To Return or Not to Return?

23 Jul

Photo by Jenn Turner via Flickr/Creative Commons

Photo by Jenn Turner via Flickr/Creative Commons

That is the question (whether like it or not).

Despite the convenience of online shopping, I’m still primarily an in-store shopper. I like to touch and feel things, especially clothing. As I work toward changing my relationship with things (and having recently decluttered my closet), I don’t want to feel tempted to keep something I don’t like just to dodge return shipping fees.

And yet, it’s very difficult for me to swallow a $6 or $8 shipping fee when what I order doesn’t turn out as expected. Shipping it back and getting charged a fee is like paying a store for the privilege of trying something on. This is madness and further reinforces why I should stop shopping online for clothing.

What’s even more insane, however, is keeping a $20-$50 garment just to avoid an $8 charge. It’s like loading up your shopping cart with and extra $25 worth of crap to qualify for “free” shipping and avoid an $8 shipping fee.

Seeing that in black and white further proves how preposterous it is, and yet I can’t shake the feeling of being duped. It feels like a scam, one that this store successfully pulled off.

So, even though what I purchased was exclusive to the online store, I opened a live chat on their website and asked if I could return the item to my local boutique. To my surprise, I could return the item to the store and when I did, the sales associate told me they accept all online orders excluding maternity and swimwear. Good. To. Know.

In the end, I was refunded the cost of the garment sans the shipping charge I incurred when I initially ordered it. Returning it to the store only saved me from incurring return shipping charges, but hey, it’s better than nothing. I made it a point to leave the store immediately lest my savings be totally consumed by the clearance rack located strategically adjacent to check out.

The store may have won this round, but I’m getting stronger.

2 Responses to “To Return or Not to Return?”

  1. Andrea Woroch July 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    I have found myself in the same position. I have a very hard time returning something if I paid for shipping. That’s why I made it a rule to only order through sites that offer free shipping. If they don’t, I’ll compare prices on other sites that may offer free shipping for the same item then ask them to price match. Otherwise, I call their customer service and explain that I am very uncertain with the style and fit and don’t want to pay for shipping. Often, some customer service reps are able to help me out and send it for no cost! If I can’t get it sent for free, I just don’t place the order. This rule has helped me avoid lots of impulse buys!

    • Kendal July 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

      Great tips! I have luck with online customer service, too, though I often don’t think to use them. I like your point about telling them you’re unsure about fit and style, and that return (or regular) shipping fees are a deterrent to ordering. Genius! Thanks for the insight.