If you are selling online you will hopefully have Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) covering your website shop, including amongst other things shipping policies and returns/exchanges.
Selling online is very different to selling from a physical location such as a shop or store because the consumer can’t see or touch the item that they are buying. Because of this, the Distance Selling Regulations were introduced to protect the consumer in the UK.
I cannot claim to be an expert in this area but the following advice was given to me by my local Trading Standards Officer after I asked her to review my website Terms and Conditions. I got these things wrong in my website Terms and Conditions, and many people still do.
Whilst the returning of earrings can be seen a health hazard, they are still returnable. What you can do, however, is seal the bag with hygiene seals and ‘ask’ that if they are returned then the seal must not be broken.
Seven day return policy
The seven day returns policy whereby a consumer can return their purchase without giving a reason, for example changing their mind about the purchase upon receiving the product.
The seven day return policy is seven working days, starting the day after receipt of the product. The consumers’ time limit does not start until the day after they have received the goods.
Return of goods in an unused state
You cannot state that the goods have to be returned in an unused state as legally the consumer does not have to return the goods. You can however, 'ask' that the consumer returns the goods as soon as possible.
Consumer responsible for returned goods
The Distance Selling Regulations also state that as soon as a consumer has posted the item for return or given it to a courier, the trader is then responsible for it. This means that you are responsible for any goods lost in transit and therefore you cannot put that you are not held responsible.
It is best if you include VAT on all of your prices when they are first displayed as this will prevent the consumer from being confused or mislead.
The website must display your geographical address of the place of business to which the consumer may address any complaints
I hope that this was of some help and that I didn’t bore you too much. If you would like a good bed-time read, grab a copy of the Distance Selling Regulations...Enjoy!