Returning an online shopping mistake
Shopping websites boast very liberal return policies in large font, but don’t miss out on the fine print below. Find out which will take back what you don’t need and give you cash in return.
It’s easy to make an impulsive purchase on a shopping website. You’re at work, you’re bored, so you bought something you realise you don’t need. You’re not worried yet because you did catch a glimpse of the website’s liberal returns policy. Presumably you read ‘30 days worry-free returns’ or something to that effect. But if you do actually try to return, there’s a high chance you’ll run into some excuse with most of the websites. The truth is that there’s much fine print below the claims of many of these websites. While there may be no remedy for your impulse purchases, here are the best websites to shop from if you feel you may need to return what you’ve purchased.
For returning an undamaged product
Our picks: Jabong, Yebhi, Myntra
Why: These three websites will give you 30 days to return a product you aren’t satisfied with, doesn’t fit you or you simply don’t like, so long as the tags are intact and it’s still unused. As Jabong and Myntra only sell apparel, Yebhi is the only online retailer that will accept returns of electronic products, including phones and cameras, up to 30 days after delivery, without asking any questions.
The rest: Snapdeal, Infibeam, Flipkart, Indiatimes Shopping
Why: We excluded these retailers because they either give you less than 30 days to return or don’t let you return items unless they are damaged. Snapdeal, for example, give you seven days, while Flipkart and Infibeam only let you exchange items that are damaged.
For returning a damaged product
Our picks: Jabong, Flipkart, Myntra
Why: While the websites mentioned below require you to inform them of a defect in your shipment sometimes within 24 hours, these three websites can be informed anytime within 30 days. You may wonder why you would wait more than 24 hours to inform the retailer, but consider a scenario in which you have purchased something to be given as a gift. If you were gifting the item 10 days after it was delivered, you would still be able to get Flipkart to take the item back.
The rest: Snapdeal, Yebhi, Indiatimes Shopping, Infibeam
Why: These retailers require you to inform them of a defect within a short period of time after the item is delivered. With Yebhi, it’s 24 hours, with Indiatimes Shopping and Infibeam it’s 72 hours, while Snapdeal gives you a full week.
For returning an item yourself
Our picks: Snapdeal, Jabong, Myntra, Yebhi and Indiatimes Shopping
Why: Snapdeal is the best of the three, as it will refund you the entire amount you spent to ship the item back it. However, Indiatimes Shopping and Jabong also have a reasonable condition, offering Rs250 and Rs160 per kg, respectively. This refund will, however, be store credit only. Myntra and Yebhi both offer flat Rs100 for the trouble.
The rest: Infibeam
Why: You are required to ship the item back to the website yourself on your dime. This can be pretty expensive if you had purchased something bulky and have to ship it to them (located in Gujarat).
For a full refund
Our picks: Jabong, Yebhi, Snapdeal, Indiatimes Shopping, Infibeam
Why: These retailers will either transfer the money electronically or refund the money via the same mode you used to pay. In the case of cash on delivery, you should expect to receive a demand draft. Over the phone, they may first suggest store credit, but you could simply point to their return policy and demand that they refund you your money.
The rest: Myntra, Flipkart
Why: Myntra will only give you store credit, while Flipkart will only exchange or replace items, which is unfair, given how large an amount you may have spent. You may spend Rs50,000 buying a D-SLR on Flipkart or over Rs10,000 buying clothes on Myntra. In these cases, you would be right to be furious on being offered nothing but store credit.
Remember that not everything is returnable. You may even be glad to know that no website will take back innerwear and socks once sold. Other un-returnable items are books, digital content, and jewellery (only Myntra will take it back, but only within 15 days).