Impact of Shipping Incentives & Return Policies

Part
01
of five
Part
01

Shipping Incentives & Return Policies - BestBuy & Costco

BestBuy US offers free standard delivery to metro locations on purchases of major appliances with a total exceeding $399. The company charges a fee to ship major appliances to locations outside major metro areas, but customers receive a $69.99 discount. BestBuy also ships larger televisions for free and allows for the return of major appliances within 15 days from the day the product was delivered to the customer. BestBuy Canada does not offer free delivery for major appliances and customers are required to return furniture and mattresses in the original packaging within 30 days. Detailed information is below.

BestBuy US

Shipping Policy

  • In the US and for major appliances such as refrigerators, wall ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines, BestBuy offers free standard delivery on purchases totaling $399 or more, to a few metro delivery locations. The minimum $399 purchase applies after discounts to large appliances only and cannot be reached by adding smaller items.
  • The company adds extra charges to deliver major appliances outside a major metropolitan area. However, a $69.99 discount is given for purchases totaling $399 or more. BestBuy also offers free shipping for larger televisions that are 51 inches or smaller. This excludes scheduled delivery items and those displaying "In Store Only" message.
  • For all other items, BestBuy provides free standard shipping on orders valued $35 and above. The $35 minimum order applies after coupons, but before taxes. However, select special orders, digital downloads, scheduled delivery items, e-gift cards, and items removed or canceled from the order are not included. The company highlights free shipping on qualifying items in the customer's cart and on the product page.
  • BestBuy also offers free next-day delivery on many items. This depends on the availability of a product and the time of day the customer ordered it. A minimum purchase of $35 is required after coupons, but before taxes, to have a customer's items shipped. Elite Plus and My Best Buy Elite members are not bound by the $35 minimum purchase.
  • For free next-day delivery, select special orders, digital downloads, scheduled delivery items, e-gift cards, and items removed or canceled from the order are not included. There may be limitations for free next-day delivery during Thanksgiving week, on weekend orders, and select promotional periods. Free next-day delivery is not available on Sunday and weight and size restrictions apply.

Return Policy

  • For major appliances, BestBuy accepts returns, but this has to happen within 15 days from the day the product was received. Once the appliance is delivered or taken home, the customer has 15 days to contact the company regarding any damage, defects, or other issues.
  • The company has extended the holiday return period for most products that were purchased in November and December 2019, which can be returned until the 14th of January 2020. However, this excludes items such as major appliances and cell phones.
  • With a few exceptions, BestBuy reimburses a customer for returned items in the same method they paid for them. This is if the customer does not wish to exchange the product for the same item. However, if the customer paid over $800 in cash or over $250 by a debit card that lacks a major credit card logo or by check, the company refunds within 10 business days by check.
  • Returned items must be in a "like-new condition" with all packaging and accessories to be accepted. Damaged or scratched items without original packaging may not be accepted, or a nonrefundable deduction fee may be applied to the refund. Proof of purchase is also required before the returned item can be accepted.

BestBuy Canada

Shipping Policy

  • Free standard delivery shipping is offered to "all orders over $35" before fees, taxes, and promo codes are included. There are exceptions including large items that need scheduled delivery, those sold and shipped by Marketplace sellers, and locations that need air delivery.
  • For major appliances, the customer has to pay for scheduled delivery. For example, shipping within a major urban area costs $79.99 for refrigerators and freezers, $49.99 for mattresses, and $49.99 for a large piece of furniture.

Return Policy

  • BestBuy Canada does not allow for some major appliances, such as refrigerators and freezers, to be returned once the item is out of the box. The company advises customers to measure the space that will hold the appliance before ordering it.
  • For other major appliances, customers must return them within 30 days in an unopened condition to receive a refund. Items that do not fit may be exchanged after the delivery team has confirmed the issue. Defective or damaged appliances "are subject to manufacturer's warranty."
  • Furniture must be returned within 30 days, unassembled, and in its original packaging. "Furniture items shipped to Newfoundland and Labrador are final sale and cannot be returned or exchanged." Other options or compensation are available for damaged items after consulting the customer care department.
  • Mattresses must be returned within 30 days, unopened, and in the original wrapping. Koala Mattresses must be returned within 100 days and can be opened and unboxed. This is only valid for "purchases made after January 1, 2019, and Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, and Nunavut are excluded."
  • TV & Home Theater items must be returned unopened within 30 days from purchase. The original packaging, original receipt, original method of payment, and a valid photo ID are required to receive a refund.

