While shopping online has its conveniences, it sometimes has its drawbacks. Namely, that the customer can’t actually see, touch or try out/on whatever they’re buying. As a result, there will be times when a product just doesn’t work for a customer and comes back to your store.
While is stinks to see a sale lost, you might also see it as an opportunity to win your customers’ affinity and future business. Having a clear and convenient return policy, can be a big differentiator between you and a competitor, and can keep customers coming back to buy the item that’s truly right for them.
Creating an RMA
Creating an RMA record from the order details page is the easiest way to begin processing a return.
Go to Orders > Process Orders in your Admin Area.
Click on the Search button and find the customer’s original order.
Under the Details section, click Edit.
Enter the quantity being returned into the Qty to Return text box in the far right column. The Qty to Return box is the second box in the column. The first box is used for Packing Slip Qty and is not utilized in this process.
A new section called RMA will be displayed above the Drop Ship section of the order details page. This RMA section lists the products an RMA has been created for. The only fields that can be edited here are:
Refund Type: Use this to show the type of refund being applied. It can be: Refund, Exchange, Store Credit or None.
Exchange for OrderID: If the product is being evenly exchanged for another product listed in a separate order, you can specify its order number here.
Lost Value: If the product is damaged, you can specify the value lost for this product.
Once this process is complete, the RMA will be created for the product to be returned. You can view the RMA’s basic information within the RMA section of the order details page. This section will only be visible if an RMA is associated with an order.
The settings in the RMA section of the Order Details page are provided for your recordkeeping convenience. Choosing to issue Store Credits, Exchanges, and Refunds or entering information into this table will not process the RMA.
Viewing and Editing RMAs
The Manage Returns/RMAs page is located under Orders > Returns/RMAs.
There are 3 different tables and functions available from this section: RMAs, RMA Items, and RMA Items: Receiving. Navigate among these 3 table views by selecting them from the Filter menu at the top of the page.
Selecting RMAs from the Filter menu shows the status of all outstanding RMAs, the orders they apply to, when they were created, and their deadlines. It does not show the items within the RMA.
The following information is recorded for each RMA:
A unique number generated for every RMA created within the system. This number is used as a reference for customers in regards to the return being processed.
The status of the RMA. This will be Waiting for open RMAs, Partially Received for RMAs that have had some but not all quantities returned and Received for RMAs that have had all quantities returned to stock from the Inventory > Receiving page within your store Admin Area.
The ID of the order from which this RMA was generated. Click on this ID in the list view to display this order's details page.
The date (mm/dd/yyyy) the RMA was originally generated on.
The date by which the RMA should be received. This date is automatically generated based on the RMA Days To Return entered on the RMA Settings screen (see below).
These internal-only notes allow you to enter information regarding the particular RMA. These notes are not seen by customers.
You can click Add to manually add an RMA to this table. Note this method of creating an RMA will not apply any products / items or Status to the RMA record.
To view a specific RMA, click the RMA# in the first column. The Receive Inventory from RMA link in the top left corner of the RMA Details page takes you to the Inventory > Receiving page to receive the RMA. This is covered in Receiving an RMA section below.
If you click the three-dot actions menu icon and select Returns/RMAs Settings, the RMA Days To Return field lets you specify the number of days a customer has to return a product. By default, the number of days is set to 30.
RMA Items Filter
The RMA Items filter shows all items on every RMAs, regardless of status. Details about each item being returned via RMAs generated within this system include the Order Detail ID, Quantities Requested for Return, Quantities Received Sellable, and Quantities Received Damaged.
The following information is recorded for each RMA item:
The unique number assigned for each product when an RMA is created. This ID is also used in the RMA section of the Order page and on the Receiving page. Note this does not relate to the RMA Number (above).
The unique number assigned to the total RMA record. This can be manually given to customers and used to keep track of the RMA
Qty Requested for Return
The quantity of this item to be returned via the RMA.
The Order Detail ID number for each order related to the RMA. This number is used to reference order data in the system.
Qty Received Sellable
This is entered into the Receiving page when processing the RMA. It is the quantity of the product in sellable condition that will be returned to stock when the RMA is received.
Qty Received Damaged
This is entered into the Receiving page when processing the RMA. It is the quantity of the product in unsellable condition that cannot be returned to stock when the RMA is received.
This value can be edited here or within the RMA field within an order to show the value of product lost due to the RMA (typically due to the return of products that cannot be resold).
Clicking on the item number for each RMA entry will display that entry's settings page. Note that you should not normally edit information on this page: these fields should be updated from the Receiving page or the order details page
As with the RMAs view, the Inventory: Receive Returns for RMA# link in the top left corner of the page takes you to the Inventory > Receiving page to receive the RMA.
