What do you do about refunds/returns? Paypal fees

Here’s a question for you friends…
This question is purely about taking returns…but my example happens to be on another site. Obviously, on DPW we have control over returns but my experience was on ebay.

In the years I’ve been painting/selling, I’ve only had 2 returns. One was ‘too dark’ for the room, and was resold same week to next person who was delighted with it. And the other was a ‘cancelled’ order on ebay. Although I could choose not to cancel, ebay makes you make a refund for anything the buyer makes up anyway, so I decided to cancel transaction but ended up paying fees to paypal for these.

It’s hard to sell art online! Every PC monitor/phone a bit different, people don’t really know what they want till they see in person… I notice that most folks on DPW do take returns. On DPW I do allow returns but have never had anyone do that. I think some buyers are accustomed to big companies giving free shipping and refunds that most of us cannot afford to do. They get things shipped and return some, all free of charge most of the time.

If you are paid thru paypal and make a refund, you as the seller get charged fees by paypal even if you have the buyer pay for shipping. My fee was about $25 to paypal for the refund and to cancel was only a few dollars…but still…

What do you do about refunds/returns?

I didn’t offer returns/refunds for the longest time, but a few months ago I changed that.

Then out of the blue someone wanted a return/refund, and I was out the original cost of shipping, plus the money I was about to use to pay my cell bill, and I couldn’t help but kinda hate the person. So I changed it back to “All sales final, no returns”, and I’m happy again.

I currently do not offer refunds (I sell on Etsy/Ebay) and I make sure to include a phrase which states that actual colors may differ from the image(s) seen on the screen on all my listings.
I agree with your statement that is hard to sell art online.

Too funny @dkuhn_art! Why did you refund the shipping too? I do ask buyers to pay all shipping, first time and if returned. I have heard accepting refunds is better for sales.

@JLAun ebay does make you accept refunds and all the buyer has to say is 'didn’t match the description" and they are covered. And even if their monitor was the culprit, won’t matter.

B/c I offer free shipping, so the cost of sending it out is a cost I eat.

I started doing that because people would often buy more than one at a time and, for example, would get charged by the system three times for shipping if they bought three paintings. Then I’d have to go into PayPal and send the difference back to them, plus an e-mail explaining it, plus PayPal still counted it as revenue which confused me at tax time.

So I said f— it. Free shipping for everyone!

Shipping is very expensive. Do you add it into your price?

To paraphrase something I read, if you are in the business of making people happy, you will never lack for customers. If one shifts from being in the business of “selling art” to the business of “making people happy through art,” then it follows that returns are allowed because it is important to you that they are happy.

Of all the people on your mailing list, a person who has purchased from you previously is more likely to buy than someone who has never purchased at all. I think that is true even of the person who returns a painting!

I’m in the business of making me happy. That’s a tall enough order as it is…


Thanks, David, for your reply. I don’t know for certain that accepting returns will make sellers more successful, so I won’t argue that. :^) What I can say for certain is that one CAN make a living as an artist. I believe a positive attitude / abundant mindset is what has made it possible. If anyone would like to know more, I suggest the book, “Dynamic Laws of Prosperity” by Catherine Ponder.

@Trisha_Adams Hey, I just noticed your DPW gallery is gone (always been a fan of your work). First Anne Wood, now you. My favorites keep closing up shop…

Hi David,
I like to paint big whereas DPW works best with small frequent paintings. The pull to paint a small painting “to feed the front page beast” took away from working on the larger paintings, so I stopped DPW. But I enjoy visiting the forums and reading the comments.
Even though I am not posting paintings here, you can still see my latest work whenever I upload to my website by entering your email here –
Or liking on Facebook –