Costco US

Shipping Policy

Return Policy

  • Costco's 100% satisfaction guarantee requires it to refund the purchase price for its products with a few exceptions. Electronics such as Televisions can be returned within 90 days from the date the item was received by the customer.
  • Major appliances such as refrigerators over 10 cubic feet and washers can be returned to Costco within 90 days from the date the item was received.
  • Items purchased from a Costco location must be returned to any Costco warehouse. Custom products with unique customer specifications cannot be returned or refunded, except for replacement or repair when the specifications have not been met.
  • For items purchased in a Costco warehouse, presenting a receipt or the original packaging for the returned item is not required, but it may help to process the return.
  • Freight deliveries are returned the same way. Once the returned item is picked up and in transit to the company, Costco processes the refund. A confirmation email is sent to the customer once the company has issued the credit to the customer's bank or credit card company to be processed.

Costco Canada

Shipping Policy

  • Every item sold on Costco.ca has a unique shipping method and the information can be found on the product page. Costco offers no free or discounted shipping incentives. This is because contracted freight carriers are used to ship items purchased from Costco that are too heavy or too large to ship using standard delivery carriers such as Canada Post, FedEx, Purolator, and UPS.
  • Large and heavy items are shipped by contracted freight carriers using Curbside Delivery. White Glove Delivery is also used to ship items that require special setup or handling.

Return Policy

  • Customers can easily return what they purchased to a warehouse and receive an immediate refund. They require an order confirmation to speed up the process. Customers can also return purchased items through Costco.ca by filling an online return form for a pickup and refund request.
  • The item being returned must be in the same condition and package as it was delivered. Costco emails confirmation to the customer once it has issued the refund. Major appliances can be returned to Costco within 90 days from the date they were purchased.
  • The company offers a manufacturer's warranty of two years and a receipt is required as proof of warranty entitlement, excluding counter top microwaves. The refund for returned items that are shipped by Costco.ca includes handling and shipping fees. The refund is credited to the credit card the customer used to order the item.
Part
02
of five
Part
02

Shipping Incentives & Return Policies - Canadian Appliance Source & RONA

Canadian Appliance Source and RONA have different shipping and return policies. RONA offers parcel free shipping, while Canadian Appliance Source charges a fee for all deliveries. RONA accepts returns before a 90-day period, while Canadian Appliance Source offers a 48-hour period for reporting damages.

RONA

Shipping Measures

  • Parcel shipping is free "with any purchase of $49 and over." The company identifies the products that can be shipped by parcel through Canada Post or Purolator.
  • A signature is required upon delivery for purchases over $250.
  • Delivery is restricted to the Yukon and the Northwest Territories of Canada.
  • Truck delivery costs $75 and it takes 4 to 10 days for customers to receive their products.
  • According to RONA's website, the company does not offer discounted shipping incentives in a particular location.

Return Measures

  • Returns are accepted 90 days following a purchase. The product needs to be returned in its original condition and packaging, along with the original order confirmation.
  • If the customer provides the original order confirmation, he/she gets fully "refunded by the original method of payment." In the event that the product is not returned with its original order confirmation or receipt and it is not in its original packaging, "the lowest system price will be refunded as a store credit/gift card."
  • Some return exceptions are products that have been altered in any way, special order products, items such as toilet seats for hygienic reasons, gift cards, gift certificates, store credits, and used power equipment. Also, some stores may refuse a return for products purchased at another RONA. "Damaged or defective products are subject to the legal or manufacturer’s warranty."

