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How do I add my No Return, No Refund Policy to my e-commerce website?

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.

What is a No Refund, No Return 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.

Considering setting up a no refund, no return policy? Read this first!

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.

The advantages of no-return, no-refund policies

Having this kind of policy in place for your online store has obvious advantages, including:

  1. Saving money — as mentioned above, as a vendor, no refund and no return policies help to protect your bottom line profits. 
  2. Control — using a broad No Return, No Refund Policy allows you to be selective by permitting returns on a case-by-case basis while still protecting yourself from more general/ casual refund and return requests. 

In which countries can I legally use a No Return, No Refund Policy? 

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:

  • plane and train tickets, as well as concert tickets, hotel bookings, car rental reservations and catering services for specific dates
  • goods and drinks delivered to you by regular delivery – for example, delivery by a milkman
  • goods made to order or clearly personalized – such as a tailor-made suit
  • sealed audio, video or computer software, such as DVDs, which you have unsealed upon receipt
  • online digital content, if you have already started downloading or streaming it, and you agreed that you would lose your right of withdrawal by starting the performance
  • goods bought from a private individual rather than a company/trader
  • urgent repairs and maintenance contracts – if you call a plumber to repair a leaking shower, you can’t cancel the work once you have agreed on the price of the service

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:

  • knew an item was faulty when they bought it,
  • damaged an item by trying to repair it themselves or getting someone else to do it (though they may still have the right to a repair, replacement or partial refund),
  • no longer want an item (for example because it’s the wrong size or color) unless they bought it without seeing it.

Additionally, for certain types of items, you only have to offer a refund if they were defective: 

  • personalized items and custom-made items, for example curtains,
  • perishable items, for example frozen food or flowers,
  • newspapers and magazines,
  • unwrapped CDs, DVDs, and computer software.

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:

  • personal goods such as earrings or swimsuits;
  • cash refunds (i.e., exchange or store credit only);
  • promotions and sale items; or
  • if goods are not returned within a set number of days.

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:

  1. letting clients exchange purchases for alternative items;
  2. giving store credit as opposed to a refund; or
  3. allowing clients to request refunds within a particular timeframe after a purchase (remember this is required in the UK and EU)

How do I add my No Return, No Refund Policy to my e-commerce website? 

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.

Tips for writing your No Return, No Refund Policy

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:

  • that a no refund, no return policy can legally apply to your product or services (as mentioned in the section above);
  • the language in your policy is as clear and unambiguous as possible; and
  • that your clauses are carefully and professionally written. 

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. 

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