Many retailers charge restocking fees for electronics or specialty items that have been opened and returned – even if the products haven’t been used by the original buyer.
They do this to recoup the discounts they have to offer when trying to sell the items the second time around in boxes that have been repacked and sealed. Restocking fees generally range between 10 percent and 15 percent of the purchase price, but some are as high as 25 percent of the sticker.
These fees are often posted in the customer service areas of store as part of the return policy, but shoppers don’t always notice them. Shoppers are often shocked and even outraged when they learn about them at the return counter.
“More than a third of our members reported being unhappy about restocking fees,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “While we can’t stop this practice, consumers can avoid the fees. It’s not even that difficult. But you have to know about them before you can act to avoid them.”
Restocking fees apply only to unwanted items, Hicks said. Items that don’t work properly should be replaced or carry full refunds.
Angie’s tips to avoid restocking shock
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