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5:09 PM   April 20, 2014
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Writing Your Return Policy

Return policies on boutique clothing for pets often vary from retailer to retailer and customer to customer. Though flexibility may be required when accepting returns, a spelled-out policy helps support staff understand the basics and removes any confusion from a consumer standpoint at the point of purchase.

Consider writing your clothing policy based on several hypothetical situations you may or may not have already encountered in other categories.

Fit
Ill fitting pet clothing runs with the territory. Dogs are just as unique to fit as people are. Unless customers bring their pets with them and try on outfits before buying, you’re likely to experience this reason for returns frequently. Tag intact and receipt in hand a simple exchange for a bigger or smaller size – together with some advice on how to properly measure a pet – satisfies most customers.

Quality
Your policy on quality issues may best be written based on your relationship with the clothing manufacturer. If stitching unravels or garments exhibit other signs of shoddy workmanship, yet you’re sure the maker will stand behind the product, sending you a new one in exchange for the old, offer the buyer a refund or exchange with confidence. If the clothing in question comes from a new manufacturer, or one you know may not accept a return, try offering the consumer store credit instead, to protect your investment in merchandise.

Wear and Tear
“Normal wear and tear” can be hard term to explain to a customer returning a piece of clothing after the first washing or a few weeks after purchase. In general, if it’s obvious the dog has worn the outfit, returns or refunds are not appropriate. Some retailers go so far as to place a time limit (72 hours or more) on refunds and exchanges – assuming consumers have already placed the clothing on their pets.

Tags
Clothing items without tags can present problems in the returns department. Unless you’re able to reattach a tag of your own, you may be resigned to placing the item on a sale or clearance rack. As long as the item appears in good condition, though, and the consumer retains the receipt, you may be forced refund the item, regardless.

Receipts
Generally, return of clothing without a receipt, as far as big-box retailers are concerned, is appropriate for store credit of the last sale price of the item. If the item obviously came from your store and you recall the last sale price of the merchandise, this solution may be appropriate. However, if, to your knowledge, the item can be found at other area retailers a denial of refund may fit the situation better. <HOME>


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