10 Things Online Retailers Won't Tell You at SmartMoney.com: "4. 'You can return anything...for a price.'
As convenient as online shopping is for consumers, you can't exactly try out or try on what you're buying. Which means a lot of returns — a fact many e-tailers seem to ignore. Sending back opened electronics, for example, can often mean paying additional shipping and restocking fees, which can run anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of the purchase price— no small amount if we're talking about a $4,000 flat-screen TV. Repeat returners can even get banned in some cases — Amazon will cancel your account if it sees what it considers an excessive amount of returns for your account. (The company says the decision to close customer accounts is never taken lightly and can be appealed.)
Happily, some e-tailers offer easy, postage-paid returns. For instance, you can buy three pairs of the same shoe in various sizes from Zappos.com and send back the two that don't fit free of charge. But despite their popularity with consumers, a survey by Forrester Research suggests that postage-paid returns aren't being embraced by retailers across the board; only 31 percent of those surveyed currently offer it. 'There's a fear it could be really expensive,' says Mulpuru."