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According to americacommerce.com, E-commerce is a $220 billion dollar market in the U.S. alone and is growing by nearly 17% a year.
If you have your own growing dropshipping enterprise, a friendly return policy is crucial. it gives customers the confidence to make a purchase and can significantly lower your dispute rate.
An unsatisfied customer will more than likely become a loyal customer if they experience a good return experience. Read on to find ways to make sure your returns policy for your dropshipping business is the best it can be!
What is a good dropshipping returns policy? A good dropshipping policy for online retailers is to always make sure you take responsibility for any purchasing issues they may have. Put your customer first, treat all parties with respect and courtesy and operate a swift service to ensure happy and returning customers.
Is It a Legitimate Return?
The first thing to do is ask why they want a refund. You do this to find out a few things which then determine your next move:
- If they don’t think it’s correct
- The product was defective
- The customer has decided they don’t want the item
If the refund request is due to shipping, check the tracking number and let them know the product is on the way. If the package got lost or failed to deliver, arrange a re-shipping.
‘If the product was not fit for purpose in any way, it’s important to promptly send a new item free of charge’.
Practicing good returns policies, will result in a happy customer and return buyer.
Finally, if they just don’t want the item, provide a return address and ask them to send it back. Within your return policy, be sure to mention that who pays for return shipping.
Most Common Reasons for Returns
Let’s take a look below at the usual reasons for returns in a little more depth.
The Item Doesn’t Match the Online Description
One of the most common reasons for the product return is when the received item doesn’t match the online description. Either you could’ve made a mistake here or the supplier is at fault.
If you create manual listings and edit the description, there’s a chance you’re at fault. Or if you use the direct listings from your supplier, they may have made the mistake. However, once the mistake has been made, you need to take responsibility and make things right.
First off, you should send an apology email to the buyer and contact your supplier. Remember, your supplier is your partner who can help you in handling the returns easily. Ask the supplier to send a replacement to your consumer or make the refund – if they were indeed at fault.
Your customer is your responsibility and you should do everything you can to make them happy at this point – including a refund of the return shipping cost. Even if it costs you a few dollars, they’ll appreciate you for the concern and may even shop from you again.
The Product Is Damaged And/Or Defective
Although this is rare if you have a good supplier, these kinds of returns may occur.
If you do encounter such a customer in your dropshipping store, make the return process as easy for them as possible. Pay for the return shipping costs and get the return label for them as well… if possible. Alternatively, don’t bother to have it returned if the product has a lesser price/ the shipping cost is higher. But if you are working with a new supplier, it’s a good idea to ask customer to ship the defective item back to you so you may check it yourself.
Exceptional customer support will go a long way in retaining customers for your dropshipping stores and increasing your brand loyalty as well.
The Product Doesn’t Fit or Incorrect Size Ordered
Another common reason for returns is often a mistake order. Maybe you own a shoe store and they ordered the wrong size. The third-party involvement of a supplier can often make this situation a lot more complex than if you handled the order and shipping directly.
Check with your supplier if they accept a mistake order return. As discussed above, you don’t have to take the return here as the buyer was at fault. Nonetheless, if the product has a lesser price like below $10, you can send the customer another item and ask them to keep the wrong item as a little sweetener for them.
Although it has cost you a few extra dollars, you may have gained a loyal customer here, who would love to purchase from you over again. Going through the whole return process for a product costing $5 or less is – in most cases – not worth the time or hassle for all parties involved.
Choose Your Supplier Wisely
In a dropshipping business, your buyer makes the purchase from your store and then you pass the order to the supplier who packages and ships the order to your customer. Your customer happily receives the order and gives you positive feedback.
But sometimes your customer may ask for a return or a refund. It’s very important to be prepared for returns so you’re able to give the best possible service to your customers. Make sure you understand your supplier’s return and refunds policies carefully.
As a dropshipper, you should be very careful of who you select as your supplier. When you’ve found an ideal supplier, take enough time to study their return and refund policies in order to create your own
Here are a few things you should check:
- In which case does your supplier accept returns?
- How long after the sale can you return the product?
- Whether they will cover the return shipping fees?
- How do they handle the overall return process?
Once you’ve gone through your supplier’s policies carefully, it’s time to go to the next step.
Create the Best Refund and Returns Policy
If you haven’t already created a return and refund policy for your dropshipping store yet, now would be a good time to set that up. Create a separate page dedicated to the Returns Policy on your store and specify the major aspects on the FAQs page too.
This will help to build the trust of any prospective buyer in your brand. While formulating your policies, try to make them as similar to your supplier as possible. Also, mention all the details clearly in order to avoid any misconceptions in the future.
For instance, you can keep the following points in mind:
If your supplier has mentioned a 30-day return policy, you should keep it lesser. Say, 20-25 days to give additional time to you and your consumer for any shipment delays or sending the refund package.
Make sure to mention the acceptable reasons for return. Even if your supplier is flexible with the returns, you don’t have to do the exact same thing. You can mention “All sales are final except when the product is incorrectly sent or damaged.”
This will help you deal with returns better when already stated clearly in the dropshipping store returns policy.
Remember you’re a dropshipping store and in most cases you have no physical office, so you don’t have to specify any return address on your policy page.
Tip: If you wish to handle returns by asking the consumers to ship it to you, a great way can be to get a P.O. Box or mail holding address, and use that for returns. With this method, your personal information will be kept safe.
When a customer insists on a refund, you can offer them a free upgrade of the similar product …or store credit with the refund for future purchases too. This will leave a lasting impact on the buyer’s mind and convert a bad experience into a respectful memory for the store.
What makes a good returns policy? Let’s take a look below at how to make sure your customer service for your business is the best it can be.
Running a dropshipping business means you don’t have to keep stock or handle any shipping and packaging. You must remember that your buyer is not aware of any of this. When a buyer requests a return, always take responsibility.
Don’t try to blame it on the supplier. Your buyer will only think that you’re trying to find your way out of a sticky situation. Instead, own your mistake. Even if your supplier is at fault, accept the mistake as your own and partner with your supplier to provide the best possible solution to the consumer.
‘When a buyer requests a return, always take responsibility’.
Deal With All Parties With Patience and Respect
When you’re dealing with a return, you must not escalate the problem or get rude with your supplier. There can be many things that may have gone wrong and you must deal with things patiently.
Most importantly, you should be respectful towards your supplier and work together to resolve the issue at hand. This will not only strengthen your current relationship with your supplier but also provide a quick solution for them.
However, if the supplier keeps on sending wrong or defective products, it might be time to cut ties with them and find another good supplier to maintain the good reputation of your online store.
When you own a dropshipping business, remember that your customer should be a top priority and you must work in conjunction with your supplier to offer a fast solution and make the extra efforts to make your customer happy.
Having the first return request on your dropshipping store can seem like a mountain to climb, However, it’s just one part of the business that can be turned into an opportunity to impress your customer with exceptional support, quick solution and earn their trust. Streamline that solution and use it as a positive for your business.
Gladly HyperSKU provides terrific shipping experience for customers. By providing 100% tracking and express shipping that can delivers as fast as 7 business days, it greatly decreased refund issue caused by slow shipping. Additionally, customers can choose to return items to HyperSKU’s partnered return locations in Europe and US, and HyperSKU can send the item to next customer, which works great for high-value products.
If you have any questions about any of the above topics, get in touch with our team and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help you.
With HyperSKU, you are rest-assured to let professionals supply good quality products, ship them in fast and reliable way, and minimize your manual work around order fulfillment.