Canadian Appliance Source

Shipping Measures

  • Local delivery fees start at $79.95. Rates and service levels depend on the customer's location. Items normally ship within two to ten business days. The delivery day can be scheduled based on the client's location.
  • According to their website, the company does not offer incentives or restrict shipping to a minimum purchase or order value. However, it offers special delivery discounts for VIP members.
  • The company delivers to the following locations: Waterloo, Vaughan, Toronto, St. Catharines, Richmond Hill, Ottawa, Ontario, Oakville, North York, Niagara Falls, Montreal, Mississauga, Milton, Markham, London Ontario, Kitchener, Guelph, GTA, Georgetown, Etobicoke, Cambridge, Burlington, and Brampton. Its website does not mention any shipping incentive to a particular geography.

Return Measures

  • Purchased products should be inspected thoroughly at the moment of delivery and, in case the customer is not satisfied, he/she should call the store before signing the delivery receipt. "All damages must be reported within 48 hours of pickup or delivery."
  • If a product is refused by the customer on delivery due to damage, the store provides a "new unit as soon as possible." If it requires minor repairs, the company sends an authorized service technician to repair it.
  • All products have a minimum of one year manufacturer's warranty. Defects identified by customers are subject to the manufacturer’s warranty and are inspected by a factory technician prior to being authorized for return.
  • Authorized returns or exchanges must have original packaging and are subject to a 25% restocking fee and applicable delivery charges. After the return or exchange authorization, products must be returned to the store within 14 days. If the customer cannot return the item within this period, the original approval will be void and the request will need to be resubmitted for review.
  • Used or installed products, as well as floor models or open box products, are not accepted for return or exchange.
  • Québec residents are protected by the Consumer Protection Act, which gives them a warranty on all products purchased from the store "subject to normal use and care for a reasonable length of time."
  • All canceled orders "are subject to a 25% non-refundable deposit" even if the product has not yet been delivered or picked up.
  • As per the company's website, there is no mention of in-store credit or actual cash (real money) offering for accepted returns.
Part
03
of five
Part
03

Shipping Incentives & Return Policies - Trail Appliances & Structube

Trail Appliances offers "full service delivery[,]" doesn't specify any free or discounted shipping incentives based on order amount or geography, accepts returns on items "within 7 days of the delivery[,]" and doesn't allow used appliances to be returned. Structube offers "free shipping to any" one of its stores, does not refund delivery fees, accepts exchanges and returns "within 7 days of delivery or pick-up" (so long as the receipt is provided), and accepts items being returned, provided they are unused and "returned in . . . [the] original condition and packaging."

Trail Appliances

Shipping Policies

  • Trail Appliances does not specify whether it offers or restricts free or discounted shipping incentives to a minimum purchase or order value.
  • Trail Appliances does not specify whether it offers or restricts free or discounted shipping incentives to consumers in a particular geography. However, the company's delivery service does vary by day based on geography. In Kelowna and Victoria (both are cities in British Columbia, Canada), the company offers delivery Monday through Saturday. "[I]n the Lower Mainland [British Columbia, Canada]," the company offers delivery from Monday through Saturday and also offers "limited service on Sundays."
  • The company's "full service delivery" includes protective coverings for floors, new appliance placement, cardboard/packaging removal, old appliance removal ("Fees do apply. Some restrictions may apply; see store for details"), installation for particular appliances, ("Fees do apply. Some restrictions may apply; see store for details"), competitive rates, and "[c]oordination of any third-party delivery and/or installation as requested" ("Additional charges may apply; see store for details").

