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I need some help! I am revamping some policies and want to know about your experience with a Return Policy.
Here is my return policy:
Due to health concerns, we are unable to accept returns on open or used products.
Our return policy has worked well because we also carry samples and request that people purchase samples before buying a large size that way they will know how the product will act with their skin.
The problem is that samples are so time consuming and have a short shelf life.
Eventually, I would like to get rid of the return policy and just do a 30 Satisfaction Guarantee. However, I do not feel that my products are priced appropriately to do that and raising prices in this economy is not an option.
How do you handle returns? Do you have any suggestions? Do you offer samples?
Thank you for your help!
Kari, our return policy states specifically that opened products may not be returned for any reason. (If we made a mistake in shipping or labeling we simple ship the correct product and tell the client to enjoy the other with our compliments.) We make samples available (free with an order, S&H charge if not accompanying an order.) We used to do a 'satisfaction guaranteed', and our experience was that rather than ordering samples some folks would order, decide they didn't LIKE the product, and want a refund. I would love the marketing plus that 'guaranteed or your money back' would give us...but all that I can do is guarantee that the products are what we say they are. Aroma is so very subjective that we can't guarantee that a client will like what they order - which is why we strongly urge sampling.
My policy is very simple: Don't like it- return it within 30 days (but no empty jars, please). No questions asked. Reason being is that economy is difficult for most, but everyone still wants to take care of their skin and try new innovative products. People tend to be alarmed by too strict return policies resulting in 'no purchase' in the first place. Personally I wouldn't buy a product if I couldn't return it if I wanted to. This policy works really well for me. I have less than 1% return rate. And I do offer samples too and also include some small ones for free with most purchases. If someone is unsure they can buy samples too, but most of my customers go for the full size. I think pricing is important too. Items priced between $20-$30 are cheap enough to not bother with the return, even if one doesn't like it.
I agree with Marge that "Satisfaction Guaranteed" is a tricky one. It opens the door for people to try your products for "free" - and there really are people out there who do that! (It seems hardly worth the shipping costs, yet people do this kind of stuff!). I offer a 30 day return period but I also make clear I can only refund the cost of the product and not the cost of the original shipping. I've never had anyone return anything.
Thank you so much for all of the great ideas! I appreciate you taking the time to help. Kari
I have a 100% guarantee on my products, with the stipulation that I must be contacted within 7 days of receipt to do a return. I also state (in the policy section) that due to the personal nature of the items, returned items can't be resocked and I ask people to keep that in mind while placing an order. So far (2 1/2yrs with a website) I've had zero returns. I'm still quite small, though, and if many people start making returns, I may change my policies, but it's worked out great for me so far.
I don't do samples at all because packaging is just too expensive, and I find it's not worth it for me. Once in a while I'll include a sample of a new product in regular cutomers' orders, but that's about it. My most popular products are $3 and $7, so I don't have many people looking for samples (except for those random people looking for free stuff - ugh!).