How to Offer Free Return Shipping on Your Ecommerce Site

Whether you’re a major player like Zappos or just getting started with online selling, free return shipping has quickly evolved into a standard offering for online businesses. Because of this, your customers may now expect for you to offer the same, which, of course, adds another layer of complexity to your ecommerce operations. This may lead you to wonder how to afford free return shipping, and if it’s even worth it.

Fortunately, free return shipping isn’t as complicated as it seems, as long as you’re prepared for it. From calculating costs to updating your return policy, I’ve got five key essentials to help you offer this promotion without breaking the bank.

Happy selling!
-Matt Winn, Volusion


Matt Winn is Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helps oversee the organization’s branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce, ranging from online marketing to web design and customer experience. Beyond being a certified nerd, Matt is an avid college football fan, enthusiastic home cook and a self-admitted reality TV junkie.

2 Responses to “How to Offer Free Return Shipping on Your Ecommerce Site”

  1. Joe

    Hi Matt,

    I like to watch your easy to follow 2 minute Tuesdays. Just a quick comment. We do not currently offer free return shipping. Our returns are about 5% whereas free return companies such as Zappos realize approximately a 35% return rate. Something to consider when calculating the cost. Plan for your returns to increase, so you will need to include a plan to gain a little extra income to compensate the increase. One simple way is to add a little to the price. On the other hand the improved service will keep you competitive and your sales will increase which will also help.

    • Matt Winn

      Hi Joe, thanks for the insights! Good advice for everyone to take into consideration.


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