Other applicable legislation
Consumer protection Legislation
(dutch): Wet Marktpraktijken
Belgian Law: Some regulations you should be aware of:
Prepayment can be required
Under the old legislation, you could not force the customer to pay before the end of the reflection period. This was too risky for the seller, resulting in not following this part of the legislation. As of the law of 10 May 2010, this is a thing of the past: You can require partial or full payment up front.
Online Bargain Period
(Dutch: Solden, Koopjes)
In the past, it was only permitted to offer bargains within the building enclosure where the normal priced sales occurred. So you had a link to the brick store.
This rule has been cancelled. As of now, you can offer bargains on a web shop. There are some constraints:
- The product you offer as a bargain must be a product you were already offering, online or in your brick shop. For example, a product that was on your web shop, and did not sell well, can be moved to the brick shop, and there offered at a bargain price. This is fine, as it was at a standard price before available on the online shop
- The bargain period is limited to 30 days. If it takes longer, your offering is no longer considered a bargain but a standard price
- Exception to the 30 period limitations is a selling-off. (Dutch: uitverkoop)
- You need to mention the reference price + date. The reference price or “normal price” is defined as the lowest price the product had during the last month prior to the sale.
- The product needs to be in your offering > 1 month
- For a new product, you can also work with a lower introduction price. If you wish to do that, you must mention the future price and the start date for the future price to become active.
Standard options are prohibited
It is prohibited to have default options selected on an online order.
For example, you can’t have “2 year express warranty service” selected (at an extra cost), increasing the total purchase price. The legislator has done this as many consumers overlooked this trick and ended up with a more expensive purchase then intended. Some online shops have been long term sinners on this aspect:
Below an example from "Pixmania": Trying to fool the customer in buying a warranty extension on top of the standard European 2 year warranty obligation. The warranty extension is by default added to the purchase, and you have to hit "Verwijderen" (Remove) on the website to get rid of this extra.
Tying sales is authorized now
- Discount granted for orders reaching a given threshold
- Joint action together with other traders (think about the possibilities !)
- E-mail with discount voucher (including forward to friends allowed)
- Discount voucher in exchange for personal data entry (e.g. in exchange for your e-mail address)
- Discount voucher valid for the next purchase
There are some constraints that apply for digital vouchers. You need to mention:
- The issuer
- Amount paid back
- Validity period (if not mentioned, unlimited validity applies)
- Any other constraint that applies
Source: Antoon Schockaert, Unizo presentation, “e-commerce, begin er niet aan!”