There is nothing more convenient than shopping online, especially when returns are easy and free. That’s because easy returns allow you to skip the stress of stores and try on things in the comfort of your own home. Not sure of your size? Want a few options and then decide on the best one? When stores offer the best return policies including, of course, free returns, these are all super viable options.
Except not every retailer offers free shipping and returns. With expenses rising for everyone (including retailers), some companies charge a shipping or restocking fee to help cover the costs associated with increased shipping prices, labor and materials. While this is certainly understandable, it is in your best interest to know how to avoid these fees. We’ve researched some popular retailers that charge return or restocking fees and offer you tricks on how to avoid these fees when possible.
Return fee: You will pay a $3.95 fee (deducted from your refund) when mailing back an online order. Your return shipping label is free and is paid by Zara. Zara offers 30 days to return or exchange your items, but they must be in new, unused, unworn condition with all tags, wrappings, boxes with hygiene stickers intact. Exchanges are only offered to registered online users of Zara.com and must be received within 14 days of your exchange request. Exchanges of items paid for by Apple Pay or PayPal are not currently accepted. ZARA EDITED are not eligible for return or exchange.
How to get around it: You can avoid the return fee if you return your online purchase in person at any ZARA store in the United States that has a product section that sells the product type you are returning.
Return fee: You will pay a $8.50 shipping fee for online returns. Exchanges are free. DSW grants 90 days for returns for any reason but the item must be unworn, undamaged and with the original packing slip. Returns without a receipt will be granted as store credit equal to the current selling price. Final Sale products cannot be returned.
How to get around it: You can avoid the return fee if you return your online purchase in person at any DSW store. Or, if you are a DSW VIP Elite member, your online returns are always free.
Return fee: You will pay $7.50 when using a J.Crew prepaid label. The fee will be deducted from your refund. J.Crew accepts returns of unworn, unwashed, undamaged or defective merchandise for return or exchange within 30 days of original purchase. You can return multiple orders in the same package when initiated and all packing slips are included.
How to get around it: You can avoid the return fee if you return your online purchase in person at any J.Crew store.
Return fee: You will pay a $5 restocking fee for most mailed returns, and the fee will be deducted from your refund. Returns and exchanges are accepted within 30 days of order delivery date, for any unused or defective merchandise. After 30 days you will be refunded with merchandise credit. Shipping and handling surcharges are non-refundable. Final sale and made-to-order furniture cannot be returned or exchanged.
How to get around it: You can avoid the return fee if you return your online purchase in person at any Urban Outfitters store. Bring your shipping label, order confirmation email or packing list to receive your refund.
Return fee: You will pay an $8 flat fee to return online orders by mail. This fee will be subtracted from your refund. Most items are returnable within 60 days with the original receipt. Certain items like Sephora products and electronics must be returned within 30 days. Larger-scale and specialty items, like furniture are subject to additional pickup and restocking fees.
How to get around it: You can avoid the return fee if you return your online purchase in person at any JCPenney store. Bring your shipping label, order confirmation email or packing list to receive your refund.
Return fee: $1.99 restocking fee for all items.
Plus, if you want your return processed to your original form of payment (instead of issued as ThredUp credit), you’ll pay $10.99 for a ThredUp return label, or have to pay for your own shipping return. All items must be in the same condition in which you received them. Original shipping charge is not refunded. Final sale items cannot be returned.
How to get around it: If you are a free threadUP Rewards member you can cash in points to avoid the restocking fees. You can avoid the return shipping fee of $10.99 by opting to have your return issued in ThredUp credit.
Return fee: You will pay a $7 Return service fee. You can return multiple orders in one package as long as you include all order invoices. Abercrombie accepts returns of resalable items within 30 days as long as the receipt, invoice or order confirmation is included. Exchanges are processed for free.
How to get around it: You can avoid the return fee if you return your online purchase in person at any Abercrombie store in the United States.
Return fee: You will pay a $6.50 package fee for returns and exchanges. You can return items within one year of your purchase. Large items must be coordinated with customer service. Items purchased with PayPal will be refunded by check or with store credit.
How to get around it: You can avoid the return fee if you return your online purchase in person at any L.L.Bean store or outlet. Also if you used an L.L.Bean Mastercard or paid with Bean Bucks, your return is free of charge.
Return fee: You will pay a $10.99 return shipping and handling fee. T.J. Maxx accepts returns within 40 days and must be accompanied by receipt (packing slip) or shipping confirmation email. Final sale items or restricted returns will specify return restrictions on receipt.
How to get around it: You can avoid the return fee if you return your online purchase in person at any T.J. Maxx store or to the T.J. Maxx Online warehouse. They may not be returned to Marshalls or any other sister brand store.
Return fee: Varies. Generally, you’ll need to pay to ship back items you’d like to return. Wayfair’s site includes lots of products from third parties, so expect the return shipping fee to be different, depending on what you ordered. To see the return shipping fee for your items, log in to you your account, hit “return item” and request a return.
How to get around it: Since Wayfair is an online retailer, there’s no way around these return shipping fees. When ordering items, pay close attention to the product description. And if you’re ordering items related to a remodel, carefully measure your space to ensure you’re not ordering extra product.
Here’s an example of some return shipping fees our editor was recently charged to return some tiles and trim.
Return fee: $5 for some items. Some items, orders over a certain amount and orders placed by higher-tier rewards members and credit card holders get free returns.
How to get around it: Return your item at an AE store. Read more about the American Eagle return policy.
Return fee: $6.95, which will be deducted from your original payment method. One cool thing about Lands’ End, though, is that it has partnered with Happy Returns, so you can drop your return off at 9,000 locations nationwide without having to box it up.
How to get around it: Make your return at a Lands’ End store. Or, opt for a merchandise credit instead of a refund. Learn more.
Return fee: $9.99 return shipping fee plus tax, if applicable.
How to get around it: Star Rewards members get free return shipping. Not a rewards member? You can make your return at a Macy’s store for free.
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