If you’re selling products on a website (or even on eBay) for your home-based business, a clear and concise return policy should be part of your content. It’s even more important this time of year because many people are purchasing gifts for others. As such, they may not be 100% certain that the recipient will like the gift and may have advanced concerns about returning the product. For these shoppers, a clearly stated return policy may be an extremely important part of their buying decision. And if you don’t have one, they’re likely to move on.
Some of the issues that should be addressed in a good return policy are –
Time Limit – Is there a time limit during which the return must be made? For example, 30 days from date of sale.
Acceptable Condition – Will you accept opened goods for return or must they be unopened?
Handling Charges – Will you assess a handling fee (restocking fee) against the return? If so, how much? This is usually stated as a percentage.
Shipping Charges – Will you refund any or all of the original shipping charges? Who will pay for return shipping?
Procedures – How does the customer go about asking for a return? Do they call or email a request? How do they obtain the return address?
Exceptions – Are there certain items within the group of items you sell that cannot be returned or must be subject to additional rules? Software for example, is usually not accepted for return unless it is unopened.
Not only is it necessary to have good return policy on your website or eBay listing, but it should be easy for the shopper to find. If it’s hidden on some back page among other store policies, you might consider creating a link to it that’s visible from all pages of your site. Having a readily viewable and easy to understand return policy could make the difference between the sales going to you or to your competitor.