Don’t worry. You don’t need to accept returns to your home.
In this episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, Anton shares what to do if you find yourself approved to sell for a supplier that makes great products but doesn’t accept returns.
As always, if you have any questions and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this with someone who needs to hear it.
What's Covered in This Episode:
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What's up, everybody? Anton Kraly here from ecommercelifestyle.com, and welcome back to the podcast. If you're new, just know that this show comes out twice a week. We have a brand new episode every single Monday and Thursday morning. This show is available on every major podcast player, just search for E-commerce Lifestyle, and be sure to click subscribe so that you will get notified every time a new episode goes live. Every episode is designed to help e-commerce store owners to increase their revenue, automate their operations, and become the authority in their niche, specifically while building a lifestyle business. And what that means is, a business that can actually allow you to live the type of life you want. So, the business that we build is a tool that can then fund our lifestyle. So, this isn't about working 80 hours a week. This isn't about being the person that has the highest hustle score.
This is about being the guy or girl that has a business that runs, that provides them with the means to do what it is that they want. So, if you are not subscribed, be sure, again, to click the subscribe button wherever E-commerce Lifestyle is available, and you will get notified every time we have a new episode. So, with that being said, today, what are we talking about? We are talking about what to do when you get approved with a supplier that does not accept returns. Now, specifically, we're going to be focusing on drop shipping, because you're not obviously shipping the products yourself. So, what will most likely happen as you build your business is you'll have your store set up and maybe you'll find 20 different brands that you want to sell for. You'll reach out to them. They'll approve you to sell their products, and you will now be an authorized retailer for all the different brands, in this case, 20 of them.Now, because these 20 different companies are all different companies, they're all going to have their own policies. And one of those policies is going to be their returns. So, whenever they send you the documentation that you need to sign to become the authorized retailer, you'll have a section, maybe a paragraph, maybe more, about their return policy. Now, many of them will say something like 14 day returns, 30 day returns, maybe 60 day returns. Some of them might say no returns. So, the question that I want to answer for you is, what do you do when you see that? Do you just say, "Well, I don't obviously want to accept returns to my home. I don't want a garage full of products that people don't want. I am just not even going to get approved with the supplier. I'm not going to sell their products."
Is that what you do? And it's an option. Now, one thing I'll mention is, if you go online and do the research into the brands you want to sell for, which I show you exactly how to do, by the way, inside of the Drop Ship Blueprint, which is my e-commerce coaching company, you can learn more at dropshiplifestyle.com. I'll link that below. But if you find this brand, they don't accept returns, and you Google their company name and you see a bunch of bad reviews about the product quality, well, then I probably would just stop right there. I wouldn't sign the forms. I wouldn't send it back. I wouldn't try to sell their products, because that's a reason to have a headache that you don't need. So, if you see bad reviews on their products, they don't accept returns, then don't even get approved. Don't upload their products to your store.
Now, let's say you do Google them and you see good reviews for their products, or maybe even no reviews, maybe they're a smaller brand, or they're just not that well-known online, but they don't accept returns, well, what do you do there? So, you have a couple options. The first is the easiest, and what you could do in this scenario is on the product pages for the specific brand, let's just say it's Brand D, that's their company name, Brand D, for every product page from Brand D on your store, you will have a note that says, "This product is not eligible for returns." Now, on your store, you're also going to have a page that says, "Shipping and returns," your shipping and returns policy. There, you can have your general shipping and returns policy, but then you would have a section that said, "Please note, Brand D products," if that's the brand, "are not eligible for returns."
So, you can just make it clear on your website, just like Brand D made it clear to you in their agreement, that those products are not eligible for returns. So, that's the easiest thing you can do. That way, anybody orders it, sale is final, it's done. With that being said, you might have people that order it that still want to return, that say, "I didn't see it." And how you deal with that is a conversation for another day, but the simplest approach is to do exactly what I just explained. Now, let's say you do want to, I don't want to say this the wrong way. Maybe you do want, it's almost like you want to add some work for yourself, but at the same time, have higher conversion rates. So, let's look at this from a specific example.
