Love is in the air during the month of February. With budgets replenished after the big holiday spend, online shopping is on the rebound. But what if you order a product, and you *don't* love it? What about those pesky product returns that can be so confusing?
At Beach Mailbox, we process dozens of product returns every day, sending packages back to stores like Amazon, Zappos, Lulu's, and others We accept all UPS drop offs, as well as drop offs for USPS, FedEx, and DHL.
Some of our customers are pros at doing returns. They bring in their packed and labeled package and are in and out in a jiffy. Others bring in an armload of boxes and bags of "unlovable" purchases along with a wad of paper and mailing stickers. They plop it on the counter and say "Help!"
And we say, "Of course!" Here are some tips on how to make returning items easy:
# 1 - Before you buy, check the RETURN POLICY.
Even on sites like Amazon, not all purchases are returnable or cheap to return. It depends on the seller. Lots of different companies sell on Amazon, so check carefully. Amazon "Prime," purchases are returnable within 30 days.
Many Amazon products (but not all) are eligible for FREE Returns. Look for the note by the price:
On Amazon, if the product doesn't say "FREE Returns" - it's unlikely they'll refund your original shipping cost. Plus, a percentage of the product price will be deducted from the amount they credit you back, depending on the condition of the returned item. (For more information, visit Amazon Refunds and Returns. or call Amazon customer service at 1 (888) 280-4331.
Some online sellers put the cost of returning on you. It's good to know that ahead of time. When you pay the return shipping, the cost is based on the weight and distance to the return center. If you're looking at a low-cost item that weighs over 1 lb. and you are paying $15 for the item, be sure it's what you want. Otherwise you'll be paying almost as much to return it as you did to buy it!
#2 - Save packaging, tags, and that paperwork that comes in the package.
Most online vendors make it easy to return a purchase by including a "prepaid label" inside the package. Keep this. It's how you get free or low-cost return shipping. Some companies provide a pre-addressed label that is *not* prepaid. (See example in red below.)
For prepaid, look for a bar code for UPS, FedEx (F), or USPS on the paperwork in the package. But, if you see "Postage Required," you have to pay for return shipping.
#3 - Print the label if none was provided in the package.
Oftentimes, the seller will provide you with a prepaid return label electronically when you initiate the return online or over the phone. You'll either be able to download it from the website, or it will come to you in email.
Don't have a printer? No problem. Amazon, for example, has an option to to "Send to a friend" to print. You can email send your label to Beach Mailbox (email@example.com) and we are happy to print it for you, for just the cost of the printout.
#4 - Re-package and drop off the package with the return label.
Save the original box or bag, if you can. If you didn't, you can use a different package. At Beach Mailbox we provide both new and used boxes and vinyl envelopes for product returns. Be sure to include the "Return Authorization" paperwork inside the package. This helps the seller know why you returned the item, and makes it easy for them to match the return with your original order so you can get your refund right away.
Bring your item to return to a drop-off location, like Beach Mailbox. We accept returns that ship via FedEx, UPS, and USPS. In our case, we will take care of taping up the package and affixing the label for you for no extra charge. For high-value returns, we provide you with a printed drop-off receipt that proves that you sent it, in case the seller says they didn't receive it back.
We hope these tips are helpful. If you have any questions about shipping or returns or package drop-offs, let us know! Visit www.beachmailbox.com, stop by and see us at 864 Grand Ave in Pacific Beach, CA, or call 858-272-8877.
Many happy returns!