Thursday, August 27, 2009

Understanding How Wholesalers Handle Shipment Returns by Worldwide Brands

By Chris Malta, Founder & CEO of Worldwide Brands

Wholesale Tips Series - How to find wholesalers, doing business with a wholesaler, what to expect when purchasing from wholesalers and more.

Tip #17

When you source or purchase product from a wholesaler or a dropshipper, you need to understand how they deal with returns. RA or RMA are terms wholesale suppliers use when dealing with RETURNS. RA is used for "Return Authorization". RMA is used for "Return Merchandise Authorization".

You cannot just return a shipment to your wholesale supplier. Your customers should be required to follow a disciplined Return Process before attempting to return something you have shipped them. Your wholesale supplier will want you first to contact them to alert them to the need for a return and to provide the reasons for the return. You should require your customers to do the same by getting them to first contact you. The required process should be clearly stated in the Returns Policy in your eBay listings.

*Note, on Sept 22nd eBay will require all listings to have selected a Return Policy. Even if the Return Policy is that a seller does not accept returns, it must be selected*

When your wholesale supplier agrees to accept a return item or shipment, they will assign you an RA Number. Sometimes the method of return may be affected by the cause of the return or the circumstances. Sometimes the supplier may arrange a UPS or FedEx pre-paid pick up. Always clearly mark the RA number outside the return package before shipping it back to your wholesaler. The wholesale supplier will pass you a credit once they receive the goods.

Wholesale drop shippers typically require a similar process and your customer or eBay buyer must know to contact you first and request a replacement. You then contact your wholesale supplier to request the RA approved number. At the same time arrange a replacement order. Some drop shippers send a replacement product after issuing the RA number and even before the return reaches them. These are good wholesale suppliers to use since they help provide a better Buyer experience and help minimize your negative feedback on eBay.

Worldwide Brands is an eBay Certified Solution Provider, providing product sourcing access and information for eBay sellers. They are the publishers of an extensive directory of legitimate, fully-verified ecommerce wholesalers and manufacturers.

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