How you manage returns with drop-shipping?

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Hi Everyone,

I am just wondering how you people manage returns with drop-shipping. What I wanna know is whether the products are returned to merchant or manufacturer/supplier? And who pays for returns?

Any help would really be appreciated!
#dropshipping #manage #returns
  • I remember when I was just starting out in dropshipping, I wanted to find out who my dropshipper was getting their items from.

    So when someone wanted to 'return' their item - I had them send the item to MY HOUSE so that I could look at the manufacturing tags and do some reverse engineering.

    Needless to say, I found out the source!

    But, have them send it to you anyway. You can inspect the item to keep your dropshipper honest to see if it was their error and to cite the issue with pictures.

    Send that to the dropshipper and say: "This client had an issue and I had them send it to me --- this I have taken pictures of it and here it is:"

    That way the supplier will improve their behavior.

    If there is no issue - then the next time the item sells, just ship it out yourself.

    In addition - NEVER EVER EVER have the CUSTOMER pay the shipping back to you.

    EVER.

    Turn a 'return' into an opportunity to gain a LIFETIME customer. If they are very impressed with how well you take care of them, then whom are they going to go to for the next time they buy?!

    When you pay for return shipping, it really is an 'investment' in their return business.

    And return shipping is a lot cheaper than 'negative feedback'.

    ADE
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    • Profile picture of the author aurettemag
      Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

      I remember when I was just starting out in dropshipping, I wanted to find out who my dropshipper was getting their items from.

      So when someone wanted to 'return' their item - I had them send the item to MY HOUSE so that I could look at the manufacturing tags and do some reverse engineering.

      Needless to say, I found out the source!

      But, have them send it to you anyway. You can inspect the item to keep your dropshipper honest to see if it was their error and to cite the issue with pictures.

      Send that to the dropshipper and say: "This client had an issue and I had them send it to me --- this I have taken pictures of it and here it is:"

      That way the supplier will improve their behavior.

      If there is no issue - then the next time the item sells, just ship it out yourself.

      In addition - NEVER EVER EVER have the CUSTOMER pay the shipping back to you.

      EVER.

      Turn a 'return' into an opportunity to gain a LIFETIME customer. If they are very impressed with how well you take care of them, then whom are they going to go to for the next time they buy?!

      When you pay for return shipping, it really is an 'investment' in their return business.

      And return shipping is a lot cheaper than 'negative feedback'.

      ADE
      Awesome post. 1 life time customer is worth far than 10 one time customers.
      Kind regards,
      Aurette
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  • Profile picture of the author Julia Russo
    Not all drop shippers will take back items returned without limitations to the time period for return (ex. 10 days) and some require an RGA be issued to go with the return. Don't forget about RESTOCKING fees. You may see typically a 15% restocking fee for unauthorized returns and refused shipments.
    When WE (the retailors) are the customer, the rules aren't as easy. While our customer should follow our policies for returns, we have to be clear and cover our own obstacles with the drop shipper, all the while making sure OUR customer has a good experience.
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  • Which is why you'd want to bypass your dropshipper if they have such policies. Just have them return it to you, give your customer a great experience, even beyond the term, and have them return it to you without a restocking fee.
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    • Profile picture of the author rana1863
      Thanks for your replies. From your replies it sounds like we have to provide return address details only when a customer gets back to us that they are not happy with the product and want to return it. So products are shipped anonymously(without sender's address)? No address, only store(website) name?

      I would also like to inquire about delivery times, I have read on the forum that people will never wait too long for their products to reach. I am going to get my products drop-shipped from Pakistan and according to courier company most international packages reach the destination country within 72 hours. To stay on the safe side, I'm thinking of mentioning 3-5 days delivery on my website, how is this shipping time? Reasonable or too long?
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      • Here's a great article on the subject that came out that outlines what we're talking about.

        When I implemented this strategy on my eBay items it helped my eBay items' conversion rate approach 40% on some of my listings (that were already converting at 25% before I made the return policy change)

        Forget blame game: Free returns can increase online purchases 357% - Business on NBCNews.com

        Enjoy!
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

          Here's a great article on the subject that came out that outlines what we're talking about.

          When I implemented this strategy on my eBay items it helped my eBay items' conversion rate approach 40% on some of my listings (that were already converting at 25% before I made the return policy change)

          Forget blame game: Free returns can increase online purchases 357% - Business on NBCNews.com

          Enjoy!
          Hi ADE,

          There is no doubt in my mind that free returns work to encourage more business. It is just part of a sound business philosphy of giving more than what you promise or what the customer expects. I call it "going the extra mile." (See Matthew 5 V41).

          I will give you an example of how "going the extra mile" gains customer loyalty: One of my importing business franchisees had a complaint from a small customer saying that a large number of items were faulty.

          At her request the customer returned them and my franchisee discovered they were all supplied by a competitor. After seeking my opinion, she reluctantly replaced them all, free of charge, with our superior quality, accompanied by a note explaining what she had done.

          That customer has ever since been one of that franchisee's bigger customers, spending about 7 or 8 times more every year over what they previously bought.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hampton44
    How do you offer the free return---return payment back to customer via Paypal of the shipping charges? Do you ask the customer to let you know what the charges are?
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  • Yes, I ask them to send me a copy of their shipping receipt. (and that expediting it will not be necessary).

    They can scan it, take a photo, anything. Just so I know what the actual cost is and that I'm not 'taking their word for it'. Plus, for accounting purposes, I have the receipt.
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  • Profile picture of the author Imran574
    Originally Posted by rana1863 View Post

    Hi Everyone,

    I am just wondering how you people manage returns with drop-shipping. What I wanna know is whether the products are returned to merchant or manufacturer/supplier? And who pays for returns?

    Any help would really be appreciated!
    Multi channel integration system help to manage returns with drop-shipping.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    Definitely need free and easy returns to attract repeat customers. I bought an invicta watch on amazon and within a month a watch band pin broke. Contacted invicta and they wanted to charge me 30 some bucks to send in and look at it when it had a 1 yr warranty, and it would take many days/weeks. I just bought a new one from amazon, and returned the item w/ my broken one in it. Screw you invicta.
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    The price of doing business, once in a while you are going to have to eat some of the products. Take it back and put it on CraigsList.org, or eBay. Someone will buy it at a reduced price.
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    Tim Pears

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