Today we’re going to talk about how to handle returns. The idea of a customer requesting their money back may make you cringe at first. Hopefully, you won’t see it as a bad thing after reading this. The first thing we’re going to talk about is how you should handle returns.
The second part of this article is going to be explaining why having a customer ask for a return can be a good thing. Yes, it actually can be a good thing if your customer asks for their money back. You may not think of it as such a good thing when it happens. We’ll talk about why a refund request may be a blessing in disguise.
How to handle refunds:
Drop shippers tend to freeze in their tracks at the thought of a return. There have undoubtedly been times in your life when you were unhappy with a product that you bought. The reasons why customers are unhappy are a dime a dozen.
It’s important to understand that the products are being shipped from one part of the world to another. Products sometimes do get damaged during shipping, and not all customers are lying about it. The customer may also legitimately be unhappy with the quality of the product.
First, ask if they’d like to receive another item
You may even ask them to send a picture of the item they received. Almost everyone these days has a smartphone that can take pictures. The product may have been damaged during transit, or there could be a defect. If that’s the case, then they certainly do deserve another. Not all customers will accept another of the same item and be prepared if they don’t. If your product has a high markup, then it’s still possible to make a profit even if you do send them another.
The last option is to offer a full refund
You simply refund the entire purchase price and maybe even tell them to keep the item. It all depends on how much you have invested in the product. If your investment isn’t much, then it’s best to tell them to keep it. You may not want to deal with return shipping costs and all that stuff. The customer will also feel like you take your business seriously.
Whatever you do, don’t fight it
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Let’s assume for a minute that you have just a few dollars wrapped up in the product. You don’t want to waste too much time going back and forth over a refund. Just get it over with and out of the way. Your time is far more valuable than the money, and you’ll end up wasting it arguing with the customer.
They do say the customer is always right. You may feel that the customer is way out of line asking for a refund and it’s entirely possible you’re right. Still, just give them a refund and get on with it all. You’ve got other customers to deal with, and you can’t allow this one transaction to get in the way of that.
Why a return may be a blessing:
First off, there’s a difference between a few returns and a stockpile of them. Let’s assume for a minute that you’ve started selling a new product and two out of the last ten customers have asked for returns. It may seem like the world is ending, but those customers may actually end up saving your business. How? Let’s talk about how a refund may help you serve the customer better.
The customer says the item in the picture is different
It’s important to pay attention to why the customer is asking for a refund. Do you notice the same reasoning again and again? You may hear that the customer thinks the items they’re buying is someghow different. How can that be?
There are many reasons why a customer may not fully understand the product you’re selling. The first reason could be your pictures. Take a good look at the pictures of your product. Do they leave anything at all to the imagination? If so, then you’ve got to get new pictures.
It’s always best to have your own pictures taken. You should buy the item and send it to a photographer. The entire process can be done for less than fifty dollars. This is the price of doing business and you it should be calculated in your profit margin. You need to make sure that the item is photographed at all possible angles to give the buyer the most information possible.
Do you make unrealistic promises in your description?
It can be easy to get carried away when describing your product. After all, you want the person to buy. However, you don’t want them to become immediately unsatisfied. You should refrain from calling your product the best or greatest. Your product more than likely isn’t the best on the market.
You want to set ideal expectations in the buyer before the item reaches them. If the person says the item described is different than what they received, then you’ve got to change your product description. Go over it with a fine tooth comb and then change it.
The quality of your item doesn’t match its price
This is kind of a tough thing to swallow for some sellers. Every person wants to have super high-profit margins. You may be charging too much for something that’s not worth it at all. Customers are willing to accept products of lesser quality if the price reflects it. Everyone knows that a $15 watch isn’t going to be as good as a $1,500. However, you can’t sell a $15 watch for $1,500 and not expect people to get mad. You may be charging too much for a product that isn’t worth the money. Keep your prices in line with the quality the customer should expect.
Not all is lost if you lose money on this one transaction
The way that you deal with the refund can determine if the customer buys from you again. It is entirely possible that they might buy from you again at a later date. If you enter your customers into a mailing list, then the odds are even better that they’ll buy something from you later on. You can keep sending them offers, and maybe they’ll bite on one of them. The hope is that they see you’re an honest business and feel comfortable shopping at your store again.
Refunds may help you identify problems before they take down your business
If you’re selling a brand new item, a few refunds may help you nip a problem in the bud. A couple of refunds could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run if you can fix the problem quickly. The reason for the refund requests could be something that might be able to be fixed relatively easily. If that’s the case, then the refunds help you far more than they hurt. The refund requests will make your business stronger. They will since you’ll have a renewed focus on customer satisfaction.
Yes, some refunds are on fraudulent grounds
How many scammers are there on the internet? Plenty. Your gut reaction that they’re just a scammer might be dead on. Though, you want to investigate anything before coming to that conclusion thoroughly. What if they are a scammer who’s trying to get a freebie?
Give them a refund and move on. That’s the best way of dealing with it. You don’t want to get bent out of shape and ruin your other customers’ experiences. It’s true that one bad apple can ruin the bunch, but you can’t let that happen. It’s the price of doing business, and unfortunately, you come across these types of people.
Don’t fret over refunds
People who sell physical products on the internet are worried continuously about refunds. This is especially the case for people who drop ship. It’s just a part of business, and you’ve got to accept that. The hope is to minimize the impact of refunds by having high-quality pictures and accurate descriptions.
If you’re noticing an unusually high number of returns, then there’s a problem. If you’ve never had one of the items in your possession, then it’s time to buy one and check it out. The product very well maybe not worth buying and the refunds reflect that.
Don’t sell your items so cheaply that you don’t have the room to offer refunds. The price you determine to sell your products for should in part reflect the fact that refunds do exist. If your products are sold too cheaply, a handful of refunds could put you into the red.
Lowering your prices to sell more, in the end, isn’t a good strategy for the average seller since they aren’t selling at a volume in which they can make up for it. The price of your item should reflect the many factors that are the cost of doing business. Just one of those factors are refunds, and there’s no way to avoid them 100% of the time.