If you are still reluctant about offering a return policy, you may find this anecdotal evidence interesting.

I don’t get a large number of requests for returns but of the requests I do get, less than half ever actually go through. The other half happen in one of three different ways.

Way 1

Them: I want to return this.
Me: NP here is the return address
Them: Eh, actually, return is kinda drastic, I don’t hate the item that much. Would you just knock a dollar off instead?
Me: Sure. *I refund $1*

I say $1 because these people always seem to be happy with some comically small amount of partial refund. Why they are angry enough that they want to return it and then are satisfied with a small partial is beyond me but this happens very often.

Way 2

Them: I want to return this.
Me: NP here is the return address
Them: OK, I’ll send it.

Then, they never send me the item. They usually still leave me positive feedback. I never hear from them again.

Way 3

Them: I want to return this.
Me: NP here is the return address
Them: Oh aren’t you sweet to accept returns! Oh, never mind, I’ll keep it after all.

They never send me the item. They don’t ask for a partial refund. They usually leave glowing feedback. Apparently they have come to expect such bad service from other sellers that my mere offer of a refund is enough to make them change their mind about me.

I know I’m not the only seller that has experienced this. Sometimes the mere act of being agreeable or offering to accept a refund is enough to turn a sales situation around enough that the buyer likes you again even without your having to give a refund. Sometimes they start out asking for full money back and are happy with a small partial refund. Sometimes they just want to know if you would have accepted returns and just knowing you would have taken it back is enough for them.

In the end, offering a refund policy is very simply about being nice. If a buyer emails you with complaints, no matter how nasty they are being, be nice back and you will be amazed at some of the total customer service 180 degree shifts you can see.

Have you experienced the same sort of situations?