Advice on Writing Store Policies for My Online Jewelry Business?

by Autumn.
(USA)

Advice on Writing Store Policies for My Online Jewelry Business?  - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

I’m working on my new store, and I’ve never been good at writing policies.

I, as a customer, prefer the short, plain-language policies other small businesses use.

But as a business owner, I’ve had a website designer advise me to use the legal-ese documents you see bigger businesses have.

I can’t afford, and don’t have access to, a business lawyer.

I’d much rather write short policies (Terms, Privacy, Shipping, Returns, etc), and link to any third party policies (payment gateway).

To my knowledge, we aren’t legally obligated to have large, all-inclusive policies in the USA.

Autumn

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  • Hi Autumn! I’m not sure if you’re using a storefront platform (like Etsy), or other way for your jewelry business.

    If you are on an established platform, that platform probably has policies for you to conform to – and it possibly also has links for these official policies on each storefront there.

    Aside from that, I’ve found it’s important to decide your other policies and stick to them. For example:

    I’ve found that it’s very helpful to decide ahead of time what your customer policies will be for issues like:

    * guaranteeing your work

    * altering / resizing jewelry

    * refunds

    * exchanges

    * custom orders

    * payment

    * pricing for your time

    * haggling/bargaining

    * discounts

    * freebies.

    Determining your policies ahead of time enables you to make the right call when faced with unexpected situations or customer demands. You’ll have well-thought-out guidelines to fall back on instead of relying on your first impulse.

    In contrast, it’s much harder to make good a business decision if you’ve never considered your discount / bargaining policy until a customer is standing in front of you asking for a special deal or other concession!

  • Judithanne Westrope says:

    While I agree with the above, not all of them have to be mentioned in your policies. Such as freebies. You need to put time limits on certain things such as returns (Please notify me within 7 days of receipt of item if you need to make a return. The item needs to be in original condition and back to me within 14 days.) I would say the basic rule is to only mention what applies to your shop. If you do not offer custom orders, mention that. The idea of keeping it simple is a good one. You will find new situations that come up in the future, at which time you can adjust your policies if needed.

  • It is best to keep the language of your store policies simple and direct. There is no need to sound legalize, just to have a professional, clear easy to understand tone.

    If you are selling online clear and well written policies give a customer confidence that you know what you are doing. Your grammar, spelling and punctuation must be correct!

    Etsy has a good guideline as to what you need to have in your policies. Your policies are not only what you expect from your client/customer as far as payment, returns, exchanges, but promises you make to them on your delivery time, how damages or defective goods are handled or complaints. Also, if selling internationally, you must state that the buyer is responsible for paying all duty and import taxes and that their purchase will be listed as is appropriate on any duty forms. Selling internationally is quite easy now. When you fill out the shipping labels online, the international labeling needed for the country you are shipping to is taken care of for you. Always insure your package by the way! Include the cost of insurance in your shipping cost to the customer!

    For ideas of what you need if you are selling online, take some notes of sellers policies from shops that show many sales. Look at shops that are selling items similar to what you sell. Similar in type, price and materials. What appears to be working for their business and do you think it will work for you?

    It is best to have this step done before you open.

    Best of luck to you!

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