SOURCE: Electronic Retailing Association

January 04, 2008 10:00 ET

ERA Reveals Top 10 Tips for Online Holiday Returns

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - January 4, 2008) - What happens if you want to return a gift that was purchased online? What happens if you don't like your new sweater after all? What if you accidentally ordered the wrong size? The Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) wants your online holiday returns to be just as easy as your online holiday purchases.

If you order a product online, you have the right to assume it is not defective and that it wasn't falsely advertised. If you receive an item and feel you have been slighted, you have the right to return or exchange it for an item of equal value. Most importantly, you should always get a full refund for defective merchandise.

ERA encourages consumers to follow these simple tips when returning items that were purchased online:

1)  Always look for a company's return and exchange policy before you place
    your order.

2)  Contact the merchant immediately and clearly state your problem. Keep
    a positive attitude and be polite.

3)  You'll need account information for the online retailer, as well as
    the item number or description of the merchandise. If the item is a
    gift, a packing slip is needed to initiate a return.

4)  In many cases, online businesses will pay for return shipping if the
    error was theirs.

5)  Most common mistakes occur with size and color. If the company made
    a mistake, they should allow you to exchange the item.

6)  There is usually a 30-day return guarantee on any new purchase made

7)  Merchants typically expect returned items to be in original packaging,
    and most online stores will only accept returns of un-used and unopened
    items.  If an item is opened or returned after 30 days, you will
    usually only receive a partial refund.

8)  Many products like CDs, software, and DVDs cannot be returned if they
    are opened.

9)  You may have the option of returning your item for a credit slip, which
    would allow you to purchase something else later.

10) Keep in mind that some items may be sold under a "no return, no
    exchange" policy. Check before you order, as retailers are required
    to explicitly state their policy.

Consumers can seek assistance through ERA's SavvyShopper program at

For more information visit

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Lauren Meley
    Enten & Associates, Inc.
    301-913-0010 x 127
    Email Contact