22 April 2019 | 33 Comments
A few times over the last few months, I’ve had customers tell me upon receiving a product purchased from our webstore that they want to return it. I haven’t quite known how to reply to such requests.
Keep in mind that–with a few rare exceptions–based on how we currently operate, when a customer preorders or orders from Stonemaier Games, they receive it within a week or two. This isn’t the case of backing something on Kickstarter and deciding 9 months later when you receive it that the final product is drastically different than as advertised or that your personal budget has significantly changed (see this article for the reasoning behind our money-back guarantee from our days on Kickstarter).
Also, we sell board games. This isn’t Zappos, where the ability to try on the shoes is critically important to solidifying your purchase. A comparison could be made to actually playing the game and deciding if it’s a good fit, but the return requests we’ve received always happen while the game is still in shrink.
There have only been a handful of these requests, and I suspect for most of them that they simply found a better price elsewhere. Nothing wrong with that, though I also don’t necessarily think price comparison is my responsibility.
However, despite all that, it has still felt a little weird to tell customers, “No, you can’t return your completely new, in-shrink game to us.” My goal is serve and respect our customers, and I feel like I’m falling short in regards to these occasional return requests.
So I spoke with our primary fulfillment center a few days ago, and we decided on a procedure. Here’s how it’ll work:
- If you have a game that was purchased on our webstore and is still in shrinkwrap, it is eligible to be returned to Stonemaier Games. We reserve the right to deny the request based on the circumstances (i.e., if the game was purchased a long time ago).
- You are responsible for returning the game to our fulfillment center (i.e., you pay for shipping) in the same conditioned you received it. We will provide a special identifying code to write on the box so the fulfillment center knows how to process it.
- When we receive the game, we will issue a refund equal to the original payment via Shopify (to the person who placed the order).
Related to this topic are games that arrive damaged or with missing components. For those, all a customer needs to do is fill out our replacement parts form and we’ll send them the damaged/missing component.
What do you think? If you sell products online, do you have a return policy, and how does it work. If you buy products online from publishers, what are your hopes and expectations in terms of their return policies?
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