Questions tagged [commerce]

The buying and selling of goods and services

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66
votes
7answers
22k views

At what point can you walk out of a restaurant if they make you wait to pay the bill?

The other day, I ate at a restaurant; the food was fine, and I got to paying the bill. Their payment system went down. They couldn't accept cards; only cash, and I didn't have the cash on me for the ...
28
votes
4answers
17k views

If someone orders a pizza in the US and doesn't pay for it, could they be arrested?

If you were to order a pizza in the US and didn't pay for it afterwards, could you be arrested?
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Would it be legal for a US State to ban exports of a natural resource?

I am interested in whether a US state constitution could be legally amended to ban exports of specific natural resources (such as coal, lithium or copper) outside it's own state borders. If such a ...
11
votes
2answers
19k views

“Not for individual resale” - really?

In at least the US and UK lots of items that are sold in multipacks come with a notice on them that often reads: Not for individual resale That always strikes me as slightly odd - it looks like it'...
7
votes
2answers
629 views

Why can ONLY federal authorities regulate interstate commerce?

The Constitution of the United States gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. It seems the federal courts have held that only Congress, and not state legislatures, can regulate ...
5
votes
1answer
585 views

Do I have to pay for a drink if a vendor cannot accept payment?

Recently I was served a drink at the pub where I intended to pay by debit card and had no alternative payment method available (e.g. cash). The card reader was faulty and I consumed my drink whilst ...
5
votes
1answer
287 views

Is it legal to make two competing brands of the same product without making the public aware of the common source?

Suppose I create rocket boots and brand them as "Super Jumpers". After a couple months of selling them, I stealthily create a new brand of rocket boots called "Mega Fliers". I do not publicly reveal ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

Do claimless advertisements need to have disclaimers?

My question concerns the requirement for advertisements to carry a disclaimer stating that they are advertisements, specifically in the United States. According to the FTC (though not in these words), ...
5
votes
1answer
255 views

What does “potential for abuse” mean in the Controlled Substance Act?

According to the DEA’s Denial of Petition To Initiate Proceedings To Reschedule Marijuana from 2011, one reason for the cannabis plant’s Schedule I status is because it has “no currently accepted ...
5
votes
1answer
266 views

Is having a wallpaper on an office computer personal or commercial use?

If one downloads a wallpaper on an office computer for the sole purpose of putting it on one's own desktop and watching it all day (as long as there aren't any windows blocking the view at least...), ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

When do I need a licence to play music in a public place and how do I get it?

I would like to know if restaurants, lounges, clubs and places like that need a licence to play music. I'm a developer and I would like to develop a solution that would allow them to play music in a ...
5
votes
1answer
613 views

Are there any laws the require subscription services to be prorated?

I'm reading the terms of use for Gogo Inflight, and in the part about refunds it says they aren't going to prorate your service if you cancel, then it says, "subject to applicable laws." Are there ...
4
votes
1answer
485 views

Why are residents of particular states barred from being Amazon affiliates?

Amazon's affiliate operating agreement contains the following clause: In addition, if at any time following your enrollment in the Program you become a resident of Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, ...
4
votes
2answers
258 views

Can a company legally disable a product on the basis it was acquired fraudulently?

I recently bought a product on eBay, that turned out to have been directly bought from the manufacturer with stolen credit card info. A couple months after the purchase, the hardware, which "calls ...
4
votes
2answers
210 views

Taking advantage of seller pricing errors

I saw a website which was selling things, but a few of the items were $0.00. If I was to buy the item, I'd only have to pay shipping for it. I'm no expert but I've been around the block and the ...
4
votes
2answers
295 views

Is it legal to search for commerce sites listing items at erroneously low prices and exploiting such errors?

Occasionally a website will post incorrect prices for items they are selling. (Maybe it was caused by a typo during their data entry process, or the result of a bug in their code.) Once they realize ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

Do Google/Apple have total control over apps on their store?

Can App stores remove specific apps at their discretion? Or do they have to set forth rules about what is allowed and then follow those rules? One thing tells me that it is their store, so they can ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

If a mailman steals a package, who takes the loss?

If I buy something, say from Amazon, and the mailman steals it, then is it my loss or Amazon's? In other words, for first class or priority mail, when does the mail piece pass from possession of the ...
4
votes
2answers
379 views

Costa charging different prices for same item

Last week I stopped at services and ordered in Costa two coffees. One Caramel Cappuccino (£3.89) and one Speciality Vanilla (£3.99). When I got to pay and bill was £8.18 I figured something must have ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

Can I require someone to donate money to a charity I'm not associated with prior to donating an embryo to them in the USA?

I have a left over embryo from IVF which I plan to donate to someone else so they can have a child. However, I want to do the most good with this embryo as possible, and so it occurred to me that in ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How does personal drug possession affect interstate commerce?

According to the Controlled Substance Act: § 801. Congressional findings and declarations: controlled substances.... ...(3) A major portion of the traffic in controlled substances flows ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

Can I legally guess my customer's new credit card expiry date?

As a merchant, I offer online subscription services to my customers. Often, my customer's credit card will expire, despite having an active subscription service to my product. Is it legal for me to ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

What counts as “Reisebedarf” at German gas stations?

According to the Ladenschlussgesetz, gas stations in Germany are allowed to be opened during the night and Sundays, but are only allowed to sell gas, car things (like oil) that are needed for people ...
3
votes
1answer
417 views

Should a foreigner have a US-based company to sell through Amazon cloud-based warehouses?

