Guaranteed Returns vs. No Returns Allowed

Guaranteed Returns vs No Returns Allowed

If you’re going to sell products on Amazon, you have to guarantee the return.  Regardless of the reason, you have to allow the return.  Sometimes, you may even have to pay the shipping.  This is a benefit for Amazon, and handicaps you.

In fact, when you sell any products through any online marketplace, you lose control of the entire sales cycle.  Most often, you won’t even have the client names or companies who bought your item.  When you lose control of the sales cycle, you lose control of how your product is perceived.

If your product is a commodity, like a food item, this might be okay.  Your clients will either love or hate the item. They will either be a repeat customer or never buy it again. If they never buy again that is okay because they are not for you. They are not your clients or part of your tribe.  Guaranteeing the return is not building a loyal client base. You are nearly trying to sell products to the masses with the hope that they will come back because they liked your product.

But let’s say the item is far more complex, like a network firewall.  These items are intricate and need to be setup by someone who understands the technology and how to make it work.  They are not a commodity by nature, but allowing them to be sold through an online marketplace means you are turning them into one. So, if your product is not perfect for that person, they will return it and bad mouth your product. The issues that they run into are almost definitely their fault, but you will never have access to them to help fix it.  You will never get a say in that conversation.

This is why some companies have policies against online sales. They do not want the guaranteed return policy to apply to them. They look at their products like a car or a house, once you sign, it is yours and will forever be used from that point forward.  You can’t return these items when they are purchased because they are more complex than a fitness bar bought online.

Many companies who prevent online marketplace sales also have a no returns policy. They want you to join their tribe.  But by joining them, aka purchasing a product, you are also committing to that tribe for a period of time.  They are saying I choose you, so let’s make this work.  In the end they have far more loyal customers than ones who allow guaranteed returns.

Pick your product path.  Guaranteed Return vs. No Returns Allowed.