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How to Deal with Returns

How to Deal with Returns
CJApr. 30, 2020 07:37:161611

Customer service is very important to Dropshipping business, and after-sales service takes a great proportion. Generally speaking, customers do not return goods for no reason, because returning goods is also troublesome for customers themselves. There must be something the customer is not satisfied with, so he wants to return the goods regardless of the trouble. If you handle it properly, you are probably to win loyal customers to your business.


Dealing with returns could be pretty tricky for beginners, here are some tips for you to make things easier.



Make return policy in advance


It is advised to make a return policy before you launch your store officially to make sure there are rules for you and your customers to follow. You’d better have an overall understanding of your supplier’s return policy before you start dropshipping. If your dropshipping business has already started, then you’d better check if there are any differences in the supplier's policy, and update your store's return policy accordingly.


Fully understand the supplier’s return polic



When working with suppliers, you’d better be familiar with their return policy, because each supplier's policy is different. Dropshipping is a business model that suppliers ship goods directly to customers, so their policies will directly impact your policies. 


In general, there are 5 points you should make sure.


1. Will the supplier charge for the returns? If yes, how much?

2. Returns are accepted within how many days after sold?

3. Will you or your customers pay for extra shipping fees?

4. Does the supplier accept returns for orders placed by mistake(e.g. wrong size as for T-shirt)?

5. What are the returns and exchanges flow?


If you have many suppliers, then you have to make a full understanding of their return policy one by one.


For CJ’s return policy, please refer to:




 Set up your return policy according to supplier’s policy


This part is extremely important, so there are some tips for you.


If your supplier supports a 30-day return and exchange service, then your return and exchange policy should tighten this period for several days, such as 20-25 days. Because sometimes you may forget to open disputes, so it is better to leave room for time. If you have a lot of suppliers, try to include all supplier policies in your return policy.


For example, if your T-shirt supplier supports a 20-day return and exchange service, the mobile phone case supplier only provides a 14-day return and exchange service. You can set different return and exchange deadlines according to different products in the return and exchange policy, or just combine them into one and set the return and exchange deadline to 10-12 days.


It is not advised to display the return address on the return policy page. Lead customers to contact you, and then give the address depending on the situation.


The tracking number should be provided, otherwise it will not be accepted. This must be clearly written in the return policy, telling the customer that you will not accept the return of goods without a tracking number.



How to deal with returns


After the above preparations are taken, once the return or exchange occurs, you have to start tackle with the issue. First of all, you need to know what are the common reasons for return or exchange, and then create solutions for each reason.


Common reasons for returns and exchanges


You may receive a return or exchange request for 3 reasons.


  • A customer placed a wrong order by mistake(e.g. wrong size as for T-shirt)


This situation is very common, especially for apparel and footwear products, and the return rate due to the wrong size is also very high.


Generally speaking, suppliers will not accept such returns, and of course, there will be some high-quality suppliers that will accept such returns. As I mentioned earlier that you should know the supplier's return policy very well.


For this situation, my suggestion is:


Approve the returns or exchanges, regardless of the supplier's policy. Why you should do this? Agreeing to return or exchange means that you value your customers and are willing to solve the problems they encounter. First-class customer service may bring you loyal high-quality customers. Nevertheless, you can ask the customer to pay the return shipping fee. After all, it is the customer who bought the wrong one himself, and the responsibility is not on you.


  • The product does not match the description


This problem is some kind of a headache. Either you got the product wrong or your supplier got it wrong. First of all, you have to figure out who made the mistake. If you manually upload the product, you may have made a mistake; if you are using the data update service provided by the supplier, then the supplier has made a mistake.


No matter the mistake was made by you or the supplier, you have to take responsibility and deal with the customer's problem as soon as possible. Try to think about it, if you are the customer, and the seller tells you "this is not our fault, it is the supplier who made the mistake, you should go to the supplier", what would you do? You will never spend a penny on the store.


If it is the supplier’s fault, and the supplier agrees to refund or re-ship the product, it is all for the best. However, if the supplier does not agree to refund or re-ship, and his attitude to deal with the problem is not positive enough, it’s time for you to find a new supplier.


  • The product is damaged or defective


If your supplier is very sophisticated, this situation will rarely happen. However, this kind of things is not possible to avoid. What should you do then? Make sure your customers will not pay for any costs, and make the return as easy as possible. This is very important, because it’s the last chance for you to retain the customers.





No matter what the reason is for the return, the first thing you should do is to solve the problem as soon as you can. The customers don’t care if you are a dropshipper, or who made the mistake, all they want is a refund or exchange. First you have to apologize to the customer, and then quickly find a solution.


If your service makes the customer feel WOW and feels pleasantly surprised, it is very likely that the customer will introduce your product to his friend. This kind of word-of-mouth marketing has no cost and the actual effect is very good.


If some products are very low in price, there is no need to trouble customers returning goods. Take a mobile phone charging cable for example, the customer might want to buy the charging cable for iPhone, but bought the model for Android devices. Like this low-cost product, just let the customer keep it, and resend an iPhone charging cable.


Returns & exchanges flow


If you are processing returns for the first time, you may not know what the specific process is like.


Generally speaking, the returns or exchanges flow include 4 steps:


Step1. The customer submits a return or exchange request


What you have to do is: determine the reason for the return or exchange, and contact the relevant supplier to obtain the return authorization code or a return link. No matter who is responsible for the return, it is better to apologize to the customer and tell the customer your solution.


Step2. Supplier approves the return


If the customer returns directly to the supplier, you will give the customer the return address and return authorization code or a return link. And do not forget to remind your customer to post the tracking number.


Step3. You or the supplier receive the package


If you received the package: check whether the product is damaged or not and take a picture to see if the state of the package does match what you saw after the supplier receives, and then send it to the supplier.


If the supplier receives the package: keep in touch with the supplier, follow up on the track of the package, and then let the supplier refund you or let the supplier re-ship to the customer (if the customer requires).


Step4. The customer receives a new package, or you receive a refund


Send an email to the customer to ensure that the package reaches the customer successfully. If the customer does not want to exchange the product and wants a refund, then you will refund the customer and then send an email to the customer to ensure that the customer receives the refund.


Once returns or refunds occur, don’t worry, because this is quite normal. Besides, this may be your chance to provide surprise services to customers. Customers may not remember what they have bought in your store, but if there is a return or refund, and you’re positive to provide the most thoughtful and nice service to the customer in the shortest time, the customer may remember you. That’s how customer service counts on a successful business.




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