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What is in a Guarantee? Return Policies of Spreadshirt, Cafepress and Zazzle

We review the guarantees of the major t-shirt fullfillment companies including Spreadshirt, Zazzle and Cafepress.

We found a few slightly different versions of Spreadshirt’s return policy and guarantee. The first of Spreadshirt’s guarantee/return policy states:

If you are not satisfied with your Spreadshirt purchase, we kindly ask that you contact us within 30 days to coordinate an acceptable solution. Products that have neither been worn nor washed can be exchanged or returned within 30 days of receiving your order. If refunded, you will be reimbursed the amount of your order minus the shipping costs. Shipping costs are non-refundable.

Now check out the second version of what Spreadshirt calls the Spreadshirt Fair Return that is on their site as it has a different angle.

Spreadshirt is not a distribution service – Each and every product ordered from Spreadshirt is a unique article created just for you. All items returned to Spreadshirt must be thrown away. Unlike a catalog item or in-stock product that you might purchase from some mail order or other Internet company we can’t resell a Spreadshirt item – They are just too unique! Your satisfaction is important to us and we understand that from time to time you may need to request a return or exchange for your Spreadshirt item. As our promise to you the Spreadshirt Fair Return policy is: In every case that we make a mistake with the printing of your article, our Customer Service team will work with you to achieve a satisfying solution by helping you to arrange a Spreadshirt credit, return for exchange or refund of your item. Further, we’ll extend this policy to you when you are dissatisfied with the fit, color, material or if you are simply unhappy with your purchase… by taking “almost” everything back.

Seems like a reasonable policy but has a tone that makes people feel guilty about having to make a return or exchange. Seems kind of crazy that a company who is willing to donate $2 for every organic t-shirt sold would throw away returned t-shirts and not donate them to less-privileged community members.

Now compare that feeling with that of Zazzle.com Zazzle calls their return policy “The Zazzle Promise”. Wow sounds pretty good, tell me more!

If you don’t love it we’ll take it back. We strive to exceed your expectations with every product you receive. All products are made-to-order with the best materials and our special digital printing technologies, and generally shipped within 24 hours. If you are not satisfied for any reason, you may return any unused products for a replacement or refund within 30 days of receipt.

And for Cafepress.com they use the phrase “30 Day Money Back Guarantee”

CafePress.com offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all products. If you would like to return or exchange an item, please contact us to fill out a request form…Shipping charges are not refundable.

What is interesting is that all three are the same but the tones are very different. All three companies have a 30 day money back guarantee but do not include shipping. Spreadshirt’s tone is “well we will return anything but really think about it first”. Zazzle has a confidence tone that makes you really believe that what you are purchasing will be great and you probably won’t need to return anything but if you do its no problem. Cafepress has the tone is a simple guarantee with no sales, no guilt just a guarantee.

The real question is what do customers look for in a guarantee?

Written by T-Shirt Talk

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