Finance & Economics

How to return a purchase

Major tips on how to return an order

How to return a purchase. Source:

Almost every one of us has made a purchase at least once in a lifetime. It does not matter which way you have chosen to buy the goods you need. It could be online, or phone shopping, mail order, etc. Whatever the way you’ve chosen, you should remember that you always have the right to return purchases. Most of us have faced that unpleasant situation, and some customers merely do not know the laws and their rights.

PaySpace Magazine is happy to suggest general guidance on how to return an ordered item.

5 general steps

First and foremost, you should know that return policy varies from one online store to another, and everything related to refund partly depends on the legal nuances of the country you live or have bought an item in. But there is no reason to be afraid, since generally, the rules are the same. Normally, there is a 30-day return guarantee on any item you have bought. In other words, you have 30 days to return the item you’ve purchased to the retailer.

You have 30 days to return the item you’ve purchased to the retailer. Source:

However, the majority of online merchants will only accept returned items in an unused/unopened condition. If you have cracked the package or used the item, there is a big chance that you will not be able to return it, unless it is defective, or does not fit the description.

We’ve highlighted five general steps on how to return the purchase:

  1. Contact the website/dealer that has sold you the item.
  2. Search for their return policy and read it carefully. If your package is perfectly new and untouched, returning the goods should not cause any problems. If your package is unopened, but it appears to be defective, take some photos of it.
  3. Print a return shipping label from the website/dealer.
  4. Call or e-mail customer service of the website/dealer where you purchased your goods for help if you believe that it may cause any problems.
  5. Contact the seller directly to arrange a return or refund if you have bought an item from a third-party retailer (like eBay, Amazon, etc).

Contact the seller directly to arrange a return or refund. Source:

The legal side

If you live in an EU country, your consumer rights are legally protected, and this is what EU law says:

If you have bought a product or a service online or outside of a shop (by telephone, mail order, from a door-to-door salesperson), you have the right to cancel and return your order within 14 days, for any reason and without justification.

In the EU you have the right to return any purchases made online or through other types of distance selling within 14 days for a full refund. You can do so for any reason – even if you simply changed your mind.

However, there are some limitations. The 14-days rule does not work for all types of items. Here are some major exclusions:

The list is far from complete.

If you buy an item in a bricks-and-mortar store, you have EU legal right to return the item only in the case it is damaged, unsealed, or defective in any possible way. All other cases are individual and depend on a particular store’s terms and conditions (plus their guarantees and returns policy), so it is very important to learn about them before going shopping in the store you’ve chosen. The general advice here is to save the receipt, keep a package unsealed, and remember the rule “the sooner – the better”.

Getting a refund

The merchant must give you a refund within 14 days of receiving your cancellation request. Source:

The merchant must give you a refund within 14 days of receiving your cancellation request. Nevertheless, there are some exemptions here. For example, a merchant has the right to delay a refund if they haven’t received the item or evidence that it has already been returned.

Your refund request must include any shipping fees you have been charged. But a merchant has right to withhold paying you the extra fee if you have used a non-standard delivery option (express delivery, for instance).


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