Let's borrow and expand on Can a foreigner setup an unstaffed company in United States?. Everyone knows that you can rent computing resources from Amazon.com in the cloud, but not many know that they ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

FOIA request and Commercial use - Sales Tax info

I was considering doing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request and noticed the stipulation about putting the information gained to commercial use. That seems maybe a little broadly worded, ...
3
votes
0answers
26 views

“Commercial use” clarification

This is something I've run into several times now. A lot of biological samples are shared for research with a caveat in the MTA that they are "not for commercial use". What exactly does this cover? ...
3
votes
0answers
89 views

Is it legal for a retailer to modify a product to remove best before dates and batch numbers?

We manufacture and supply to retailers in the US, via a distributor, a trademarked liquid animal feed product. Recently we have discovered that one of the retailers has been wiping off the best before ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Can a restaurant or retailer be held to “posted” prices?

I walked into a fast food restaurant in New York City where a large poster in the front of the store advertised a new dinner special for $6.99. That was quite a bargain so I went to the counter and ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

Are there any restrictions on the taxes or duties a U.S. state can levy?

The U.S. Constitution's "Commerce Clause" (Article I, Section 8) grants the federal government authority to regulate interstate commerce. The same section contains the "Taxing and Spending Clause" ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Is debt a publicly tradeable commodity?

Suppose I have debt – student loans or something. So the bank and I have a contract that says I owe them $500. From what I understand, the bank can sell the contracted debt to some other ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

GPL Licensed code as separate process

We are going to use a GPL licensed application as separate process inside a docker. So here's how it works: Main app ships to client, it doesn't have any GPL code. Does have lots of things and ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Proving the contents of an item delivered via post

I have recently sold an item online of a moderate value (~$5k USD) that now must be delivered to the buyer. Short of personally delivering the item or using a neutral third party, I must rely on a ...
2
votes
1answer
639 views

Salesperson misquoted price. Do I have to pay back the difference?

Background I purchased something from a local store. The salesperson made a mistake and quoted me a lower price than what should have been. I made a down payment since they didn't have what I want at ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Is it legal to perform communication with authorities for money in Germany?

I've gone through some processes of communcation with the register of associations and noted that there's no clarity of the process except for law texts and obscure forum posts. I thought, I'd would ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

What happened to the anti-tipping laws?

There used to be many states, like Tennessee and Mississippi, that had anti-tipping laws. These laws made it illegal for restaurants, hotels and railways to allow their employees to accept tips and ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Searching license to allow commercial use but not selling

I'm currently distributing my software to create websites under the Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license. Now some people are selling my software as it is, which is allowed by this license. I don't like ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

What's a valid false advertising case and how does it get pursued?

There's a company who helps people rent apartments. You go to their site, search, a map appears with markers at specific locations. You see a location you like. Maybe it's on a beach. Maybe it's on a ...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

UK second hand car - should catalytic converter be covered under Sale of Goods Act?

I recently bought a second hand car from a fairly small dealership. Within 60 miles of driving the engine management light came on. I took it back and they diagnosed the problem as being the catalytic ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

Is it fraud to intentionally mislead a buyer about the value of an item for sale?

Jimmy intentionally lies to Marco by telling Marco that Jimmy has a Kennedy half-dollar that's worth $800 because Kennedy is facing left not right. The actual value of the half-dollar is only $0.50. ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Are there any examples of selling unsealed videogame as “new” being illegal?

Contest: over the years, a mayor videogame reseller company that operates in many countries worldwide has made a practice to unwrap the games it sells, putting only an empty box on display. When you ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Is it legal to distribute e-books in a company (NL)?

If a company owns copies of several e-books that have commercial licenses, can it distribute these e-books to employees? For instance with software like Koha. If not, is there a common other way to ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

Could something like CyberBunker be legally ran in the US?

CyberBunker is the name of a company and Soviet-era nuclear bunker that has been converted to a datacenter in Holland. They made some news a few years ago when they were raided by a SWAT team, but the ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Selling my own second hand product that I bought off Amazon, using original Amazon images (UK)

I had bought a giant bean bag from Amazon that I would like to sell on Gumtree. Am I allowed to use the original images downloaded from Amazon, for my ad on Gumtree, in the UK? It feels illegal ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Limit the usage of my software product

Given I am selling my video software online is it legal not to sell it to certain customers who are supposed to use it for processing "adult" content? If they check a tickbox before purchase where ...
1
vote
2answers
827 views

When is making and selling “snake oil” illegal?

There's an interesting story in the news lately about a company selling "Bio-frequency healing" stickers, made from "the same material used in NASA space-suits", that supposedly heal us using some ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Must stores legally have lighting available and switched on?

I walked into a liquor store at 8:50PM. They turned the lights off at 8:55PM. I repeatedly asked to have the lights turned on, and stated that it is a risk to have no lights in the store, but ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Can one sell allowed product and “give” unallowed product for free?

According to this: A student was selling paninis to other students. When campus police made him stop because it's against school rules to sell food outside of approved bake sales, he began selling ...
1
vote
1answer
285 views

Can a vendor cancel an order due to a pricing error?

I purchased some goods from a supplier which has now cancelled my order giving the reason as being a pricing error. However I had paid for the item and in their online portal it stated that my order ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Does charging people to drive them around the city make you a taxi service in the UK?

Consider the following scenario in the UK? I'll pick up 1-3 people unknown to me beforehand with my privately owned and privately insured vehicle I'll drive them around the city for an agreed amount ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Can I privately sell a patented plant?

We have around 15 plants on our balcony which are patented but planning to move overseas. So I was thinking to sell them on gum tree or eBay. Is that allowed? I did not breed them, just had the ...