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Returning books

Question:

To the Rav,
I order many books and sforim online from a store that offers free returns. When I receive the order, I can look through the books and decide if its suitable for my family and then return the books that I want to return via mail. Being a very detail-oriented person, I notice that some the books are imperfect when I return them (discolored slightly on the side of the pages, smashed corner of the cover etc) but do not remember if that is how I received them or not.

What is the proper way to go about this? Halachically, can I assume that if they accept the return that it is to their standards and approval? Or would it still be a problem if I received something in better condition and then returned it with some damage for a refund?

 

Answer:

Hello,

There are a few issues that I see here. If you are ordering books online, and you know quite well that there is a good chance that many of them will be returned, you should be asking the vendor if they are alright with this, as this can be causing them substantial expanses.  Although they offer free returns, they might not mean that purchases should be made, when there is only a chance that you will buy them.

Secondly, if the books are not returned in totally new condition, they will have a hard time selling them to someone else. I would suggest that you speak with them about these two issues and see what they say. they might agree, as it is good for their public relations, however they might want some sort of compensation for the fact that the books were delivered in new condition and they are getting it back when they have less value.

Best wishes

 

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