RESTOCKING FEES ON RETAIL RETURNS


restocking feesCertain retailers are now charging their customers a 10% or 15% "restocking fee" when customers return merchandise in an opened box or without all of the purchase's original packaging and accessories. Other retailers are charging these "restocking fees" even when the item is returned unopened or unused.

Because restocking fees are imposed uniformly as a percentage of the purchase price and without regard to the actual costs of actually "restocking" the merchandise, it is believed that the practice of imposing restocking fees is a deceptive business practice intended to create an additional source of revenue for retailers.

A potential class action lawsuit is currently being investigated concerning whether restocking fees constitute unreasonable, deceptive or misleading business practices. If you believe you have been damaged by the imposition of restocking fees, please click on the link below.


Retail Restocking Fees Articles

Restocking Fees: Know Your Rights
There are thousands and thousands of retail companies to purchase products from and each one has its own policy on restocking fees. Even companies that sell similar products have wildly varying policies. Further complicating things is that some companies have different restocking fees depending on whether a product was purchased online or in-store.

Restocking Feesâ€"What You Can Do
There are a few things consumers can do to protect themselves from paying unfair restocking fees.

Restocking Fees: Lawsuits
States Have Rules Regarding Restocking Fees
Retail Restocking Fees: Customers Must Be Notified
Restocking Fees on Returns Commonplace
Restocking Fees Should Not Be Charged On Defective Products
Restocking Fees Not Always Legitimate


Retail Return Restocking Fees In The News

JUN-04-07: The Texas attorney general has filed a lawsuit against a Houston automotive parts dealer, alleging the dealer sold faulty used engines and charged customers a 20 percent restocking fee when the defective engines were returned. [ FOX NEWS: RESTOCKING FEE ]

MAY-24-07: In addition to a number of other hidden fees, some hotels are charging restocking fees of up to $10 on mini-bar items, regardless of the cost of purchasing them. [NEWS 12: RESTOCKING FEE]

Retail Return Restocking Fees Legal Help

If you have been charged a restocking fee on a returned retail item, please fill in the form to the right to send your complaint to a lawyer to evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Last updated July 18 2007

Reader Comments

Posted by
California
on
I purchased an item, there was no disclosure of a restock fee, nothing was posted within site of the register and no one stated anything about the fee. Only upon return was I told there was a restock fee and shown the policy on the back of the receipt as proof of this policy. When I told the clerk and MOD that they had to disclose the policy up front of the purchase, they showed me the back of the receipt. I then informed them this was not legal as I had to purchase to see the policy. They responded with, they don�t know anything about that law (as I stated it) and I could either keep the item or return it and pay the restock fee of $37.48.

Posted by
Alabama
on
Online retailer of halloween costumes charges 25% restocking fee for items. My item was being returned because the sizing guide on their site was wholly inaccurate. They still refuse to remove the restocking fee from my refund.

Posted by
Texas
on
Purchased a lift chair for my elderly mother and the chair broke after 2 weeks and did not work. Owner insisted on charging a 20% restocking fee.

Posted by
New Jersey
on
I was unfairly charged $20.25 by a Circuit City store in Paramus, NJ. for a GPS unit that was found to be defective after speaking to a technical support person from the manufacturer. The store did not have any other models in stock and the next model available had to be purchased on-line and would have cost me double what I paid for the defective unit. In my case Circuit City gave me no options by which to avoid paying the fee.

Posted by
Alabama
on
Returned 699.00 Nuvi Garmin 760 to Circuit City because we found Nuvi Garmin 750 from another retailer (Tech Central) for 485.00. no price match was available due to 50 mile radius limitation. Box was opened to look at item. Packaging all there and intact to product(stickers,tag,foam,tape,everything). Charged $105.00 and $9.45 TAX!! Rung up as a purchase!!! A restock fee as a purchase!!?? I asked about the tax and they said they had been doing that for 3 years as an employee and never knew why it was done that way. When I disagreed with the practice, the Service rep got boligerant, angry, and loud.

Posted by
California
on
I was not informed of restocking fee and did not see a sign. When I went to return the item because it didnt work I was told of the policy and shown the sign back in customer service. I then upgraded to avoid the restocking fee but feel it is very unfair that I should be charged a restocking when I was never informed. I may want to return the more expensive GPS.

Posted by
New Jersey
on
Purchased laptop for $620.56 on November 6, 2007. When I got home and tried to use the DVD drive it would not work. I cleaned and tried DVD's that I knew worked, but they did not work. I went back to Circuit City the next day, on November 7, 2007 brought back the item and explained to the customer service rep that this item was defective. I also requested that they test it to verify what I was saying. She said that was not necessary she had to check the box out. She then opened the box and proceeded to open the sealed software. I asked her why she was opening the software and she said that it did not matter since this unit had to be sent back to the manufacturer since it was defective. I then asked her if you are sending this back to the manufacturer who is going to give you a full credit for it why am I being charged a re-stocking fee? She went on to explain that it was store policy. I then called customer care when I left the store. I was told that I would have to call the Corporate Office in the morning which I did on November 8, 2007.

