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Return policy template

Return policy template

E-commerce has revolutionized the way we shop, offering unparalleled convenience to customers all around the world. However, operating an online store comes with its own set of legal responsibilities, especially when it comes to return and refund policies. 

This article will provide a comprehensive guide on crafting a return policy that complies with regulations in the EU, UK, and the US.

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Returns and refunds in the EU and UK

Online, mail and telephone order customers have the right to cancel their order for a limited time even if the goods are not faulty. Here are the rules:

  • You must offer a refund to customers if they’ve told you within 14 days of receiving their goods that they want to cancel. They don’t have to give any reason.
  • Customers have another 14 days to return the goods once they’ve told you.
  • You must refund the customer within 14 days of receiving the goods back.

Returns and refunds in the US

In the United States, laws surrounding return and refund policies can vary by state. However, it’s a good practice to offer a clear and concise policy. A 30-day return policy is often considered standard.

Return shipping costs

Usually, EU consumers have to pay for the return shipping costs, but this is something you must inform them about before the purchase.

In the UK, return shipping costs are borne by consumers, unless sellers have stated otherwise. Furthermore, you must take back at your own expense the goods that, by their nature, cannot normally be returned by post. It’s always useful to examine a return policy template for UK to know how to create your own.

In the US, it’s common for customers to pay for return shipping unless the item is defective or the wrong item was sent.

Exceptions to Refund Policies

EU and UK

Some purchases are not covered by the right to cancel, for example:

  • perishable goods
  • personalized items and custom-made items
  • services that have been fully performed
  • newspapers and magazines
  • culture and sports events
  • trips and accommodations


Exceptions often include:

  • perishable items
  • gift cards
  • downloadable software
  • health and personal care items

Why you need a return policy

If you sell online, a return and refund policy is a must-have: most countries’ industry regulations require stores (even digital ones) to have an agreement to inform users about their policy on returns and refunds.

You’re required to provide this information to your customers. Failure to do so expands the right of withdrawal from 14 days to 1 year and 14 days. Also, you’ll have to pay the return shipping costs for EU customers.

That’s why you need to add a return and refund policy to your website: continue reading, and we’ll show you a return policy example, but also read this for more information.

In the US, not having a clear return policy can result in legal complications and damage your brand reputation.

What to include in a return policy

Your return and refund policy should include at least the following sections:

  • returns – Inform users how many days they have to return the product and in which conditions (i.e. same package)
  • refunds – Inform users how will they receive the refund for the product
  • shipping – Inform users who will pay for shipping.

Here you can find additional information.

Where to put a return policy

Make sure that your return and refund policy is easy to find on your website so that customers see it before they buy. A few key places to list this policy include:

  • Your website footer
  • FAQ page
  • Product page
  • Cart
  • Checkout

Please note that you could add the return policy in your Terms and Conditions rather than having a separate agreement.

Terms and Conditions

The document below is an example of Terms and Conditions created with iubenda Terms and Conditions Generator.

Click on the button to open the document and scroll to “Right of withdrawal” (under “User rights”) for a return policy example:

Terms and Conditions

Return Policy Template

Thank you for shopping at [Your Store Name]. We are committed to ensuring your satisfaction. If, however, you find yourself dissatisfied with your purchase, we are here to assist you.

  1. United Kingdom (UK): [ e.g., Consumers have 14 calendar days to return an item from the date received, as per the Consumer Contracts Regulations.]
  2. European Union (EU): [ e.g., Buyers typically have 14 calendar days to return an item, following the EU Consumer Rights Directive, unless the member state has implemented longer periods.]
  3. United States (US): [ e.g., Our standard return policy allows for returns within 30 calendar days from the receipt date.
  4. Conditions for Return:
  5. Please adhere to our return conditions, ensuring they align with applicable consumer law, which may vary by country.]


  1. Upon receipt of your item, we will conduct an inspection and inform you that we have received the returned item.
  2. Post-inspection, you will be promptly notified regarding the status of your refund.
  3. If approved, the refund will be processed to your original payment method.
  4. The credit will appear within a number of days, subject to your card issuer’s policies.


  1. Return shipping costs are the responsibility of the customer and are non-refundable.
  2. Should you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from it.


Certain items are non-returnable, including but not limited to:

  1. Items on sale
  2. Perishable goods
  3. Gift cards
  4. Downloadable software products
  5. Personal care items

Damaged or Defective Products:

[e.g., If you receive a damaged or defective product, please contact us promptly to organize a replacement or refund.]

Contact Us:

For queries regarding item returns, please contact us at:

Email: [support@yourstore.com]

Phone: [Your Store Phone Number]

Please be aware that this is a fundamental, standard template. Depending on your business structure, the kind of product you offer, and your operational location, it might be necessary to modify terms or include additional details to comply with legal standards. Keep in mind that a return policy is merely one section of a terms & conditions document. It is HIGHLY recommended to provide a comprehensive Terms document to your customers to fulfill legal obligations and safeguard your interests.

How iubenda can help you generate a return policy for your eCommerce store

With our Terms and Conditions Generator you can – among other things – inform customers about your policies regarding returns and refunds.

Our solution lets you to easily generate and manage Terms and Conditions that are professional, customizable from over 100 clauses, drafted by an international legal team, available in 10 languages, and up to date with the main international legislations.

It comes with:

  • guided set-up;
  • hundreds of possible personalizations;
  • legislation monitoring;
  • plug-and-go integrations for popular store platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce;
  • pre-defined scenarios: buildable text modules for marketplace, affiliate programs, copyright, eCommerce, mobile, and more.

The solution is optimized for everything from eCommerce (including affiliate programs), blogs, and apps, to complex scenarios like marketplace and SaaS. Getting started is easy: simply create a free account, activate the Terms and Conditions within the dashboard (requires 1 Ultra license) and start generating.

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