Are There Federal Laws Regarding Customer Returns and Refunds?


Quick Answer

Under federal law, retailers are only required to accept returns if the product sold is defective, or if the retailer broke the sales contract in another way. Additionally, the federal "Cooling-Off" rule stipulates that customers can cancel a sale and request a refund up to three days after purchase.

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Full Answer

The "Cooling-Off" rule only applies to sales made in the customer's home, workplace or dormitory. The rule also applies to sales made at temporary seller locations, such as conventions, fairs and presentations. The sale amount for home sales must be greater than $25 to qualify, while sales at temporary locations must be greater than $130 to qualify. In addition to federal laws, many states have their own laws regarding customer returns and refunds.

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