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Understand the 30-day rule if you plan to ship goods

As a business that intends to ship goods to customers, you should know about the Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule. This rule is also called the 30-day rule and is essentially a rule that dictates how you need to fulfill your orders. The rule is there to make sure consumers receive their items within a fair time frame while allowing reasonable flexibility in the timeline for businesses.

The 30-day rule does not always apply, but if you don't state how long it will take for you to ship an item, it will. Here's an example. If you make custom furniture, you may tell clients that it will take 45 days to complete a piece and then another 15 for shipping. They can roughly estimate 60 days from placing the order to receiving their goods.

On the other hand, if you take an order and don't give a timeline, then you must ship the goods within 30 days. If you can't, then your business needs to reach out to the customer and explain why. If the customer chooses, they can accept your new deadline and shipping promise, but they may also decline and get a full refund.

There is one exception, which is that orders made with in-house credit get an additional 20 days to be sent. That means your business has 50 days total to ship the goods, with the additional 20 days being used to give your business time to approve the new credit line. Keep in mind that any timeline you promise must be adhered to, even if it is shorter than the 50-day window.

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