Return Handling Process In Online Product Selling Business
Do you run a business selling items online or offline? Have you received return requests lately? Chances have you already authorized some product returns. It’s especially true if you sell in one of the online marketplaces.
If you can minimize the number of item returns, your profit will increase subsequently. Return handling is one of the major things to be considered by the order fulfillment services providers.
Here are five tips on how to reduce the buyer’s reason to return items and, if you get some, how to handle returns.
1.Describe, describe, describe
A nice accurate description will prevent a lot of future returns. When buyers know what’s exactly that they’re buying, they make a better, educated decision, and that keeps you from facing buyer remorse, and as a result, they don’t want to return items in the first place.
Don’t just name your item and expect the buyer to know it inside and out. Although they can search it online and probably find the details, you will be better off giving the item details in your listings, so you both cover your bases and keep the buyer on your listing.
Describe the benefits, features, materials, condition, or any other attribute you think help the buyer make an educated buying decision. If it has to be a long description, so be it; that’s fine. A detailed, accurate description is much better than a short description that leaves many things to say.
2. A picture is worth more than a thousand words
With today’s technology, there’s not a good excuse not to include at least one photo in your listing. Buyers are less likely to return items when a good photo is included. Both eBid and eCrater offer free photo uploads: 5 free photo uploads in eBid and unlimited photo uploads in eCrater. eBay offers one free photo upload now, but starting July 1st, they offer all 12 photos for free.
Also, you can have unlimited photos in your listing (in the description section) in both eBid and eBay if you host your photo somewhere else (e.g., Flickr). Another great feature that both eBay and eBid offer is that you can upload photos by specifying the photo’s URL, and they fetch it and upload it for you.
You can always upload your photos too. Photo of the item serves two purposes: it’s a visual confirmation for buyers that this is the item they’re looking for, and it covers your bases if a dispute is initiated. Amazon lags behind other marketplaces in this regard as they don’t allow sellers to upload their photos unless the seller is subscribed to an Amazon Store, AND the listing was created by that seller.
3. Your return policy should be clear
Spell out your return policy. Make sure it’s not too restricting. Return policy should be reasonable for both sellers and buyers. Specifying return policy had helped me avoid a return when a buyer asked to return an item just because he changed his mind. When I pointed him to my return policy, he decided not to return the item.
4. Delivery expectations should be right
Let the buyer know what date range they can expect the delivery to happen before they buy. After the sale, ship the item as fast as possible, let them know the delivery date range and give them a tracking number. By doing this, you close the door to claims of “item received too late”.
5. How to handle a product return?
Some products indeed lost a lot of their value when the customer used them, such as software or electronics. So you need to set a return policy that is reasonable for both you and the buyer.
Having a return policy of “no returns” could make sense in some situations, but generally speaking, when the customer is assured if any problem occurs, the seller stands behind their product with great customer service, you will have more regular customers, and your business profit will increase. Try not to argue with the buyer too much and accept their return, if at all possible. You will be rewarded for this.
Return Handling in Dropshipping
Dropshipping is, for the most part, a great business model for the small reseller who gets to rely on a third-party, which has better resources for capital-intensive functions like warehousing and time-consuming functions like shipping. There is only one great disadvantage.
How to deal with returned items in dropshipping? Since the only address that the customer has, is the retailer’s, the products are usually sent back to the retailer.
Even if the product is sent back to the drop shipper, little can be done as the drop shipper is not responsible for customer engagement. Given these issues, it is best to have a very clear process as regards all returned items with the drop shipping company that you engage in.
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