Let's say we're talking about Brand E now, and Brand E says same thing, in the document they send you, "Not eligible for returns." And then you Google Brand E online and you see glowing reviews and people love their products. Then you're looking at your future competitors' websites, which again, I show you exactly how to do this in the Drop Ship Blueprint, which you can get at dropshiplifestyle.com. But you're researching them, people love their products, and you see that everybody else, all of your competitors or your future competitors that sell those products, do not accept returns. Now, what can you do to stand out, and to be different, and to get more sales for Brand E? Well, you can say that you accept returns for those products, even though Brand E does not accept returns directly. Now, what does that mean for you? What are you opening yourself up to?
Well, I can click on one of your ads tomorrow. I can go to your store. I can buy a Brand E product. I can receive it. And for whatever reason I could say, "You know what, I don't want this." And I can email you and say, "I want to return this." So, what are your options then? Well, you have a couple. One of them is you can offer a partial discount, maybe, "Hey, listen, we're willing to give you 15% back, 20% back," whatever it is, try to get me to keep the product, so you don't have to deal with finding somewhere for this to go. So, that could be your first line of defense. If you want to make this simpler, offer them some money back. Yes, out of your profit that you would have made if they kept it, but that way, at least you don't need to deal with coordinating shipping and whatnot.
Another option is you can have it clear on your website that you have a restocking fee and that the customer pays return shipping. So, now, the customer, in this case, me that ordered from you, I know if I want to send this back, I can, but I have to pay maybe a 10% restocking fee, plus I have to pay to ship it somewhere. So, now, do I still want to do this? Yes, I do. Okay, great. So, now you have to tell me where to ship it. Well, you could have it shipped to your home, depending on the size and what you want to do with this thing. You could have it shipped to you, and then yes, you can put it on Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace, sell it locally, get your cash back, and move on. That's one option. Another option, which I feel like most people will gravitate towards is find a fulfillment center, whether it be a really small one or a big one, depending on your order volume, and have them accept your returns.
So, in this scenario, I want to return it, Supplier E doesn't accept returns. You tell me, "Okay, here's the return shipping address." I ship it back, but it doesn't go to you. It doesn't go to the supplier. It goes to the fulfillment center who would recognize it as an inbound package from you. But now that leads to the question, what do they do with it? Because now the fulfillment center has your product that's an open box in stock. Well, you want to sell it, few options again. You can put it on Craigslist. You can put it on Facebook Marketplace. You can put it on eBay. Remember, because it's an open box. Or you can even build a section, again, depending on your volume, of your store that says "Open box deals," where you list products that are in this situation, that are, there's one available, it's in the fulfillment center, or maybe it's in your garage, but you want to get that thing sold as quick as possible. You give a discount, somebody buys it, the fulfillment center ships it to that new customer, deal done.
So, I'm not saying for every supplier, and this is important, because again, we talked about this in the intro. I know everybody wants a lifestyle business just like I build, just like I teach. So, I'm not saying for every supplier that tells you, "We don't accept returns," you should accept returns, you should have them shipped to a fulfillment center and go through this process. But if you ever see opportunity where one of your brands, and this hypothetical Brand E does not accept returns, you can find that if they have great reviews, you can have the unique thing about your store.
What could make you different is that you do, but remember they don't have to go to you, and you don't have to lose money by accepting them. So, hope everybody found this helpful. I had just done, looking for my phone. I had just done an Instagram Q and A. By the way, if you don't follow us on Instagram, just search for Drop Ship Lifestyle and follow the account. I do Q and A's there all the time. But somebody had asked about this, "What do you do if your suppliers don't accept returns?" And this is the longer answer to that question. So, hope you got value. And if you want the full step-by-step of how we do this, how to literally set it up on your stores, what type of emails to send, where to find fulfillment centers to work with, just everything you need, copy and paste, that is all available in my program, the Drop Ship Blueprint.
You can enroll in that program at dropshiplifestyle.com, or if you want a free training that just takes you through the process, a high level overview of how we build stores, then you can go to dropshipwebinar.com. I will link that in the description as well. And as always, if you got value from this podcast, do me a favor, leave a review over on Apple podcasts. It means a lot, and I read all of them. And with that being said, I will talk to you on Thursday for the next episode of the E-Commerce Lifestyle podcast. See everybody.