Return Policies

  • Trail Appliances accepts returns, subject to the limitations stated below.
  • The company allows returns "within 7 days of the delivery" subject to the limitations stated below.
  • Trail Appliances does not specify whether it offers in-store credit or cash for accepted returns.
  • Regarding the condition of items for returns, the company states that customers "can't return used appliances."
  • Trail Appliances does not accept returns of items that were special order, floor models, accessories/parts, items that have been previously installed, "'As Is' purchases," or open-box items. However, the disclaimer to that policy states: "These terms do not apply to returns that are related to service or repair issues. Any request for a return due to service and repair concerns must follow the manufacturers' warranty terms and conditions."
  • If the packaging of an item being returned is open, missing something, or altered, there is a restocking fee of 20% of the item's cost, but that amount is capped at $300. However, the disclaimer to that policy states: "These terms do not apply to returns that are related to service or repair issues. Any request for a return due to service and repair concerns must follow the manufacturers' warranty terms and conditions."

Structube

Shipping Policies

  • Structube does not specify whether it offers or restricts free or discounted shipping incentives to a minimum purchase or order value.
  • Structube offers "free shipping to any" one of its stores.
  • With regard to shipping incentives based on geography, the company states that "[o]rders being picked up in stores outside the provinces of Quebec and Ontario may take up to 14 business days to arrive at the store." For "[o]rders being picked up in stores" within Ontario or Quebec, it "may take up to 10 business days [for those orders] to arrive at the store."
  • The cost for shipping small items or accessories is based on the package weight and delivery address.
  • Structube delivers multiple-item orders or large items in-home for "a flat rate" which is determined by the delivery address.
  • Structube reserves the right to charge an extra delivery fee "for rescheduling or canceling the order within three (3) business days of the scheduled shipping date and/or while the merchandise is in transit."

Return Policies

  • Structube accepts returns "within 7 days of delivery or pick-up, upon presentation of the original receipt."
  • For accepted returns, Structube states that "[r]efunds will be processed based on the original method of payment." That statement can be reasonably interpreted to mean that the company issues cash and in-store credit for accepted returns if that is how the item was originally paid for.
  • In order to return an item, it must be unused and "be returned in its original condition and packaging."
  • The company states that "[t]he product warranty applies on merchandise leaving the Structube store in its original packaging."
  • Structube either refunds or cancels orders that customers don't "pick[] up within 14 days of becoming available for pick-up." However, the company states that "some exceptions may apply, see product pages for details."
  • With regard to mattresses, Structube states that "[c]ustomers are responsible for applicable delivery fees for the return or exchange of a mattress, unless the mattress has a manufacturing defect."
  • For unsanitary/dirty and/or poor-condition mattresses, no exchanges or returns are offered.
  • For mattresses that are in suitable condition, exchanges or returns "cannot be processed in-store."
  • For items delivered by FedEx Ground, they can "be returned or exchanged in-store."

Research Strategy

We found information about both companies' shipping and return policies on their websites. On each website, there was a page for both delivery and returns. We reviewed the entirety of each such policy and provided the applicable information. We only found one specific mention about either the shipping or return policies of major appliances (mattresses sold by Structube), which we noted in our research findings. All the other information we found pertained to the companies' general shipping and return policies, which we provided above.
Part
04
of five
Part
04

Shipping Incentives & Return Policies - IKEA & West Elm

Shipping incentive offers through IKEA are very rare. Past offers have included free shipping on orders totaling $250 and $350. IKEA accepts returns on items up to 365 days from purchase. West Elm offers periodic free shipping deals throughout the year and has specific items available with free shipping at all times. Most products are eligible for return up to 30 days from purchase. There is no evidence of either company offering shipping incentives for particular geographic locations within the United States or Canada. Below is an overview of the shipping policies, incentives and return policies for IKEA and West Elm.

IKEA-U.S. Shipping

  • IKEA shipping rates in the United States start at $9 for small items and $39 for large items. Shipping charges vary by weight for small items. Shipping/delivery charges for larger items vary depending on the distance from the closest IKEA retail store.
  • Large item delivery is arranged through a third-party delivery service. This service is not available in Hawaii or Alaska.
  • Expedited, same day, and next day delivery services are available for online orders starting at a rate of $64. The total fee for this service also varies by distance from the closet retail IKEA location.
  • Expedited delivery is available for select zip codes only. Availability of expedited delivery is determined by entering the desired zip code at online checkout.
  • Shipping incentives appear to be offered very rarely at IKEA. In October 2017, IKEA offered free shipping on orders over $250. In 2018, IKEA offered free shipping on orders over $350 for Cyber Monday.

