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Creating an International Returns Policy

December 17, 2014 Published by

The world is a big place with lots of opportunities for ecommerce. According to eMarketer, the Asia-Pacific region is spending more than ever on ecommerce purchases. It’s a viable market that’s only going to keep growing. However, those potential profits come with the challenges of international shipping.  [more] For example, what if an international customer needs to return an item? When building an international returns program, consider the following tips to make it as successful as possible:

Craft a clear policy

A clearly explained returns process is not just good customer service, it can save you in the long run from having to deal with ineligible returns.

Be aware of restrictions

Some products cannot be returned to the US, or they require extra permits and paperwork. These usually fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA or EPA, but you should do your due diligence to find out if any products you sell could be affected.

Determine which items are worth taking back

Transportation costs, duties, and import taxes can make international returns more expensive than normal. They may be worthwhile for high-margin items, but you’ll want another option for inexpensive products. Consider partnering with international liquidators to earn some of the costs back.

Consider postal solutions

Usually, returning items via post is a cheaper and less complex process. However, items will be in transit much longer, so take that into consideration.