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Understanding Buyer’s Remorse

Most consumers have a fundamental misunderstanding of buyer’s remorse. Let’s clear that up.

It starts with an assumption. Most people assume every state has a buyer’s remorse law that allows them to cancel a contract or return a large-ticket item within a set number of days. Lawyers call those laws “rights of recision.”

The fact is Tennessee does not have a right of recision law except in the cases of door-to-door sales (which you should ignore anyway), health club contracts (three days) and mortgage refinancing (three days).

Mississippi has a five-day right of recision on health club contracts and three days for door-to-door sales (uggh…please don’t accept those!!!). Arkansas’ only right of recision is a three-day recision “…whenever you sign a contract or make a purchase over $25 as a result of an in-home solicitation (my italics added).

Buyer’s remorse or rights of recision are, by and large, policies of specific retailers or companies instead of actual laws or mandates. For example, #WiseChoice Serra Chevrolet Bartlett offers one of the most generous buyer’s remorse features I’ve ever seen for a pre-owned vehicle sale. It’s called Serra’s Consumer Protection Promise, and it’s one of the reasons Serra Chevrolet Bartlett earned my seal of approval as a #WiseChoice. The dealership offers that promise even though Tennessee has no law mandating a buyer’s remorse clause for auto sales, new or used.

The point is to check your sales contracts, store receipts and extended warranties (if purchased) to see if the company offers its own buyer’s remorse clause or right of recision. Also, remember what I shared in this #WiseAdvice post about return policies, which are also optional and not law:

  • Stores must disclose their return policies in areas where customers can see them. Typically, that would be a sign at the entrance or exit, a written notice at the point of sale or a policy disclosure printed on the customers’ receipts.
  • Stores may offer time limits on their return policies:  30-days, 60-days, 90-days, as long as those limits are disclosed.
  • Stores can and do refuse cash on returns. In fact, there are very few retailers left who offer cash for returned merchandise.
  • If you’re returning an electronics item, the retailer may charge up to a 15 percent restocking fee if the item has been removed from its original box.
  • County or city health regulations may prohibit the return of certain apparel, like underwear, swimwear or intimate garments.

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