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Handling Online Sales and Returns

Often when someone buys something, they have a sense of buyers regret and they wish to return it to get their money back. Sometimes a product won’t work, clothing won’t fit right, or it doesn’t work well with an item they already have. This is especially a risk when you have an online store and the customer can’t handle the product personally before they decide to buy it. It’s very difficult to get an email from a customer that wants their money back, but like any business, you must be willing to handle it in a professional manner.

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In such cases, you should have policies decided and put down beforehand so you can handle anything that comes up. Don’t put an issue like this off until the last minute, because you need to be able to decide fairly if you should honor the customer’s request and return the money.

Make Sure There is Proof of Purchase

While at a store, you can just have a debit or credit card receipt printer give you a fast receipt you can hand to the customer. With an online store, however, more effort needs to go into it than that. A purchase online is always made with an electronic card or account, so the receipt must be electronic as well. Often sites have confirmation codes they give out with each sale. If your customer wants a refund, have them provide the code to prove they are the ones that made the purchase. Alternatively, a tracking number on the money paid can be used. After all, you don’t want to give a refund to someone who actually never bought one of your products. Some will claim the need for a refund as a scam, and you must be aware of the danger of such a thing.

Policy on Returns

Sometimes people are going to want their money returned, but not always, and for good reason. Some people will want their money back after they themselves broke their product, or if they just get bored with it. Remember, you’re not in the business of renting items out, but of selling them. Have a cut-off date for returns, and make sure you don’t accept themif the product was mishandled by the customer and ruined. Write out the guidelines for your policies on returns and refunds on your site, that way people know whether or not they can expect their money back. Also, make sure you ship products to customers with trusty delivery companies. If you’re constantly getting complaints that customers aren’t getting their products and they want their money back, you should think about switching to another delivery service. After all, it’s costing you money.

If a customer has a problem with a product, discuss the situation with them if it’s not covered in your policy. Sometimes things you didn’t foresee will come up. Do your best to do well by your customers so that you don’t get a bad reputation, but always make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.