My Tips and Experiences with the Return Process

As someone who frequently shops at Oriental Trading Company for party supplies, craft materials, and fun gifts, I’ve had to navigate the return and exchange process a few times. Oriental Trading has a fairly standard return policy, but there are some intricacies worth understanding before you shop. In this blog post, I’ll share my experiences and tips for returns, exchanges, refunds, and warranties when shopping at Oriental Trading Company, online and in stores.

The Oriental Trading Company return policy states that most non-personalized merchandise can be returned within 90 days of purchase. As long as you have your receipt or order confirmation, you can get a full refund in your original form of payment. This return window gives you plenty of time to make sure an item is suitable, or to exchange it if needed.

Oriental Trading also specifies that they do not accept returns on personalized products or special orders. This is understandable, since custom products are made specifically for each order. However, if your personalized item arrives defective or damaged, Oriental Trading will work with you on a case by case basis to make it right.

There are also some additional exclusions to the return policy to be aware of. Gift cards, services, event tickets, and experiences cannot be returned. Perishable goods like live plants have a shorter 30 day return window. Clearance merchandise is final sale and cannot be returned.

The Return Process for Online Orders

When initiating an online return, the first step is to contact Oriental Trading Company Customer Service. You can reach them by phone, email, or live online chat and provide your order number and details about the return. They will give you a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number to write on your return package.

For online returns, you have two options. You can return by mail using the free return shipping label Oriental Trading provides, or bring the package to any UPS location for faster processing. Make sure to pack the items securely with the RMA number visible. Once Oriental Trading receives your return, expect refund processing to take 7-10 business days.

I once made a large online order for birthday party supplies that had some defective items. Oriental Trading emailed me a pre-paid shipping label within 2 days of my request, and I dropped the box at a nearby UPS store. The return tracking updated quickly online, and my refund showed up in about a week. The free label and fast turnaround made it a smooth process!

Returning In-Store Purchases

If you live near one of Oriental Trading’s retail stores, returns are also accepted in person. Make sure to bring your receipt and any original packaging. The store associate can initiate the return and provide your refund.

On one occasion, I shopped at the Oriental Trading store near me and later realized I had purchased the wrong colored tablecloths. I was able to easily return them to my local store with the receipt and get the correct color. For in-person returns under $75, I received a store credit. For larger amounts, they will refund your original payment method.

Exchanging Items

Oriental Trading does allow direct item exchanges without having to ship products back. To do an even exchange by mail, you’ll contact Customer Service for an RMA number just like a regular return. Indicate you are exchanging rather than returning, and provide details on the replacement items you want.

Once Oriental Trading receives your original purchase, they will ship the exchange items. You will need to pay any difference in price if exchanging for a more expensive item. I did this once to exchange a damaged Halloween decoration for a replacement, and found the even exchange process very convenient.

For purchases made online or by phone, you can also visit a retail store for an even exchange. Bring the items you want to return along with your receipt within 90 days. As long as the store has the replacement in stock, they can do the swap on the spot.

Return Shipping Costs

One of the best parts of Oriental Trading’s return policy is that they offer free return shipping on most online purchases. The return label they provide covers the postage cost back to their warehouse. This perk makes it very affordable to ship items back for refund or exchange.

The exceptions are for oversized items that require special shipping. Oriental Trading can’t cover the higher freight fees for large returns, which is reasonable in my opinion. But for standard sized products, the free return shipping removes a big barrier to returning online orders.

Refund Timeframes

Once your return makes it back to Oriental Trading, how long does it take to get your money back? From my experience, refunds are issued pretty quickly after the items are received.

For returns sent by mail with the free shipping label, refunds are generally processed within 7-10 business days after Oriental Trading logs the delivery. For in-store returns with a receipt, refunds are typically provided right away.

If using a credit card, the refund may show up within a few days as pending until the bank officially clears it. Returns paid by check can take 2-3 weeks for the mail to deliver your refund check. Oriental Trading does a good job keeping refund turnaround times short across payment methods.

Warranty Coverage

In addition to returns, Oriental Trading also provides warranty coverage for products that have manufacturing defects. Many merchandise categories come with a one year warranty from the date of purchase.

This includes defects on items like furniture, electronics, musical instruments, and machinery. Categories like toys, crafts, and home decor generally have shorter 90 day warranties. Just save your receipt, and contact Customer Service about defective or broken merchandise.

