Easy Returns with Online Shopping

One of the main concerns potential online shoppers have about the process of shopping online is whether or not it will be possible to return items which were purchased online. This is certainly a valid concern but fortunately for these wary shoppers making returns when online shopping is not very difficult. There are usually a few different options for making returns when online shopping. However, online shoppers should always be aware of return policies before they make an online purchase. This article will discuss a couple of the options for making returns when online shopping including returning the items to a traditional store and shipping the items back to the online retailer.

Returning Online Purchases to a Traditional Store

Online retailers who also have traditional stores often allow consumers to return items to the regular store instead of having to ship the item back to the online retailer. This is generally an option for large retailers who have a number of stores available. Consumers may want to purchase an item online for a number of reasons. The consumer may wish to make the purchase online because the item is not currently in stock at a local store, because the local store does not carry the item or simply because ordering the item online is more convenient for the consumer. Still other consumers may opt to purchase the item online because the online retailer does not have a traditional store located near the consumer. In these cases the consumer would likely opt to ship the item back to the online retailer. However, in the other cases, as long as it is convenient, the consumer may wish to simply return the item to a traditional store.

The process of returning items purchased online to a traditional store is often as simple as making a return on an item that was not purchased online. The consumer may simply have to bring the item with its original packaging and the receipt to the store. The consumer may then be able to receive an exchange, store credit or a refund depending on the store’s policy. As with any return there may be rules which apply to whether or not the store will take back the item. These rules may vary from store to store and even with different items purchased from the same store so the consumer should verify these policies before making the purchase.

Other Options for Returning Online Purchases

Consumers who make a purchase online and are dissatisfied with the purchase for any reason may have a number of options available to them for making returns. One of these options is shipping the items back to the online retailer directly. However, there are a number of ways in which this option can be accomplished. In some cases the consumer is responsible for shipping the item back to the online retailer and assumes the financial responsibility for the shipping. This is usually the case when the consumer wishes the return the item for reasons such as changing his mind about the purchase or purchasing the wrong item. However, in cases where the item purchased from an online retailer is defective or the retailer shipped the wrong item, the online retailer may assume the financial responsibility for having the item shipped. In some cases, the online retailer will mail the consumer a pre-paid packing slip while in other cases the online retailer will arrange to have the package picked up from the consumer’s home.

Understanding Return Policies when Online Shopping

As previously mentioned the return policies can vary from one online retailer to the next and may even vary for different products purchased from the same online retailer. For this reason it is important for consumers to carefully review the return policies before making an online purchase. This is especially important if the consumer is unsure about the product and suspects it may be necessary to return the item. This may be the case with clothing items where the consumer may be unsure whether or not an item will fit. However, with any purchase there is the potential for the need to exchange the item so consumers should read the return policy carefully and inquire with the retailer if they have any questions about the policy before making a purchase.

Finding Product Reviews before Online Shopping

The ability to find product reviews before online shopping is very useful for online shoppers. These reviews can be very helpful for consumers who are trying to decide whether or not to purchase a particular product or attempting to compare to similar products. Based on these product reviews the consumer may make a more informed decision about which products to purchase and which ones to avoid. However, there are different types of reviews available and some product reviews are more useful than others. This article will discuss product reviews which can be found directly on the online retailer’s website as well as product reviews which can be found on websites dedicated to compiling product reviews.

Reviews on the Online Retailers Website

Many online retailers provide reviews of products they offer for sale directly on their own website. These reviews typically fall into two categories and include consumer product reviews and product reviews offered in terms for compensation. Consumers who are using these reviews to gather information about a product should proceed with caution to ensure they understand what type of reviews are being offered on the website.

Consumer reviews are typically the best resource for consumers who want to learn more about a product. This includes reviews which come from others who have purchased and used the product in question. These reviews are usually completely candid and offer great insight into the form and functionality of the product. Online shoppers who find the majority of consumers are satisfied with a particular product may be reassured they have selected a high quality product. Conversely online shoppers how consistently find negative reviews of a particular product may wish to consider purchasing a different item.

Online retailers also sometimes feature reviews on their website from reviewers who have been compensated to provide a review. When a retailer compensates an individual to make a review it is usually necessary to divulge this information because the review may tend to rate the product more favorably than they would if they were not compensated to do so.

Websites Provided for Consumers to Review Products

There are also websites available which are dedicated to compiling product reviews. This includes websites such as epinions.com. Here consumers can browse through a variety of products to find additional information in the form of product reviews for products they are considering purchasing. The reviews they find may be incredibly detailed and useful or they may be brief and provide very little useful information. Consumers are advised to consider these opinions carefully especially when there are a large number of reviews available which seem to be in agreement regarding the quality of the product. However, when there are only a few reviews available it can be much more difficult for the consumer to formulate his own opinion of the product based on these reviews posted on the website. Consumers are also advised to ignore reviews which vary significantly from the majority of the other review posted. These reviews may be mistakenly referring to the wrong product or may demonstrate an anomaly. For example if the majority of reviews are overwhelmingly positive but one or two reviews are negative it is generally acceptable to ignore the negative reviews as long as the company selling the product is reputable and there are enough positive reviews available to convince the shopper the product is worthwhile.
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