Returns are rarely on our minds when we're enjoying a little retail therapy, but knowing the returns policies of Australian stores, credit cards and online payment systems can make a big difference to our overall shopping experience and help us save money.
We've put together three easy ways that you can save money when it comes to returning products at Australian stores, including a list of retailers with the best returns policies - so that you know the top spots to shop.
1. Pay With PayPal For "Refunded Returns"
Most of us use PayPal regularly, but besides speedy checkouts and not having to dig around for a credit card, not everyone knows the full perks of doing so.
If you pay for an item with PayPal, you are entitled to a refund on your return costs up to the value of $45 (per return) on eligible purchases, for up to eight returns per year.
- Activate "Refunded Returns" in your PayPal account
- Locate your original transaction in your PayPal account
- Submit your return request with proof of the return within 150 days of the purchase date, and 30 days of the return date. (Proof of return includes a tracking number or a return shipping receipt with the total amount paid and the seller's address. If you don't have the seller's address on the receipt, you'll need to submit a photo of the parcel showing the seller's address.)
PayPal Australia indicates that once the request is received, returns refunds are usually paid within five business days.
Note, items that aren't eligible for refunded returns include intangible goods like gift cards or vouchers, and categories such as swimwear, for which the seller doesn't accept returns. You also won't be able to utilise refunded returns if you paid for only part of the item with PayPal. See the full PayPal Refunded Returns policy here.
2. Use credit cards with "Return Protection"
Sometimes a store won't issue a refund for something you're not happy with, and this is where credit card Return Protection comes in very handy. If you bought the product with a credit card equipped with Return Protection, the provider will actually refund you the purchase amount, in the event that the store won't.
These are the Australian credit cards that currently include Return Protection:
- American Express Platinum Card - annual fee $1200, max refund per item $1000, max refund per year $5000
- American Express Platinum Business Card - annual fee $1500, maximum refund per item $1000, maximum refund per year $5000
- American Express Platinum Edge - annual fee $195, maximum refund per item $500, max refund per year $2000
- Qantas American Express Discovery Card - annual fee $0, max refund per item $500, maximum refund per year $2000
- Qantas American Express Premium Card - annual fee $249, maximum refund per item $500, maximum refund per year $2000
- Qantas American Express Ultimate Card - annual fee $450, maximum refund per item $500, maximum refund per year $2000
- American Express Velocity Escape Card - annual fee $0, max refund per item $500, maximum refund per year $2000
- American Express Velocity Platinum Card - annual fee $375, maximum refund per item $500, maximum refund per year: $2000
- American Express Explorer Card - annual fee $395, maximum refund per item $500, maximum refund per year $2000
- American Express Essentials Card - annual fee $0, maximum refund per item $500, maximum refund per year $2000
- American Express Low-Rate Card - annual fee $0, maximum refund per item $500, maximum refund per year $2000
3. Shop at stores with FREE returns
An increasing number of Australian stores have excellent returns policies now, making it very easy and straightforward for customers to return unwanted, faulty or incorrect items. There are some stand-outs, though, and we've listed them below.
By shopping at stores with excellent return policies you have the peace of mind of knowing you can always get your money back if the item isn't perfect. Also, with many offering free return shipping, and even providing pre-printed shipping labels, you don't even need to pick up the phone, or visit a store. Now that's convenient!
Top stores with FREE returns in Australia, in store and online:
- eBay (for eBay Plus orders)
- THE ICONIC
- ASOS Australia
- Clarks (orders over $60)
- Princess Polly
- Rebel (for parcels under 5k)
- New Balance
- Rip Curl
- Sunday Somewhere
- Ben Sherman
- Lee Jeans
- Mollo (excludes sale items)
- Beginning Boutique (orders over $75)
- Quicksilver (orders over $150)