It’s safe to say that everyone has had to sort out a return in their time. That perfect coat that you found online doesn’t fit, or that elusive book that you’ve been trying to track down is damaged when it arrives. We’ve all learned how to deal with them as buyers, but what happens when you’re the one the item is getting returned to, and someone returns without the packaging?
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There’s no way to ensure that you won’t ever have to deal with returns. However, by packaging your parcels correctly and picking the right courier you won’t have to worry about your customer receiving a damaged parcel. They have no such obligations with returns, so how do you go about dealing with something that comes back without the packaging that you were expecting?
When you’re selling something you take a lot of care in the way that it’s presented. First impressions are important, and so is packaging. So what do you do if someone returns your item without that packaging? Do you still have to give them their refund? Buyers don’t have to return items with the original packaging – no one is expecting you to hang onto the boxes for everything you buy after all. However, there are a few situations where the lack of packaging can be a big problem, and there are a few solutions for those moments.
Charge for a reduction in the value of the return item
Depending on the item, the lack of its original packaging – including things like price tags and labels – could make a big difference in the price that they are sold for. This is most relevant in the sales of collectibles, but it could be a big deal with other items too. Clothes that come back without their price tags for example, could never be sold as new again, and there’s one notable anecdote in the eBay community of a necklace sold in a genuine Tiffany’s box. When it was returned it was simply in a small plastic bag, with no sign of the box it had been dispatched in, greatly impacting how much the merchant could have sold it for on their next attempt.
It’s important to note here, that you can only charge if the value of the item has been reduced by “excessive handling”. That means you can’t do it if they’ve tried it on and sent it straight back, but if they’ve sent it back without its tags, or returned a model without its box, then value has clearly been reduced. It also has to state in your terms and conditions that returns may be charged if the value of the item has been reduced.