figure out exactly why you must include these on your site.

Why do You Need These Pages on Your Shop?

We're going to cover three areas: The return/refund policy, terms of service and the privacy policy. Every online store needs each of these, and it's nice to have some sort of knowledge as to why you're putting them on your site. It's especially helpful if someone tries to sue you or if a customer has a question regarding one of the policies.

Policies for Returns and Refunds

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The return policy is more of a guideline for the customer. It outlines exactly what they need to go through if they are having problems with their purchase and would like to send it back to your company.

Chances are you won't get in any legal trouble if your return policy isn't that great, but this policy is the most important one for being upfront and honest with your customers.

You don't actually have to offer returns or refunds, but it's highly recommended. This way, people can check to see how long they have to return an item, and they may be more willing to buy from you if your return guidelines are clear, concise and fair.

Terms of Service

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The terms of service page details all of the rules that your customers have to follow when browsing around and shopping on your site. This is more of a protection for you, but it can also show your good customers that they are on a safe and reliable site.

For example, the terms of service is going to reveal that customers are not allowed to post obscene comments or hack your online shop. It's also great for talking about spam and other things of that nature. This page has plenty of different names. For example, you might hear it called terms, terms of use or terms and conditions.

Overall, the main reason you'll want a terms of service page is to reveal to customers that they are not currently on a site that has been exposed to the bad of the internet, like ugly comments or viruses. In addition, you can refer to your terms of service if a customer tries to sue you are start an argument with you.

One final note: Most legitimate payment gateways will require you to have a terms of service on your site. Otherwise you might not get approved.

The Privacy Policy

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Not only is it illegal to not have a privacy policy on an ecommerce store, but having one is a great way to show your customers how you're using their information. Most customers know that information like email addresses, credit card data and other things are collected when they go shopping online. However, they expect you to protect that information and tell them how you're doing it.

Therefore, the privacy policy builds trust between you and your customer, and you're going to avoid legal trouble in most countries when you take the time to implement one on your site.

Finally, you're going to have trouble getting a payment gateway to approve you if you don't have a privacy policy.

Especially if your website, and the payment gateway company, are located in places like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. All of these countries, and many more, have laws requiring you to include a privacy policy on an ecommerce store.

An Awesome Tool From Shopify For Generating a Free Privacy Policy and More

Seeing as how it's boring and tedious to put together a privacy policy, Shopify provides a simple tool that generates one for you.

They prompt you to signup for a 14-day free Shopify trial as well, but you have the option to forego that if you want. In addition, you don't need to be a Shopify customer in order to receive the free privacy policy.

Furthermore, they have templates for return policies and terms of service policies. I would recommend this to just about every ecommerce store owner, since it only takes a moment and you won't have to go talk to a lawyer to get these items written up.

Try-Shopify

Shopify specifies that this should not be a substitute for legal counsel, but it does ensure that the policy templates do comply with the law and are ready to go for just about any site.

Get Your Free Privacy Policy Now

Once again, I highly recommend you check out the Shopify free privacy policy generator. Other than that, keep in mind that these policies are essential to keeping your company covered in case a customer tries to claim that you did something illegal.

Most customers aren't ever going to look at these pages on your site, but you can bet that many users are at least going to want to see your return policy. Not to mention, just seeing that you have such policies will keep customers at ease and potentially make them want to buy from you.

If you have any questions about privacy policies, return policies, terms of service or disclaimers, drop a line in the comments section below and we'll try to help you out.

Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.