Shop Talk

How to return unwanted purchases and get your money back


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There are several reasons why you may want to return an online purchase: it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t suit you, the order is wrong or faulty, or you’ve just changed your mind. To ensure your order remains eligible for a return, you need to abide by the store’s specific requirements, until you know you’re completely happy with what you’ve bought and decide to keep it.

All stores have their own returns policies, but in general terms, this is what you must do to protect their assets:

  • Firstly, although it’s tempting to tear open your delivery without a second thought, you should keep all packaging until you know you don’t need to return your purchases. Many stores require you to return the item in their original, undamaged packaging (especially shoe boxes) and it’s also useful to use the same box or postbag to send it back.
  • Items must be returned in their original, re-saleable condition, which means they are unworn and you’ve kept all tags and hygienic seals in place. Of course, you can try items on, but only like you would in a retail store. Do not damage, wash or iron the clothes and avoid getting make-up on them at all costs.
  • If you’ve purchased shoes, try them on inside, preferably only on carpet. If the soles are damaged or scratched, the store will NOT accept your return.
  • If you wish to return an item, often you’ll need to contact the store’s customer service department immediately to get a Return Authorisation Number (RAN) or similar. Some stores require you to contact them within 48 hours of receiving the order, so make sure you stick to their guidelines.
  • Always make a copy or take a photo of your invoice and returns’ paperwork before packing it up and sending it back. You may need that information if your exchange or refund doesn’t happen as expected.
  • It’s always best to return an item via a method you can track, such as Express Post, Australia Post Track and Trace, or a courier.
  • Always make sure you return the item within the necessary time-frame. This will vary from store to store, usually the minimum is seven days, but some stores will accept returns up to 100 or 365 days later. Of course, the same rules still apply – the item must be unworn and in re-saleable condition, even after a year.
  • While some stores offer free returns, or a return shipping service where they’ll deduct the cost from your refund, it’s safe to assume that all return postage is at your own cost. This can quickly add up if you need to return items overseas, so just keep that in mind if your cart is getting full.
  • A store’s return policy for faulty or incorrect items is generally a little different compared to their ‘change of mind’ return policy. Most will offer free returns or exchanges for damaged goods or a wrong item. It’s important you contact the store immediately to inform them so they can rectify the order.
  • IMPORTANT – Remember not all stores offer returns, and many have restrictions on what items they’ll accept. Some won’t take back swimwear, underwear or jewellery for hygiene reasons, and others won’t let you return sale items. We can’t stress enough how important it is to understand each store’s return policies before making your purchase.

All the stores listed in our Top 100 Online Clothes Stores guidebook have excellent return policies, and all of them offer refunds, which not all stores do. Some stores will only offer an exchange or store credit, which is very limiting and frustrating for online shoppers.

In honour of the warmer weather which is now upon us in Australia, here are five delicious pairs of springtime sandals, all from Top 100 stores with 100% easy and reliable return services. And if you want to learn how to ensure you buy the right size clothes online, click here.

Ancient Greek Sandals from MATCHES FASHION


Atmos&Here Sandals from THE ICONIC


Chloe Sandals from MY THERESA


Foster Sandals from ASOS


Loeffler Randall Sandals from SHOPBOP

If you want to see more awesome looks for spring, check out these perfect spring maxi dresses

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