IKEA-Canada Shipping

  • IKEA shipping rates in Canada vary based on delivery address, weight/volume, size and retail value of the items.
  • Small items are delivered through FedEx with fees starting at $7.99.
  • Large items are delivered through a third-party service directly from the IKEA Canada distribution center.

IKEA-Returns

  • IKEA allows returns within 365 days of purchase if not completely satisfied.
  • Full refunds are provided in the same method of the original payment with proof of payment for items that are in new or unused condition, with packaging if possible.
  • Exchanges or in-store credits may be given for items that have been assembled as long as the product is not dirty, stained, or damaged.
  • IKEA may reduce the refund value if the product value has been diminished by improper handling.

West Elm-Shipping

  • Online orders from West Elm are shipped via parcel delivery service such as UPS or USPS or truck delivery.
  • Rates for parcel delivery vary based on the order total. Within the contiguous 48 states, shipping rates start at $4.95 for orders up to $15 and increase as follows: $15.01-$25.00: $6.00; $25.01-$45.00: $8.00; $45.01-$65.00: $11.00; $65.01-$90.00: $14.00; $90.01-$125.00: $17.00; $125.01-$200.00: $21.00; $200.01 + over: 10% of the order total.
  • Rates for parcel delivery for Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories are the standard parcel delivery rate based on order total plus $10. Next day shipping is not available outside of the contiguous 48 states.
  • Truck delivery is based on a flat rate depending on a local (0-99 miles), regional (100-199 miles), or national (200+ miles) shipping zone and order total. Truck delivery is available in the contiguous 48 states only.
  • The flat rate shipping fees for truck delivery on orders under $999 are: Local-$149; Regional-$199; National-$299.
  • The flat rate shipping fees for truck delivery on orders over $999 are: Local-$249; Regional-$299; National-$399.
  • An additional delivery surcharge is added to heavy items and items with limited availability. This additional charge is noted on the product page.
  • West Elm offers free and reduced shipping incentives periodically throughout the year. The current offer is free shipping on orders over $79 using the shipping code FREESHIP. However, furniture, rugs, select lighting, select mirrors, select planters, LOCAL items, Sonos electronics, Robin mattresses, SMEG appliances and Stikwood Adhesive Paneling are excluded from the free shipping offer. The free shipping offer is noted on the product page of eligible items.
  • In addition to periodic free shipping incentives, West Elm offers free shipping for many items at all times. These products are typically lightweight items such as pillows and blankets, but will include heavier items such as mattresses and furniture on occasion.

West Elm-Returns

  • Eligible items can be returned to West Elm within 30 days of receiving the item or 7 days for Quick Ship upholstery items for a full refund of the product value.
  • Products can be returned to a local store, through UPS if under 70 pounds, and through arranged pickup for items over 70 pounds.
  • Items that are not eligible for return or exchange include monogrammed products, mattresses, gift cards, made-to-order products, final sale items, and products damaged by normal wear and tear.
  • Returns with an original receipt are refunded in the form of tender paid. Refunds over $100 paid by cash or check will be refunded by a company check. Returns with a gift receipt will be refunded in the form of a merchandise credit. Delivery fees are non-refundable.
  • Gifts purchased from a West Elm Wedding Registry are eligible for return within 90 days of the wedding event.

Part
05
of five
Part
05

Shipping Incentives & Return Policies - Article & Casper

Article shipping costs a minimum of $49, and free basic shipping applies to orders worth $999 and above. Casper offers free shipping to most parts of the United States and Canada. Both companies accept returns and offer actual cash refunds.

Article

  • Article is a furniture retail company. Therefore, its shipping and return policies are all relative to furniture purchases.

