We all know how hard it can be to not have all the necessary or correct information when you’re dealing with a problematic situation. This is especially true when you have to co-ordinate all of the communication with everyone involved, from your customer to your dropshipping and fulfillment service.
To deal with these issues as quickly and efficiently as possible, you need to have clear guidelines for the most common scenarios. These don’t only help you sort through problems more quickly, but also provide a feeling of security for your customers, which can result in higher purchase conversion rate.
In this day and age store policy is one of the main key factors that can make or break your brand. In fact, a survey by comScore and UPS found that 63% of American consumers check the return policy before making a purchase, showing how important it is to have one.
Since you’re using Printful for your POD (print on demand) needs, we’ve selected our top 5 policies your store should copy to make life easier for you and your customers. Those are:
2. Sizing Charts
3. Damaged Items
4. “Lost in Transit” items
5. International orders
There are two different types of returns. Either the shipping carrier will return an order, or the customer will.
Returned by the shipping carrier
If the carrier is not able to deliver the items to the provided address, they will return them to us. Most commonly it’s referred to as the ‘wrong address’. It happens if you or your end customer provide an address that is considered insufficient by the courier. Be extra careful with apartment numbers and zip codes! Don’t leave them out and double check the digits. You can use a simple tool like the USPS ZIP code lookup to make sure that the city in the address matches the zip code.
Another reason items are returned by the carrier is that they were ‘unclaimed’. If your end customer does not collect the item at the local post or a different pickup location, it will be returned. In most cases, the shipment will be returned to our facility as it is the default return address. You can customize this setting to have all packages be returned to a different address of your liking.
If you choose to leave the default settings as is, we will be able to reship the returned items to a correct address. However, keep in mind that you will be liable for reshipment costs once you confirm an updated address.
Returned by the customer
The other reason for returns is when the end customer returns the ordered items. Usually, this is due to the incorrect size being ordered. It is best to advise your end customers to contact you before returning any products because we do not refund orders for buyer’s remorse. If you want to allow size exchanges in your store you can, but these will be at your expense and discretion. You would place a new order, at your expense, for an updated size if you choose to accept or offer size exchanges to your end customers.
For more information about returns, you can also view our Returns Policy for up-to-date details at any time.
2. Sizing Charts
Another matter you might want to include to your store policy is the garment sizes. Of course, you’re in control of what range of sizes you offer. However, different brands manufacture their products differently, using different sizing. Your customers are ordering products with a general idea of how the selected size should fit. They expect a Medium to fit like their other mediums. However, one manufacturer might not go by the same sizing chart as another. This, as you can imagine, can create some confusion when the ordered size does not fit as expected.
We’re doing the best we can to avoid any incorrect sizing issues by adding the garment size specifications to each product. You can view them by going to our products and pricing page, choosing a product, then clicking “size guide”. You should add a sizing guide to your products on your store to remove any confusion for your final customer.
3. Damaged items
It’s possible that you or your customer might receive a damaged item. There are a handful of reasons why that might have happened. It could be a manufacturer’s error, fulfillment error or damaged during shipping. As you already know, we have quality control that the fulfilled products go through. However, as with everything, we might accidentally let through an item that has defects. If your customer receives a damaged or defected item, we always take full responsibility and provide a free replacement.
When you’re communicating with your customers about a damaged item they’ve received, please request that the first thing they do is provide photos of the unsatisfactory product and the packing slip. The same thing applies to your own orders that might have a damaged product. Our customer support will be able to get back to you quicker when you attach these photos to the official problem report. Here is a quick tutorial that shows you how to report a problem to reach the most effective outcome.
4. “Lost in Transit” items
To inform our customer support team of a lost in transit shipment, use the same problem report. This is most common with international shipments sent without international tracking but sometimes happens with domestic orders as well. Usually, you will see limited or no entries to the tracking log from the link we provide. This shows that the package might be lost. With international orders, since the package has no international tracking, it does not get scanned in each warehouse and location it arrives at, which makes it more prone to getting lost in transit. Domestic orders are more likely to be lost somewhere along the way to its next scanning point.
The best thing to do when this happens to a customer’s order is to double check their provided address. Once you’ve confirmed it, get in touch with our support team by following the steps in the video tutorial above.
5. International orders
If the particular shipment had international tracking yet it seems to be lost, here’s what you do. Advise your customers to open up the tracking link in the shipping confirmation e-mail and copy the tracking number given.
This is the local tracking number that a vendor uses for the item once it arrives in the end customer’s country. Your customer can use this number to get in touch with their local post. Once they reference the local tracking number, the post should be able to determine the current whereabouts of the package. If your customer has can’t find the items, please submit an official problem report to your customer support. They will investigate the case and offer a solution.
These are just 5 of Printful’s policies that we would recommend that your store copy into your store’s policy. Since we are your fulfillment and drop shipping service, it is important that for the smoothest problem solving and communication we are on the same page with our policies.
To make communicating easier with your customers, we’ve put together website copy that covers returns, shipping, and damage policies. You can use it as a template and alter it to suit your own store’s voice, or you can just add it as is.
This article was originally published in April 2016 and has since been updated.
Do yourself and your customers a favor, get your store policy text here: