Sale of Goods
Sennen Churchtown Hall:
Sale of Goods Policy
Charities are not generally permitted to trade on a regular basis as this infringes their charitable
Sennen Churchtown Hall (SCTH) is consequently largely unaffected by the statutory provisions which
govern shops and other ‘traders’.
Bazaars, sales of work, fetes for charitable or other purposes, or any fair which is lawfully held and
from which no private profit is derived, are not bound by the 1950 Shops Act Legislation concerning
closing hours. However, there are restrictions on Sunday Trading and the types of goods which can
be sold on this day. Advice is available from Cornwall Council.
An occasional letting for a one day sale will not infringe charitable status or jeopardise rate relief
unless prohibited by the hall’s lease or trust deed.
Contact the local Trading Standards Department to see if there is a local code of practice for such
sales. Any code of practice must be incorporated into the ‘Special Conditions’ of SCTH hiring
Mock Auctions 1961
The Mock Auctions Act 1961 seeks to control the conduct of one-day sales and similar, where the
seller gains the confidence of customers by giving away goods, or selling a few fairly cheap bargains,
then uses the knowledge he has gained about who in the crowd is prepared to trust him, to deceive
the gullible into paying large amounts for shoddy or counterfeit goods.
The specific actions which are offences under the Act are:
• reducing the price of goods after their sale has been concluded by the ‘auctioneer’ accepting a bid
• restricting the right to bid for goods to those who have bought other items
• giving out free gifts to bidders to induce bidding
Car boot sales
A popular methods of raising money. Easy to organise and cost little to run. It is important that SCTH
management committee take note of all the relevant legislation. Most legislation applies to the
vendors, so if the management committee restricts itself to providing a venue in return for charging
sellers a fee, it is unlikely to be affected by legislation. The village hall committee has a duty of care
to ensure that all the organisers are aware of their responsibilities.
The following regulations/legislation may apply:
Local authorities can have local bye-laws regulating such sales or markets within their area. The use
of village halls for occasional sales and markets does not require planning permission as the sales are
ancillary to the function of the building as a village hall.
No notice is required if the proceeds of a car boot sale are to be solely or principally for charitable,
social, sporting or political purposes. The provision must be adopted by the local authority before it
applies.Fly posting –is the display of advertising materials, such as posters and flyers, on buildings and street
furniture without the Committees consent. Fly posters and other advertisements that are associated
with car boot sales usually require advertisement consent and unauthorised advertisements could
lead to prosecution by the local authority.
Temporary notices or signs which are intended to advertise a local event being held for charitable
purposes will not require consent.
Food and drink
When food and drink are prepared, stored, sold or supplied, whether or not for profit, the council
minimum legal standards must be followed and maintained. The aim is to ensure that all food sold is
safe for human consumption and free from contamination or adulteration. Food hygiene certificates
for those preparing food must be held and the kitchen must be up to the required County Council
If alcohol is to be sold, SCTH management committee will inform the organiser of the situation with
regard to alcohol on the hall’s land. The hall and its surrounding land and car park would require a
premises licence which includes the sale of alcohol or it may require the organiser to give a
Temporary Event Notice (TEN) to the local licensing authority.
Details of any restrictions, or specific requirements, concerning one day sales or car boot sales within
a defined area can be obtained
Running a Community shop
If it becomes necessary at some point for the community to have a facility available where permanent
trading e.g. village shop, post office, etc takes place, then the village hall could provide the answer.
However, great care needs to be taken to ensure that the charity does not commit a breach of trust.
Any space that is to be used by such a facility would have to be surplus to requirements and needs of
the charity. Then, and only then, can it be used for trading activities.
The village hall management committee should not itself become directly responsible for any trading
on a permanent and commercial basis. Where a shop, post office, or a social club is required it should
be organised by either a separate trading arm of the charity or a legally incorporated independent
body. This provides protection for the charity’s assets and ensures the charity stays within the bounds
of charity law as well as keeping on the right side of the Inland Revenue. Any legal requirements
relating to the shop such as Food Hygiene, Trading Standards, Health and Safety etc are the
responsibility of the shop organisation, not the Village Hall.
