The dreaded customer return

We have all been there.  We have all pondered on how to handle this.  The customer walks in the store with one of your bags in hand.  Or no bag.  The merchandise right in their hand.  I know what’s coming.  I dread it every time.  S/he wants to return something.

It does not fit.

I have nothing to go with it.

I wore it once and the seams came apart.  (bad one!)

My mom/husband/brother/friend gave it to me and I don’t like it.

I will NEVER wear it.

I got it six months ago and meant to come back earlier.  (oh, no!)

…the list goes on….

At first I was afraid that I had faulty merchandise.  Granted that sometimes happens and there is no way to tell it when the item is just living in your store.  At first I also thought this will not happen to me.  Because I did not have customer returns for a long time.  But then I added more stuff to the store, and the more stuff you have, the more likely it is that something will find its way back.

I do have a return policy.  And after just posting it, I now stamp it on every receipt.  Which does mean ABSOLUTELY nothing to the customer intent on returning the merchandise.  In the beginning I insisted on my return policy.  Not good.  You want to keep the customer and the customer will not be happy when s/he cannot return the item.  And also WILL NEVER COME BACK AGAIN.

Believe me, I argued with a few of them.  Also not good.

I had one today.  To me it was obvious that the flaw was not the product’s flaw.  It had to have come about somehow.  I admire the guts of some people to just bluntly ask for an exchange when they have torn/ worn out/ soiled the item.  More power to them.  They now get from me what they want.  I also tell them that I want them to be happy.  So I exchange/ return money/ repair/ upgrade their purchase.  While this practice hurts me financially, I hope I send good Karma and they come back BECAUSE I MADE THEM HAPPY.

I feel better, too.


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