Dealing with Customer Return Requests

If your trading as a Business Seller and you offer a returns policy your customer may be entitled to return an item for any reason, even if they've changed their mind. Distance Selling Regulations stipulate that any Business Seller must offer a mandatory (at a minimum) 14 Day Returns Policy (although, eBay requires some categories such as fashion to be extended beyond this to 30 days). The Buyer is therefore entitled to return an item (at their own expense) for any reason.

Private Sellers are except from DSR and do not have to offer a returns policy. Please however bear in mind that if an item is faulty, or there's a problem with an item, most marketplaces including eBay and/or Amazon will require you to accept a return even if you don't offer a returns policy.

Here are the available options for when a Buyer wishes to return an item.

1. BUYER OPENS A RETURN CASE
If your Buyer opens a request to return an item, you have very little option but to simply "Accept a return". Depending on your returns preferences (as setup in your marketplace account), you may be charged for a returns label if the Buyer is returning an item because of a fault or there's another problem. If your Buyer is returning an item because they've simply changed their mind, please note that whilst the Buyer shall be responsible for any return costs, you must accept the liability for the original postage cost as an unavoidable cost of doing business. If you're private seller, you can avoid this cost entirely by simply not accepting returns on your listings.

2. BUYER SENDS A DIRECT MESSAGE REQUESTING A RETURN
If your Buyer sends a direct message requesting to return an item and has not opened a Return Request Case, you can provide your Buyer with the following returns template as shown below.

IMPORTANT NOTE!
Depending on the reason for your Buyer's return, your Buyer's request may be considered as a complaint. In this case, please follow our procedural Guidelines for dealing Dealing with Customer Complaints.

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START RETURNS TEMPLATE  ==>
Thank you for your email.

I am sorry to hear that you would like to return your unwanted item. Please return it to us at your earliest convenience. Our returns address is located on the top-right hand side of the included purchase receipt.

Once received back, we will of course issue a full refund as per our returns policy. Please note that we allow items to be returned for up to 30 days after purchase provided that they are returned in the same condition as purchased.

In the meantime, please once again accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience which has been caused.
====== END RETURNS TEMPLATE
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IMPORTANT!
Any order refunded by us, to you, where an item is returned through no fault of our own, or because the Buyer simply "changed their mind" will be refunded to you less the original postage cost paid. As a Merchant Seller, operating through our program for profit, you acknowledge this as a reasonable cost of doing business. This applies only in cases where your customer is returning an item through no fault of our own, or because they've simply changed their mind within the permissible timeframe. In cases where your customer is returning an item because there's a fault or problem with the item, you will be entitled to a full refund including any original postage cost paid. In such cases, we will either provide a free returns label (at our expense) or offer to cover the cost of your Buyer's return up to the maximum value equal to that of the original postage cost paid to us by you for the original order, but this amount will only be paid to value of the actual cost incurred by the Buyer through initiating the return and such evidence will need to be provided. Claims for reimbursement will only be settled upon receiving a valid proof of postage/receipt from your Buyer and considered on a case-by-case basis. To help you successfully obtain a proof of postage paid from your customer, we have provided a suitable template email below.

IMPORTANT! We are unable to provide a returns label to buyers located outside of the United Kingdom. To compensate for this shortcoming, we will instead provide a reimbursement to cover the cost of standard economy return up to the maximum value of original postage cost paid to us by you for the original order.

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START PROOF OF POSTAGE PAID TEMPLATE  ==>
Thank you for your response.

I will ensure that you are reimbursed for the cost of your return upto a maximum value of [INSERT POSTAGE AMOUNT]. All that we ask is that you kindly provide us with a copy of the return receipt, by simply attaching a screenshot/photograph in response to this message and we will credit back to you the full cost of the postage charge that you have had to incur through initiating the return of this item.

In the meantime, we only ask kindly of you to consider our efforts in helping to resolve this matter in a timely manner and refrain from posting negative feedback on our seller account with regards to the item itself, but instead consider our efforts in ensuring that the best possible outcome was satisified in this unfortunate case.
====== END PROOF OF POSTAGE PAID TEMPLATE
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Please note that whilst templates are useful in providing resolution, for them to be more successful at resolving a problem, often they need to be tailored. Whilst we won't defer from the actual resolution that is being offered we will modify parts of a template to make it more effective. If you think your customer requires a more tailored response, please get in touch so we can modify our template for you accordingly.

Let's get you started...
If you haven’t already please register free for our Official Merchant Programme using the registration form here. Once you've created an account you’ll get complete access to exclusive pricing across the store with easy-to-understand profit calculations for every product. We'll also invite you to join our Seller Support Channel which provides you with dedicated live chat throughout the day with an actual account manager. The level of support we offer for our global partner sellers is simply unrivaled. Find out for yourself and join us today, it's easy to start and it's absolutely free.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns with regards to any of the information provided above, please leave a comment below.


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