Tuesday 31 May 2011
Often terms and conditions, returns polices and shipping information are the last thing that retailers prepare for when selling online. However for the consumer, these are the single most important considerations to assure confidence prior to the transaction. If you are going to be successful online you need to get this right. Here we take a look at some of the options for best practice.
Define your terms and be transparent with your customers
Well the good thing is that Markets Central have made this part really easy. On every product page we will automatically display your Terms and Conditions, Return Policy and Shipping Info. We also display this in your customers shopping cart after your products have been added. You can therefore rest assured that your terms will always be transparent to your customer and encouraging a positive buying decisions for your stall.
General Terms and Conditions
Here will look at some popular considerations that retailers use when planning their terms and conditions. You may wish to:
> State the period that goods will be shipped within.
> State that your stall cannot guarantee the performance of Australia Post or any other courier.
> State that if their is a delay on behalf of Australia Post (or any other courier) that you will inform them as to the date that the goods will be dispatched. Provide them with an email address and/or phone number so they can contact you.
> State that credit card payment must be received to your PayPal account prior to shipping.
> State any special days that goods will not be shipped E.g. weekends or public holidays.
> If you allow 'pick up', or if you allow your customers to arrange their own shipping, you must ensure that shipping is entirely their responsibility. This is important to avoid any unnecessary disputes if your customer is slow to arrange this, you may also state that items are non-refundable in these circumstances.
> State that if the customer is not happy with a delay, consider letting them know that they can cancel an order
An open and transparent returns policy is important to let the your customers know what happens if they are unhappy with their purchase and want to send it back, for whatever reason. When preparing your returns policy you may wish to:
> State if the item is refundable or non refundable.
> State if the item is refundable or non refundable if the goods are incorrectly selected.
> State if the item is available for exchange. E.g. Can the customer return an item that is the wrong size and exchange it for another?
> State if the exchange items are only available for items that are in stock.
> State if the item is refundable or non refundable for faulty goods. Express that care is taken to supply the items and state your terms in the event that the goods are faulty.
> State the time period that faulty goods must be returned within.
> State the time period that all items must be returned within.
> State if the customer is to pay for the return shipping. You may wish to ask them to pay (e.g. if they ordered incorrectly etc) or to include a stamp address envelope/packaging.
> State if the item is refundable or non refundable if the item is damaged in transit.
> State if the item is refundable or non refundable if the item is wrongly delivered by you.
If you are unsure you may wish to play safe and state that the item is non refundable. However, please note that successful online stores do make an effort to prepare and conform to a fair Returns Policy. A fair Returns Policy promotes customer confidence and ultimately more fans and more sales.
This is such an important aspect of your policy that we have dedicated a whole article to it, you can read more about planning your shipping fees here…
Every stall is responsible for completing their own Terms of Conditions, Return Policies and Shipping Info. Markets Central can only provide guidance to effective policies and can not be held responsible for your Terms of Conditions, Return Policies and Shipping Info
When your customer agrees to purchase your goods and clicks the 'I Agree to the Terms and Conditions' button at Checkout, they agree to your Terms and Conditions, Return Policies and Shipping Info, plus the Terms and Conditions regulating the Markets Central website.
Your may read more here: http://www.marketscentral.com.au/termsandconditions.html