Introduction to returns and exchanges

Returns, refunds and exchanges are handled in Brightpearl in a couple of different ways, depending on the circumstances of the transaction.

It is important to understand the difference between the three different terms:

  • A refund is the money given back to the customer, after receiving a payment from them. It may or may not be associated with inventory being received back into the system.
  • A return indicates inventory has been sent out and is being received back into the system. A return will generally be associated with a refund, but does not have to be.
  • An exchange indicates a change to a sale after it's been placed. It can happen before the item has been shipped, or after; if after, it will also be associated with a return. A monetary transaction may or may not be involved.

Refunds and exchanges where the items have not yet shipped

In the cases where the original order hasn't been dispatched, it is possible to make any amendments directly on the order itself. Depending on the sales channel, you may also need to mirror those adjustments on the channel.

For example, if a customer gets in touch to request one item be swapped with another before dispatch, you can simply remove the item from the order and add the new one.

Sales credits

If the items have been dispatched or the original order has been invoiced, you may need to create a sales credit. A sales credit is the inverse of a sales order and is necessary to reverse the accounting created off the back of the sales order.

Learn more about sales credits here.

Refunding without receiving goods

If a customer calls with a complaint or problem, you can refund money without needing to receive goods in return. The original sale will be closed and invoiced, so don't refund from there otherwise the sale will become part-paid!

Create a new sales credit, with a miscellaneous line to describe the nature of the refund.

Then create a customer payment from within the sales credit, and mark the credit as invoiced.

Refunding for returned goods

Create a sales credit, but this time put inventory items onto it. The best way to create the credit is by cloning lines from the original sales order.

In addition to being able to refund via customer payments, you'll have the ability to receive inventory when it arrives from the customer.

Read more about the best practices for returns here.

Receiving goods

Goods received from a customer (via a sales credit) can be:

  • Restocked,
  • Written off, or
  • Put into quarantine

Read more about returns and inventory

Exchanges after dispatch

If a customer has received goods and wishes to exchange them, the process involves creating a sales credit to receive the unwanted items in, and a new sales order to handle sending replacement items out.

Read more about exchanges, and read more about the best practices for processing exchanges for unshipped orders and shipped orders.

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