Swimsuit season, trust us, is not all about joy.
Buying suits that don’t fit/are defective and returning them can easily take away your summer fun. The nagging processes we all have to go through to get our money back are full of hassles, back-and-forths, and sometimes mishaps.
Online returning is never as easy as ordering, and some brands will even try to scare you off with misleading policies. The industry is way more chaotic than expected.
But there are still things we can do to make the returning experience less horrible.
Can you legally return swimsuits bought from any online store?
Short Answer: For people in the United States, mostly yes, but it highly depends on a store’s return/refund policy. For people in the EU, definitely yes.
In the US, federal law offers a 3-day Cooling-Off period for you to cancel any $25-and-up purchases for refunds, yet it’s basically useless because the Rule does not “cover sales that are made entirely online, by mail, or telephone”. And most state laws do not say you have the right to cancel for a refund, and only require retailers to clearly disclose their policies to buyers before a purchase can be made.
But most online businesses in the US will accept returns under their self-defined terms.
If you are in the EU, it’s your legal right to cancel/return an order within 14 days (no questions asked), and it applies to online purchases too.
8 things to know before returning a swimsuit
1. Every brand has a different return policy
Don’t be fooled by the litany of it, all return policies may look similar to you, but brands have different terms on how they will accept swimsuit returns and what procedures you need to take to send back.
Brands that sell other apparel are usually more rigorous toward swimsuit returns.
2. Some brands do not accept returns for sale items
This is one of the ugliest tricks many brands play. Here’s the logic behind it: You already got a huge discount, you have taken the advantage, and it’s not their fault that you didn’t pay attention. So the joke is on you.
3. They want you to have the original packaging
It’s sometimes a “requirement” for you to be “eligible” for a return, you’ll have to keep the mailboxes and the plastic bags that the swimsuits came with.
They will use this to stop you.
4. What “unused” actually means
When brands say the item must be unused or unworn, they expect the swimsuit to be only tried on, the price tags uncut, and the hygienic liner in the bikini bottom still attached.
5. You may need to pay for returning shipping
Most swimsuit brands do not cover returns caused by sizing issues. But the good thing is that an average bikini weighs between 0.4~0.9lbs, and it only costs a few bucks if you choose to ship it back through your local post office.
6. They may lure you with store credit
No swimsuit retailer loves returns, they will do everything they can to keep you there, they may offer to issue your refund or send compensation in the form of store credits, which you can only use for future purchases.
7. Refund can take a long time
Shipping suits back to them takes ~3 days, but for unknown reasons some brands like to hold your refund and claim that they need time to verify your returns, so expect days or even weeks before they’ll actually process it for you.
8. Restocking fees are real
Yep. Certain stores are so imaginative about doing swimsuit businesses and even decide to take a small amount (5% or higher) from your refund for their labor of double-checking your returns and putting them back into the inventory.
Whether you consider this reasonable or not, it’s a lose-lose for you.
How to return swimsuits to any online store & do it quickly
Done it many times? Use some of the tricks to speed up the return process.
First time returning suits? Follow the below steps and you are guaranteed to have smooth returns with 99% of swimsuit stores online.
Step 1. Read their return policies & instructions first
Go to the website where the purchase was made and skim their return policies to find the information about:
- Their return window for bathing suits
- Whether they accept returns for sale swimsuits
- Whether you need to contact their customer service for return approval
Step 2. Contact their customer service
Although not all swimsuit brands require you to contact them about returns, you should still reach out (email/call/live chat) to them with:
- Your order information.
- What item(s) you will be returning.
- Why you are returning.
- When you will be sending the order back.
This will give them a heads-up about the situation and get them prepared for your returns.
Step 3. Sending your swimsuit back
It’s easy to just ship things back, but if you want your returns to be processed ASAP, remember to:
- Use the original packaging.
- Put a slip with your order and contact info inside the package.
- Take a picture of the package.
- Get the receipt from the Post Office/FedEx/etc.
- Take a picture of the receipt.
If returning shipping is covered, you should send it back with the options they offer.
Otherwise use the cheapest shipping service near you.
Step 4. Notify them about the returns
This is something extremely important yet most of us forget to do:
Let them know that you’ve done your part, and email them with all the above information along with proofs.
Give them an ETA of the returned package, tell them that you are more than happy to order from them again (even if you don’t), and kindly ask them to process the refund as early as possible because you are in urgent need to use that money for something else.
What to do when your return request gets turned down
Guess what it takes to find out how any online business actually treats its customers? Just one unhappy purchase.
Brands can come up with many reasons to reject your returns, and with swimwear, they are even more cautious with what they will take back. In fact, certain policies are made deliberately to prevent you from returning things.
So when you think the swimsuit store you are shopping from is trying to trick you with their scammy policies, it’s time to stop being nice and take action.
Report Them to Better Business Bureau
Go to BBB’s website to submit a complaint against them. BBB will contact them and require a response within 14 days.
If they don’t reply within 2 weeks there will be a permanent unanswered complaint on their BBB profile page.
Review Them through Trustpilot
Leave a brand review through Trustpilot, where they can not control what you say (if it’s on their own websites they can easily hide or delete your reviews), so others can learn about their return process and decide whether they are worth buying from.
Keep in mind that if you give them a one-star rating, Trustpilot may ask you for verification.
Share Your Experience on Social Media
First, write what you’ve been through in a sum-up and share it to Twitter/Facebook/Reddit/etc., use hashtags and mention their social accounts in your post.
Then, go to their official Twitter/Facebook page, and comment on their latest tweets/posts with your return experience. (don’t forget to attach screenshots/photos)
By doing so, you will put pressure on their marketing team and inform their followers about how shady they are with returns.
If you are lucky enough they will forward your message to their customer care team, and your return may be reconsidered.
File a Dispute/Chargeback
You’ve tried everything, and they are still ignoring/rejecting your return requests.
You’ve decided to never buy their swimsuits again.
It’s time to fight back.
Log in to your account and find the transaction you made for the order, open a dispute about how they wouldn’t let you send your order back for a refund. And get ready for long conversations, if the seller still won’t let you return for a refund, escalate the dispute to a claim. (you can open a dispute within 180 days since purchase, and a dispute can take up to 30~ days)
For Credit Cards:
Just contact your bank and tell them you want to file a chargeback against a recent purchase, because you want to return your order for a refund and they wouldn’t let you.