Folksy Ltd

Refunding postage on returned items

(Sarah Eves) #1

I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this but I would just like some clarification.

If a customer buys an item where the dimensions are clearly stated in the description but wishes to return it as it is too big for his teapot, I have always assumed that I would refund the outward postage but return postage was the customer’s responsibility.
(I used to think postage both ways would be the customer’s responsibility but apparently not, according to distance selling regulations).

But now I have a customer who wishes to return an item but has told me he will be returnin it via 2nd class signed for post…it’s a small parcel…to "keep costs down for me!!!"
Not only did the original item get sent as a regular small parcel, with no signature required, I had clearly stated that the refund will only include the original shipping cost paid.
Obviously, the customer thinks otherwise and I am unsure as to how to proceed if it gets awkward.

Sarah x

(Sarah Lambert) #2

As far as I’m aware if the item was not faulty and was as described, the buyer pays return postage. Having just gone through that with the hefty bike stand I bought for my o/h for Christmas, I had to pay an eye watering amount because of the weight, but I realised it was our mistake in not measuring carefully enough before we ordered.

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(Christine Shephard) #3

You would only have to refund the return postage if the item was faulty or ‘not as described’, so in this case, assuming your dimensions were correct in the listing, the return postage is the buyer’s responsibility. I would refer them to your policies and the Folksy t&cs where it clearly states this, and say that you will give a refund of the purchase price and original postage as soon as you receive the item back.

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(Sarah Eves) #4

Thank you, the dimensions are definitely correct, and are always given as internal measurements.
My main issue is that despite already stating in the original reply to his refund request that the refund would include the original shipping, he is still assuming I will be refunding his return postage, which includes a signed for fee!

(Eileens Craft Studio) #5

I would simply and politely restate that as the listing was correct and under the new laws you will refund his original postage costs and the item price ie full invoice cost and not his return postage as that is his responsibility.

If he tries to make a claim via paypal it will go in your favour if you give the evidence paypal require. If you are unsure of how go about it give them a call and explain the situation. They have excellent customer service.

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(Christine Shephard) #6

If you’ve already stated what you will be refunding, then just refund that amount. If the buyer queries it, you can refer him once again to Folksy’s t&cs and explain that the return postage is the buyer’s responsibility unless there is a fault with the item.

(Jacqueline Ostrowka) #7

You’ve probably got it sorted now but they pay return postage, signed for, to make sure for their sake it is received ( their proof that they have sent it back) you refund the original cost of the item and their postage fee only if the item come back to you in re-sellable condition, you do not refund the price it cost to post th item back to you.
It’s a bit of a sh** really that they can order something and decide they don’t want it and you have to pay for the privilege but that’s the way it is unfortunately.

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(Sarah Eves) #8

Thank you!

I explained about the refund covering the original shipping only, and the customer is now happy to pay the return postage.

(Jacqueline Ostrowka) #9

So Glad you got it sorted and the buyer has agreed to cover return postage :slightly_smiling:

(Jo Sara) #10

Just had to find this thread to check on refunding postage. I’ve had exactly the same thing as you Sarah @thesherbetpatch, a customer wanting to return an item because it’s bigger than they thought, even though the dimensions are pretty clear in the listing. No problems with them paying for the return postage, they offered to do that straight away. But I had to come and double check about the original postage refund in this thread. It’s the first time I’ve had to refund a returned item in the whole 5 years I’ve been selling, so I wasn’t totally sure who got what. I too was surprised to see that we have to refund the original postage, even though it’s a customer error. It doesn’t seem right that we end up out of pocket, I can’t understand the reasoning. What if what they were sending back was part of a larger order, would you refund what that one item would have cost to send? Or do you have to refund the whole multi-order postage?


(Eileens Craft Studio) #11

I would only refund what that item would have cost me to send had I sent it as a single item plus the item price.

(Jo Sara) #12

That’s what I would want to do, but is that the actual Distance Selling rule? It’s quite hard to find this stuff out.

This is the return postage Distance Selling Regulation as I’ve found it so far -

_"The original cost of the outbound postage to you should always be refunded by the seller. _

_The seller’s terms and conditions or returns policy should state who pays the cost of returning the item. _

_If they don’t state this, then the seller has to cover the cost. _

_In this case, you’re entitled to a refund of the total amount you paid, including costs to ship the item to you, and the fee to return the item. No admin or restocking fees should be charged. "

That doesn’t explain what to do if the item is part of a larger order. It’s just something that crossed my mind with having to refund the postage on a single item, because I do send out a lot of multiple orders, and the postage costs for my items are quite pricey once you start moving around parcel sizes and weight bands.

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(Annie Storkey) #13

Folksy has a returns policy at the bottom of the listing
I agree that how much to refund is vague, I too would only refund part postage on a multiple listing.

(Jacqueline Ostrowka) #14

I’m not sure but i’d say if there original postage was, 1st item £2.50 second item +0.50 and they returned 1 item it would still have cost them £2.50 for the item to be sent therefor refund the cost of the additional postage, in this case 0.50

(Jo Sara) #15

I suppose I could find something similar that I’d sent on it’s own, and say the postage amount on that would have been what the item in the multi order would have cost to post on it’s own, so that would be the refund. I think I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Hopefully, I won’t :wink:

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(Sarah Eves) #16

The original postage refund - I agree, seems very unfair on sellers, particularly when bulky, heavier items are returned, as having to refund the original shipping is a sizeable chunk to be out of pocket!

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(Christine Shephard) #17

As a consumer, I think it’s very fair - after all, I can’t see, touch or examine an item until I’ve received it, and it might not be suitable, the right fit, or even the right colour, so I want to have all my money back if I decide it’s not right for me - and I often still have to pay to send it back.

As a seller, it’s a cost of selling online - cheaper than renting a stall/shop, cheaper than wholesale discounts, more convenient all round, so a cost worth incurring, in my opinion.

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(Christine Shephard) #18

I recently had to take an online supplier to task over not refunding my original postage when I returned something that wasn’t suitable. Initially, they just refunded the item cost, so I pointed them towards the distance selling rules and asked for the postage back too. They ignored me, so I told them I would report them to trading standards if they didn’t credit my account within a week. I got my money back, and I’ve noticed they have also changed their returns policy on their website to comply, so that was a good result all round :slightly_smiling:

In many cases I think it’s just a case of ignorance of the law, so a gentle reminder never hurts!

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