At no other time do we - and every other e-commerce business - receive more returns than after Black Friday. We get it. Online shopping can be tricky, and things might not fit as you like.
However, returns are a hassle... both for you and for us. And on top of that, it's not the most eco-friendly practice, as this TED Talk points out. So we've decided to give you some tips to help you minimize your returns, improve your shopping experience, and keep more products out of the landfill. Read on...
Do Your Research
Especially during Black Friday, when there's this "rush" to omg-get-it-quick-before-they're-all-sold-out... it's easy to make impulsive buys without doing your homework about what's the best fit for you, or whoever you're buying for. The most common reason for product returns is - you guessed it - a wrong size. That's understandable. With online shopping, you can't "try on" anything... yet. I'm sure sometime in the future this might be a possibility. What you can do is research what size might be the most appropriate for you. There are many resources available in this regard:
- Sizing guides - most brands/products will have a sizing guide. This should always be your first stop before buying an article of clothing. Check out both our provided sizing guide, as well as the brand's guide.
- Reviews - After that, skim the reviews. See what previous buyers had said about the product, and particularly about its fit. Often some generous reviewer has included his/her height and weight, which gives you a very useful reference point when choosing your own size.
- Customer Service - Customer service often gets a bad rap, but you should know that these brave guys and gals have heard it all, and answered it all, so they are highly knowledgable about appropriate sizing. Particularly at Fighters Market, almost all of our CS representatives train, so they really know their stuff when it comes to the fit of gis and training gear.
- Social Media - Especially in the jiu jitsu community, there are a ton of online forums and Facebook groups where you can pose your questions about the fit or quality of certain brands. In my experience, people love to give advice, so you are bound to get any number of responses... some great, and some not-so-much, but hey, it's the thought that counts.
Want vs. Need
Another major reason for returns is that the customer simply didn't want it anymore. This is the "want vs. need" dilemma. You've been there... you're browsing an online catalog and you see a cool rash guard that catches your eye. At that moment, you want it. It will look perfect in your collection, all your training buddies will "oooo" and "ahhh" over it. You gotta have it. You add it to your cart, click purchase, and done. It's yours. Except when that shopping adrenaline high wears off, you realize that you really don't need another rash guard... or maybe you need to pay your gas bill first. It comes, and you immediately send it back (after trying it on, of course, and getting all your sweaty armpit funk all over it).
Fighters Market is a business, so we'd love to sell you as much stuff as possible, but we're also members of your jiu jitsu community. Not only do we want you to like and enjoy the products we provide, we also want you to be able to afford to keep living well and keep training hard. So before you buy, ask yourself: 1) can I afford this, 2) do I really need/want this, and 3) is there a possibility that I might return it?
If You Really Must...
Now, you've done everything you can to prevent the dreaded return, but you find that you simply must do it. Here's how best to do it:
- Please, for the love of Bob, don't wear it. Try it on, sure. But don't do it right after training, or a long day of burning through your deodorant, or right after you've just doused yourself in cologne. If an item returns to us with any kind of funk - good or bad - we can't sell it again. We wouldn't want to!
- Fold it back up as best as you can - yeah, we know there are some of you who can't even fold a hand towel - and return it in it's original packaging. Just because you don't want it doesn't mean that you should smush it up into a ball and return it like that. Don't be that guy.
- FULLY read the Returns & Exchanges policies. This provides you easy-to-follow directions on how to return your item. You won't believe how many emails our poor, brave customer service reps get about returns, from people who are too lazy to look on the website. It takes less than a minute to read the return policies and fill out our return form.
Just as recycling is becoming a norm - and not just something hippies do - we feel that being conscious shoppers should also become a norm, to keep as much returned items out of the landfill as possible... because the more we do to keep our planet healthy, the longer we - and our future generations - will be able to train jiu jitsu.
Train on... and shop wisely. Oss.