There is also a link at the top right of each RMA Items page labeled Edit RMA# X, which links to the individual RMA Settings page where you can edit any necessary RMA settings.
RMA Items: Receiving Filter
RMA Items: Receiving lists entries in the RMA Items table that have not been fully received or processed. The information available in this view is identical to the information at RMA Items, but the RMA Items: Receiving view only lists RMA Items that are not yet received. Once the RMA is received, the items are removed from this table and will no longer appear under this tab.
This table gives you a snapshot of all outstanding RMAs in your store. This can be important when managing RMAs in conjunction with return policy stipulations such as RMA due dates.
Clicking on the Item ID takes you to the RMA Items entry for that product as described above.
Receiving an RMA
To view all of your outstanding RMAs, go to Orders > Returns/RMAs. All RMAs with at least one item that has not yet been received will display in this table.
Click the RMA # to open the RMA. Note that on this page, you can change the RMA Deadline or add RMA Notes for your reference.
Once you’re ready to receive returned products for the RMA, click the Receive Inventory from RMA # link.
The Prepare Shipments & Receiving page for the specific RMA will display with the RMA Status and Deadline.
Enter the Qty Sellable or Qty Damaged for each returned product and click Save. Entering a Qty Sellable will add the amount back to the Stock Status of the product. Entering a Qty Damaged will not add the amount back into your store’s stock.
Once all products on an RMA are received, the status of the RMA will change from Waiting to Received.
Receiving Items Without an RMA
If an RMA was not created, you can still update your orders to show items have been received.
Select Orders > Process Orders.
Find the required order ID number and click to open the order.
Scroll down to the Details section and expand if necessary to show the Items section.
Click Edit next to Products header if the two rows of item details are not displayed.
In the Inventory Pend. box enter "-1" (or whatever quantity was returned) to mark the item as being returned and click Save. This will "unship" the item.
In the Qty box, reduce the Qty / amount of the item by the quantity returned to indicate that it is no longer considered part of the order (that is, "returned") and click Save (for example: if 3 of the same product were purchased and one was returned, reduce the Qty from 3 to 2; if a single product was purchased and it was returned, reduce the Qty from 1 to 0).
Optional Order Updates
If you want to delete the item from the order, there is a check box below the Details - Items section that you can use to remove all zero quantity items from the order. Select Remove Items with Qty set to 0 and click Save.
If you want to mark an order as having been returned, select the Returned or Partially Returned label from the Status menu at the top of the order details page.
If you would like to add notations to the order regarding the returns, enter relevant comments the Order Notes or Private Notes fields within the order's details page. Be sure to click Save to save any notes. Note that customers will be able to see any Order Notes if you re-send the OrderConfirmation_To_Customer.asp email, or if the customer views the order by accessing their myaccount.asp page.
Have a Clear Return Policy
Be sure that your Return policy can be found easily on your website. Be sure it is linked from your company's Terms and Conditions page, and consider including a link in your OrderHasShipped.asp email to your customers.
Note that your store has a built-in Returns.asp article that you can customize any time you need to update your return policy. Go to Design > Site Content and find article ID # 3 to edit your store's Returns.asp page. This page is linked from your customer's Myaccount.asp page, so be sure to make your contact information and policies clear.
For more tips, check out our article, "How to Write a Killer Ecommerce Return Policy".
What the Customer Sees
The myaccount.asp page of a customer's account does not have a page which updates with the RMA status, so you can keep your customers informed about the stages of RMA processing by emailing them. There is a link on the customer's myaccount.asp page called Return Items, which links to your returns.asp page.
The information on your returns.asp page will serve to manage customer expectations regarding refunds, store credit, and return processing time. Beyond this page, customers will only be updated about the status of their return if you reach out to contact them.
Returns Due Date
By default, the RMA Days to Return is set to 30 days, meaning that the system will configure a merchandise return due date 30 days from the day that the RMA is created. If you would like to change this, go to Orders > Returns / RMAs and click Settings at the top of the table. Change the number and click Save. The number of days set here should reflect the deadline listed in your return policy.
Updating Order Statuses
The order statuses of Returned and Partially Returned exist in Volusion's orders database for merchants to indicate that an order contains a return. Note that this does not update automatically, but updating the order status manually is an easy way to mark an order for your own convenience.
Since the world of online retail will sometimes inevitably lead to returns, it’s best to have a solid return policy and clear understanding of how returns and RMAs work within your store. The RMA management features help you process returns and keep track of updating inventory as items are shipped back to your business or receiving location. Making returns easy on your customers will help bring them back for more!
For details about refunding returned orders or issuing store credit, see our article on "How to Refund an Order".