Free Merchant Account Requirement: A Solid Return Policy Part 1

"What's your return policy?"

Every successful business has one thing in common: a good and solid return policy. It may come as a surprise to many, but return policies are one of the most important deciding factors for shoppers. Supposing you have a physical retail store or an online one, a return policy can either encourage or discourage a visitor to become a customer.

When applying for a free merchant account, a return policy is also required.

What is a Return Policy?
Check out the sales receipt from the store next door - a return policy is always printed at the bottom. A return policy is a policy indicating what kind of action customers can make in the event a certain product or service is not in the condition stated or described. It also indicates whether returns will be in cash, store credit, or exchange, as well as if the return will be in full amount(of the returned product), time period (i.e. within 7 days of receipt), and what kinds of products are under the return policy.

Every store has to have a return policy. If you have a retail store, it's important for your customer to know that he or she can return the product given an instance of dissatisfaction. A return policy also signifies the store's faith in its product - if it doesn't work, give it back and we'll give back your money. A return policy can also increase customer confidence and subsequently, earn you more customers in the long run. Authors who sell ebooks online almost always say, "you have 30 days to give me back my ebook, and for me to return your money - given that you aren't fully satisfied with my product". A belief is then perpetuated by the author - or the store that indeed its product is working, fully refundable within the given time period.

A solid return policy is much more important these days to online stores. It's vital to the customer that in the event of damage, or any dissatisfaction on their part, they can return the product. Remember, online shoppers cannot physically hold or see the product - they are just basing their purchase on the essential information given by the merchant - through pictures and other descriptions provided.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has a civil code section dedicated to return policies (which means it's imperative you have one for your business). Here are the basic rules of Return Policies as condensed from the Civil Code section 1724 from the Deparment Of Consumers Affairs.

  • Each store can create its own set of return policies (return and exchange). Remember that liberal return policies can attract more customers for keeps.
  • Whatever way the consumer pays - cash, check or credit card - nonsale items can be exchanged. And some of them will give out cash or credit returns.
  • Note that sale items, although not all, are nonrefundable and nonexchangeable.
  • In the event the item to be exchanged has a higher value than the one it is exchanged for, stores may require you to spend the remaining value in the store.
  • Return policies with stipulations other than the ones written above must post their return policies conspicuously throughout the store, or on the site so as to notify the customer before any purchase is made(and to cut back on all the hassles of returning nonreturnable and nonexchangeable items)

Free Merchant Account Providers know the importance of a Good Return Policy. Although it's required, not all return policies reflect the same conditions as the one next door. Choose what conditions you want and clearly define them, to protect you - and of course, your customers.
Concluding article:

Free Merchant Account Requirement: A Solid Return Policy Part 2

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