This article will explain the rules that retailers must go by when enacting a No Return, No Refund Policy and will provide writing tips so that you may create your own and publish it on your e-commerce website.
Continue reading to learn the dos and don’ts, advantages and disadvantages, and learn how to best design your own no return and no refund policy.
👉 A “no refund” policy means that a customer is not eligible to receive a refund for a purchase they have made, regardless of the reason. This policy is often found regarding software downloads, event tickets, or other non-tangible items that cannot be returned.
👉 A “no return” policy means that a customer cannot return a product they have purchased, even if it is defective or not as described. This policy is typically found for products that are made to order, such as custom-made clothing or personalized gifts, and for products that have a limited lifespan, such as perishable food items.
While these policies are a great way to protect your business, saving both time and money, consider that offering no refund and no return isn’t always a legal option. Whether you can use these policies, depends on both your jurisdiction and the type of product/service you’re offering. Click here for a by-country breakdown.
Having this kind of policy in place for your online store has obvious advantages, including:
The consumer regulations that apply to these rules vary based on the region you’re operating in. You must be informed of the many laws and regulations that apply to various nations and US states.
🇺🇸 The United States permits the use of No Return, No refund Policies.*
*Refund policies are defined by individual states and businesses; there are no federal rules governing them. In some circumstances, customers may be entitled to a refund even though a firm has explicitly said that it does not offer them by failing to prominently show a “no refunds” sign. Because these rules vary by state, it’s always a good idea to double-check the rules for the state you’re based in, as well as those that your business targets.
🇪🇺 In the EU, the consumer has the right to cancel and return within 14 days, for any reason and without a justification. However, there are exemptions. These are the cases in which you may be able to use a no return/ refund policy:
For more on guarantees and returns from the European Union, see here →
🇬🇧 In the United Kingdom, there are a few conditions under which businesses can decline to offer a refund or accept returns. These include cases where the customer:
Additionally, for certain types of items, you only have to offer a refund if they were defective:
Outside these cases, in general, under UK law the consumer has 14 days to request a refund following a purchase. Then they have another 14 days to make a return after notifying the business.
See the government’s official “Accepting returns and giving refunds: the law” here →
🇨🇦 Canada permits the use of No Return, No refund Policies as long as they are clearly stated before the customer makes the purchase. Businesses in Canada are not required to accept returned goods unless they are defective.
Some stores will allow consumers to bring certain goods back, however refunds may exclude:
See the government’s official Refunds and Exchange policy here →
🇦🇺 Australia prohibits the use of No Return, No refund Policies. This rule was put in place to protect customers in the event that they were dissatisfied with their purchase. A business owner who fails to follow this law may be subject to fines and other sanctions.
If a no-return, no-refund policy doesn’t legally apply to your case, or you simply prefer not to use one, you might want to consider other possibilities, like:
The wording of these rules is usually clearly displayed within the terms and conditions agreement for a website. This is due to the fact that it is a policy that every consumer should be aware of before making a purchase.
Your No Return, No Refund Policy should be within your Terms and Conditions Document and placed somewhere that’s easily accessible from all pages of your site.
For best-practice placement, consider linking:
For more tips on how to write a terms and conditions document for an e-commerce website, see here for 5 reasons you need Terms and Conditions in 2023.
When it comes to legal documents, you want to be careful and thorough — especially when money is involved!
In general, you must make sure that:
Don’t have a lawyer on hand? Try our Terms and Condition Generator risk-free! It’s drafted by an international legal team and allows you to fully customize your clauses – allowing you to create terms and conditions that actually fit your specific business needs.