Here at our nondescript online retailer, we know you’ll have to return some of the items you buy, and you know we’ll do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen. Here’s a helpful guide to drop the charade, look each other in our cold eyes, and understand what we really mean with our return policy.

“Use our online return portal to easily set up a return or exchange.”

Welcome to the labyrinth. Spend ten minutes registering an account with our non-responsive returns partner, ShipprUppr. We hope you brought the 12-digit confirmation code we never sent you. If you don’t have that—you don’t, we promise—simply tell us your name, address, mother’s name, first pet’s mother’s name (maiden and legal), and 750 words on post-Keynesian economics as they apply to the Credit Theory of Banking.

Once you’ve provided every ounce of extraneous personal information and some well-reasoned thoughts on macroeconomics, we’ll provide your return label. Maybe.

“Print out a prepaid shipping label to send back your items.”

We’re aware there’s no logical reason for a partly-employed 24-year-old to have a printer. That’s why we’ve come up with a different, much worse, solution.

Head to your local coffee shop, the one with the barista who makes you sweat. Try to connect to WiFi (the network name is all symbols, the password they’ll never tell).

Wait for the loudest printer in human history to screech on while a horde of caffeine-deprived customers ask if you’re in line. Constantly shake your head, mutter “no” like an ashamed lil’ lad, and eventually walk out with the knowledge you’ll have to move out of the city.

“You can return any items purchased in the last 30 days.”

As a company founded on traditional values, we believe the 30-day period begins at conception. Specifically, your conception.

“Return a gift without notifying the purchaser of your decision.”

You bet we’ll notify Aunt Sheila about your absolute disregard for her thoughtful gift. We’ll even show up at her doorstep and let her know how ungrateful you were for the “Birds of the World” calendar. Didn’t provide us that feedback? No worries, we’ll make it up!

You hated her gift, you despised seeing her at Christmas, and frankly, birds are yesterday’s business. There, you said it. Well, we said it. But we’re in this together, so you said it. Just ask Aunt Sheila.

“Send back an in-store purchase via online return.”

Hope you like to fight. Crack your knuckles and step into the ring. It’s time to brawl with Allen, the cashier at our Baltimore outlet who isn’t pleased you’re returning your sweatshirt. Allen loved that sweatshirt for you. Now you need to knock him out in five rounds or that sweatshirt will remain where God, and Allen, intended it to: on your very bruised chest.

“We accept returns of items that have been lightly worn.”

We wouldn’t accept a life raft from you if we were drowning in a creek.

“Choose to receive your refund to your method of payment or via store credit.”

If you choose your method of payment, you choose wrong! Not happening, buster. We’re putting your entire $300 purchase back on an eGift Card to a retailer in Finland that sells car parts and steak knives.

“Enjoy your future purchases with us.”

Go pound sand.


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