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Karin Ballestrazze
 
December 4, 2014 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce | Karin Ballestrazze

Developing an ideal holiday return policy

The holiday season can be a great time for both consumers and wineries. However, managing returns can be challenging.  Sometimes, the bottle of wine that a customer received isn't quite right. You should ensure that the guidelines for returns are spelled out in your website store's return policy.

Being a little generous
Many wineries offer return policies that are standard with most stores. For example, Epoch Estate Wines offers a 10-day timeframe to return any bottles of wine to the consumer. Talon Winery offers a 15-day policy for its bottles. This amount of time would be acceptable under most circumstances. However, during the holidays, many people tend to be away from home and they are often unable to really begin handling returns until a couple weeks after they receive the wine.

One of the first things you can do to help customers out during the holiday season is simply extend your return policy during this time period, according to eBay. You can approach this issue by expanding the return time for any purchases made from the day after Thanksgiving to Dec. 25 by an additional two to three weeks. This gives consumers enough time to ship the wine back to you to process the return.

Handling each case and bottle
It best is to handle defect claims on a case-by-case basis. Capturing loyal customers is at its most challenging yet most rewarding during this shopping period. So, it may be ideal to loosen how you handle certain return cases.

State regulations may limit the returns that can be made by consumers to wineries. This may mean that you're unable to ship outside the state, if at all. When drafting your return policy, you should take compliance into consideration. If your return policy is limited by state law, you should clearly state that. It is a good practice to have a link to the policy in every page of the store. That way, consumers are aware of the policy before they complete a purchase.

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