Your return policy is a MAJOR marketing tool because it reverses the risk anticipated by buyers.

A great policy anticipates the fear that ALL consumers have: Getting stuck with someone they don’t like!

If you already have a return policy, check out the ideas below … if you do not, it’s important to make it clear to your customers how you handle returns of your jewelry.

Here are 5 Quick Tips for effective return policies:

1. Make the return period as long as possible.

This may seem counterintuitive.But the late, great copywriter Gary Halbert astutely pointed out that the longer the return period,the less likely someone will return the item. Shorter return periods create some urgency around the return that is eliminated by a longer period of time.

2. Write the policy in positive terms.

Many return policies read like a threat.The consumer is treated like an opponent in a game the company is trying to win. Others are filled with exclusions. Write yours using positive language that makes the consumer feel protected. It can be formal, but think about the terms from your customer’s point of view.

3. Offer to pay return shipping.

This is a “value-add” that serves two purposes: First, it increases confidence in the buyer. It is one less thing they need to worry about and it shows you are willing to take care of the expense. Second, it allows you to ensure the item is shipped back using the safest and most secure method. If you leave this up to the customer, they may not use a trackable method, or there may be some other issue out of your control that results in the jewelry getting lost.

4. Use the BBB as a resource.

The Better Business Bureau website is an excellent resource for finding key components for return policies and customer service policies. Check them out at http://www.bbb.org. The sample language you will find there, along with their recommendations for resolving disputes can be very helpful to incorporate into your own policies.

5. Be aware of your legal obligations.

Although you may wish there was a way to reject all returns, the law requires it in certain circumstances. If you’re unclear about what you can and cannot offer in your return policy, contact a business attorney who can help you understand what your obligations are as a merchant. It may also be helpful to review your return policy with an attorney to make sure your policy complies with applicable regulations and laws. Doing that in advance can help avoid problems later!

Question: What is your return policy, and how has it worked for you?

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