Stores with the Best—and Worst—Return Policies
We're having a major post-Christmas shopping hangover. Although we were gifted (and gifted ourselves) plenty of new fun goodies, there are also some pieces that are giving us that dreaded buyer's remorse. Thank goodness for flexible return policies, without which we'd probably be in a bit of credit card debt.
Some stores have amazing return policies, like Nordstrom (which technically doesn't have one at all). And recently, thanks to the wonders of Reddit, we learned that Gap let a customer return a 17-year-old shirt. Whether this is just an Internet hoax or a confused employee who didn't seem to realize the shirt was almost two decades old is yet to be confirmed, but we're hoping for the latter, because, well, it's pretty hilarious.
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And then there are the less accommodating stores whose mere 30-day return policies are the bane of our existence (we're looking at you, Zara). 30 days seems like enough time until a month has passed and that brand new dress that doesn't fit quite right, is yours for good.
Scroll down below to take a look at some of the best and worst return policies from our favorite stores.
Officially, Nordstrom doesn't really have a return policy and will accept pretty much any merchandise in decent condition. Plus, if you ordered online, your package comes with a pre-paid return label for your convenience. According to the store's website, "We handle returns on a case-by-case basis with the ultimate objective of making our customers happy. We stand behind our goods and services and want customers to be satisfied with them. We'll always do our best to take care of customers—our philosophy is to deal with them fairly and reasonably. We have long believed that when we treat our customers fairly, they in turn are fair with us."
The return policy here is pretty flexible as well, with a policy that lets you return anything within 365-days of purchase. "While we cannot accommodate every return, we value you and will always be reasonable. We ask that you do the same," reads the store's policy.
Zara's is a little trickier, especially if you ordered online. When checking out, make sure to create an account rather than continuing as a guest, otherwise, you won't be able to return by mail. All returns or exchanges must be made within 1 month of the e-mail confirming shipment, or in-store purchase.
Saks Fifth Avenue
According to Saks's website, "full-priced merchandise, with the exception of furs, watches and jewelry, presented after 30 days will be credited based on the current selling price. Returns of furs, watches and jewelry items will not be accepted after 30 days." If you ordered online, a pre-paid return label will be sent with your purchase for free returns.
Not the strictest policy of the bunch, but not the friendliest either, which makes sense considering almost all of their goods are high-end, luxury items. You have 28 days from the date you received your order to exchange or return, and the return shipping is free. After 28 days, "returns are accepted at the discretion of Net-a-Porter," says the site's return policy.
Asos makes it pretty easy, sending you your order with a pre-paid return label. But you only have 28 days to decide whether or not your purchase is a keeper.
Gap's official return policy allows returns or exchanges within 45 days of purchase or online order (with free shipping), but clearly, one employee missed the memo (see above).
Lulu has one of the strictest return policies out there, only giving you 14 days to return any of their non-final sale items (final sale items include all accessories like water bottles, headbands, socks, etc.), and the same 14-day rule also applies to gifts. Kind of harsh, for a store that preaches namaste.
For a beauty retailer, Sephora's return policy is pretty awesome. In-store and online purchases can be returned in stores or by mail (and they provide a pre-paid return shipping label), within 30 days of purchase.
This fast-fashion retailer's policy is pretty much what we would expect: merchandise can be returned within 30 days of purchase date for a full refund, as long as tags are still attached and you have the original receipt. After 30 days or without the original sales receipt will be refunded with a gift card. If you ordered online, skip returning by mail, as they charge a $5.95 shipping fee.