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Product returns: how to create an e-shop policy

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Whoever undertakes business on the Internet through an online shop knows the importance of having an attractive Product Return Policy to clearly establish the rules of your business and the rights of consumers.

Exchanges and returns, no matter how hard you try to avoid them, will happen, especially if you work with fashion and footwear. Thus, it is important to know the Consumer Defense Code (CDC) and strictly follow the legislation to avoid lawsuits.

This article will help you in this aspect. Let’s go!

What is the difference between exchange and return?

The first point is to understand the difference between exchange and return. Exchange is the replacement of the product with a similar model or another item sold by the shop. The customer has the right to use the money spent as a balance to purchase another artifact and be refunded or pay the difference in value.

The return occurs as per the initial image. The product is returned and the company refunds the customer in full with the amount paid for the product and shipping.

From this point on, it will be explained how you, the business owner, are obliged by law to offer the return, exchange or both.

Article 18 reads as follows:

Suppliers of durable or non-durable consumer goods are jointly and severally liable for defects in quality or quantity that make them unsuitable or inappropriate for consumption for which they are intended or reduce their value, as well as for those arising from disparity with the indications on the container, packaging, labeling or advertising message, respecting the variations arising from their nature, and the consumer may require the replacement of the defective parts.

If the defect is not cured within a maximum period of thirty days, the consumer may demand, alternatively and at his choice

1. Replacement of the product with another of the same kind, in perfect condition for use;
2. The immediate refund of the amount paid, monetarily restated, without prejudice to any losses and damages;
3. the proportional reduction of the price.

Article 26 Segue o artigo 26 do CDC abaixo:

The right to claim for apparent or easily ascertainable defects expires in:

1. Thirty days, in the case of the supply of services and non-durable products;
2. Ninety days, in the case of the supply of services and durable products.

Article 49

Article 49 is exclusive to purchases made outside the commercial establishment, such as e-commerce, catalogues and telephones. It states that the customer has up to
7 days after receiving the goods the right to request a return, even without any apparent defect.

The CDC argues that the lack of contact with the actual product may cause the customer’s satisfaction to be less than if he had perceived it through other sources, such as magazines and the internet.

Imagine if there were no such regulation. The number of misleading advertisements that promise one thing and deliver another would be very high. It is necessary to avoid fraud, especially from online shops.

How does the return of a product to an online shop work in practice?

Cool, you have been introduced to the rules. However, you may have been confused to understand. Now, I’m going to show you how each item of the CDC works in practice so that you can easily apply it to your business.

Deadline for returning a product
The consumer who wishes to return a defective product has maximum deadlines to be respected:

• 30 days: non-durable consumer goods (food, beverages, cosmetics)
• 90 days: durable consumer goods (electronics, clothing, vehicles)

These deadlines count from the date of delivery of the goods. That is, in physical shops it is on the same day of purchase, while in online shops only when delivery is confirmed by the customer.

Let’s take an example. Imagine you bought Whey Protein online. You consume it normally and on day 10 you feel a strong and sour smell, different from the previous days. As it is within the deadline, you have the right to send the product back to the seller and receive new merchandise.

The same happens with trainers. If you have used it and on day 47 the sole has completely come off, you have the right to ask for a new product.

It is very difficult for a customer to lie, acting in bad faith. For example, even if it was worn extensively, it is very unlikely that a trainer would wear out enough to warrant an exchange within 90 days.

A common requirement of the Exchange Policy is to demand, besides the invoice (which is mandatory to guarantee the return), a photo of the defect. This allows the company to determine whether the defect is a manufacturing flaw or a forgery.

Right to withdraw from a purchase
As already presented above, the consumer has the right to return the product purchased over the Internet within 7 days of receipt. Within this period, the company will only be under no obligation to take it back if there are signs of use.

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These deadlines count from the date of delivery of the goods. That is, in physical shops it is on the same day of purchase, while in online shops only when delivery is confirmed by the customer.

Let’s take an example. Imagine you bought Whey Protein online. You consume it normally and on day 10 you feel a strong and sour smell, different from the previous days. As it is within the deadline, you have the right to send the product back to the seller and receive new merchandise.

The same happens with trainers. If you have used it and on day 47 the sole has completely come off, you have the right to ask for a new product.

It is very difficult for a customer to lie, acting in bad faith. For example, even if it was worn extensively, it is very unlikely that a trainer would wear out enough to warrant an exchange within 90 days.

A common requirement of the Exchange Policy is to demand, besides the invoice (which is mandatory to guarantee the return), a photo of the defect. This allows the company to determine whether the defect is a manufacturing flaw or a forgery.

Right to withdraw from a purchase
As already presented above, the consumer has the right to return the product purchased over the Internet within 7 days of receipt. Within this period, the company will only be under no obligation to take it back if there are signs of use.

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