Shipping Policy

  • Article offers basic shipping for $49, in which orders are delivered to the entrance of a customer's building.
  • In-room shipping costs $99 and involves the delivery of a customer's order to any room of their choice. In-room assembly shipping which involves the complete assembly of a customer's order in any room costs $169. These shipping rates apply to the 48 contiguous United States and most parts of Canada.
  • Shipping to Hawaii and Alaska costs $350.
  • Areas of Canada with less population such as the "Yukon, the Northwest, and Nunavut territories, and areas outside of major cities and suburbs" incur additional shipping fees.
  • Free basic shipping starts on orders worth $999 or more.

Return Policy

  • Article accepts returns from customers; returns must be made within 30 days after delivery of the order.
  • Article issues actual cash refunds for accepted returns, deducting the initial and return shipping costs.
  • Customers are to ensure that returned products are like new, and the original packaging should be used. Customers who are no longer in possession of the original packaging will pay an additional repackaging fee of $50 for each item.
  • All returns incur a shipping fee of $49.

Casper

  • Casper is a company that retails sleep products. Therefore, its shipping and return policies are all relative to mattresses and related furniture purchases.

Shipping Policy

  • Casper offers free shipping on all orders within the 48 contiguous United States and most parts of Canada.
  • Deliveries to Alaska, Hawaii, and Northern Canade, including the Yukon, Northwest, and Nunavut territories, incur shipping fees.

Return Policy

  • Casper accepts returns from customers. The maximum duration within which a return can be accepted depends on the kind of product. Casper issues actual cash refunds for accepted returns.
  • Mattresses, pillows, and bedding can be returned after a trial period of 100 nights, while glow lights, furniture, and dog beds can be returned after a trial period of 30 nights.
  • All non-Casper branded products can be returned within 30 days, and they must be unopened.
  • Customers are to ensure that returned products are in donatable condition (without tears, stains, odors, or soiling).
  • Any product designated as “Final Sale” can not be returned, except where a defect is detected.
  • Casper offers free shipping on all returns within the United States and Canada.
  • Casper is responsible for picking up mattresses and furniture returns from the customer's home. For other products, customers can use any sturdy box for returns, which they can drop off at any convenient UPS location.
  • Customers can only return up to two of each specific product for each initial order. If a customer has returned a specific product from a previous order, they will not qualifyfor more trial periods after subsequent purchases of that product.




Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Delivery outside a major metropolitan area will include extra charges, but for purchases of $399 or more, there will be a $69.99 discount on those extra charges."
Quotes
  • "If you want to return or exchange your purchase, please know that the time period begins the day you receive your product and applies to new, clearance, open-box, refurbished and pre-owned products."
Quotes
  • "Curbside Delivery: Curbside delivery provides drop off of the unopened box at the curb. A signature is required. Threshold Delivery: Threshold delivery of the unopened box is made just inside your front door, your garage, or at the first dry area. White Glove Delivery: White Glove Delivery provides placement, set-up and removal of packaging materials."
Quotes
  • "In addition, we extend the manufacturer's warranty on Major Appliances to two years and our Costco Concierge Services provides free warranty assistance on these items."
Quotes
  • "Products purchased at a Costco location need to be returned at the returns counter at any Costco warehouse."
Quotes
  • "With few exceptions, Costco has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Simply bring the product to any Costco warehouse and our Member Services Team will be happy to assist you."
Quotes
  • "If your item was delivered by a freight carrier, it will be picked up the same way it was delivered (Curbside, Threshold, or White Glove)."
Quotes
  • "Each item sold on Costco.ca has its own shipping methods and delivery terms. The information specific to each product can be located on the product page on Costco.ca under “Shipping & Returns.”"
Quotes
  • "For an immediate refund, simply return your purchase to any Costco warehouse location. "
Quotes
  • "The manufacturer's warranty on major appliances is two years and FREE technical support is available to Costco members from Costco Concierge Services."
Quotes
  • "... the pickup and refund process may take up to 3 to 4 weeks to complete. An email confirmation will be sent once your refund has been issued. "