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Guide - How To Return Your Unwanted Bathroom & Kitchen Purchases Safely

Returning My Unwanted Bathroom & Kitchen Purchases... What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

Returning your unwanted purchases to the online retailer where you purchased your items occur far more often now with retailers generously extended their returns periods allowing consumers more time to think about their purchases at home or work. Majority of online retailers have a dedicated returns page clearly advertising their returns procedures and information surrounding it, if the website does not have a dedicated returns page, check their terms and conditions page. It is always good practice to read the returns policy before you purchase anything from the retailer to ensure you are happy with the terms of their returns policy as this will save you from any misunderstanding later down the line.

Request To Return In Writing...

After you received your purchase, you as a customer have a cooling off period where you can decide in the comfort of your own home or work, whether to keep your purchase or not, if for any reason, you decide your purchases are unsuitable, ideally, you should request to return in writing preferably contact the supplier by email or message. this will give you a electronic proof of confirmation for request to return.

Most retailer once you file to return your unwanted purchase will issue you with a unique returns reference number and instructions to help you return your items. Retailers can not demand the consumer to return their unwanted purchases in a particular way but it is always good practice to follow their instructions.


Packing your return is the most important part of the returns process, so make sure you pack it well! Just because the retailer has agreed to accept your unwanted purchase, that does not guarantee the retailer will process your return if you don't take appropriate steps to ensure the safe return of your goods.

Never deface the original retail packaging by writing addresses and returns number directly on to the retail packaging box. The retailer will not be able to sell the item again, meaning if you printed "Returns Department" with their returns address directly on the retail box, it's deemed not in original condition or you may be charged a re-box fee!

Make sure the product you are returning are securely packaged for the journey to the retailer, it is your responsibility to ensure the safe arrival of your return, ensuring the corners are well protected, add to the original packaging and ensure the contents will not be damaged in transit back to the retailer. Most parcels are double boxed so ensure you follow similar to ensure the retail box is not damaged.

Print Your Returns Number On The Parcel

Why follow the instructions provided by the retailer? The retailer usually have their own unique returns process in place to process returns efficiently and quickly so you the customer receive your refund, credit on account or exchange promptly. The retailer knows once you hand your parcel to the courier or similar, you will be contacting the retailer to find out the parcel has been returned and when is the likelihood of a refund, credit note or exchange.

Why should I always clearly mark my returns reference number on the parcel? Majority of the online retailers have their own bespoke operating system with returns process built within the system, with your unique returns reference number at hand, your returns reason will be quickly accessed, meaning the assistant processing your return will be happy to process it. By not clearly marking your reference number or including any documentation will simply delay the process. We need to remind our self, we are not the only customer they have.


Choose Your Courier Wisely...

Choosing the courier to return your item seems pretty straight forward now days with online parcel delivery comparison sites allow you to compare various delivery services and price and the added convenience of dropping off your parcels in your own time at one of thousands of drop off points throughout the UK, appointing a courier has never been easier, but choose your courier wisely...

We are often drawn towards the cheapest price rather than service and often settle for the cheapest or one of the cheapest services but as with the saying, you pay for what you get, goes a long way... For example, if the original delivery cost to have your purchase delivered to your home or place of work was £30.00, don't expect to pay £5.00 to return it back to your retailer!

All retailers know the pitfalls of couriers, and how they treat your parcels so retailers will only use couriers who they believe can deliver your parcel efficiently. for best choice of couriers, always seek the retailers recommendation. 

Are Damage In Transit Insured?

Before you commit to a courier, find out if the content of your parcel is covered by means of damage in transit! If you are returning for example a "ceramic kitchen sink", ensure they cover ceramic sink for damage in transit and it's fully insured. If the courier you appoint insure the full value, it usually means the courier company are confident that they will treat your parcel with respect and deliver the item safely. If the courier does not cover damage in transit, it simply simply advertising the fact that the courier company are not confident the parcel will arrive safely.

It is always good practise to take a picture of your parcel before you hand it over to your courier, if for any reason the parcel arrives back to the retailer damaged, you can ask the retailer for mages, where you will be able to compare the condition and file a claim against the courier for damage in transit.

During your research to ensure your goods are insured against damage in transit, also ensure that the recipient has to sign for acceptance of delivery, this will give you proof the goods have been returned back to the retailer.

Will Your Parcel Survive It's Journey?

There are over 17,000 couriers operating in the UK, with majority of the couriers treating your parcels with care, but with over 250,000 people working within the courier industry, its hard to ensure that everyone handles your parcel with care. The video below shows how your parcel may be handles during it's journey back to your retailer... This is one of thousands of videos available on YouTube which demonstrates how parcels may be treated...

Have You Ever Received A Damaged Parcel?

Have you ever received a parcel which has been damaged in transit and you thought the retailer sent it damaged? Well chances are that the retailer dispatched it to you in pristine condition but the parcel suffered damage in transit... But if the parcel is sent by the retailer, it is the retailer's responsibility to dispatch a replacement at their expense, or offer a refund but if your returning a parcel back to the retailer, the risk is all on you the customer!

If you are returning a small non fragile item such as a tap, shower or bathroom accessories, chances are that using a standard overnight courier such as Yodel, DPD, Parcel Force or similar will be adequate. But if you are returning a Fragile item, such as ceramic, granite kitchen sink, shower enclosures, trays, bathroom pottery, furniture or anything fragile, you should seek advise from the retailer to ensure your goods will arrive in condition you will receive your refund or exchange. .



Returning a unwanted product to the retailer is pretty straightforward as long as you do your homework to ensure the safe arrival of your unwanted purchase arrives safe at your retailer. Ensure you follow the 5 simple steps when considering to return your purchase.

  1. Request to return your item in writing so the retailer has your request in writing
  2. Make sure you pack it well, use extra protection because damaged returns will not be refunded or exchanged!
  3. Print your return reference number on the box so the retailer can process your return promptly
  4. Choose your courier wisely and ensure you have chosen a suitable courier to deliver your return
  5. Make sure your goods are insured for damage in transit and on delivery, a signature for proof of acceptance

Once your item arrives safely back to your retailer, they will usually process your returns within 7 days or a period advertised by the retailer in their returns policy.