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Printful store policies
Beginner's handbook

Printful Policies Your Store Should Copy [Free Template]

By Reading Time: 6 minutes

While brick-and-mortar purchases still make up a majority of consumer spending, online shopping is steadily on the rise. With that, returns have become an inherent part of the online shopping process. So much so, that in a 2018 consumer report conducted by Narvar, 96% of customers responded that they would shop with a retailer again if the return process is easy. 

Which brings us to the topic of store policies—a set of store rules that explain to customers what they can expect when making a purchase from an online store, and the steps to follow if a problem arises. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain why store policies are just as important for your business as the products you sell. And since you’re (hopefully) using Printful for your POD needs, we’ll talk you through all the policies we have! We’ll also share step-by-step guides on how to deal with issues your customers may have with shipping, returns, and damaged goods. 

Once you’re done reading there’s a freebie waiting for you: customizable website copy that covers returns, shipping, and damaged product policies that you can use for your store! 

Why are store policies important?

Solid and easily accessible store policies create a sense of security for customers when they’re buying something from you, especially since they can’t try on the product beforehand. They’ll know what to expect if something goes wrong with their order, or if the product doesn’t fit properly. Store policies will also help you sort through problems more quickly. So it’s a win-win situation!

Source: Narvar

As a store owner, it’s up to you which policies to offer to your customers. But if you do use Printful for fulfillment and POD, we recommend basing your policies off our own. That way you can solve problems smoothly. Of course, you can customize these policies to fit your store’s tone of voice, and be stricter or more liberal with refunds and returns! 

Printful return policies include items returned by the carrier/customer and damaged items. We’ll also walk you through the steps in case your order was lost in transit! 

Returns

There are two different types of returns. Either the shipping carrier will return an order, or the customer will. 

Returned by the shipping carrier

If the carrier isn’t able to deliver the items because of the wrong address, or if the package was unclaimed by your customer, it has to be returned to the default return address. For Printful orders, this means that they’ll be sent back to the facility that sent them out (Printful’s address is what we set as default for returns). If you’d rather handle returns yourself, go to Settings > Returns and hit Change address. Just note that this setting excludes all DHL shipments—all orders sent through DHL get returned to our facilities.

How do I prevent returns by shipping carrier?

In most cases, orders are sent back because customers provide an address that’s incorrect, incomplete, or illegible. To minimize this, remind your customers to be careful and double-check the digits when adding their shipping address. You can include a pro tip in your store policies to use simple tools like the USPS ZIP code lookup to make sure that the city in the address matches their zip code.

Pro Tip: In your store policy, include a step-by-step process for customers whose orders haven’t arrived. We cover this in our policy template, so check it out!

What do I do if an order was returned by shipping carrier?

If you get an email from us that your order arrived back at our facility, don’t panic: we’ll place it in temporary returns for 28 days, at no cost. During this time, contact your customer and find out what happened and how they’d like to proceed. If they want their order reshipped to a new address, let us know and we’ll do just that! But keep in mind that you’ll be liable for reshipment costs.

Returned by the customer

Your order can also be returned to us by your customer. This usually happens when a customer orders the wrong size or doesn’t want the items anymore. 

Printful doesn’t offer refunds or returns for buyer’s remorse or wrong sizes. But if you want to offer size exchanges and refunds to your customers, great! Just keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for the costs.

How do I avoid problems with sizing?

Each of our items listed in the products and pricing page has a size guide. So when you push products to your store through Printful, make sure the Attach size guide to the product description function is enabled. That way products on your store will have their own size guides as well!

Source: Printful

Also, pay attention to your product descriptions, as it sets expectations and help you customers understand what they’re buying. The more detailed information (and photos!) you give about the product, its quality, and the fit, the less unsatisfied shoppers you’ll have! 

Damaged items

At Printful, we pride ourselves on unparalleled product quality. That’s why all our orders go through a 3-step quality check before we ship them out. However, if a damaged item was accidentally let through our quality control, or was damaged during shipment, we take full responsibility and provide a free replacement (except for cases where a print comes out imperfect because of a low-quality print file).

What do I do if an item arrived damaged?

Here’s what we recommend you to do when communicating with customers about a damaged item:

  • Request photos of the product and the packing slip (this is standard practice for ecommerce businesses).
  • Once you have the photos, file a problem report in your Printful dashboard. The report should be filed no later than 4 weeks after the product has been received by your customer. We recommend always adding this to your store policies! 

