Is It Time to Do Away with (e)book Return Policies?

This is probably not the best kind of question for SE because it asks for an opinion, and your needs may vary. Also, there are technical issues and business issues involved.Also, I'm guessing that you are talking about non-DRM files. If you had DRM in your reading system, it would probably be trivial to revoke the license for a piece of content. I start with the assumption that most people are honest and that returns happen rarely in ebook sales. I also start with the assumption that piracy is not a significant problem for most ebooks. It would be good customer service to allow returns. It defies expectations when you say that all sales are final -- especially if the customer made a mistake. A more common issue is that the user purchases something and then discovers that the ebook has significant formatting issues or doesn't render well on the device he or she is using. My approach would be to allow the return, but set limits on how often a customer can do it. Also, I would limit the window of time which customers can return things. Purely from a business perspective, book purchasers are a rare enough species that I wouldn't do anything to alienate them. Also, aside from time and inconvenience, the ebook seller doesn't really lose the good because it is not a physical object. (That's why when I publish things, I am liberal about sending out review copies -- it costs me literally nothing)

I am developing a retail service platform for ebook authors and am at the point of asking myself whether or not to allow returns.

Back when all books were print, returns were relatively simple. A store clerk could examine the product to determine whether or not the intended use of the book (to entertain or educate the reader) had been accomplished. Though meticulous people could fool the clerks (or a clerk might simply be lazy), it's fairly straightforward to determine that the physical object had been used for its expected intent.

Ebooks don't have that convenience. There is no physical object to be damaged during the reading process. There is, in fact, nothing at all to tell the retailer that the book has or has not been read. I'm sure the issue has been discussed many times by many people.

But this begs the question, is it time to do away with returns? If a reasonable sample of an ebook is available on a website, along with the traditional marketing collateral, what justification is there to permit a return? (I am assuming that even in the case of a gift purchase, the reader can evaluate the book before using the gift code, and therefore choose to redeem the code for credit rather than an unwanted book.)

Should I permit returns, or should I not permit returns?

·OTHER ANSWER:

I am developing a retail service platform for ebook authors and am at the point of asking myself whether or not to allow returns.

Back when all books were print, returns were relatively simple. A store clerk could examine the product to determine whether or not the intended use of the book (to entertain or educate the reader) had been accomplished. Though meticulous people could fool the clerks (or a clerk might simply be lazy), it's fairly straightforward to determine that the physical object had been used for its expected intent.

Ebooks don't have that convenience. There is no physical object to be damaged during the reading process. There is, in fact, nothing at all to tell the retailer that the book has or has not been read. I'm sure the issue has been discussed many times by many people.

But this begs the question, is it time to do away with returns? If a reasonable sample of an ebook is available on a website, along with the traditional marketing collateral, what justification is there to permit a return? (I am assuming that even in the case of a gift purchase, the reader can evaluate the book before using the gift code, and therefore choose to redeem the code for credit rather than an unwanted book.)

Should I permit returns, or should I not permit returns?

used products related articles
Let's Talk About the Application of Thermal Conductive Silica Gel in LED Lighting Industry
7 Tips to Help You Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs for More Money
Need Help Finding Kitchen Items and Sofa?
Can I Heat an Outside Chicken Coop with an Underground Heating System?
How Can I Get My Foundation Brush Clean?