A few days ago, my mother asked me, “Victoria’s Secret will accept in-store returns for online orders, right?”  Thinking that VS operated like most other retailers (such as Gap, LOFT, etc.), I said of course.  Why wouldn’t they?

Well, imagine my surprise when she returned home the other day with her purchases still in hand.  Apparently, VS does not accept in-store returns for online orders – the unwanted items MUST be sent back in the mail.

This prompted me to investigate.  According to the victoriassecret.com website, the return policy at Victoria’s Secret is as follows:

Refunds will be credited in the same form as they were paid if an item is returned within 90 days of purchase. If an item is returned more than 90 days after purchase, a return will be administered in the form of a merchandise credit redeemable with your next purchase.

However, this does not give all of the information.  According to the return slip, $5.99 will be deducted from my mother’s order when her return is made.

So, let me get this straight…

You won’t accept the return in the store, and you don’t provide return shipping?  How is that fair?  If the store is inconveniencing customers by making them mail back items that don’t fit or aren’t exactly right, they should at least provide return shipping free of cost.  Basically, anytime you make an order from the Victoria’s Secret website, you’re taking a risk that everything will be exactly what you want, otherwise you’ll end up paying out of your pocket.  They might as well start charging customers to use their fitting rooms!

What do you think about this issue?

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13 Responses to VS, BS: Victoria’s Secret Returns Rip-Off?

  1. Allie says:

    Unfortunately this is nothing new and many other online retailers like Forever 21 have the same return policies. Companies like VS who have different products online than in stores have this convoluted return policy so they don’t have to spend money in-house to ship back returns that cannot be sold in the stores. I worked for Limited Brands for many many years and this is pretty much how they work – it’s all about profits. When I started at Express they had a No Sale is Final policy a la Lands End and Nordstrom. Over time their return policy got more and more stringent to try to stay profitable. 🙁

    • Erin says:

      Insane (and very sad, in my opinion)!! I have to wonder how well these brands will stay afloat after more and more shopping moves to the web.

  2. I ALWAYS check store return policies in store and online (and I check shipping costs too) before I even browse the site. If the costs seem ridiculous (I hate paying for returns and shipping) then I don’t even bother looking.

    • Erin says:

      That’s awesome advice, Elaine! It sounds like there are a lot of stores out there that are (dare I say it) preying on online shoppers. Personally, I’m okay with paying for shipping just for a convenience factor, but if I have NO choice in the matter (when I’m ordering a smaller or larger size than what is available in the store, for example), it’s really unfair. I still can’t believe that VS won’t take in-store returns!!! I get mad every time I think about it!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I’m happy to share with you that this option is now available but only in very select stores. Luckily, one of those stores is one that I frequent otherwise I also would have avoided the online purchase (my size is not available in the store so I must buy online.. Which is fine if it’s the same product I’ve been using and love, but not when I want to try something new…)

    • Erin says:

      Jennifer, that is awesome to know! I guess we’ll have to ask if our local stores accept online returns prior to making the purchase… Not optimal but it beats having to mail things back and get charged for it.

  4. paul says:

    You can find more infor here:
    http://www.returnpolicies.info/index.php/u-s-a/victoria-s-secret/

    CSRs have a lot of latitude with this policy.

  5. Rochelle says:

    I was able to return my on-line purchase in the store. I did this to avoid having to pay shipping costs. I cannot say that I am very pleased with VS though. I ordered a size S dress in black. The dress was blue! It was very large and the material looked cheap. Now I am out $90 and waiting for my return. 10 days and still have not been refunded.

  6. Laura says:

    I must have good experiences with VS… I know this article was written almost a year ago, but items you bought online are NOW able to be returned at the store. Oh, and also, you don’t have to use their prepaid label when returning items in the mail. Just send it to the returns dept. address yourself, and even if you include an extra $1.00 or so for tracking confirmation, it is always cheaper than using their UPS prepaid label.

    And how are their return rules different from anywhere else? I find it rare when a company offers free return shipping for items that you’ve just “changed your mind” on or what not. One time I received a dress from VS that had a slight rip in the seam – defective or something. I called customer service and was able to return it for free (without exchanging it for a new one).

    I don’t know…I guess I’ve been lucky with my VS experiences thus far!

  7. Kirstie says:

    Laura many places allow you to return the merchandise in store eliminating the cost and inconvenience of shipping it back. That’s good to know that VS is now allowing in store returns. It’s one of there reasons why I don’t buy vs online often. Personally, I shop at places at allow free returns in shipping such as Nordies.

  8. jason says:

    I recently spoke to VS customer service. All stores now accept returns from online orders. (Bring your invoice. They need the Order Number)

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