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Buyer Beware - The Seasonal Curse On Returns This Halloween

October 30, 2015

There seems to be some spooky goings-on this year in the fashion world as retailers fall under the Halloween spell.

UK brands in the online retail sector

Major UK brands in the online retail sector are getting into the devilish spirit with the Halloween season. So much so that the top results on Google for 'Halloween' fetches Boohoo and Claires Accessories among others. Many fashion brands have dedicated categories for fancy dress costumes this year, so what impact will this have on the fancy dress trade? And is the right to return affected?

Back in May, we wrote about seasonal peaks and their impact on returns, but do the same rules apply for the return of Halloween outfits, or are there product restrictions in place? Certainly for fancy dress companies there are many more rules and regulations on what can and cannot be returned such as wigs, teeth and makeup. So these added restrictions coupled with the fear of late deliveries can turn shoppers away.

Will there be a minor return peak however? Fraudulent returners are sure to ignore the return policy which rules out certain product eligibility and send the items back anyway. We've heard plenty of horror stories before about items being returned in used condition from party goers, where not all returns pass the dreaded 'sniff test'.

Brainerd Dispatch has these tips for shoppers buying Halloween costumes: 'Read the fine print. Seasonal stores have the same responsibilities as year-round operations. Make sure to note the store's refund and return policies; familiarize yourself with all of the terms and conditions - they have to be made available. Keep in mind that some stores may not accept returns or even offer exchanges on Halloween costumes you've purchased'.

This is where fashion brands have the advantage - with no individual policy on seasonal trends, costumes and outfits sold for the halloween festivities will be covered under the robust blanket policy, making the process a lot more flexible and lenient on what customers can send back. In addition, shoppers will enjoy the experience of shopping with a recognisable brand that they trust.

Is it any wonder they are creeping up the Google rankings when they have the ability to offer cheap and cheerful costumes along with a convenient returns policy..?

Don't trick or treat your customers this Halloween. Magic those skeletons out of the closet by revising your returns offering over seasonal periods.