Thursday, June 5, 2014

New Rules for Online Shopping in Germany


I do a fair amount of online shopping while in Germany, but that may change when a new rule obligating online shoppers to bear the cost of returning unwanted items takes effect on June 14, 2014. Of course, online retailers can continue to pay the return costs if they wish, but 57 percent of German online retailers plan to take advantage of this new rule and have their customers pay the return costs, this according to a survey conducted by Trusted Shops. By the same token, the survey also found that 37 percent of shoppers will only shop at online stores that promise to refund the cost of returns. How this rule will actually affect German online retailing is anybody's guess.

I can only speak from experience. A few years ago, I had to pay the return cost for an item I had purchased online from Levi Strauss. The return cost was almost the price of the item itself. As a result, I no longer shop online with Levi Strauss or any retailer that obligates me to pay return costs.

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