Purpose: Learn how you can create return rules to have more control over which items your customers are allowed to return, and from which countries.
How can I use return rules?
Return rules work similarly to shipping rules - they are predefined actions that will automatically apply to new returns created through the return portal.
Why use return rules?
- Have more control over which items your customers can and cannot return
- Automatically define from which countries you allow returns
- Ship with a specific return method for specific countries
- Charge different return fees for different countries
In the example below, this return rule will display a €5.00 return fee in the return portal, but only for returns from Germany:
Further down this article we list some Return rule examples.
Set up your return portal
Before return rules can be applied, the return portal must be activated. Click here to see how to set up your return portal.
Step 1: Enable a return fee:
- Go to Settings () and click on Returns > Return portal
- Enter a default return fee in euros and click
Step 2: Enable 'Return with' actions and carriers:
- Go to Settings () and click on Returns > Return portal
- Scroll down until you see the section Return method
- Select the methods you want to enable
- Scroll down until you see the section Enabled carrier
- Select the carriers you want to enable for your return shipping methods
Set up your return rules
- In your Sendcloud account, navigate to Settings () > Return rules > Click on
New return rule
- Give your new rule a Name, choose an IF condition (for example From country), a determination (Is/Is not)*, a value (for example Germany) and an action to apply (for example Return fee is)
- In this example, a field appears where you can enter a return fee amount in euros (decimals are allowed)
Save return rule
- Edit existing rules by clicking
⋮or change the order of existing rules using the arrows
- Activate or deactivate existing rules by toggling them on or off. When you delete, edit or change the order of your return rules, it will affect the following incoming returns and not the returns that are already created.
How can I see if a rule has been applied to a return?You can see if a return rule has been applied by going to the label details view of a return.
Example return rules
Charge return fees depending on return country
IF "From country" IS Germany THEN "Return fee is" €5.00*
You can set up a return rule to charge a fee of €5.00 for all returns from Germany. This rule will charge your customers a fee of €5.00 for all returns from Germany, and will override the default fee in your return portal when a return meets this condition.
Return fee based on return reason
If "Return reason" IS wrong product THEN "Return fee" is €0
You can set up a return rule based on the return reason. If your customer ordered multiple sizes of the same product or if they ordered the wrong product, you might want to add a return fee. However, if they got the wrong product by mistake, you probably want to let them return the product for free.
Prevent specific items from being returned
You can make certain items exempt from a return, for example if you sell customisable items that are outside of your return policy, you can use this rule to block those specific items from being returned.
Prevent an order from being returned if it contains a specific item
For example, if you're a retailer for socks, you can use this rule to prevent your end-customer from returning pyjamas.
Prevent returns from specific countries
You can use return rules to block your customers from making returns from countries which are outside of the conditions of your return policy. You can do this multiple times for all of the countries you want to block returns from.
If a customer tries to return an order from a blocked country, they will see the error below.
Block specific items from being returned from specific countries*
*Note: Ensure that you toggle the switchMatch ALL of the conditions for this rule to be correctly applies only when the named item is to be returned from the specified country.
Ship with a specific return shipping method per country
If you ship on your own carrier contract, you might prefer to pre-select the shipping method that your customers can choose to make their return labels. The rule Ship with allows you to select a shipping method for returns based on From country:
When this rule is applied, the return portal will only show the corresponding return method as a shipping option to your customer in your return portal, preventing them from seeing or selecting any other carriers you have enabled as return options.
For example, if you have enabled both GLS NL and PostNL in your return portal settings, but your return rule specifies Ship with "PostNL Easy Return", your customer will not see GLS NL as an option in the return portal.
Some points about the Ship with return rule:
- The shipping methods you can specify with this rule are based on the carriers you have enabled in the return portal settings
- E.g., if you want to use PostNL Easy Return, you must have enabled the carrier PostNL
- You must have enabled the relevant return option in your return portal settings, e.g. if you want to use the shipping method GLS Business Parcel Return Pick up 0-32kg, you must enable the return method Arrange a pickup
- You can only select one return shipping method per return rule
- If you need to cover different weight classes, you need to create multiple rules
- The rule will be applied to returns which meet the following criteria:
- The end customer's shipping country matches the From country condition
- The parcel weight is within the range specified in the selected shipping method, e.g. if your parcel weights 3kg but your return rule specifies shipping method Correos Return delivery 0-1kg, the rule will not be applied.
How can I create a return through the return portal?
- In the Shipped tab, click the eye icon next to a created label
- Once in the detail view, click Actions and select Create a return with the return portal
- Alternatively, see how customers can create a return
Return rules will not be applied to manual returns. These rules only apply to returns created in the return portal.
Important notes when using a return rule to exclude values
To exclude values (e.g. you want to exclude certain countries) in a return rule, you will use the "is not" operator in the conditions you add.
If you have added several conditions, it is important that you activate the option "Match all the conditions of this rule".
If you activate "Match any conditions of this rule" instead, and in case at least one of the conditions is met, the rule will be triggered and the action will still be applied. Thus, you would not have succeeded in excluding all the values you wanted to exclude.
Click here to see an exampleYou have decided to exclude France, Spain and the United Kingdom from your return shipments with PostNL Return. You prefer to use a different return method for those countries.
- You need to create a return label for a return sent from France. You don't want to use PostNL Return. All the conditions of this rule match, therefore the action (ship with PostNL Return) does not apply and the return won't be shipped with PostNL Return.
- In case the return comes from Poland, for instance, the action of this rule (ship with PostNL Return) would apply and the parcel would be shipped with PostNL Return.