I have suffered the loss of $86.99 for a defective product.

I have also suffered the embarrasment of the CSU (from Tokyo) trying to stop my attempts to reach the Corporate Office for 35 minutes. She first stated that she could not send me there. After being persistent for approximately 25 minutes she then stated that she would transfer me.

I suffered frustration to attempting to get a written copy of Circuit City's written definition of what a re-stocking fee is from the corporate office. I was further annoyed when I was told that there was not a written definition of what re-stocking meant.

I have suffered the mental anguish of knowing that I simply wanted to return a defective product in good faith and receive a refund for returning it.

I was so frustrated I taped the last 35 minutes of a one hour and forty five minute conversation. I also have the numbers dialed and the people that I spoke with throughout this entire ordeal.

Posted by
California
on
Missouri based Telemarker ("warehouse clerk") asked me (I work for a small California city) to help him with an overstock. I assumed he was with an existing vendor order. I was sent 12 hi yield black remanufactured ink carts and a bill for $864. After returning the items unopened I am being charged 25% restocking $246 on carts I can buy for $10 each retail elsewhere. Their "supplier" is a sister corporation in the same office which retails the same carts for $21. Internet search shows multiple complaints on company at BBB and attorney general.

Posted by
Maine
on
On July 27 I called and said I would not be taking the bed. On July 28 I left a message at the store that I also did not want the two chests, I had found a complete solid mahogany bedroom set for $850 in a second hand store. I have been charged a 35% restocking fee, which I think is excessive, since the furniture never left the store. The store was not open on July 22 & 23.

Posted by
New Hampshire
on
Purchased a wood stove and some pipes on 07/06/07 for $2,516. Three business days later I had a mason/installer hired to give me an estimate for the hole in my chimney. He said I shouldn't have been sold some of the pipes as he couldn't figure out what the salesman was thinking who sold them to me. So first thing the next morning, 07/13/07 as soon as the store was open I requested a refund for $609.57 as I couldn't use these pipes and their installation services. (as I lost confidence in them, and I had pipes I couldn't use.) Lie #1-He said fine but that he couldn't run it through the credit card machine until he had enough sales to cover this refund. I never heard of that before and told him I was uncomfortable waiting. He assured me he would by the end of the day and would call. He didn't call, so I called.Lie #2- He asked for one more day. Now I'm nervous. The next day, no call. Now my husband and I feel we want nothing to do with this company anylonger and called to cancel everything. Lie #3- claims he was just trying to contact credit card machine company to see if he could waive the 2% fee. (what?) Bear in mind we are a week before delivery date! This floor model never left the store!(We never received anything that needed returning or restocking.) He said fine but he's charging us a 20% restocking fee!! We never signed any contracts. I have my receipt with no policies printed on it, and nothing on their website. But if there is a sign at the register, I didn't notice it.In NH you don't have to post it by the register. If it was there I don't remember it. We hadn't received the items yet so to us there was no completed contract.

Posted by
California
on
Roughly $325 for restocking fee and refusal to take back related opened software. Because of the excessive fee I decided to keep the computer and related software.

Posted by
Louisiana
on
I purchased two mp3 players from Gateway and both were defective. When I waited for the rma # to have it returned, Gateway would never send me the "UPS Label" I must use to return it. When the label finally arrived 2 months after my purchase and I returned them, I was charged re-stocking fees. I fought with them to try and not pay the restock fees since the merchandise never worked to begin with, but they said it was legal to charge me these fees even though they did not tell me about them before making my purchase. This is Gateway making a profit from broken merchandise and is not right!

Posted by
California
on
Personal damage was failure to disclose terms, conditions and exclusions of separate warranty purchase at or prior to sale as required by Calif. Civil code section 1974.4 and 1974.41. Sold one warranty then claimed another with arbitration clause was enforceable upon breach of warranty. Arbitration clause in violation of 16 C.F.R. '700.8 that prohibits binding arbitration in warranty and service contracts. Had to fight motion to compel arbitration due to deceptive practices. Deposition to compel could not identify where purchases were made or the items purchased, including separate warranties. Deposition reveals that their standard sales practices violate California Law with re-stocking and return charges applied if returned due to unacceptable agreement not lawfully disclosed upon sale. Failure to maintain parts to meet reasonably expected demand. failure to maintain parts for life of warranty (3 yrs.) when law requires parts to be maintained 7 yrs. irrespective of warranty. Not truthful about ordering parts for repair after keeping computer out of service 7 weeks and second return from factory without full repair. "Looser pays" arbitration clause cannot be administered in State of California per section 1284.3, Code of Civil Procedure. Warranty exempts seller from own negligence in violation of C.C.C. '1668. Insertion of unconscionable clauses in violation of Consumer's Legal Remedies Act, C.C.C. '1770(19). had to replace computer at own cost, sue for damages, fight bogus claim of agreement to arbitrate and now enduring further delays for continuances based on deposition of inability of person with "personal knowledge" to appear when only knowledge is second hand records. Disabled under definition in CLRA with replacement costs exceeding monthly governmental disability benefit.

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