Home – New Forums Starting your journey Online store. Help appreciated

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  • #976039
    AquaGirl
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    Hi all

    I’m interested in adding an online store to enable customers outside sydney access to my clothes and accessories business.

    What im interested in knowing is mainly about returns policies and exchanges. is there an obligation to allow it or we must legally enable it? because we will make sure items are sent in top condition to avoid returns being needed. i mainly plan to sell the sale items online but possibly some new ones too.

    If a dress is Medium for example but is a small run, is it best to write in the description – fits australian size 8-10? descriptions that may enable someone to choose without making an error ?

    though id love to give people an opportunity to exchange for another item in case they do choose the wrong size, i just am concerned about some people wearing the item then returning it with tag (ive heard of acquaintances doing this before i was in retail industry so that has made me cautious)
    they could dryclean it and return so it looks new but i still prefer everyone who buys to get brand new product. plus dont want the hassle of exchanges when things like this are going on..

    any other suggestions and tips on what makes you want to buy from an online store (yes will have top security), as well as how to market the online store will be welcomed. thanks so much for your time :)

    Linda

    #1078280
    MyGreatIdea
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    Hi Linda

    Check out the NSW Consumer Affairs website for information regarding dealing with customers.

    Wendy :)

    #1078281
    EmbalmSkincare
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    Hi Linda,

    I won’t be able to help you with the legal but my thought on Australian size 8-10… It would put me off. Let’s say I’m a size 8, I wouldn’t know if the product you offer is a size 8 or 10. I wouldn’t buy it. Do you know what I mean?

    Good luck and please let us know if you find anything regarding returns.

    Regards,
    Mel

    #1078282
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
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    u miss out on a huge market to protect yourself from a handful of abusers. return rate should not be more than 20% if you have detailed description.

    check out zappos

    #1078283
    JohnSheppard
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    Go to any large retail chain…buy something…when you get home, jump up and down on it, get your dog to play in it, roll over it with your car…

    Now…take it back to the shop with your receipt :)

    See what happens…I’d be willing to bet you won’t have much problem getting your money back. Even though you suck as a customer (and general all round person), you are still worth more to them if you are happy…

    #1078284
    John C.
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    JohnSheppard, post: 98649 wrote:
    Go to any large retail chain…buy something…when you get home, jump up and down on it, get your dog to play in it, roll over it with your car…

    Now…take it back to the shop with your receipt :)

    See what happens…I’d be willing to bet you won’t have much problem getting your money back. Even though you suck as a customer (and general all round person), you are still worth more to them if you are happy…

    I don’t think it’s the person behaving poorly in this way that is worth more to the retailer if they are happy – it’s the other 95% of us who play by the rules and don’t abuse the right to return faulty or incorrectly chosen items who are worth more if we are happy because we will come back and spend money at your establishment again… and again… and again – i.e. focus on the majority of people who do the right thing, and you you will come out ahead even if you do knowingly let a very small percentage of customers take advantage of you. (focus on the big picture).

    Cheers,
    John

    #1078285
    dextereugenio
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    i think purchasing clothes from an “online only” store is one of the hardest things to do.

    my advice would be to include as much detail into the measurements as you can.

    i had an online store a while back and thankfully hand to endure only a small number of returns, but with clothing where basically any excuse can be used, you have to be careful (and weary).

    take a look at what other online stores offer, and im certain there is legislation that states a mandatory return period of 14 days (but do some research and im sure someone can point you in the right direction).

    #1078286
    King
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    There is a very strong movement in online retailing to not only provide free delivery, but also generous returns conditions.

    If you want to see what the future is like right now, look at Styletread .

    Increasing numbers of online retailers are going down this path, but it is still early enough to be a good USP.

    As others have suggested, be detailed and honest in your descriptions and I anticipate you will have minimal returns

    #1078287
    NickHumphries
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    JohnSheppard, post: 98649 wrote:
    Go to any large retail chain…buy something…when you get home, jump up and down on it, get your dog to play in it, roll over it with your car…

    Now…take it back to the shop with your receipt :)

    See what happens…I’d be willing to bet you won’t have much problem getting your money back. Even though you suck as a customer (and general all round person), you are still worth more to them if you are happy…

    who does that? :D

    #1078288
    NickHumphries
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    Zappos.com policy:
    If, for any reason, you are unsatisfied with your purchase from Zappos Retail, Inc. you may return it in its original condition within 365 days for a refund. We’ll even pay for return shipping!
    —-

    Just one of the reasons they got to a billion dollars revenue in 10 years. All about making customers happy.

