What is the standard policy for accepting returns?
What is your policy for accepting returns? Is there a cap on the amount of time a customer has to make a return, maybe 30 days from the purchase date? Does the customer need to have the receipt and tag attached, or one or the other to make the return? Do they get their money back or store credit?
I have typically done no returns in the past because some my items are perishable, however I feel like this turns away customers that otherwise would have bought from me. Is there a simple return policy I can introduce?
No questions asked, returns with a smile.
Unless of course you see someone abusing that even a little bit. You should have a written policy but ignore it frequently for good customers.
Easy returns are one of the key ways customers gauge businesses.
I am not sure why Maple Syrup needs a return policy. If I go to the grocery and buy maple syrup I don't think I get to return it just because I don't like it. If you feel you think a "Satisfaction Guarantee" will help you sell more then go ahead but I cant imagine anything over a month to make sense. Also, if the syrup is at risk in the heat, make sure you keep in mind the idea that they bake it in their trunk.
I think it depends on the industry you are in. Generally speaking I think you need to be aware of what industry standards are and decide if you want to meet or exceed them. In my own experience the best return policies are the ones that are clear and transparent. Most people do not want a hassle or argument. When the sales person or cashier sells the person a item that is unique to the policy the should point that out. This can go a long way to avoid headaches down the road.
In addition to the excellent answers Gary & George(s) have provided. All stores that sell perishables look at stock daily to make sure they do not offer or sell rotting or expired goods. With that said there will always be a few who take advantage of an open or liberal return policy but that is easily offset by more sales with larger orders, more frequent orders, people trying new items. As Gary said look at Trader Joe's as an example. Another is comparing the liberal return policies of Macy's vs the restrictive policies of Lord & Taylor. Though they carry many of the same brands & items, Macy's sells more as a whole as well as in each store that L&T.
Hi, Rema, as a shopper I can tell you that in my experience, stores I where I shop typically have a 30 day policy requiring receipts and tags. However, exceptions are made -- and for high end clothing it is often much longer. I think Gary's and George's advice is excellent. It's your call.
Check out the consumer law relating to your state.
this will be the minimum requirements.
Other than that you know that word of mouth is the best for of advertising.
The better you can treat your customer over and above their expectations the better it is.
On the flip side, if you treat a customer badly they will go out of their way to tell others, which may even include social media.
Hope this is helpful.
There is no such thing as a standard policy - it all depends on a lot of factors and what your customers expect and your competition offers. For example, I know of a couple of stores whose policy is "the sale never ends" which means you can return it years later. With perishables most retailers have a;; sales final. However, what do you do if the package arrived spoiled or damaged? Have the customer call you for instructions.
Hello Rema, I'm not in the retail business and don't have retail clients so I can't tell you what the standard return policy is. However, I can make suggestions based on my experience as a customer.
My wife and I often bought perishable items from supermarkets or Trader Joe's. These stores haven't refused to accept returns of fruit or other perishable merchandise. Whether the item was damaged or not, it didn't matter. They simply accepted the returned item and gave us the refund, usually with no questions asked.
As a result of their generous return policy, my wife and I have no inhibition or hesitation about shopping in these stores. We've bought more from the stores because of our confidence in them. Only occasionally have we had to return anything. For the store this means higher profits, so it makes good sense for them to have this policy.
Introducing such a liberal return policy for your store would therefore be a good business decision. It would also be sensible to require a receipt or tag with the returned item, identifying it as an item purchased at your store. Having a time limit would also be sensible as it would increase the number of valid returns and reduce losses from accepting damaged or spoiled goods. 30 days or less would be appropriate, I think.
I hope my suggestions help you determine a sound return policy.