Most businesses today have return policies—in fact, it’s almost expected. For shoppers, it can be the deciding factor when choosing where to make their purchase. According to TrueShip, over 60% of customers will review a return policy before making purchase decisions! For retailers, it’s a great way to establish trust and encourage repeat business. It allows consumers to purchase with confidence in case they are between clothing sizes or aren’t sure if an item will fit their space. If you’re purchasing liquidation inventory, you may be accustomed to seeing everything sold “as is.” However, you may want to consider the benefits of what having an easy return policy could bring for your business. In today’s post, we’re sharing a return policy template that’s easy to use.

If the idea of establishing a return policy is daunting, don’t worry. We share examples of standard return policies, what they all have in common, and what you should include in yours. And if you’re still on the fence about introducing a return policy to your resale business, we even lay out the pros and cons of having one.

Where are you reselling your liquidation inventory?

If you are only selling on platforms like Poshmark or eBay, consider that sites like these already have buyer protections established. (Along with seller protections, too.) There are even sites that allow sellers to create their own guidelines for returns, like Depop. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, or your own eCommerce store or website where you list inventory, this is where having your own return policy can come in handy.

Return policy examples

Retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Home Depot, are all known for having flexible return policies. In fact, the ease with which consumers can make returns is what has led to such an influx of customer return over the years—online returns especially.

Let’s take a look at a few different buyer protections, or return policies, for common resale platforms:

Example 1: eBay

eBay is a huge, global marketplace that is very popular with resellers. When you have 183 million active buyers on your site, you can bet eBay has a pretty solid returns process.

eBay return policy example

Example 2: Poshmark

This social marketplace has over 60 million users. Sellers on Poshmark (AKA “Poshers”) are highly engaged with their audience, and for good reason. 88% of daily shoppers on Poshmark are repeat buyers on the platform. A good refund policy helps!

Poshmark return policy example

Example 3: Facebook Marketplace

On Facebook Marketplace, you can just as easily find cars and gardening equipment for sale as you can find the latest iPhone, Nintendo Switch, or KitchenAid Mixer. With 2.8 billion active Facebook users, Purchase Protection is a must.

Facebook return policy example

Example 4: The Home Depot

As always, there are exceptions. Let’s look at what a retailer like Home Depot might exclude from their return policy:

Home Depot return policy exceptions

Pros of having a return policy

Happy customers are repeat customers

By letting customers return an item to your store, you’re leaving them with a positive, lasting impression. And if they feel like they can trust you to make things right, you are likely to keep them as a customer. In fact, this can help your business reputation both online and offline.

Remember, the ease in which customers make returns are often mentioned in reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Business, Facebook, and eBay.

Mistakes happen

While it’s always best practice to point out any faults or imperfections in merchandise, especially on sites like eBay, Poshmark, and Facebook Marketplace, mistakes still happen. It’s easy to miss a small tear or dent when you are photographing hundreds of products. Since you are not intentionally trying to deceive customers, you can incorporate a return policy that accounts for situations like this.

You can also alleviate the number of returns you get by being familiar with the inventory you are buying and advertising. For liquidation inventory, always read the auction lot manifest for detailed product information.

Tools can make the returns process easy

A return merchandise authorization system (RMA) makes the returns process easy and repeatable. Of course, this system comes with its own costs. But ultimately, it can help your business efficiently issue, organize, and track returns, as well as relist inventory!

Less time spent on case-by-case returns

When you have a return policy template, you are able to expedite the process of returning unwanted merchandise. That means less time spent dealing with customer returns on a case-by-case basis that can be better spent running your business.

Let’s you tackle the holidays

Be prepared to tackle the holidays with a top-notch return policy. It’s not a secret that individuals are likely to return unwanted holiday gifts back to the store come January 1. You can stay one step ahead by having a solid policy for returns and exchanges in place that keep visitors happy (and maybe turn them into customers)!

Get even more inspired for the holidays with 19 Holiday Marketing Ideas for Your Resale Business.

Cons of having a return policy

As always, there will be people who try to take advantage of a reasonable return policy. However, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Adds to cost

Your calculations for bidding on liquidation inventory include how much you spend on the item and how much you can sell it for. If you end up having to issue returns, this can eat into your profits and up the risk of losing money. For higher ticket items, you may want to consider offering a short-term warranty instead. That way, they’re more likely to stick with their purchase or make an exchange if things go wrong and you can keep your profits.

Needs to be fair

You have to establish a policy that will apply to all customers, specific inventory, and/or store locations.

Enforcing your return policy can sometimes be a challenge

If customers aren’t satisfied with their purchase or don’t meet the requirements for a return, they may be willing to put up a fight. You need to have someone skilled in customer service to address customer concerns. However, having a transparent return policy up front can help alleviate potential issues.

Figure out the logistics

Who will manage the return requests? Will customers be mailing returns back to you? Will they need to pay to ship it back or will you offer a pre-paid shipping label? Can they make returns in-store? These are things to consider when creating your return policy.

How to write a return policy

What do all of these return policies have in common? A few things. Your return policy should include most or all of these things:

  • What items can be returned or exchanged
  • The timeframe customers have to make a return (7 days, 30 days, etc.)
  • The proof of purchase your store requires
  • Valid reasons for return
  • Items that are considered “final sale”
  • Refund method: return of original payment or store credit
  • How to start the return process
  • When they will receive approved refunds

Be sure to post your return policy somewhere easy for customers to see (online or in-stores). Overall, your return policy should be clear, concise, and fair, aiming to protect both customers and businesses. A good rule of thumb is if it’s not working sellers should take it back.

For more help with return policies, Shopify has great resources available.

Return policy template

Here is a return policy template you can customize and make into your own!

Return Policy Template

Return policy template in use

We filled in the return policy template so you have an idea of how it will look.

Return Policy Template_Example

Closing thoughts on return policies

Managing returns can be time-consuming and costly, but establishing a return policy can be worth your while and save you time down the road. The benefits of having one in place include greater customer loyalty, positive reputation, and repeat customers! You should look into tools that can make the process easier, like Returnly or Return Magic, or you can manage them yourself.

Whether or not you choose to establish a return policy for your resale business, you can always come to B-Stock for the inventory your business needs. Start browsing liquidation auctions today! Or, for more resale business tips, catch up on 21 Resale Business Tips You Should Know.

Join the largest global network of B2B liquidation marketplaces.

Buy directly from the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers

register now

"B-Stock helped me buy top quality liquidated inventory and maximize my profit margin. I can't recommend them more!"

Karen Smith, Business Owner

Bargain Dealz

More from the B-Stock Blog

How to Avoid Drowning in Your Returned Merchandise This Holiday Season

If you’re a retailer in 2021, product returns are a simple fact of life. Brands like Amazon have long featured free, unlimited, and seamless returns as a key part of their service’s value proposition. This model has brought them massive…

Nov 25 2021 · 8 min read

Secondary market for holiday returns: Q&A with B-Stock Solutions CEO

Shipping and supply chain delays are at the forefront of retailers’ worries this peak season. Companies with holiday goods that arrive after the season or get large amounts of returns have three major options: store them in warehouses until next…

Nov 24 2021 · 1 min read

Meet Sufyan Shareef: How this reseller started by flipping houses

Where do you work when you don’t want to work for anyone? Sufyan Shareef, owner of Galaxy Home Supplies, has been a B-Stock buyer since November 2020. Coming from a line of hotel and restaurant family businesses in Iraq, Sufyan…

Nov 23 2021 · 7 min read