We here at The Uncommon Dog know that sometimes things you buy online don’t work out exactly the way you thought they would. The color might be different than you were expecting (some screens show colors differently), the size may be too big or too small once you see it, or maybe you just don’t like what you got.
We’ve tried to create a return policy for our Dog Products that is as “customer friendly” as possible. At the same time, we have to follow certain regulations and manufacturer restrictions. We want to be totally transparent and upfront with you about what those things are.
Here is the truth: With very few exceptions, online retailers of dog products will either not accept returns under any circumstance or their return policies are very limited. Return policies are restrictive industry-wide because once your dog has had contact (leaving hair, odor, or other dog “breadcrumbs”), the item cannot be resold. Everything we sell is guaranteed to be new – and we want to keep it that way.
Here’s what you need to know, both before you buy something from us and then once you decide you want to return something to us.
Before You Order – Shop Smart!
First, let’s cover some basics to help avoid the whole Returns issue to begin with (if possible).
Measure Your Dog and Space
The #1 reason for returns is that customers purchase the wrong size. The absolute best way to ensure that you (and your dog) are completely satisfied with the items you purchase is, before you order, take the time to measure your dog and to measure the space where you intend to put the item. Then follow the guidelines for all products that have a Sizing Guide on the product page. If you have any questions about what is the best size or style for your dog, please contact us and we will help you figure it out.
Make sure your shipping address is correct on your order. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but a quick double-check could save you money (redirecting shipments or re-shipping if something is undeliverable is not cheap). If you live in an apartment, regardless of whether it's a gated community or has a doorman, you must include a unit number. FedEx/UPS is not responsible for mis-deliveries to addresses that are wrong or to apartments that do not have unit numbers specified in the shipping address (and they will charge you!).
We do our very best to get your order processed in the fastest amount of time possible. Periodically we will get an order in the morning, process it quickly, and it ships in the afternoon. If you need to cancel your order, please contact us ASAP. We may or may not be able to cancel the order before it gets shipped – we will do our very best. If your order is shipped before we can get it canceled for you, you may be charged the shipping fees. We guarantee that we will do our absolute best to cancel your order before it’s shipped, but we simply can’t promise.
Returns and Your Refund
If you do these things and still need to return something, that’s totally fine. Here are some things for you to know. It’s a lot of words to read, but it gives you everything you need!
60 Day Returns Policy
We have a 60 day returns policy. If you bought something from us, we will accept it back within 60 days of the delivery date (given the other stuff below).
We don’t really do exchanges. But if you want to return something for a different size, for example, return what you got using the steps below, and then order the replacement. It’s a cleaner process than exchanging it. In most cases, manufacturers will waive their restocking fees if another order is placed for one of their products.
To get the return process started, fill out our Return Form. You HAVE to do this to start the process, because we HAVE to get a Return Authorization Number for you from the manufacturer. Please do not mail your return without a Return Authorization Number! Manufacturers receive returns without RA numbers on a regular basis and have no idea who they belong to. They get lost. You most likely will NOT receive credit for having returned the item and most likely you won’t get a refund if you return an item without an RA#. It’s just that simple.
We can ONLY take an item back if it is in brand new, never used, never washed, never installed, never assembled condition, and your dog (or any other pet) has never had any contact with it – EVER. All of the original packaging must be in the box when the manufacturer receives it. As much as we’d like to take back any item for any reason, the simple fact is – manufacturers will not accept any returned item that has pet hair, pet odor, has been assembled or installed (or attempted assembled or installed), or in any way looks or smells like a pet has been in contact with it. (If you set it down on carpet that has pet hair, use a lint brush on it before you box it back up – they are really that picky).
Please allow 5-7 business days for us to process your return after you fill out the Return Form. We have to get a Return Authorization Number from the manufacturer, so it can take a few days to get you the information you need for the return. We’ll send you the Return Authorization Number and instructions for how to return the item. You then have 14 days to get it in the mail. If you mail it on day 15 or after, the manufacturer may not honor it, and then we won’t be able to give you a refund.
