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Managing Returns

How Returns Work in a ProductCart-powered Store

ProductCart contains a full-featured module to handle product returns. The system supports partial or full returns, and allows the customer to be directly involved in the process. Specifically, returning an order now includes the following steps.

  • In order for a customer to initiate an RMA request, the Order Status must be “Shipped”, and they must be a Registered Customer (as opposed to a Guest).
  • A customer requests a return authorization (RMA – Return Manufacturer Authorization). After an order has been shipped, the order details page in the customer’s account area displays a link to request a RMA, unless this feature has been turned off under Settings > Store Settings > Miscellaneous. The text shown, as always, can be edited as explained in Editing Text in your Storefront.
  • When requesting a RMA, the customer can specify which products he/she would like to return, if the order included more than one product. The customer can elaborate on the reason for the return. The customer is not immediately given an RMA number to use for the return, but rather will have to wait for the store administrator to review and approve the RMA request. This will allow you to decide whether the return falls within the terms of your return policy, for example.
  • The store administrator is notified via e-mail that an RMA request has been submitted. At that time, the store administrator can view details about the RMA request by logging into the Control Panel and clicking on the Process/Update tab of the Order Details page. At the top are details about what the customer would like to return and why. In the lower section of the page are tools to manage the RMA request.
    • By default the Status of the RMA request is Pending. You are change it to Approved or Denied.
    • If you approve the RMA request, check the option Generate RMA Number. A random number will be shown to the customer on the order details page of the order for which the RMA request was submitted, together with your Comments.
    • Click on Modify to update the RMA information. The order details page in the customer’s account area is automatically updated with the same information. Note that an e-mail is sent to the customer notifying him/her of the update.
  • The customer is updated of the status of the RMA request both by e-mail and through the order details page accessible from the customer’s account menu. If the RMA request is approved, the customer is automatically provided a RMA number, together with the store administrator’s instructions on how to return the product(s).

Returns and Credits

Once the returned products are received, the store administrator can decide whether to post a credit to the customer’s account, and add related comments. To do so, return to the View/Modify RMA page, enter the number of units being returned and the total amount to be credited.

If a credit is issued, the order details page in the customer’s account area is once again updated with the credit, if any, and the related comments. The order details are updated throughout the Control Panel and the Order Details page is updated to reflect information about which products were returned, and the amount credited to the order.

Other Notes about Returns

  • When customers submit a partial return, they cannot submit another RMA request for the remaining of the order. Only one RMA can be issued automatically through the Control Panel.
  • When a credit is issued, inventory and order status are not updated. The rationale for not automatically readjusting inventory levels is that the products that are being returned by the customer may be damaged. The rationale for not automatically changing the order status to Return is that this may be a partial return. If all products have been returned, you can manually change the order status to Return from the Order Details page, using the Reset Order Status drop-down menu located in the middle section of the page.
  • When a credit is issued, the payment gateway that might have been involved in the transaction is not contacted. If a refund is needed, you will have to process it by logging into the payment gateway's administration area.

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