    Read “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh!

    #1078289
    plgs
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    Hi Linda,

    You can always offer warranty, return and refund terms that exceed the minimum legal requirements. But you need to offer at least the legal minimum. Usually this will be compliance with the “Australian Consumer Law.”

    In terms of product quality, the Consumer Law requires in most cases a guarantee that the product is reasonably:

    • fit for normal purpose;
    • acceptable in appearance and finish;
    • free from defects;
    • safe; and
    • durable,

    taking into account the nature, price, and any statements or warnings made at the time (eg, about a specific defect or quality issue).

    The Consumer Law also requires a guarantee that:

    • goods sold by description comply with that description; and
    • if you give an express warranty, that you will comply with that warranty. (And note there are specific requirements about how you write an express warranty.)

    You’re not legally required to offer refund or exchange if the consumer just changes their mind, or (assuming correct information was provided) just bought the wrong size. I would always suggest giving additional information (eg, sizing information) where available to reduce the risk of disputes.

    Remedies for breach of the above guarantees are also described in the Consumer Law. For minor failures, the consumer may require the defect to be rectified, which the supplier may do by repair, replacement or refund. For major failures, the consumer may reject the goods, in which case the goods must be returned, and the consumer may choose a refund or replacement.

    There is a bit of complexity to it, unfortunately, but those are the basics. The ACCC website on Consumer Guarantees is a good place to start if you want further detail or examples.

    Your challenge is to incorporate the above, and any terms you will provide over and above the minimum legal requirements, in a set of clear supply terms (including process) which your customers can understand and follow. I think clear process is important (and a good consumer-confidence and selling point): it’s always comforting to see the written process applicable: (a) if the product arrives is defective; or (b) if the consumer just wants to return a non-defective product (assuming you allow this).

    Considering the importance of consumer supply terms to your business and the complexity of the law in this area, you might find it valuable to consult a lawyer with experience in consumer law to assist you in drafting a set of standard terms.

    Best regards,
    Patrick.

    #1078290
    AngelaGirl
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    AquaGirl, post: 98624 wrote:
    because we will make sure items are sent in top condition to avoid returns being needed.
    Linda

    Hi Linda

    As already mentioned, I think you’ll severely limit your sales if you don’t have a flexible returns policy, PLUS, you’ll also affect your repeat business.

    When buying online, I think the concern for the buyer isn’t so much that it’s not going to be in top condition (it’s assumed that it is in good condition), the bigger concern is that it’s not going to fit properly. No matter how detailed your descriptions are, it’s impossible to know if it’s a good fit/suits your body shape etc.. until it’s tried on.

    Picture this.. customer buys some of your gorgeous clothes online for the first time. After much anticipation the clothes finally arrive. She excitedly tries them on and they are too small.. ego takes a battering. Gets over herself and then remembers your ‘no returns policy’ OR checks your website and reads your ‘no returns policy’. Customer becomes EXTREMELY ANNOYED, never buys from you again, doesn’t recommend you to her friends and doesn’t get to advertise your clothes by wearing them.

    #1078291
    AquaGirl
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    Thankyou for all the invaluable comments.

    I had a look at zappos and can understand why they could be so flexible with returns – their stock is about $20 and looks about $1 to make.

    I had been looking at other well known stores and saw a trend of most offering a refund on new stock but only exchange or no return at all for sales items (and most items placed were on sale)
    thats part of the reason i posed this question in the forum. my stock is of high quality and the last thing i can do is let people wear it for a yr then return it lol they are expensive for me to buy because they are made well :)

    would the above model suit you if you were shopping quality items online – refund/exchange on new stock within a few days of receipt, exchange only for sale items within 2 days of receipt?

    i did visit the accc website but not sure if i need to send warranties out for clothing/accessories.. havent seen this done.

    i decided to add a size measurement chart next to each item, since the designers differ and each ones idea of sizes seems to be different lol

    #1078292
    dextereugenio
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    some info

    http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/322947

    otherwise, theres contacts on their that will be able to answer everything

    #1078293
    dextereugenio
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    edit, probably better suited to your case.

    http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/993047

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