An instinctive reaction is that there should be no returns unless the returned product was within the control of your organization the whole time such as a rejected delivery via your own transport. Products that have been out of your control would normally disposed of, however, the type of product and level of tamper evidence could be taken into consideration. So what type of product and packaging are we talking about?
Hi and thank you for your help,
We sell primarily Asian groceries (95% dry goods) and produce. I've read through some return policies for larger broadline distributors (Sysco, et al.) and they seem to allow returns of anything that is refused at the point of delivery, with stricter guidelines for items which have been in the customer's custody. For example, Sysco sets a 24 hour window for meat and other perishables and 14 days for frozen and dry goods. In my past life as a buyer, I have made use of these policies and on more than one occasion, been charged a 'restock fee' for the privilege. I assume from this that returns from customers are actually processed back into inventory. What I don't know is how and by what guidelines.
We are a fairly small distributor, but quite busy and growing, so we're trying to get some solid procedures in place now. I think a solid return policy of our own, clearly communicated to our customers, would be a good place to start. i guess what I'm trying to figure out specifically is what happens next - when that return hits our warehouse. We can treat it like a delivery and apply that same screening process, maybe? I'm just thinking there must be some key points or procedures or just general philosophies employed by distributors when it comes to processing returns.
Thank you once again for your help,