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Returns getting you down?

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You know it happens and every time it does, it costs you more money. Returns sometimes means the difference between profitability and loss. Not only that but it’s a headache dealing with returns and processing claims. Did you know nearly 1 in every 3 online purchases is returned? This is a staggering amount and every seller wants to keep returns to a minimum, so what can you do as a seller to minimize returns?

High quality photos- The need for high quality images cannot be overemphasized as most consumers take just seconds to determine whether they are interested in a product. No matter how good your description is it will never make up for a bad picture. Present your item in a clean, well-lit environment, make sure you are shooting your items from every angle and make sure to get close up shots showing important details like: special features or in the case of high dollar items manufacturer tags to prove its authenticity.

Get specific about the details- what’s the number one reason most people return clothing? It does not fit! You hear it all the time. Yes it is difficult knowing by looking at an item if it will fit correctly, but you can help your customer determine if it will fit by listing all the items measurements. For pants, slacks jeans and shorts list the waist, inseam, length. With shirts it’s the sleeves, shoulders, chest and length you get the picture. If you don’t have time to list each measurement, why not include a tape measure in the pics so the customer can see the actual lengths.

All sizes are not created equal- yes it does not make sense, but virtually anyone who has tried on clothing before knows: a size medium from one manufacture may be more of a large compared to others. This goes for shoes as well, so it’s a good idea to identify the brands you have and do some web searching to determine if the brands you carry run small or large.

Colors can be tricky- what’s red to you may be coral to someone else it’s good to stick with the manufactures color schemes. If it’s not on the tag go with the manifest’s listed color. Remember depending on your lighting the garment may look darker or lighter if you are going with the manufactures color there is less room for confusion.

Be prepared to answer some questions- if you’re an old timer on eBay you probably have gotten a lot of oddball questions over the years that may seem quite trivial but they may be important to your potential customer. Bear in mind they can only see your picture and description they cannot handle it or closely inspect the item so they may have questions that cannot be answered with your picture or description. Be prepared to give an answer in a timely manner, half of the time the fence sitter will decide to make the purchase if they see you are responsive in a timely manner.

Is there an issue or is this buyer’s remorse?- occasionally you may run into a customer suffering from buyer’s remorse. They bought the item and its fine but they decide something is wrong with it, maybe they claim a loose thread or color is just not right; 9 times out of 10 these people are just fishing for an after the purchase discount. It’s important in situations like this to keep cool and avoid an email shouting match. Be polite and accommodating if they are reasonable, weigh the options: if you made some margin on the item and can afford a discount maybe offer it to avoid a time and money losing return but if they are unreasonable bite the bullet and have them return it.

Returns sadly are unavoidable the goal is to give your customers enough information to make an informed decision about a purchase, follow these steps and save yourself one more return headache.     



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