10 Steps for Better Returns

Whether a returned item was the wrong size or was defective, you need a set of procedures for handling the product once it arrives in your warehouse. Fulfillment pro Curt Barry has a simple 10-step reverse logistics strategy. These tips can help you refurbish returns and get them back on the shelf for sale.

  1. Create clear understandable forms for you and your staff to use. Post returns policies in the frequently asked questions on your Website.
  2. Design your workstations with efficiency in mind including providing space for removal of returned corrugated and trash
  3. Provide adequate work and staging areas for returns
  4. Institute a simple three-part transaction process: Process the credit refunds, update the customer file and determine the product disposition
  5. Train your staff on handling returns. Provide an instruction manual if necessary for workers to become comfortable with the process.
  6. Make your company’s written policies and procedures for returns accessible to all personnel at all times
  7. Use bar codes to identify product so that it can efficiently return to inventory or otherwise disposed of quickly and efficiently. Less keying means fewer errors.
  8. Define return-to-stock procedures and be sure they are carried out in eight-hour to 24-hour cycles. Make sure enough space is allocated for storage of product to be returned to stock.
  9. Cross-dock returns whenever possible. If the returned item is on backorder, you can ship it to the waiting customer rather than restocking it
  10. Designate experienced personnel to make decisions on routing of returned merchandise; assign less experienced (and less costly) workers to repetitive keying and packaging functions.

Related Articles:

Many happy returns?
Properly Processing Returns
Four steps for operational excellence

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.