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Looking for tips on making a consumer friendly product return policy for an online shop.

Hello everyone! I’m currently helping a friend build their online shop and she asked me to assist her with making a return policy for products ordered in the shop.

I’m looking into a policy that would be friendly enough to ease buyer’s remorse fears on the customer but also not be too punishing for the business owner.

The shop is based on handcrafted bags and purses. Any tips on pointers to create this policy or even where to find examples of similar online business policies would be appreciated.

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Best Answer

For a small artisan shop, I think it is reasonable for the customer to pay return shipping in which case they can pick how to ship so they control the cost. That would be for change of heart or not as expected return reasons. If defective in some way, then seller should pay and send a label. Replacement for defects and full refund for those not satisfied that pay their own return shipping. If you charge shipping, the refund would be for product only, not shipping charges.

30 days is pretty standard and I wouldn't go longer, just make sure it is 30 days from when they receive it, not from order date.

Other points

"how to handle customers reporting defective products, do we do refund or replacement or offer either/or?"

Replace only. If I can get my money back and keep the product by being "A Karen" you will get taken advantage of.

My suggestion is to look at similar shops and see what their return policy is. Check large companies too and see how they differ from the small stores. Big stores see more traffic, therefore typically tailor their return policy to what they see more often. I know clothing has a very high return rate, so I'm not sure how similar handbags are. It might also be worth noting in your return policy that customized items cannot be returned. I think you can dive into that and be more specific. If you're embroidering a name or logo, etc, no returns.

I personally state is my return policy (automotive):

• The product has to be returned in brand new/unused condition in the original packaging.

• Refund issued within 3 business days of delivery.

• customer responsible for return shipping unless I screwed up.

• Return window is 30 days from delivery.

Now I do make exceptions on a case by case basis. I've had people who order the wrong part and need to exchange for something else, so I'll accept a return even though it's past the return window. This costs me the outbound shipping again, but it's good customer service.

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June 28, 2020 at 6:39:31 PM

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