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Ecommerce returns warehouse

10 replies 65 views
Hi all.
Maybe the wrong forum, but i know you’re all an intelligent and resourceful bunch so thought I’d try my luck.
I’m starting an online store selling larger items, but am struggling to find a viable returns solution. At a basic level, I need somewhere that can receive and store customer returns. There are a few about but none that seem to handle larger products, e.g. armchairs. 
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks

Replies

  • martindowmartindow Forumite
    9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Why can't returns come back to wherever you are storing your stock?
  • davidmason77davidmason77 Forumite
    5 posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    martindow said:
    Why can't returns come back to wherever you are storing your stock?
    It’s online only with no warehousing/stock, i.e. upon purchasing from me products will be delivered to the customer straight from the suppliers. Because the supplier is providing the goods business to business they are not obliged to have a change of mind returns policy.
  • tripledtripled Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Wedding Day Wonder
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    Self-store?
  • davidmason77davidmason77 Forumite
    5 posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    tripled said:
    Self-store?
    A residential address for returns doesn’t look particularly professional, plus I don’t have the space.
  • martindowmartindow Forumite
    9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    It sounds as if the best bet would be to discuss this with your supplier, even if it would involve them disposing of returns and possibly charging you to do so.  This is going to be a cost of doing business that you will have to factor into your business model.
    For small items, I sometimes refund and ask customers to give them awayto a friend or charity shop rather than posting them back as it makes no sense financially.  Not a reasonable request with large furniture of course.
    Edit: Maybe there are charities who would pick up furniture, at least saving the return carriage cost.
  • PotbellypigPotbellypig Forumite
    700 posts
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Posts
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    In my opinion, stay clear of drop shipping. 
  • martindowmartindow Forumite
    9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    In my opinion, stay clear of drop shipping. 
    I tend to agree with this as you are very dependent on the supplier and if there are delays or problems with delivery it reflects on you.
    Maybe though the OP is ordering bespoke items so there would be a lead time while the furniture is made and this would be less of a problem.

  • davidmason77davidmason77 Forumite
    5 posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    In my opinion, stay clear of drop shipping. 
    I tend to agree too, but relatively risk free so giving it a shot. Yes, reliant on the suppliers, but finding the good ones (or more likely weeding out the bad) will mitigate to a certain extent. Returns will always be a problem, particularly with larger items, so where i can i will probably take a hit on the silly supplier re-stocking fees. There will also be some bespoke options, so that will help.
    If dropshipping (not a word i like to use) works for Wayfair it can work for me ;)
  • brisbris Forumite
    9.7K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Returns will bankrupt you in the end, the drop shipping business is high risk in this day and age because people know their rights and can and do return a high percentage of goods. Not only do you refund but you also lose your shipping costs to the customer.

    Wayfair did start as a drop shipper but that was 20 years ago, the new CCR's have killed that stone dead.
  • davidmason77davidmason77 Forumite
    5 posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    martindow said:
    It sounds as if the best bet would be to discuss this with your supplier, even if it would involve them disposing of returns and possibly charging you to do so.  This is going to be a cost of doing business that you will have to factor into your business model.
    For small items, I sometimes refund and ask customers to give them awayto a friend or charity shop rather than posting them back as it makes no sense financially.  Not a reasonable request with large furniture of course.
    Edit: Maybe there are charities who would pick up furniture, at least saving the return carriage cost.
    Thanks for the input. Interesting idea re. charitiy shops, but that would leave me considerably out of pocket, whereas returning to the supplier (where they allow this) would likely mean i just about break even. Not the end of the world
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