Return Policy Example and How To

by Extreme John on September 7, 2009

As much as I hate to say it every business needs a return policy that clearly outlines how to process a return or product exchange in order to receive a store credit, cash refund, credit card refund or check refund. Many states require having a posted return policy that clearly outlines everything that I just mentioned.

Return Policy Example

Image via Wikipedia

Some of you might be wondering why I would hate to say it, I hate to say it because I would just prefer it if everyone would just be honest and straight up, doing so would make all the little extra “Policies and Procedures” nothing more than a thought. All of that sounds great but the sad reality is that in business not everyone is honest and those folks that aren’t honest really create some extra work for everyone, actually I would be a perfect example because instead of being at a family bbq I am here writing a return policy.

Before I set out on this venture I searched for “Writing a Return Policy” on Bing to see if I would be able to find anything that might help me with going in a basic yet effective direction with the return policy for Extreme Tan and Smoothies. I ended up on About.com in  the Retailing section which looks like it has some excellent information, especially if your looking to get that information quickly without all of the extra fluff.

I completed the Return Policy in a a couple of short hours and looked at a few additional articles in regards to writing return policies and it’s important to keep in mind that most retail stores return policy is a little bit different. There were three factors that were really important to me as I started to write the details of our returns policy, something that is very different for every business and it’s probably important to realize that the return policy example below is based on our retail business.

Three Important Factors in Writing a Return Policy:

  1. Customer service – do not make our return policy impossible
  2. Protect the Business – do what is best for the longevity of the business
  3. Simplicity – keep it simple for the customers and staff

Now that you have an idea of what my three main things were as I sat down to write the Extreme Tan and Smoothies Return Policy I guess it’s safe for me to post an example of the return policy that I felt would be best for our business. As you may or may not know we own six indoor tanning salons and have anywhere from 30-55 associates at any given time, it was extremely important for us to write a return policy for tanning salons and keep it focused towards taking care of indoor tanning clients and educating indoor tanning staff members.

Tanning salon business owners feel free to copy the below tanning salon return policy for your own indoor tanning salons, please remember to replace Extreme Tan and Smoothies, Inc. with your own tanning salon business. It might also be a good idea to review the policy and make sure that it makes sense for your tanning business.

Extreme Tan and Smoothies, Inc. Return Policy

If for any reason you are not satisfied with a product you purchased you can return it within 7 days of the original purchase date, you must have a valid receipt dated within 7 days or less from the original purchase date.

Please see “Tanning Lotion and Moisturizer Returns” and “Tanning and Spray Tanning Package Returns” for additional information on those specific return policies.

Tanning Lotion and Moisturizer Returns

If for any reason you are not satisfied with a tanning lotion, sunless product or moisturizer you purchased you can return it within 7 days of the original purchase date, you must have a valid receipt dated within 7 days or less from the original purchase date. Tanning lotion will only be exchanged for a replacement tanning lotion; customer is responsible for paying any difference in value between the exchanged lotions. Any difference owed by Extreme Tan and Smoothies, Inc. will be issued in the form of a Store Credit.

Tanning and Spray Tanning Package Returns

Unused tanning packages can be returned for a full refund within 31 days of the original purchase date. You must have a valid receipt dated within 31 days or less from the original purchase date in order to receive a refund, exchange or store credit.

Cash Refunds

Cash refunds will only be given with a valid receipt showing the original form of payment for purchase as cash.

Credit Card Refunds

All credit card purchases will be refunded back to the original credit card that merchandise or tanning packages were purchased on. In the event there is no receipt showing credit card used or credit card is not available, Extreme Tan and Smoothies will issue a store credit in the form of a Gift Card.

Check Refunds

All check purchases will be refunded 14 days after the original check has cleared; check refunds will be done in the form of a mail check from our Corporate Office.

Store Credit

Store credits are issued in the form of an Extreme Tan and Smoothies Gift Card, which can be used at any of the existing Extreme Tan and Smoothies, Inc. locations.

If you have any comments or questions or just want to give me some feedback please feel free to leave a comment, if you like this place and the various business tips, tanning salon tips and blogging tips that I post please subscribe to my rss feed or follow me on Twitter.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Reverse Cell Phones
Twitter:

Seems as though Affiliate Marketing companies do not need to take back items cause they are not developing and distributing the product.
.-= Reverse Cell Phones´s last blog ..Tracking Cell Phones =-.

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Typhoon
Twitter:

Need of Policies is very important for every website even my blog have Comment Policy and recently created Privacy Policy as Adsense said to create one if you are using adsense ads on your website/blog..

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Doug Dillard
Twitter:

Sounds like a pretty thorough Return Policy John. It is really nice that you would let your competition use it. You are one nice guy!

I do agree that the world would be a better place if everyone was just straight-up about returning stuff, but that will never happen… so you definitely nee to cover your butt!
.-= Doug Dillard´s last blog ..Custom Banner Package Giveway Winners =-.

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Extreme John
Twitter:

@Doug Dillard, they can use it, but they can never do it like we can do it ;)

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The Constant Complainer
Twitter:

Just like John said, his competition can shamelessly steal his policy, but they’ll never do it like his company does.

And yeah, I 100% agree that you should have this policy written and in place. I work in Risk Management as you know, so I’d tell you that every day, day after day.

Even when I started my blog, I wrote a “terms & conditions” statement. This world is full of sue-happy people who will do anything for a buck.

But there’s a difference between having certain policies and not having certain ones. Because the last thing you want to do is violate your own policies.

But you were right on with this one, bro.
.-= The Constant Complainer´s last blog ..When is it enough? – Guest Post =-.

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The Constant Complainer
Twitter:

If the sh*tty roofing company you dealt with had a policy like this, it may have helped resolve your issue quicker. But I’m sure they don’t even have a policy. LOL.
.-= The Constant Complainer´s last blog ..When is it enough? – Guest Post =-.

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Calisun

looks good bossman! :wink:

Reply

Mark Smith
Twitter:

I like the policy you have for the simplicity of it. I still like the disclaimer “We have the right to refuse service to anyone” posted somewhere in your business. This is a great cover-your-butt answer to those nonsense suit filing jerks out to annoy hard working individuals like yourself.

Does your bank charge you a fee to reverse a charge or cancel a check? If so, you may want to include a service fee for this inconvenience.
.-= Mark Smith´s last blog ..Making Money Online Promoting a Free Secret System to Help People Earn $300-$500 a Day =-.

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Sire
Twitter:

Nope, I reckon I would take a different tack in regards to spray tan.

If for whatever reason you are unhappy with your tan, please present yourself promptly at my office and after wiping off the offensive tan, management will respray you to your complete satisfaction. :roll: :lol:
.-= Sire´s last blog ..A Whole Lot Of Link Luvin Going On =-.

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Jared P Little
Twitter:

Seriously I understand you got to have it but how the hell do you return a tan?

What’s wrong with people.

Reply

eSINess

@Jared P Little,

He’s talking about lotion or unused packages.

Reply

eSINess

Your policy is just like GameStops:)(for used games). I don’t remember ever having anything close to that back when I was working there. (thinking)

Reply

Dennis

It looks to me like you covered all of your bases with your return policy. When I was younger I never paid attention to return policies, but now, after being burned a few times, I try to only do business with companies that have a clear and customer friendly return policy. Actually, yours is heavy on the customer friendly side and that is good. Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Extreme John
Twitter:

Thank you for commenting Dennis. I agree, my policy is light on us and heavy in a great way for the customer. If a customer doesn’t have confidence buying, they stop buying. Simple as that, so protect ourselves where we need to and allow for some very happy customers on the back end.

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