It’s bound to happen … a customer will make a purchase from your store and it just won’t please them. 👎  Here comes the return and request for a refund. 😒

Before you get bummed out, remember that returns are just a normal part of business. It’s how you handle what comes next that counts.

Returns for a refund or store credit are great opportunities to turn a less-than-ideal situation into a customer service win. We’ll show you how. 😊

Issuing Store Credit

The easiest and most convenient way to credit a customer is to issue an in-store credit. Here, you can award funds to a customer that will go directly toward a future purchase in your store.

  1. On the Order Details page for the order containing the returned item, scroll down to Payments and select Store Credit / Gift Certificates from the Choose Payment Type menu. Several additional fields will appear.
  2. Enter the Amount of the store credit, the email address where you want to send the store credit notification, and the name of the customer receiving the credit.
  3. Select For RMA to notate that the store credit is being issued for an RMA.
  4. Select Send via Email Now to send the store credit notification email to the customer as soon as the credit is created.
  5. When finished, click Apply Credit.

Once the credit is issued, it will be logged in the Details table within the Order Details page. Each instance of store credit is assigned an auto-generated code. Clicking on the gift certificate code will redirect you to the main Gift Certificate table, where you can view any instance of store credit that has been generated in your store (either by you or by customers who have purchasing electronic gift certificates).

Using Store Credit

Store credit uses the electronic gift certificate functionality. Once you have applied a store credit/gift certificate to a customer’s account, it will be automatically used as payment during the next purchase the customer places with your store.

Any additional credit remaining on their account will carry over to the customer’s next purchase until the remaining balance has been used.

Issuing Refunds

In some cases, customers may request a full or partial refund, or you may wish to issue full or partial credit on a transaction. How you manage refunds is up to you. Some merchants have strict policies of issuing only store credit to customers as this method may be more cost effective or easier to manage. Other merchants may offer a choice between a refund or store credit.

Refunding a Credit / Debit Card

To refund a credit card for a purchase that you have already collected payment for:

1. Go to Orders > Process Orders.

2. Select the order you want to refund.

3. Under Payment Log, find the line item that says Capture or Debit

4. From the drop-down menu, select either Void or Credit - Adjustment (see "Note on Credits and Voids" below).

  • Selecting Void will "cancel" the payment with your payment gateway. This option is only available if your credit card gateway has not yet processed the captured payment.
  • Selecting Credit - Adjustment will result in the Total Due reflecting the amount you credited. This option should be used when you want to adjust the order (adding a discount, reducing the quantity of a product, etc.) rather than completely refund it.
  • Selecting Credit - For RMAs will result in Total Due remaining the same. This option should be used if the customer is returning the product for a refund.

5. Verify the amount you want to refund to the credit account and enter that amount into the text box.

6. Click the Apply link to return funds to the customer’s account.

Please be aware that our system only allows you to issue one credit per order. If you need to issue a second credit, see "Refunding a Credit / Debit Card Through Your Gateway" below. Additionally, you can only refund up to the amount authorized for the customer’s original payment and you can only return funds to the credit account that was originally charged. Please allow approximately 24-72 hours for refunds to be fully processed (length of time dependent on both the payment gateway services and financial institutions involved in the transaction).

Keep in mind that your store must be configured to retain payment and credit card information beyond the initial authorize or capture. Otherwise your store will be unable to return funds to customers’ credit card accounts after their initial purchase has been made.

You may adjust your store to accommodate this form of processing, but doing so may result in non-compliance with PCI guidelines.

Note on Credits and Voids

To credit a transaction is to move money from your merchant account to the card holder's credit account. Only transactions that you have captured, and which your gateway has submitted to your payment processor, can be credited.

To void a transaction is to cancel the authorization prior to capture, or to cancel it after capture but before your gateway has submitted a record of the capture request to your payment processor (the payment processor only has a record of the authorization prior to that point). Most gateways submit all captured transactions to the processor once per day on a regular schedule. The time of day varies by gateway provider.

Since the Volusion system must accommodate all integrated gateways, the Void option remains available for 24 hours after capture, regardless of whether your gateway has submitted the transaction to your processor before 24 hours have elapsed. If you attempt to void a captured transaction and receive an error message, it usually means your gateway has already submitted the transaction to your payment processor. In these cases, you should be able to issue credit.

Likewise, if you attempt to credit a captured transaction and receive an error, it usually means your gateway hasn't yet submitted the transaction to your payment processor. In these cases, you should still be able to void the authorization.

Refunding a Credit / Debit Card Through Your Gateway

When supported, we recommend issuing credit / debit card refunds through the Order Details page for record-keeping purposes. This will automatically update your gateway records. If you choose to process a credit/debit card refund directly through your gateway, your order details page won’t be updated. In these cases, select Offline Payment Record from the Choose Payment menu and generate a credit payment log entry to update the payment activity records.

You can also use this method to restore deleted log entries, regardless of the command, or keep track of refunds issued through self- arranged means on payments made by PayPal, electronic check, check by mail, cash, wire transfer, money order, COD, and purchase order. Note that offline payment commands require additional arrangements on your part and offer no guarantee of accuracy.

Refunding PayPal Standard, Check, COD and Cash Payments

For PayPal Standard payments, you can transfer refunds to the customer for the appropriate amount from within your PayPal account.

For refunds for purchases made via check, COD or other forms of payment, you have to issue the equivalent payment to the customer.

Although the actual refund takes place outside of your storefront, you should create an Offline Payment Record to record the refund for bookkeeping purposes.

  1. Go to Orders > Processing Orders. 
  2. Select Shipped from the Filter menu.
  3. Click the Order ID for the order.
  4. Scroll down to the Payments section.
  5. Select Offline Payment Record from the Change Payment Type menu.
  6. Select the appropriate Credit option from the Payment Type menu.
  7. Enter the payment amount in the Payment Amount field.
  8. Select the payment method from the Paid Via menu.
  9. If required, enter a Transaction ID. This is optional.
  10. If required, enter a Reference Note. This is optional.
  11. Click Apply Offline Payment.
  12. The payment will be applied and the payment log updated.


While refunds aren’t typically fun for either you or your shoppers, at least the process of crediting their store or credit card account is simple and straightforward. And that can put a smile on both of your faces. 😀

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