Electronics Gadgets – 13-Plus Disclaimers and Disclaimer Templates to Keep You Out of Trouble

Selling electronic gadgets can be a tricky business, because the products tend to be both physically fragile and can be prone to malfunction. One way to protect yourself is by using disclaimers.

Article Ref: S01GDR

Customers could begin returning defective gadgets in large numbers – disclaimers can protect you from being liable for a replacement or refund.

You must also look at packaging and your transit company’s shipping warranties, as deficient products and services in this regard can lead to damaged goods reaching the customer.

Some issues that may require disclaimers include:
* Laws in different countries
* Electronic standards used in different countries,
* Different operational methods
* The difficulty of installation
* Potential health hazards

A Typical Disclaimer

Usually labelled as Terms & Conditions, Important Terms, Disclaimers, Warranty and Exchange Information, or something similar. It’s usual to use several disclaimers to cover as many of your requirements as possible:

* Condition of the item being sold. Condition of the packaging.
* Shipment restrictions – which countries will you ship to? Is there a shipping warranty?
* Recommendations for restrictions on the products use – not to be used around pets or by small children, for example.
* Accepted payment methods.
* Availability of refunds, exchanges and warranties.
* Legal restrictions on the products use.

Disclaimer Examples

The following are somewhat random examples of disclaimers, all taken from eBay. Obviously, you’ll have to tailor each disclaimer to each product and your own shipping/payment/warranty/restriction needs.

** GSM Cell phones:

Online electronics gadgets sellers often need to add disclaimer notices to their cell phones because not all GSM cell phone network uses the same frequency.

With the traditional 2G and 2.5G networks there were four main frequencies: 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz.

Phones that used 900MHz, and 1800MHz bands traditionally worked in most countries (with the exception of the US, North America and US territories) while 850MHz and 1900MHz phones traditionally worked in the US, North America and US territories.

The 3G system has further compounded matters by working on a different frequency and not being compatible with some phones being produced now.

A good disclaimer for GSM cell phones would read as follows:

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NOTE: This product is compatible with GSM at the frequencies of 900MHz, 1800MHz. This cellphone will not work in North America.
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** Radar Scanners:

While radar scanners are popular, it is illegal to buy, or use them.

This is largely because their main purpose is to identify speed cameras or police officers to avoid speeding tickets. This essentially explains both its illegality and its popularity.

To cover yourself include the following disclaimer:

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NOTE: Certain countries prevent the use and ownership of these devices. You are solely responsible for finding out whether this product is legal to import and/or use in your country. We will send you the products you order and cannot accept any liability for customs issues or any implications of your ownership or usage of this device.
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** Ni-Cad Batteries:

Ni-Cad batteries have a memory, as a result they work better and have a longer lifespan if they are charged a certain way when they are first used.

As a result this would be a good disclaimer:

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NOTE: Ni-Cad batteries give their best performance if fully un-charged and charged three times after purchase.
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** Cell Phone/Wi-Fi/radio signal blockers:

Like radar detectors these items are not exactly legal in all situations. However, this doesn’t stop them being popular to certain people.

This is a suitable disclaimer to use with blockers:

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These devices may not be permissible to import into certain countries due to licensing of broadcast signals or other restrictions. Please check your country’s telecommunications regulations before placing your order.
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** Thermometers:

You’re not a health professional. The chances are the people buying these electronic gadgets from you won’t be either.

This won’t stop them blaming you if a loved one became seriously ill if they were ‘misdiagnosed’ because of a reading from a thermometer they brought from you.

To cover yourself include the following disclaimer:

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Note: This device is meant for personal uses only, please refer to a physician or health professional.
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** Breathalyzers:

We all know why people buy breathalyzers. It’s for them to check whether or not they are able to drive home, or whether they will need to catch a cab.

As a result, if they fly too close to the wind and get caught they’re going to try to use YOUR device in their defense.

This is a suitable disclaimer to use in this case:

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Note: This is a reference tool only and can not be used as a legal defense.
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** GPS Devices:

The type of disclaimers you need on GPS devices depend on the type of devices you are carrying and the level of support you are willing to give to customers.

If you are dealing with GPS receivers for example and are sourcing from a factory which offers GPS ready devices that don’t come with the necessary maps then you will need to let customers know that they will need to supply their own maps.

It is worth noting that very few vendors from China actually supply the genuine GPS map software and it may be worth getting a test order of a GPS receiver sent to yourself to make sure you’re not selling GPS devices with software that is cracked or a sample.

To cover yourself include the following disclaimer:

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The unit includes evaluation GPS software only. We recommend purchasing a GPS software package from your home country that best covers your region of the world.
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** GPS Trackers

A number of problems can arise from the sale of GPS trackers. If the tracker is small they can be used for nefarious purposes (maliciously keeping track of family members and loved ones for example). A customer may also expect to see GPS software when none is included.

As a result, you may want to include one of the two disclaimers:

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This model does not come with any GPS navigation map software
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Seller takes no responsibility for harm resulting from misuse of this item
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**Heart Rate Monitors:

You’re not a health professional. The chances are the people buying these electronic gadgets from you won’t be either.

This won’t stop them blaming you if a loved one became seriously ill if they were ‘misdiagnosed’ because of a reading from a thermometer they brought from you.

To cover yourself include the following disclaimer:

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Note: This device is meant for personal uses only, please refer to a physician or health professional.
————————————————————————————————————

** Car DVD Players:

If you have ever dealt with car stereos (or anything else to do with cars or electronics) you’ll know how complicated they can be.

You’ll also know that the average consumer loves to blame you for their goof-ups.

As a result it may be a good idea to include this disclaimer with any car DVD players you sell

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For optimum performance we recommend that you have this car DVD unit installed by a professional.
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** Spy Listening Devices:

While spy listening devices may seem cool it is illegal to use them in some locations and courts of law will not allow recordings from them to be used as evidence unless both parties taped have signed release forms.

To cover yourself include the following disclaimer:

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NOTE: Certain countries prevent the use and ownership of these devices. You are solely responsible for finding out whether this product is legal to import and/or use in your country. We will send you the products you order and cannot accept any liability for customs issues or any implications of your ownership or usage of this device.
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** Fish Finders:

Fish are notoriously difficult to find. Even with a fish finder. As a result you will need to protect yourself in case somebody they complain that they haven’t been able to spot any fish.

To cover yourself include the following disclaimer:

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Seller takes no responsibility for environmental factors which may inhibit the performance of this device.
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** Chargers:

Regardless of whether you are selling a back-up battery or a solar charger there are always issues surrounding the connection type the voltage and the specific capacity of devices it is compatible with.

As a result you will need to list all the relevant details that apply to the charger you are listing and include the following disclaimer:

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This charger is only compatible with devices with the specifications listed. Please pay careful attention to the listing.
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** Spy Cameras with Audio:

While surveillance cameras are perfectly legal and respected cameras with audio devices are not.

To be used in a court of law both parties taped have signed release forms.

To cover yourself include the following disclaimer:

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NOTE: Certain countries prevent the use of recorded audio footage to be used as evidence in legal cases. You are solely responsible for learning and adhering to the standards of your country when using this product.
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** Car Electronics:

Depending on the age of electronics used in the car a number of issues may arise.

Most of these issues surround the compatibility between the device you are listing and the car that the potential buyer wants to put them in to.

You may want to include the following disclaimer:

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This device is only compatible with devices with the specifications listed. Please pay careful attention to the listing.
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As I mentioned, these disclaimers are examples of what they should look like – you may want to write a disclaimer that suits your particular needs as a seller, taking into account the qualities of the product in question and both your location and the location of your customer.