Any village hall considering taking such a step should, at the very earliest stages, inform the Charity
Commission of their intention and seek their advice and guidance on the matter, especially if it is the
committee’s intention to grant a lease or a licence. The committee should however, firstly check that
their governing instrument (and lease, if they have one,) permits such a course of action and that there
are no covenants on the land preventing such activity from taking place. If permanent trading is
permitted in a village hall, or similar charitable community building, it could require a change in the
planning permission for that part of the property. It may also result in the rating authority wishing to
withhold the 80% mandatory rate relief for that part of the premises.
It is important to remember that when commercial use of the property is taking place, a commercial
rent must be charged. Similarly, if a village hall committee is leasing part of its land for the building of
community retail premises, a reasonable ground rent must be charged. Charity law requires that
charitable funds are not used to subsidise commercial activities.
If the community shop or post office is set up permanently in the hall, it is recommended that a formal
licence is drawn up between the village hall committee and the community shop organisation or the
sub postmaster running the post office which sets out the terms for the use of the hall.Second hand toys and electrical goods
The sale of second hand toys and electrical equipment are subject to regulatory controls, which are
designed to bring British practices into line with the rest of Europe. The regulations apply to a
person(s) who supplies the product ‘in the course of a business’ and may therefore apply to SCTH
There is no clear cut legal definition of the term ‘in the course of a business’ thus the decision as to
whether a village hall or other organisation is trading will depend on a variety of factors such as the
frequency of any sales and whether there is any commercial intent. E.g. A charity shop which is open
regularly, employs staff and sells items for profit will be considered to be trading, whereas a one-off
sale or bazaar would not.
A toy is defined as ‘any product or material designed or clearly intended for use in play by children
under 14 years of age’. The sale of toys is governed by the Toy (Safety) Regulations 1995.
New toys, in the course of a business must:
• comply with the essential safety requirements of the regulations
• bear the name and address of the manufacturer or importer
Secondhand toys do not have to bear the CE mark and name and address of the manufacturer or
importer. However, they must still comply with the same safety requirements as new toys. Best
practice therefore suggests that only goods labelled with the CE mark should be sold to reduce the
risk that the toys do not meet the safety standards. Otherwise, in the case of auctions, certain safety
checks should be carried out.
The following are some simple steps that, as a potential retailer, the SCTH committee can take:
Soft toys • check whether the eyes, nose, or other small parts are secure • check that hair will not
pull out, as this could be a choking hazard • feel around the head and limbs for any spikes or sharp
points • check seams to ensure they cannot come apart. Access to stuffing could be a choking
Cars/trains • look for sharp edges especially at seams and joints • look for spikes and sharp points
Rattles • check that the rattle mechanism is not accessible to the child • look for any parts which
could become detached or make a sharp edge
Folding toys • use a pencil to check whether fingers could be trapped, especially where the folding
mechanism is spring loaded • check that there is a safety stop or locking device and that it works
Pull Toys • check that cords do not have slip knots or fastenings likely to form slip knots • cords for
children under 36 months should be greater than 15mm thick Sale of
Electrical toys These must not plug straight into the main power supply instead they should have a
transformer. Better still, for younger children, only sell toys powered by batteries but ensure that
the batteries are not accessible to the child. Note: This is not an exhaustive list and further details
can be found in the BERR, Toy Safety guidance notes.
Pedal Bicycles (Safety) Regulations 2003 The regulations apply to new bicycles, where the saddle
height is greater than, or equal to, 635mm from the ground when fully raised and with the tyres
inflated. The regulations require that all such bicycles should meet the requirements of British
Standard 6102; 1992.Secondhand bicycles must comply with the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (see 3.4 below).
