This Is What a Cancellation Policy Template for Your Online Shop Looks Like

Carolin Puls 10/4/2023

Here you will find background knowledge, sample templates and helpful tools.

Table of contents
  1. What is a right of withdrawal and why is it important for online shops?
  2. When does the right of withdrawal come into effect for online purchases?
  3. What does a right of withdrawal contain?
  4. Additional notes to the right of withdrawal
  5. These shop systems support you in all task related to your orders
  6. See revocations as opportunities

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know as an online shop operator* about the right of withdrawal and which tools can support you.

You have probably clicked on the field "I have read the cancellation policy" when you have placed an order in an online shop. If you run your own shop in which you offer your products or digital services, you must also integrate this field into the ordering process. But do you also know what the right of withdrawal implies and when it takes effect? Do you want to know what your right of withdrawal should include and what you need to consider in this regard? And do you want to get to know practical tools that can make your online shop easier to run? Then this article is just right for you.

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What is a right of withdrawal and why is it important for online shops?

If you want to sell your products online to your customers, you have to first create an online shop. As soon as customers press the "Order with obligation to pay" button, they enter into a so-called distance selling contract with you. This means that at the time the sales contract was closed, you were not in the same room and the buyers* could not inspect the products in person before. Therefore a 14-day withdrawal right applies to distance selling contracts. As a seller* you are obliged to place your cancellation policy and the cancellation form prominently on your website. This is necessary so that your customers can read their contents before the purchase or as soon as they want to claim this. The process is very simple and offers both your customers and you as a shop operator* security about the process.

  • The buyers notice that the ordered products do not fit or are not liked.
  • They inform you online or in another written form about the cancellation, which you answer.
  • Your customers send the goods back.
  • You refund the money already paid or update the invoice.

If you want to inform your customers transparently about their right of withdrawal, you can store the cancellation form and the process in the order confirmation of your shop. This gives the customers all the necessary information in case your product does not meet their expectations.

When does the right of withdrawal come into effect for online purchases?

In principle, your customers have a 14-day right of withdrawal from the day they received your goods. If you send the goods in several partial shipments, the withdrawal period begins as soon as all packages have reached the buyers*. However, there are also exceptions to the right of withdrawal. For example, it does not apply to individually manufactured goods, such as jewelry or clothing, as well as to food, daily newspapers and magazines. In addition, apps, video downloads, audiobooks and e-books as well as computer software, whose sealed packaging has been damaged, are excluded from a return. Especially with digital products, it is best if you get the consent of your customers at the time of the contract that their right of withdrawal expires as soon as they have received the products.

What does a right of withdrawal contain?

As long as you adhere to the provisions of the legislator, you can draft your own opposition policy. This must include necessarily

  • your company name and address,
  • the contact options (email address or phone number),
  • the beginning of the withdrawal period and the note on the 14-day right of withdrawal,
  • the type of return (return by the customers or pick-up by you)
  • the note that the cancellation should be made without giving reasons within the specified period either in writing or verbally
  • as well as the regulations for covering the costs of returning products.

Depending on the type of goods or digital services you sell, there are also different design guidelines and components that you need to include in the cancellation policy. You also need to provide your customers with a sample of the cancellation form.

If you want to keep it easy, you can simply use our free sample forms for the right of withdrawal. You can use both our Word template right of withdrawal and our PDF template right of withdrawal. But please note that we cannot give legal warranty and therefore you should take these templates only as a suggestion. For legally secure cancellation forms, you can turn to specialized lawyers of your choice.

Additional notes to the right of withdrawal

Before your online shop goes live and potential return shipments come up, you should think about whether your customers should take responsibility for the return shipping cost themselves or whether you will take over it. Above all, you should put great emphasis on building a trustworthy and stable relationship with your customers. This could mean that you handle returns in a lenient way and do not necessarily insist on your right. It is also important that you treat buyers respectfully and don't feel offended because they are not satisfied with your products. You can do something about that too. Often, customers return ordered goods because they do not meet their expectations. Therefore, in your online shop, provide high-quality photos and product descriptions, through which your customers can inform themselves well about the offered goods. This way, you can prevent potential contradictions and return cases already during the shopping process.

You have excellent products or digital services that you would like to offer to your customers? Then you should get an e-commerce shop system. This helps you with all things related to the ordering process. From the first impression of your website, through the order and shipping process, to your ongoing customer communication and possible return – an E-commerce shop system is your faithful sales aid. You can use our Software guide shop system to weigh different tools against each other and find the right Open source shop system for your business. Or you can simply click through the user ratings on OMR Reviews and find the right tool for you. You can find these and many more shop systems there:

See revocations as opportunities

When customers want to withdraw from the sales contract with you, you should not bury your head in the sand. This is part of a business relationship and does not mean they will never order in your online shop again if they have had a positive experience with the return process. You can also take valuable information from a revocation and optimize your online shop or your products accordingly. Try not to build pitfalls into your explanation of revocation, but appreciate your customers. This has a positive effect on your brand, even if you could not sell a product in this case. You will see, for the trust, which a transparent and appreciative return settlement creates, your customers will not lodge a revocation.

Carolin Puls
Carolin Puls

Carolin ist freie Redakteurin bei OMR und mit ganzem Herzen Autorin. Als Brand Managerin war sie bereits bei verschiedenen Unternehmen aus der FMCG-Branche für das Marketing zuständig. Währenddessen hat Carolin berufsbegleitend Ihr Studium zur Marketing-Betriebswirtin abgeschlossen.

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