I had a decorative wire bicycle sculpture arrive damaged. Oriental Trading quickly mailed a replacement once I shared photos, with no need to return the broken one. For defective items still under warranty, they’ll take care of it directly with the vendor.

Returning Holiday and Seasonal Items

Oriental Trading has a massive selection of holiday decorations and party supplies. But what happens if you need to return holiday items after the holiday has passed?

The good news is that their 90 day policy still applies. As long as the products are in new condition with tags attached, returns are accepted within 90 days – even for seasonal merchandise.

I had some extra St. Patrick’s Day supplies left over this year. In early April, I was still able to return the unused items by mail with no issue. Oriental Trading will re-sell returned holiday products the next season.

Resolving Issues with Defective Items

Occasionally, mistakes happen and you might receive a defective, broken, or malfunctioning item from Oriental Trading Company. What should you do if your order arrives faulty or stops working shortly after purchase?

The first step is to contact Customer Service right away by phone or email. Explain that a defective product was delivered, or provide details on when and how it broke. Oriental Trading will ask some questions to diagnose the issue.

For quality problems emerging shortly after delivery, Oriental Trading is generally very accommodating. They will likely offer a replacement item or refund. I recommend acting quickly, as you’ll have more options within the initial 90 day window.

Getting Customer Service Support

Throughout any returns experience, Oriental Trading’s customer service team is available to help troubleshoot issues. I’ve found their service agents to be very friendly and responsive across phone, email, and live chat support.

The Customer Service number is listed at the top of their website, and wait times are usually short. You can also initiate returns or exchanges by emailing service@orientaltrading-company.com. Chat representatives can also assist with the return process directly through orientaltrading.com.

No matter what questions come up, Oriental Trading’s customer service team is ready to guide you through the returns and exchanges process. Reach out to them before you ship anything back to smooth the way.

International Returns

For international customers located outside the United States, Oriental Trading does still accept returns and exchanges on most items. However, the process differs a bit compared to domestic returns.

All international returns must be initiated by contacting Customer Service first. You’ll need to mail the items back to Oriental Trading’s US warehouse at your own expense. Once received and verified, your refund will be issued.

I don’t have direct experience with international returns at Oriental Trading, but be sure to get clear shipping instructions from their team before sending any packages from overseas. This ensures your return is routed to the right facility.

Return Policies for Sales and Promotions

Oriental Trading Company holds many sales events and promotions year-round. Are return policies different during big sales or special offers?

The good news is that Oriental Trading’s standard return policy applies even during major sales. Items purchased at a promotional discount can still be returned within 90 days as long as they are unused and in new condition.

I once ordered some craft supplies during a 50% off sale that I later needed to exchange. Even though these were deeply discounted items, I had no trouble returning them by mail and getting the correct supplies.

Bottom line – take advantage of the sales, and know you still have 90 days to return just in case. Exceptions may apply to certain clearance or closeout merchandise, so read offer details closely.

Returning Large Bulk Orders

As arepeat Oriental Trading customer, I often place large bulk orders for events I’m planning or classes I teach. Can you return a big bulk purchase if some items are defective or if plans change?

Oriental Trading does allow returns on large bulk orders, but may assess restocking fees in some cases. If just a few items are defective, those can be returned at no charge for replacement. If you need to return a whole bulk shipment, Oriental Trading will advise you of any restocking fees before completing the return.

I try to unpack and inspect all bulk purchases right away. If damage is minor, I’ll keep the functional items. For major quality issues or changed plans, Oriental Trading will work on a case by case basis. They aim to keep customers satisfied even on big orders.

Tracking the Status of a Return

Once you drop off a return package or Oriental Trading receives it, how can you follow the status? Oriental Trading makes it easy to track and confirm return deliveries.

For return labels you print at home, you’ll receive a UPS tracking number. You can follow the shipment back to Oriental Trading on the UPS website. The tracking also updates automatically in your online Oriental Trading account.

In-store returns are usually processed while you’re there. For mail-in returns, you’ll get an email confirmation when Oriental Trading receives your package and begins refund processing. The notifications and online tracking give you visibility into each return.

Key Takeaways

After many Oriental Trading orders over the years, I’ve learned how to navigate returns smoothly. Here are my top tips for making exchanges, refunds, and warranties easy:

With some planning and awareness of the policies, the Oriental Trading Company return process is very consumer-friendly. Follow the guidance above, and you’ll be prepared to exchange items or get refunds conveniently. Happy returning!

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