Returns, refunds, and exchanges are all a part of selling products online. A strong refund policy will allow your store to build a system to handle customer requests - lowering return costs, building customer loyalty, and even creating new opportunities for profit.
What to Include in a Refund Policy
1. Which items can be returned. For example, Walmart's return policy page clearly states what can be returned:
“Can I return something I bought from Walmart.ca?
Sure thing! Just like shopping at a Walmart store, you can return almost anything you buy from our website. You can see the return options for your purchase in the Order Details page of your account, and if you checked out as a guest, you can find the return period for the item in the digital receipt, which is sent via email when your order ships. Before making a return, check our Return Policy to make sure the product is eligible.Good to know: Along with the product, we will also refund any tax and environmental fee. We will also refund any associated shipping charge for defective products, or if you received the wrong item.Please know that we will not refund shipping charges if the return is due to “Buyer’s Remorse”, or in other words, if you change mind about your purchase.”
2. Which items can be exchanged. Take a look at GNC’s policy on exchanges below:
“Exchanges: If the customer returns non-opened, used or opened product, an exchange will be offered based on the amount paid (as shown on the sales receipt, GNC.com digital packing slip, or verification of purchase date, tender and amount paid via a loyalty customer’s Transaction History).
In the absence of a sales receipt, GNC.com digital packing slip, or verification of purchase date, tender and amount paid via a loyalty customer’s Transaction History, an exchange will be offered on any GNC brand product based on the lowest sale price or Member Price within the last 60 days with a valid photo ID.
Exchanges will be offered on GNC brand products within 30 days from the purchase date with or without a sales receipt, GNC.com digital packing slip, or verification of purchase date, tender and amount paid via a loyalty customer’s Transaction History with a valid photo ID.”
3. Which items are “final sale” or in others words are non-refundable or exchangeable. The following is an excerpt from Lululemons’ return policy page:
“WHAT ITEMS ARE FINAL SALE?
Underwear, water bottles, gift cards and all items from 'we made too much' are final sale.”
4. How to return or exchange items (e.g. by email or webpage). The following excerpt was taken from Sephora’s Return & Exchanges Page:
“New or gently used Sephora.ca purchases can be easily returned for FREE (no return shipping or handling fees) to any of our Sephora Canada locations or by mail if you use our pre-paid return shipping label (follow the return procedures described below). We regret that we are unable to refund your original shipping charges, if applicable, unless the return was a result of our error.”
5. The time period in which items can be returned (e.g. 30 days post purchase). The follow example was taken from the Body Shop’s Return Policy page
“You can trust our products. We will gladly accept returns not meeting your expectations at any time. Simply return your purchase with the receipt or original invoice to any of our locations or send the product by mail shipping prepaid by you, the customer, to the address below. Purchases made with a credit or debit card will be credited back to the card.”
6. The condition in which items are eligible for return (e.g. tags still on, unopened packaging). For example, IKEA clearly specifies the conditions in which products are eligible for refunds on their site:
“You can return any product, even if you assembled it, as long as it’s in unused and in re-saleable condition. Please provide proof of purchase and, if possible, the packaging. If your merchandise is found to be dirty, stained, damaged or abused, IKEA may refuse to refund or exchange your items, or offer a refund card only.”
7. What products can be returned for (e.g. store credit, full refund, or exchange). Indigo return policy states that: “Most items may be returned for a full refund up to 30 days from the shipping date”
Remember: These examples listed above are not legal advice and we always encourage customers to have legal counsel review any policy or terms on your website before publication.
How to add a Return Policy to your website
To enable the About Us option:
- Go to your store Control Panel > Settings > General.
- Got to the "Legal Pages" Tab.
- Change the status for "Return Policy" from Disabled to Enabled.
- Once enabled, click the "Edit" button that appears.
- In the following box, enter the information you would like to display when your customer click the "Return Policy" option for eCommerce.