Returns are the bane of an online seller's existence. Not only is it disappointing to learn you have to take money out of the revenue column, but you may have to add to the expense column as well if you have to pay for return shipping or if the item can not be resold due to its condition.
The degree of righteous indignation on the part of the seller when confronted with a returns request depends greatly on the circumstances.
On one end of the scale are legitimate reasons, such as the item was broken in transit (or, God forbid, the seller made a mistake and sent the wrong item, in which case the seller can only blame themselves).
Midway on the scale of seller annoyance would be various reasons known as "buyer's remorse" or buyer inattentiveness (the buyer didn't read the description).
And on the far end of the scale (instances that raise a seller's blood pressure to a boiling point): the shopper wore the item and got it stained and smelling of smoke, with some pet hair thrown in for good measure, and they clearly never had intended to keep the item (and end up returning it to the seller in a flimsy envelope).
Imagine if you sell jewelry online, how galling it would be to know a shopper is only "buying" the item with every intention of returning it after wearing it to a special event. But clearly there's a demand for such a thing - just take a look at this article from National Jeweler
titled, "Jewelers Unblocked Now Offering Jewelry Rental Insurance."
National Jeweler writes, "Jewelers Unblocked recently announced that it has rolled out a formal program providing insurance coverage for the rental of fine jewelry that both wholesalers and retailers can utilize." The publication explains what the rental insurance will cover: loss, theft, damage and "mysterious disappearance," with the policy written based on how much it would cost the jeweler or wholesaler to replace the piece.
What's your most outrageous returns story, and would offering rentals to shoppers ever be an option for you and the types of items you sell online?
What would you think if marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, or Etsy offered such a service to buyers and sellers? Would it make a difference if they offered insurance?