How to Create an Effective and Mutually Beneficial Return Policy

Store owners checking out their return policyAs the owner of a small business, you work very hard to get a sale. However, even the most popular products do not always live up to the expectations of your customers. Although managing product returns could be a bother to both your and your customers, you need to make certain that you have a foolproof return policy in place. Below are some practical tips to get you started.

Use Clear and Concise Language

Be as specific as possible. Make sure that your customers know if they could receive store credit or actual cash, and the specific period within which they could return an item. If you don’t offer full refunds for some items, let your customers know upfront. It’s also important to remember that you must avoid passing on hidden costs if you offer your products online. For example, if customers have to pay for return shipping, make sure they know this requirement before they purchase.

Make Sure that your Customers Can See your Return Policy

Post it prominently on your e-commerce store or one the counter of your physical shop. Consider including a copy in your shipping materials and store receipts as well. Also, the best reverse logistics system like or returns management systems ensure that employees are knowledgeable about return policies.

Consider the Items you Sell

When you write your return policy, think about the items you offer and their resale options. For instance, a flower shop would have a very different return policy from that of a shoe retailer. Also, plenty of businesses prohibit returns on clearance items.

Online Returns

Aim to reduce the inconvenience of returns by including prepaid shipping labels for online purchases. You should also provide specific customer service options should a customer need more information.

Take a Look at your Competition

Consider your competition’s return policies and see if you could make yours better. Think about this, if you don’t provide your customers with a seamless and hassle-free return experience, they just might go to your competitor instead.

The Bottom Line

No one looks forward to returning items. Add to that the fact that some owners become irate with product returns and that some staffs are uninformed or just plain rude when dealing with returns. But as the proprietor, it’s your responsibility to ensure the best possible returns experience to your customers. To that end, make it easy for your customers to return items that don’t meet their expectations to increase your chances of repeat business in the future.