How to Write a Return Letter for an Unopened Product

Including a letter with your product return can speed up the return process.
Including a letter with your product return can speed up the return process. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Returning an unopened product to a company is not always a straightforward process. Return policies vary, sometimes making it difficult to return an item that arrived in good condition. Often there can be a delay in processing your return if the company does not receive the appropriate details about your order. For the best chance of having your return processed in a timely manner, it is necessary to include a letter that outlines pertinent information regarding your return.

Clearly include your full name and contact details at the top right-hand corner of your letter. It is important that the company be able to quickly identify this information in order to assist in processing your return. Likewise, include the company's contact information in the left-hand corner of your letter, directly below your own contact details. Often, your letter may need to be passed on to another department and it will be helpful for a company employee who receives your letter to see where it has already been.

Provide all relevant order information, including your method of payment. You should include any order details that the company provided to you with your order confirmation. This can include an order number, an individual item number and the name and description of the purchased item.

Explain the reason for return. Some companies will not accept returns, even for unopened items, without a valid reason. You should clearly state why you are returning the item to the company, pointing out that the product remains unopened. If the item arrived damaged, describe the condition in which the product arrived. If you received the wrong order, be sure to give a name and description of the item the company should have sent.

Request a refund, exchange or replacement product. Clearly state your desired outcome with your return, keeping in mind that a refund or exchange is not always possible when the reason for return is not due to a company mistake. Often, a company will only replace damaged items rather than provide a refund. If you feel you have a clear case for a refund or item exchange, be sure to include the reasons why you feel you are entitled to this.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your letter as brief as possible. You should only include details that are relevant to your order in order to simplify the return process. If the company has made a mistake, you can politely point this out, but do not use the mistake as an excuse to make negative remarks about the company.
  • When providing payment information, protect yourself from identity theft by never including your full credit card details. Instead, provide the last four digits of your credit card number along with the expiration date. The company will be able to pull your details in their system with this information.

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