Pro tip: In your store policies, mention a time frame that the customer has to contact you in case they receive a damaged item!

Watch this tutorial on how to file a problem report through Printful:

What to do in case an order was lost in transit

Now that we’ve covered Printful’s return policies, let’s talk about lost orders. If it’s past the estimated delivery date and your customer still hasn’t received their order, the package might be lost in transit

If the order was shipped without tracking, here’s what you do:

  • Double-check with your customer that they provided the correct shipping address. 
  • Ask them to get in touch with local post office and their neighbors to try locating the lost order.
  • If the shipping address is correct, and the order still doesn’t arrive, submit a problem report and our customer support will find a resolution for you! 

If the shipping method for that order had tracking, look at the tracking log (find the tracking link in your dashboard, or in one of our order notification emails). If you see limited or no entries to the tracking log, most likely the package was lost in transit.

This is what you do next:

  • Confirm with your customer that the shipping address they provided was correct. 
  • Ask the customer to get in touch with their local post office to try locating the lost order.
  • Once you confirm that the shipping address was correct, and the post office can’t locate the package, submit a problem report. Remember, all claims must be submitted to us no later than 4 weeks after the estimated delivery date!
  • Once our customer support team receives your report and confirms all the details, we’ll cover the costs of reprinting and shipping a replacement order for you.

Keep in mind that we can’t cover the costs of reshipping the order if tracking information states an order was delivered but your customer thinks they haven’t received it. You can offer your customer to reship their order, but you’ll have to cover the costs.

Pro tip: Use shipping with tracking to help minimise the amount of lost in transit orders!

What to do if tracking information shows an order was delivered, but the customer says they haven’t received it

If your customer provided correct address, and their package can’t be found at the post office or at their neighbours’, they may be victims of package thieves (also known as porch pirates). As online shopping becomes more popular, so does the doorstep package theft. According to a survey conducted by Comcast, a shocking 1 in 4 Americans reported a stolen package.


Pro tip: In your store policy, suggest your customers to use their neighbour’s or work address, if they won’t be at home for the delivery.

Keep in mind that we won’t cover the costs of reshipping the order if tracking information states an order was delivered. You can offer your customer to reship their order, but you’ll have to cover the costs.

Clear and concise policies are essential for your store

Explain to your customers what they can expect from your business—it’ll only make them feel more comfortable when making a purchase. And if a problem does arise with their order and the resolution is quick and painless, it’ll encourage their loyalty! 

Store policies are designed to protect you, the seller, and your customers, but they don’t have to be long or complicated. We prepared a clear and concise website copy that covers returns, shipping, and damage policies. You can use it as a template and edit it to suit your own store’s voice and policies you want to implement, or you can just add it as is. Do yourself and your customers a favor, get your store policy text below!

Download Free Store Policies

Subscribe to our blog and download your free store policies you can use for your online store.

A self-proclaimed queen of puns with an odd passion for stats and all things UX / marketing. Has zero chill when it comes to overcomplicating… anything. Especially new feature development.
  1. Joy

    “However, keep in mind that you will be liable for reshipment costs once we have confirmed an updated the address with you.” Does this apply to the default shipping if it goes back to your facility?

  2. whatever

    🙁 i asked customer support for the size charts 2 weeks ago and they ignored me . maybe you should post them in a more visible spot

    1. Krista Krumina

      I’m sorry for that. Sounds like something went wrong – our team usually replies in a day, and we definitely don’t ignore emails. If you need, get in touch again!

      A size chart can be found on every single product page under the link “Size guide”. We do it this way because size guides are so different for every product.

      1. Marketflea

        “Do yourself and your customers a favor, get your store policy text here:” — Where, please?
        The link is missing…
        The update would be more than just
        highly appreciated!

          1. Hannah Ridge

            Hello! A link must be broken on the button because I can’t get anything to download from it.

  3. Pingback: The Basics of Ecommerce Fraud- What Is It and How To Manage It | Blog - Printful

    1. Nora Inveiss

      Hey Bridget! We don’t automatically include size charts when pushing products through our generator to Shopify. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide how you want to present information to your customers 🙂

  4. Rene Davey

    there is nothing after “Do yourself and your customers a favor, get your store policy text here:” except empty space.

