How Important is Original Packaging for Returns?

It is safe to say that many of us have been in the position where we have had to return an item that we have purchased on a whim. Whether you have made a purchase online or through a catalogue order you may find that the item does not meet your expectations. But, what happens if you are the vendor and your item is being returned to you without its original packaging?

Presentable packaging is a symbol of authenticity and care will have been taken to ensure an item is packaged well. However, parcels are not always returned with the same level of care. There are no such expectations in regards to returns, so how do you deal with a return that is not packaged the way you had sent it?

Firstly, the vendor will have to identify the problem with the product and why a customer has decided to send it back. In some cases, an item may have been damaged during the delivery process. Packaging your parcel correctly and by choosing the right courier you can reduce the chance that the item will reach your customer damaged and reduce the likelihood of a return.

If the reason for a customer returning an item does not include damage this raises the question: do you give the buyer a refund if the item is not returned in its original packaging? Buyers have no such obligation to return items in the original packaging and cannot be penalised for not doing so. If a customer has ordered online it would be impossible for them to examine an item without opening the packaging and testing it out. A customer will still be under a duty to take reasonable care of the goods while in their possession.

Depending on the item and the lack of packaging, the items resale value may be significantly lowered. The best example of this is collectible items. If you order a product listed as special edition there is a lot of attention placed on keeping everything immaculate and this includes the packaging. In these situations, a vendor may be able to charge for a reduction in item value. It is important to note that if a parcel is not returned in its original packaging a vendor must make the consequences clear in their terms and conditions.

We hope today’s article has been insightful. Be sure to check back to our blog for the latest updates and advice relating to couriering.

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