Returns and exchanges will be infrequent, but you must be aware of your role in processing a timely return. Wholesale2B’s built-in tools automate as much of this process as possible, but you are responsible for gathering the correct information—and more importantly for delivering superior customers service.
Your Customer Probably Don’t Know You Are A Drop Shipper
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR RETURNS WITH DROP SHIPPERS
Odds are, your customer has no idea that you are a drop shipper—and the goal is to keep it that way. This is not to be dishonest, it’s just that most consumers simply don’t comprehend what drop shipping is—and may lose confidence in you if you try to explain. They want a return, so focus on your role in that process.
It is important to clearly outline your return and exchange policy on your website, as well as your restocking and return shipping costs. For example, if you clearly state that you have a 30 day return policy—and they don’t reach out for 45 days, you may have to politely, and professionally decline their request. If they are within the terms of your policy, then you must move forward with the return process.
Respond To Your Customer ASAP
One of the reasons you operate an ecommerce business, is so that you have a flexible business model. That being said, you must always be available to respond to customer inquiries—especially in to returns or exchanges. There are many reasons a customer my want to process a return:
- The product arrived broken or damaged
- They need to exchange for a different size
- The product is not what they expected
- They have found a superior alternative
Whatever the reason maybe, you must respond to their request ASAP—and let them know the information you need to move forward.
Gathering The Correct Information
At the very least, you will need to provide your drop shipper with your customer’s order number—but each drop partner will request specific information before they approve or process your return. When requesting a return, your first action should be to login to your Wholesale2b.com account and create a support ticket with the order number and the reason for the return. Providing this information will speed up the process.
Once you have submitted the required information, you will be provided with a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) and the address where to return the item to. Then, you must pass on this information to your buyer which they will need to print and attach the printed RMA number to the box.
When To Refund Your Customer
Next up, you must determine when to refund your customer. Wholesale2b will facilitate the process with the supplier since we are the ones that handled the order with the supplier for you. In this case, we will follow up with the supplier regarding the refund. To help us keep track of the returned item, you should always ask your buyer to give you the tracking code of the returned shipment and send it back to us in a reply to your support ticket. This will help us tremendously in determining if the supplier did indeed receive the item back. Once we can confirm this, we will seek the refund from the supplier and the same refund will then be issued back to you.
Some suppliers take more than others for refunds so depending on the timeline of the refund, you may choose to refund your customer after their return has been received—but before the drop shipper has refunded us for the sale. From a customer satisfaction standpoint, sooner is always better. If your customer has requested an exchange, make sure you reach out when their replacement product is on the way.
You May Not Always Choose To Process The Return
Between the return shipping fee, and restocking fee—it may not always be a cost-effective decision to process a return. For example, if a shopper is requesting a return for a product that is $10 or less, it really may be easier to just let them keep the product, than to process a return. You will of course need to refund them for their purchase, but it may not be worth the few dollars you’ve earned to hassle with a return. You could instead just suggest they regift it, or donate it.
Refunds and exchanges are often one of the most complicated parts of managing your new business—but they really aren’t that complex. The most important part is that you understand the information your drop ship partner requires to process the refund, have a system in place for tracking the return or exchange, a clear return and exchange policy, and that you keep your customer informed along the way.
Remember—Wholesale2B only works with reputable wholesalers—with a proven track record for professionalism. This includes their response and turnaround time for returns and exchanges.