Market traders legal information

Market traders need to be able to finance starting up and running a market stall. This can include the cost of buying their stock, paying the rent for their pitch and covering running costs, such as public liability or vehicle insurance.

Market Traders who sell food should make themselves aware of the food hygiene legislation such as statutory temperature controls in selling and transporting foods. If they use their own market stall it would be necessary for them to register the address where the market stall is kept.

The Trade Description Act is applicable to markets. If an article is brought back that is faulty or not fit for the purpose for which it was sold, then the trader must rectify the matter either by exchanging the goods, giving a credit note or a full cash refund, but remember whatever method is used it is the customers choice.

Often goods may be returned that are not faulty but the customer has found out it was not really what they wanted, or in the case of clothing, it does not quite fit. In this case there is no legal obligation to make the matter right, but if you feel the reason is genuine, then in the long term it is better to do so.

You may lose a sale on this occasion, but you have built some goodwill, and the customer will most likely return again and again. By adopting this attitude you may occasionally be taken for a ride by an unscrupulous and dishonest customer, but the good reputation you will build up completely justifies it.

To adhere to the Trade Descriptions Act is simple. Don't sell counterfeit goods, and don't describe your goods incorrectly. If you are selling seconds don't describe them as perfect. If you are selling Egyptian new potatoes, don't describe them as English. If you do, you will eventually fall foul of the Trading Standards Offices and apart from the fine you will be facing your reputation will also be harmed.


Town and Country Markets
Market Street
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T: 01952 242019
F: 01952 245863
E: info(at)

Town and Country Markets is operated by WMC Retail Partners Plc - visit