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Online marketplaces

Online marketplaces

An online marketplace is the modern equivalent of a traditional market where stallholders operated independent selling outlets under the control of  a market operator.  An online marketplace offers retailers the opportunity to sell goods under the auspices of the marketplace operator's website and e-commerce facilities.  So for example eBay and Amazon operate as online marketplaces and independent sellers use their services to sell goods.  Individual sellers have to abide by the terms and conditions of each marketplace.

Delivery Charge Terms

Each online marketplace will have its own rules about delivery charges.  For example eBay UK allows sellers to set different delivery charges for the different regions of the United Kingdom.  Amazon UK do things differently and a seller using Amazon's fulfilment service has to fix the delivery charge for the whole of the United Kingdom; in other words a single charge for every address across the U.K., regardless if it is an off-shore location or a major city.


If you feel you have been misled about delivery charges on an online platform then you have a number of options. 

  • Report the matter to Trading Standards
  • Complain to the Advertising Standards Authority if it is online advertising issue
  • Report the seller to the online marketplace operator for breaching the terms of the online marketplace

Here are the contact details for some of the major online marketplaces operating in the UK:

  • Amazon UK


  • eBay UK


  • Etsy UK


  • Not on the High Street UK


Consumer Rights

When you buy goods from an online marketplace seller your contract is with the seller not the online marketplace operator.  If you have a contractual dispute with a seller see our guidance for contract disputes.  If an online marketplace seller has displayed misleading delivery charge information then you may have a right of redress - see here for further information.