Creating returns with exchange items

Offering exchanges helps you retain revenue and potentially increase revenue through upsells. Your customers might want to exchange an item for another item from your product catalog. You can create a return and add exchange items to a return directly from your Shopify admin.

When you add exchange items to a return, the expected financial result is calculated for you and the value of the exchange items are automatically applied against the return items. Depending on the difference in value, you can collect payment from the customer or issue a refund.

Considerations for exchanging items

Before you create a return with exchange items, review the following considerations:

  • You can't add custom items as exchange items.
  • Exchanges can't be requested in self-serve returns, and you can't have exchange-specific return rules.
  • You can't add exchange items when approving a return request. If a return request includes notes requesting exchange items, then you can decline the return request and create a new return with exchange items in your Shopify admin.
  • You can't add exchange items to orders with duties, but you can create a return for orders with duties.
  • Consider updating your written return and refund policy to inform your customers that your store accepts exchanges.
  • Order level discounts aren't automatically applied to exchange items.

Flow of funds in exchanges

Review the following table to learn more about the flow of funds when exchanging items and what actions you need to take in specific situations:

Flow of funds in exchanges
SituationResultAction
The new item is more expensive than the original item.Your customer owes you money for the remaining balance.You can collect the balance by sending an invoice, capturing payment, or marking your order as paid.
The new item is less expensive than the original item.You owe money to your customer for the difference between the new and the original item.You need to issue a refund to your customer.
Both items have the same value, it's an even exchange.The money is applied from the original item to the new item.No action is required.

Create a return with exchange items

You can create a return and add exchange items from your Shopify admin. You can also add product discounts when adding exchange items to a return.

When you create a return, the return shipping fee and restocking fee are displayed based on your return rules. You can also edit the return fees for a specific return. The restocking fee can be edited by return or by item, but the return shipping fee can be edited only by return.

After you create a return with exchange items, the exchange items are automatically put on hold.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Orders.

  2. Click the order that you want to return and add exchange items.

  3. Click Return.

  4. In the Select return items section, do the following tasks:

    1. Select the items that need to be returned by entering the item quantity next to each item.
    2. Select a return reason for each return item.
  5. Optional: To edit a restocking fee or a return shipping fee, complete the following steps:

    1. In the Summary section, click Restocking fee or Return shipping.
    2. Enter a new restocking fee or return shipping.
    3. Click Save.
    4. Optional: You can also edit the restocking fee on an individual return item by clicking on the fee below the item.
  6. In the Exchange items section, click Add products.

  7. Select the exchange items, and then click Done.

  8. Optional: To apply a product discount to exchange items, complete the following steps:

    1. Click Apply discount next to the exchange item's price.
    2. Enter a discount type, discount value, and a reason for discount.
    3. Click Apply.
  9. In the Return shipping options section, select one of the following options:

    • Select Create a return label in Shopify to create a return shipping label for your customer. This option is available only if your primary location and customer shipping address are both in the United States.
    • Select Upload a return label to upload an existing return shipping label for your customer. On the Add return label page, upload the PDF or JPEG file for your shipping label. You can enter the Tracking number and Shipping carrier if you have this information.
    • Select Return items to Shopify Fulfillment Network to return products to the Shopify Fulfillment Network.
    • Select No return shipping to create a return without any return shipping information.
  10. Click Create return.

Processing return and exchange items

After you receive the return items, you need to inspect and restock them, and then fulfill the exchange items. The following steps can be taken in any order based on your business process.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Orders.

  2. Click the order that you want to restock and fulfill the exchange items.

  3. To restock your return items, do the following tasks:

    1. In the Return in progress section, click Restock.
    2. Select the items to restock.
    3. In the Restock location section, select a location to restock your items to.
    4. Click Restock items.
  4. To fulfill exchange items, complete the following steps:

    1. go to the On hold section, and then click Release fulfillment. Exchange items are also displayed in the Return in progress section for reference.
    2. In the Unfulfilled section, fulfill the exchange items the same way you fulfill your regular orders.
  5. Depending on the adjustment to your order, issue a refund or collect payment:

    • If you owe money to your customer, then issue a refund.
    • If your customer owes you money, then click Collect payment, and then select how you want to collect your payment.

After you fulfill the exchange items, your customer receives an email notification. They can also check their order summary and order status from their customer account.

Closing a return with exchange items

After you complete all outstanding tasks for the return, you can close the return. The return closes automatically when every item is refunded and restocked. When exchanging items, you don't need to refund every item unless you owe money to your customer. The return closes automatically when every item is restocked.

Remove return items from a return

If a customer doesn't send a return package or an item is missing in a returned package, then you can remove the item from a return. After you remove a return item, your order balance is adjusted accordingly.

You can't remove refunded or restocked items from a return.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Orders.

  2. Click the order that you want to remove return items from.

  3. In the Return in progress section, click ….

  4. Click Remove return items

  5. Select the items that you want to remove from a return.

  6. Click Remove item, and then click Remove item to confirm.

Canceling a return with exchange items

To cancel a return with exchange items, you need to cancel a return, and then edit the order to remove the unfulfilled exchange items.

Customer experience

Your customers can write an email to you to request an exchange or submit a return request with a note next to the item that they want to exchange. You can create a return and add exchange items from your Shopify admin.

When you exchange items, you might owe money to your customer or your customer might owe you money. You can issue a refund or collect payment during a return.

After you create a return with exchange items, your customer receives an email notification that indicates which items they're receiving as exchanges and which items they need to return. If your customer owes you money for the exchange items, then they can go to checkout and pay the remaining balance directly from the invoice email notification

Updating exchanges email notifications

Exchanges have the following email notifications that you can update:

  • Order invoice
  • Order refund
  • Return created

You can update these notifications in Settings > Notifications. For more information on how to customize exchanges email notifications, refer to Updating email notifications for exchanges.

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