how do I handle returns for dropshipping

How Do I Handle Returns & Exchanges For Dropshipping?

In dropshipping mode, the products are delivered directly from the supplier to the customer. Therefore for dropshippers, it is necessary to know how to handle returns and exchanges.

When your dropshipping store receives a refund request, don’t panic. It is unavoidable for every online store. If you handle it properly, he/she may become a loyal customer of your store.

Here is what you can do:

Set up a return policy in advance

Studies have found that 67% of online shoppers check merchant return pages before making a purchase. Write a great return policy to increase your store’s credibility. In addition to that, it provides a basis for your handling.

Step 1: Know your dropshipping vendor’s return policy

When working with a supplier, be sure to familiarize yourself with their return policy, as each supplier’s policy is different. For example, Nihao Dropshipping offers 7-day no-reason returns. Some merchants at Aliexpress offer free returns within 15 days. If you have many suppliers, it is important to go through their return policies one by one in detail. Their policies will directly affect your return policy.

The following is the information you need to know:

  • Is there an additional storage charge for goods returned to the supplier’s warehouse? If so, how much will be charged?
  • What is the time frame for returns and exchanges?
  • Does your customer or you have to pay return shipping costs to your supplier?
  • Does your dropshipping supplier accept returns for wrong orders (e.g. wrong size T-shirt)?
  • What is the whole return process of the supplier?

Step 2: Create your own return policy based on the supplier’s return policy

You can use Shopify’s free Refund and Return Policy Builder to create your own return policy in conjunction with your vendor’s return policy.

free return policy generator
free return policy generator

Try to cover as much ground as possible, but make sure the information is accurate. If you have multiple suppliers, include all of them in your return policy.

Try to cover as much ground as possible, but make sure the information is accurate. If you have multiple suppliers, include all of them in your return policy.

Make sure your return duration is within the supplier’s return period. For example, your t-shirt supplier supports a 15-day return service, and the supplier of phone cases only offers a 7-day return period. You can set different return periods depending on the product, or set the return period to 5-7 days. Always remember that shortening the return period can prevent accidents.

Don’t display the return address on the return policy page. Instead, provide contact information to guide the customer to contact you for the address. If possible, make the customer return the item to your own address rather than directly to the vendor.

Get more Tips for Writing a Return Policy for Your Dropshipping Store here.

How to handle returns and exchanges when they occur?

How to handle returns and exchanges
How to handle returns and exchanges

Figure out what are the common reasons for returns and exchanges, and then come up with a solution for each reason.

Common reasons for returns and exchanges

If you have received a return/exchange request, there may be a reason as follows:

1. The customer bought the wrong product (e.g. the wrong size T-shirt)

It is actually very common, especially for clothing and shoe products. And the return rate is high because of the incorrect size.

Generally speaking, such returns are not allowed by the supplier. However, you can check the supplier’s return policy in detail or ask the supplier to discuss the solution. You can also ask the customer to cover the cost of the return or exchange, since the responsibility is not yours.

2. The product is not as described

First, check whether you wrote the wrong description when uploading the product or it was the supplier’s mistake. If it is the supplier’s mistake, you should contact the supplier as soon as possible and ask them to resend or refund. But whether the fault lies with you or the supplier, you should take responsibility and deal with the issue in a hurry.

3. The product is broken or defective

If you work with a quality supplier, this will rarely happen. However, it can still happen more or less often due to shipping damage. What should you do?

Ask your customer to send you pictures or videos of the damaged product. Then send these to your supplier and ask them to resend or refund.

Try to make it as easy and fast as possible for your customer to return or exchange the product. You can also issue coupons to apologize and compensate your customer.

Things to Remember

Focus on solving problems as well as providing good customer service

Once you determine the reason for the return or exchange, start solving the problem. Customers don’t care what caused the mistake, all they want is a refund or an exchange. Apologize to the customer, then quickly find a satisfactory solution. You may still get that customer back to your dropshipping store.

Identify if the product is necessary for return

Some cheap products like cell phone charging cables or alloy bracelets are not worth returning to your dropshipping vendor. This is especially the case for products whose return shipping costs may be higher than the costs of sending a replacement to your customer.

In this case, you can simply ask your supplier to send a replacement and let the customer keep the original product.

This is all about how dropshipping store owners handle returns and exchanges. Hope this article will be helpful for your dropshipping business.If you have any questions about refunds, returns, or anything related to e-commerce, please let us know in the comments section below!

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