In e-commerce, returns can get messy. Let’s not lie to each other.
But fret not! For our first Orange Shine tips and advice post catered to our customers and other retailers out there, we have 5 game-changing pieces of advice that will help with your next return request both painless and as speedy as possible.
1. Take good images.
This will make the vendor’s (and your) life easier and help prevent additional questions from being asked. Take close-ups so there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that a damage was made. Get good lighting and work your zoom button so that no one is squinting and guessing.
2. Give full detail of damages
Along with the images, vendors require the story of the damages so they know what they’re looking at. Make sure you provide all the details, be it a hole, stain, or a wrong color of the item, they need to know as much information as possible.
3. Info, Info, and more Info
It’s not enough to provide damage details. Anything to help a customer service associate know about the item faster should go on the email when you ask for a request since the vendor needs to know this information as well in order to respond to return requests. Every single time, we will ask for style number or name, order number, number of items damaged, missing, or wrong, the color, and any other piece of information that are paramount to resolving the issue.
Otherwise, we will have to ask again for these details and further delay the return process.
4. Put in the request as soon as possible.
The longer you wait to notify us, the lower your chances for a fast return. Most brands have a deadline for when returns can be made, so it’s a good idea to check each vendor’s individual return policy.
Moreover, orders that have been processed and shipped months ago are no longer on the vendor’s radar. Numerous orders and shipments go in and out, so it’s difficult for a brand to look far back in their records for an old order. Promptness is key. Just as a rule of thumb, try to place the return request within the same day. If you can, the same hour.
5. Politeness Goes a Long Way
Customer service representatives always respond well to patience. In certain cases, some will even put those returns at the front of the request line. It’s human nature to appreciate kindness, and customer service representative and vendors (also human beings) will reward a good attitude.
6. Return Labels and Shipping
When you send the return package, add a custom request for the receiver’s signature upon delivery. That way, you can ensure that the package reached the brand and there’s no confusion about a missing package. Once the vendor receives your package, that is when we can issue you monetary refund or store credit.
This goes without saying, but ship the package the moment you receive the label from the vendor. Also, double check for any mistakes. Errors made on the return label can cause a bounce-back. In these prolonged cases, you may have to wait for Fedex, UPS, or another carrier get the package to you in a week or so longer, and then you would have to ship it off again.
Do it right the first time and save yourself the headache. We are going to emphasize this again: check the return label before shipping it.
Those are the basics, and while it may sound like common sense, it’s astounding how the simplest strategies can lead to the biggest pay-off or, in the case of returns, save you from a whole world of stress.
Leslie Lee, Fashion Writer