This stipulates that the product must be safe, and in the case of bicycles particular attention should
be paid to brakes, wheels, saddle, handlebars, chain/ pedals, gears, reflectors/ lights and forks and
Sale of Antiques may be exempt from these regulations if:
• the product is an antique (not defined),
• the product or an interest in the product is contractually sold
• the seller clearly informed the person to be supplied that the product was an antique.
The sale of electrical equipment is subject to statutory control including the Consumer Protection
Legislation and the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.
People who sell electrical equipment, new or second-hand, in the course of their business (whether
or not their business is one of supplying electrical goods) will be bound by these regulations. It is
important therefore, that SCTH charitable organisation (who might be deemed to be traders),
comply with the regulations.
Even if a charity is not ‘trading’ the management committee should be aware of the legislation and it
is advisable not to sell second-hand electrical goods unless they have first been tested by a
Some simple points are noted below:
plugs should be 3 pin and have neutral and live pins sheathed. Plugs must also have an
approval body ‘stamp’ and licence number
any appliance designed to be plugged into the mains must have a plug attached, wiring
instructions for the plug must be attached to the cable if it is the 3 core type, i.e. ‘Important:
The wires in this mains lead are coloured in accordance with the following codes: Green and
Yellow – Earth; Blue – neutral; Brown – live’
all wiring must be undamaged, correctly connected and no basic insulation must be exposed
cord grips on appliances must be effective (a knot in the cable is not sufficient)
access to live parts must not be accessible without the use of tools
items should be marked with the rated voltage of 240v covering use in the UK
any instructions or warnings necessary to operate the appliance safely must be supplied
with the appliance.
Legislation that SCTH committee need to comply with:
General Product Safety Regulations (GPS)2005
This legislation is a catch all provision for the safety of goods which are not regulated under product
specific safety legislation. These apply to all second-hand goods not regulated by their own specific
set of safety regulations and cover the safety of all consumer products supplied in the course of a
trade or business.
Basically no person may supply any product other than a safe product, and a safe product is defined
as any product, which when used in a reasonably foreseeable way, presents: • no risk • or the minimum
risk having regard to the products use, characteristics and foreseeable lifecycle.
Examples of second-hand products which would be prohibited by these regulations would be, glass
topped tables not fitted with safety glass, pushchairs which were made to a now obsolete standard or
a pushchair in which the parking brake is ineffectiveThe Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
These regulations replace the old Trade Descriptions Act and are much wider in their application. This
prohibits any unfair business practice which may affect economic decisions taken by the average
consumer. i.e this means that if any information provided may influence a consumer to buy a product
then it must be true and done fairly. A trader can be found to be trading unfairly if he is omitting
information about his products which, if they were provided, may influence an average consumer not
to buy it.
The regulations contain a list of 31 banned practices and also provides tests for whether or not any
other practice may be deemed unfair and therefore in breach of the regulations. Further information
in relation to these regulations is available from your local Trading Standards Department.
Price Marking Order 2004
The Price Marking Order requires that where a person indicates that any goods are, or may be, for
sale by retail s/he shall indicate in writing, the selling price of these goods. The price indication shall
be unambiguous and easily identifiable by a prospective purchaser as referring to the goods in
question and clearly legible. The indication of the selling price shall be marked on the goods or on a
ticket or notice displayed on or in close proximity to the goods or grouped together with other prices
on a list in close proximity to the goods. Where VAT is charged it should be included in the price of
any goods. (e.g. one day sale traders who are VAT registered)
Business Names Act 1985
A limited or public company partnership or a sole trader who uses a business name which is not his/
her own surname with or without forenames or initials must comply with this Act by disclosing the
owner’s name and business address or address at which legal documents can be served legibly on all
business letters, written orders for the supply of goods or services, invoices and receipts issued in the
course of the business and written demands for payment of debt arising in the course of business.
The Act also obliges you to display prominently those details so that they can be easily read on the
premises where you carry on business or on to which customers or suppliers have access.
More details from Cornwall Council or Trading Standards Department.
Policy produced by J Atkinson February 2019
Adopted by SCTH on