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Returns Policy

How long is too long?

     
4:33 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Our e-comm site offers customer returns within 30 days, with a 15% restocking fee, and customer pays the freight back. Some competitive sites offer 'No Hassle Returns' policy (No time limit & No restocking fee). Does return policy like this have any effect on sales, or does it just suck off profits?
4:52 pm on Sept 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Some places just offer whatever the minimum legal returns period is, for example in the UK it's 7 days, though we and many others offer 14. 30 days is pretty generous, though of course it depends on the product and how long it would reasonably take to decide that it's not suitable. A no time limit policy is crazy IMHO.

I think a restocking fee is a bad idea - I won't shop anywhere that's going to charge me for returning or exchanging an item.

4:12 am on Sept 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think that the return policy should be skewed towards the customer's advantage, since in some cases it may be the deciding factor in whether they purchase or not. We say they can return something with the original packaging, and specify that the items have not been 'used'. So there is no time limit, but it prevents people abusing the system
5:29 am on Sept 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A returns policy which is shorter than the chargeback period is, in general, a poor business decision...

Also, take care to differentiate between returning unwanted goods for exchange or credit and returning defective goods for repair or replacement. Outside of any distance-selling regulations, the first class is in your hands, whilst the second class is likely to need to be much longer. In the UK the concept of reasonableness rears its ugly head yet again - if it fails within the time which the product can reasonably be expected to work for then there needs to be some form of return or repair facility.

3:49 pm on Sept 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for all the feedback!
I wonder what would be a reasonable return period?
8:16 pm on Sept 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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moose606
the return policy should be a short period after they recieve the product but of course that all depends on what you sell.
I sell vitamins and my return policy is 2 days after they sign for or recieve the product can they exchange the item or send it back.

If it is opened sorry no exchange if they don't like the taste. Wrong item on us anything to do with our error we take care of but I can't leave the return out there for an extended period of time due to the products we sell

If there is a problem with the product we pick up and full refund or exchange.

but as I said it all depends on what your selling as to the return policy.

8:57 pm on Sept 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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One of the problems we actually just ran into - we bought a router at a website. The router stopped working after two weeks.

We called, got an RMA and permission to send it back. They received it about four days later and then sent it back in about two weeks saying they could not accept it. We are now working with the manufacturer who is sending a new one.

30 days is usually a good call, but also keep in mind that shipping and handling might also need to count for a few days from time to time

-Corey

2:48 am on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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They received it about four days later and then sent it back in about two weeks saying they could not accept it. We are now working with the manufacturer who is sending a new one.

This case (faulty goods) is highly dependant upon your local consumer protection laws. In some countries (e.g. UK) it is you as the seller who has the duty to repair, replace or refund faulty goods for as long as it is reasonable to expect them to work; you are expected to deal with the manufacturer on behalf of the customer.
11:04 am on Sept 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I send a survey link with my shipping notification. A person filled a survey after 35 days of shipping and Answered not favorably to the survey.

I preemptively contacted the person and offered to return the product for a refund even though it had been used.

I received the product back last week and quickly refunded and left him a note:

Dear customer,
I understand that some products are not for everyone. This is the reason I do not hesitate to give a refund - like in your case - If you need something else widgety, I hope you will consider my web site.
www.mywebsite.com
signature

I have taken a minor loss as the product is not resellable but I may have made a disapointed ex client into a future repeat business. I guess time will tell.

I have to admit that my survey results are 99% positive so a negative needs to be rectified immediately.

Obviously, If I had several returns, I would have to reevaluate my product, my policy etc.