Returns processing

Returns processing: processes for the return of ordered goods

Goods and merchandise that have already made their way to the recipient or are on their way there and are taken back by the sender are referred to as returns. This aspect plays a major role not only in online retail, where end customers in particular send a wide variety of goods back and forth. Returns also have to be processed and managed in B2B business, which can sometimes lead to problems.

The reasons for returns processing are either of a physical or contractual nature (loss of quality, incorrect deliveries, etc.). The customer for a return can be either the sender or the recipient.

The returns processing procedure

The basis for handling returns are so-called returns bills. They are used for allocation in the warehouse and for recording incoming goods and merchandise. This is followed by a quality check, which, if positive, leads to the goods being put back into storage. The so-called RMA process (Return Merchandise/Material Authorization) enables companies to bring more structure into returns processing and, in particular, to reduce errors and optimize processes.


Logistik Lexikon Retourenabwicklung

Image: Fotomowo / Shutterstock

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