Is an eBay business a retail premises?

  • Author : Samuel Hopper - 27-04-2011

A colleague has just referred me to an interesting decision by Judge Ginnane in the County Court on whether a lease for premises in which an eBay business is conducted is a retail premises lease under the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic).

The Court concluded for various reasons that it could not be satisfied that the premises were retail premises, but left open the possibility of an eBay business falling within the ambit of the Act, saying:

[101]  I am prepared to assume that a sale by eBay may be properly characterised as a retail sale. The definition of retail premises is a wide one. The authorities suggest that it is unnecessary, in order for retail activity to occur, that there be “direct personal interface” between the retailer and customer.7 A retail sale is a sale to an ultimate consumer, as opposed to sales to the trade for the purpose of resale. …


Given the erosion of traditional retail sales by online businesses in recent years, this question may be significant.

The decision is Segment Woods Pty Ltd v Brockridge Pty Ltd & Anor [2009] VCC 1531, and a copy is available here.

Thanks to Stuart Monotti from Harwood Andrews for referring me to this case.

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Samuel Hopper

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