|Make It Green Return Policy|
|Return Policy Background Information|
All returned items must be accompanied by receipt.
No Returns or Refunds will be done on Weekends (April – June) and Holidays.
Unused items accompanied by their receipt can be returned for refund within 10 days of purchase. Special order items will be subject to a 50% re-stocking fee. Defective items accompanied by a receipt and returned within the warranty period will be immediately replaced if feasible or returned to the manufacturer and replaced as soon as feasible.
Unplanted trees, shrubs and perennials still in their original container and accompanied by their receipt may be returned within 10 days of purchase. Fall clearance sale items are final sale items and non-returnable. Purchase date, not pickup date will be used to determine if you can return items left on our lot for later pickup or installation.
Perishable items or items requiring special handling such as Christmas trees, decorative greens, cut flowers, cedar hedge, sod, nematodes, annuals, tender perennials, Myke, seeds (including grass seed), bulbs and organic pesticides/herbicides are not returnable.
We often get questions about our return policy. Sometimes customers are quite upset when we tell them that they can’t return certain products. The purpose of this document is to try and explain why we have time limits on returns and why certain items are deemed non-returnable. All garden centres are busiest during spring weekends. Most (ourselves included) don’t allow returns on those busy weekends because we are trying to make a living. A return takes about six times the resources of a sale. In addition to the increased workload on an already busy staff, customers making returns on busy days contribute to the impression that the store is just too busy to shop in and potential customers may decide to leave. An exit survey performed in the mid 90’s asked people why they were leaving a garden centre without purchasing anything. Very few of the respondents cited product availability or price issues. Over 92% stated that the store was too crowded or the lineups too long. Another interesting result of the survey was that 22% of the cars that drove in to the parking lot left without making a purchase. We staff heavily on weekends, have a great system and our customers are amazed at how quickly they get through the cash. If we processed 25 returns on a busy Saturday we might well lose the sales from 100 customers. In the spring we are open late during the week. We will be flexible if you are a day or two late with your return as we know that not accepting returns on the weekend could impact when you can get to the garden centre. A phone call or email is a great way to contact us and we will work out a mutually convenient schedule for the return.
Our return policy time limit is 10 days. Although more and more stores are adopting this type of policy we still get asked why it isn’t longer and often hear the stories of product returned to a big box store months or years after the purchase (and without a receipt!). In the past some stores did have very liberal policies about returns. Those that are still in business today have tightened up their return policies (just ask them!). We are a seasonal business. Between Mother’s Day weekend and the first Monday in June we do half of our business for the year. By the end of June we have done up to 75%. When a product sells in May we try to replace it as soon as possible. Some products are a one time only purchase ordered months before. We are working with a tight timeline. When a customer brings back a product which we could have sold to someone else, or which we re-ordered since their purchase, it often hurts our bottom line. Even 10 days can be too much time and our opportunity to sell the returned product is gone. Every summer and fall we have people trying to return items like hanging baskets, planters and tomato cages because they didn’t get around to using them. I could go on about customers who do use product and bring it back because they have decided they like a different style, etc. Unfortunately the product is not much good to us until next year (or not at all in the case of used product) and it all goes back to the same thing – we are trying to make a living!
Every fall we have a clearance sale – over-wintering plants in pots is difficult. Our prices tend to drop as the selection goes down – the early bird gets the best choices. We also hit a wall when the weather gets cold and wet – sunny, warm falls are great for gardeners but they always come to an end. Customers seem to disappear like the birds going south for the winter. These are reasons why we can’t accept the return of clearance sale items. Again it’s that making a living thing. Plants not only have issues trying to survive the winter out of the ground, they also take a great deal of work to try to store for the winter and then to remove from storage in the spring. This policy also applies to plants left on our lot and not yet picked up/delivered. It’s not fair to us to have to tag and maintain your plant only to have you decide weeks later that you don’t want it after all. This doesn’t mean that we can’t be flexible if a problem is brought to our attention right away.
There are several other items that are non-returnable. Items which are perishable such as sod, nematodes, Christmas trees, greens and cut flowers are all items which require special care. Cedar Hedge is a fresh dug product that looses some soil each time it is handled. Too much soil loss means that the cedars are no longer viable and will result in a problem for the next customer. Annuals and tender perennials in containers require a great deal of care until they are planted (we discourage people from buying and placing plants in their garage until they think all danger of frost has passed). The season is short and plants not properly cared for can take time to recover (if they do). We cannot in good conscience sell returned annuals to someone else who may have issues with them. If a customer returns an hour or two after purchasing annuals and (they discovered on arriving at home that) they purchased the wrong colour then we would make an exchange. Every year people try to bring back part flats of annuals (such as 3 marigolds, 1 tomato and 8 pansies) and wonder why we don’t accept them. The simple answer is that we can’t sell them (that trying to make a living thing!) and there are all kinds of potential liability issues if an organic garden centre takes back plants which have been out of our care and subject to who-knows-what or may never have come from us in the first place.
Seeds, bulbs and organic pesticides are subject to damage from freezing and excessive heat. Left in your car on a hot/cold day they could have their viability compromised. Ultimately we have to look out for our customers and make sure that the product they are buying is in perfect condition.
Occasionally customers receive a delivery of plant material and change their minds about one or more of the plants. If we have to pick up plants then you will be required to pay another delivery charge. If one or more of the items is a wire basket type tree/evergreen then additional charges will apply – we either have to send out several people to wrestle this heavy beast back onto the truck (600 lb. trees go down ramps more easily than they go up!) or contract out a special boom truck (approximately $200).
We are trying to find a reasonable balance between customer needs and business viability and hope that you can appreciate this. All of our policies are posted in the store and items which cannot be returned are signed clearly.