      1. Janet

        Hi Nora – can you check that link? It takes me to a lightbox page, but not sure how to download from there. When I click download button nothing happens. Can I get hold of them as PDF’s or Word somewhere – am building site as we speak, so this is very welcome information. Thx

          1. Evan Sass

            There is still no button underneath the text “Do yourself and your customers a favor, get your store policy text here:”. I see it in your screenshot, but it does not appear for me (or seemingly Rene or Janet or Cassy or Marketflea… There is literally no button to click. Instead of describing or linking to a screenshot of the red button that you can see and we cannot, can you please provide a link to where the button takes you when you click it? That would be very helpful. Thanks!

          2. Liva Spandega

            Hey Evan,

            We made some updates, you should be able to see the button now. Sorry about all the confusion, hopefully, it works now!

    1. Giedrė Šulčinskaitė

      Hi Deona, the button might not work if you’re using AdBlock. Consider pausing it to download the file.

    1. Giedrė Šulčinskaitė

      Hi, the button might not work if you’re using AdBlock. Consider pausing it to download the file.

  5. Michelle

    I never even considered a return! That is until I got one from a customer. Thanks for the article. Now we have a return policy clearly stated in the product description. It does feel weird as a business owner, to not accept returns but such is life with POD.

  6. Neal Fox

    I just noticed Printful’s return policy. Is this the norm for POD companies?

    What concerns me is all the comments in Reviews having to do with shirts not being a standard size. If someone orders a medium and that shirt’s medium is two sizes smaller, the customer should be able to exchange the shirt for a larger one.
    This is not a customer mistake.

    I think this policy will cause many irate (justifiably so) customers.

    1. Edward Zarins

      Hi there,

      We do offer reshipment or refund when a wrong item is sent. It’s recommended to provide your customers with accurate size guides so they can make their decision based on that information. 🙂

      1. Natalie

        Yes, you do offer reshipment or refund, but these will be at my expense.
        “…If you want to allow size exchanges in your store you can, but these will be at your expense and discretion. You would place a new order, at your expense…”

        1. Edward Zarins

          Hey Natalie,
          We offer reshipment or refund when there are any quality issues or errors made by us. If the wrong size is ordered by the customer then we don’t offer reshipment/refund for that item. 🙂

  7. Ryan Naylor

    Is there a more efficient way to place size guides on our sites, other than clicking on each item, copying info, then placing on out site? I think it’s a good idea, but there’s got to be 100+ clothing items.

    1. Edward Zarins

      Hey Ryan,

      With some of our integrations (Like Shopify and Etsy, for example) it’s possible to automatically push our size guides to your store end. You should just mark the size guide checkbox on one of the product push steps. 🙂

    2. Nicole

      I created a page where I put the size guide, then used a widget to put a link to that page in my shop sidebar. I don’t know if you are not using WordPress.

  8. Yinna Wang

    A suggestion, it would be great if Printful supplied downloadable size guides that we can plug into our sites. I’m having to remake each one in Shopify, and I don’t know enough to code the nice pop up one with the inch/cm tab that Printful has with their products. If it’s so crucial for customers, there should be a pre-filled template of some sort for us to use, or better yet integrated with Shopify and other platforms.

      1. julie wagner

        a jpg file of the size charts would be super helpful…my work around so that i can add it to my etsy photos (since customers do not read descriptions) is to ctrl+alt+print screen the size chart pop-up image on the printful listing, and then crop it and put it in the etsy and shopify photos.

        1. Renee Owens

          Hi Julie,

          I’m jsut starting out, but I noticed tht woocommerce has this integration. If your store set up and host allows it, this might be an option for you.

  9. Dharam

    Hi there. I am looking for templates for these policies mentioned above. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Thanks
    D

    1. Giedre Kronberga

      Thanks for the feedback, Iain! It’s been a while since we put it together, I agree it could be updated.

  10. Apryl

    Crazy that it’s 2019 and the download still is not working:

    Download Free Store Policies
    Subscribe to our blog and download your free store policies you can use for your online store.

    Thank you for subscribing, here is the download link… (there is no link!)

  11. Jorge Cardenas

    That subscribe to get the download button did not provide the download, it only added me to the newsletter…tried with two emails now.

  12. Ethel

    Hello, can you please re-confirm the download link or send me the files as link is still not available. No templates at the bottom of the article also?

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