The Australian consumer Act of 2010 provides for the protection of consumers in the entire of Australia. Parts of its provision are policies to govern the return of purchased goods to their sellers. Under Australian return policies, sellers have three options in case of a genuine and warranted return of goods. They can replace the returned product, refund for the product or provide repair to the returned product (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, 2012).
The Australian return policy provides the conditions to govern the returning of goods on both the seller and the buyer. Sellers are required under Australian law to accept merchandise, provide repair or refund for the goods if the goods become faulty after a stipulated period of time after their purchase (Parisi & Robinson, 2000). Moreover, if the goods fail to fulfill the purpose the seller promised they would, the buyer has a right to return them to the seller.
Buyers on the other hand should provide evidence of having purchased a given product say in the form of receipt. They must also proof the faultiness of the returned goods. Buyers must return goods in the best condition they can. They must also return the product within a given period as agreed within the purchase agreement or the warranty (Dunne, Lusch & Carver, 2011).
Prior to returning goods via the post, Several Sydney stores especially online stores demand that the buyer fills out a return form that comes along with the goods. The buyer should then package the return form together with the goods s/he wishes to return. The buyer should then place the ‘eparcel’ slip (the one having the barcode) and stick it on the parcel after which s/he should take the parcel to the post office. At the post office, the barcode is scanned, and the buyer is given a return confirmation to enable him/her track the returned goods. Some of the goods that can be returned include electronic goods (TVs, fridges, computers, driers, vacuum cleaners among many other home and industrial appliances), clothing, and furniture among other durable goods. Most stores do not accept returns for food stuff and clothing such as inner wears, earrings and other personal effect products such as cosmetics. The return policy has a provision for the stores to charge for the postage costs incurred when returning goods and also to cover for damages that may have been inflicted on the returned goods.
When returning goods to a store, the buyer should provide proof of the purchase such as a receipt or a tax invoice. Most Sydney stores prefer to refund for returned goods in the same tender that the buyer made the purchase (NBC News, 2012). For instance if the buyer paid for the goods via a credit card, the store will refund through the same medium. The period to process a return by repairing, refunding or replacing varies from one store to the other, but in most cases it happens within seven days.
Majority of Sydney’s stores have put in place regulations to prevent buyers from returning goods on flimsy grounds that may cause sellers to run into losses. Some of these grounds include finding cheaper goods elsewhere, simple change of mind based on an alleged wrong choice (Dakss, 2004). The policies encourage buyers to inspect merchandise carefully and ensuring that they are fully satisfied with them prior to making the purchase.
There are varied economical considerations in the return of goods. Retailers put in place return policies in order to safeguard their image and retain customer loyalty while ensuring that they that do not run into losses (Dakss, 2004). Retailers in most cases choose to return money for returned goods to avoid going through costly repair and replacement procedures. Repairs call for the retailer to hire technicians which may be costly. Replacements, on the other hand, cost the retailer delivery charges (Parisi & Robinson, 2000). In addition, replacement and repaired goods are still prone to future returns which are costly to the retailer.
Retailers should put in place return policies that look into the retention of customer loyalty, but of equal importance is that the retailer should be cautious not to run into losses in a bid to fulfill all customer demands relating to return of goods.
Consumer guarantees - a guide for consumers. (n.d.). ACCC Home. Retrieved November 28, 2012, from
Dakss, K. (2004) . CBS News.
Dunne, P. M., Lusch, R. F., & Carver, J. R. (2011). Retailing (7th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Parisi, N., & Robinson, M. (2000). Understanding consumer rights. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Retailers cracking down on return fraud - Business - Holiday retail | NBC News. (n.d.). Breaking News & Top Stories - World News, US & Local | NBC News. Retrieved November 28, 2012, from