Some of our manufacturers/suppliers charge restocking fees of up to 30% of the purchase price for merchandise that is returned for reasons other than manufacturing defect or shipping error. You can find the Restocking fees for each product in the "Specifications" tab on the product page.
For all returns, the cost of both outbound shipping and restocking fees will be deducted from the original price you paid for the item. Refunds will be credited to the payment method used for purchase.
For example, let’s say you purchase a dog door (or any other item) for $105.00. The purchase price includes free shipping, and the manufacturer charges a restocking fee of 20% for all returns. When you receive the door, you realize that you purchased the wrong size. You want to return it for a refund. If you have attempted to install the door, we cannot accept the door for return, nor can we issue a refund. If you realize the sizing error without your dog having any contact with it or without attempting to install it, you may return the door. This is the refund calculation for this example:
Purchase price: $105.00
Less Restocking Fee (20%): $21.00
Less Outbound shipping/handling: $25.00
Total Refund: $59.00.
Best Returns Policy Guarantee
We have scoured the internet for the best returns policies for dog products. Ours may not be THE BEST, but it’s darn close. If you can find a returns policy better than ours, we’ll match it.
Now, let me explain that a bit more. Here are the rules: (1) The retailer needs to be exclusively an Online Retailer (for example, PetSmart doesn’t count because they have physical stores). (2) The return policy must apply to the specific category of your item (examples: dog beds, dog gates, dog carriers, etc). (3) The guarantee does not apply to Branded Products (meaning, if the company makes their own products with their brand name on it, those are excluded). (4) Their policy must be clearly stated and it must be clearly obvious how their policy is better than ours (for example, “We offer free outbound and return shipping on returns for all dog beds”).
You must send us a link to the online retailer’s return policy itself (not to their home page where we have to go digging around for the return policy). We do need to read it for ourselves. If you find a returns policy that meets all (4) requirements above, we’ll match it. No questions asked.
For all returns (except those described in the section below), you are responsible for return shipping. In some cases (large or heavy items), we can get a better shipping rate than you can. In those cases, we can send you a return label and deduct the amount from your refund.
Defects, Damaged Goods, and Shipping Errors
We do our very best to get your order to you on time and in brand new condition. Unfortunately, there are occasionally manufacturing defects, damage during shipping, and shipping delays that we don't have control over. Of course, if there is a manufacturer defect or the item was damaged in shipping, the manufacturer will replace the item at no cost to you, and they will get the replacement out to you as soon as possible. If you would like a refund instead, that’s fine.We’ll need to deduct the shipping and restocking fees from your refund.
Receiving Your Order
In an ideal world, you would meet the UPS/Fedex driver at the door and have him wait while you inspect your package. But really? How often does that happen? In the real world, UPS/Fedex drops off the package at your door and you pick it up later. In any situation, it is so very important that you inspect the package as soon as you pick it up and take possession of it.
- If there is any damage to your order, please contact us right away so we can file a claim with the shipping company.
- If you are present at the time of delivery, ask the freight carrier for a copy of the delivery receipt. Then record the shipping company's name and truck number so we may track the order back to our vendor or warehouse.
- It is your responsibility to check that all items are correct and undamaged and all pieces accounted for. If the product is damaged in shipping, you may choose to refuse the delivery. If you choose to refuse the delivery, you must note the damages on the delivery receipt. If you accept the delivery, contact us within 2 business days and we can work with the manufacturer to have a new one shipped to you.
If only part of an item is damaged, you may accept the order, note the damages, and contact us within 2 business days of receiving your order. We will work with the manufacturer/supplier to send you the replacement parts.
If you have a warranty issue (manufacturing defect) within the 60 day window, please fill out our Return Form and let us know the problem. We will work with you and the manufacturer to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The supplier will send you a replacement right away at no cost to you or, if you'd prefer a refund, you will be responsible for shipping charges.
Whew! That was a lot of information. Thanks for hanging in there and reading all of it.
Thanks for shopping with us here at The Uncommon Dog!