Selling online

Ride, accommodation and task sharing

The sharing economy is an online marketplace where operators connect consumers with people who have goods or services to sell, rent or lease - eg Airbnb, Uber, Airtasker. The operators provide administration tasks, such as processing payments and posting reviews.

Businesses that simply help to connect buyers and sellers - eg Gumtree, EBay - are not part of the sharing economy.

Selling through sharing economies

When you sell goods or services through a sharing economy you must obey Australia Consumer Law. Goods must be:

  • of acceptable quality
  • safe
  • fit for purpose
  • match the description.

You must not mislead the consumer by:

  • making false statements or claims that aren't completely true
  • writing inaccurate reviews which don’t reflect your actual experience
  • hiding information in the small print when the overall message suggests something different.

You must notify the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission if you recall a product or if you become aware that a product you supplied has caused a death or serious injury.

Your rights

As a seller, you have rights under Australian Consumer Law, including:

  • your consumer guarantee rights apply for the services you purchase from the operator
  • operators must not mislead or deceive you
  • you don't have to offer a refund if the consumer simply changes their mind.

Sharing economies often have their own internal resolution processes you can access if the consumer doesn't honour a contract. Check the community rules and resolution guidelines to help you solve any problems.

Page last updated 10 November 2017

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
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