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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have recently closed my small online natural health business.

Customer Question

I have recently closed my small online natural health business. I would like to know whether I can legally sell my email marketing list as I have had several people offer money for it. If so, please advise re the process and any legal criteria I must meet.

Thank you.
Michelle Darkin-Price
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Hello Michelle,

 

Thanks for your question.

 

Can you provide a little more information about the marketing list, does it contain confidential details?

 

What processes did you have when acquiring the list of companies on the list, when being entered on to the list did you ask each company whether they would min their details being passed to third parties?

 

Kind regards,

 


Tom

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello Tom - did you get my reply?
Michelle
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.
No, can you repost as a reply in the same way you did just then please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Tom - this is getting daft. I have now input my response 4 times and it keeps switching to another page and losing all the details! Is there a time limit for the response?
Michelle
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Michelle.

 

No, the question will remain open until closed by the moderators (quite a few days before they look at it) and they will see you are attempting to post.

 

Keep persisting, you managed to post this "Tom - This is getting daft......" reply - try to post in this manner and you should be fine.

 

See if you can copy the text before you post reply to save you having to type it out again.


Tom

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
...

part 2

The second source is from our Mailchimp email marketing database. The details here are name, email address, geographical location, specific area of interest ie Vegan, Eco issues, general health etc. Also date of entry to our system which could mean date of sign up or date we entered details ie when we started using the system.

...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Part 3...

This list was collected largely from sign up sheets at events to receive 'discounts, offers and product info'. These people would have seen our products and what we were doing prior to signing up. A small number would be added after purchasing from us online and some competition winners and entrants. We also had a 'sign up for our email updates' option on the site.

To the best of my knowledge none of these contacts would have been asked if they would agree to their info being sold on.

...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
All contacts have received emails from us before.

We have been using Mailchimp email marketing package and so any unsubscribes have been automatically actioned.

Therefore, to the best of my knowledge the list is generally a 'good' list.

The parties that have approached me with a view to buying the information are small, local businesses selling similar products to my own business. My company was an ethical company and on a personal basis I would not consider selling to anyone that did not meet my own personal ethics.

I hope this is sufficient.
Thanks again.
Michelle
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think this is the only section you are missing...

I actually have customer details across two lists which I am considering making into one and then selling:

one is the Customer List from my business' MS Office Accounting software. The details on this are name, address, email and details of previous orders (ie products purchased) and payment method* *No specific banking details are included, the list states only the payment method ie credit card or cash/cheque

(hope you can piece it together) Michelle
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Hi Michelle,

 

Success!

 

The key is whether those businesses on the list have opted out of the Data Protection Act. The DPA imposes penalties on the dissemination of information without the consent of the person/business.

 

You will notice when you sign up to things online that there is nearly always a box stating "please tick if you do not wish your information to be passed to our trusted affiliates for marketing purposes".This is what this is for, if the user does not tick this box then they have in effect foregone their right to data protection.

 

If you have something similar or that has the same effect from your dealings with those on the list then you probably can sell it. I would tread very carefully, particularly when considering the sale of a person's details, because you can be liable for a fine of £5, 000.00 per person if you do not have their permission and possible criminal sanctions

 

If you are in any doubt then you should consider an (e)mail-shot specifically asking those on the list for their permission to sell on their details to a trusted affiliate.If they reply in the affirmative then you are on safe ground. If they do not reply or refuse then I certainly would not sell them on.

 

Clearly, you should avoid giving information on banking details away, I would even steer clear of payments methods personally.

 

If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.


Kind regards,

 


Tom

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6525
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks Tom.

You have given me exactly the sort of information that I needed to make an informed choice. Considering the amount of money being offered and the potential complications/financial risks it quite simply isn't worth it.

Thank you.
Michelle : )
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Hi Michelle,

 

Thank you for the kind accept.

 

Good luck.

 

Tom

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