3 Ways to Reduce Loss when Goods are Returned

Logistics manage the flow of goods from conception until the finished product arrives at the consumer’s doorstep. So, what happens when a consumer returns an item? Well, reverse logistics come into play. Reverse logistics aim to complete the return with as little loss as possible – either in goods or revenue. Return shipping policies help protect the bottom line. Here are 3 issues to consider to keep costs down when a customer initiates a return.  

1. Hire Qualified Staff to Receive your Merchandise

A crucial point of contact in the reverse chain is called the chain of custody. That’s the moment you sign over the item to the staff at the receiving dock – when the responsibility leaves the carrier’s hands and falls on your company.  

Finding qualified receiving staff will help reduce issues with:  

  • Potential further damages 
  • Missing boxes from the shipment
  • Misplaced or absent merchandise

Qualified and detail-oriented receiving staff significantly reduce overall loss at the first point of contact in your facility.  

2. Storing and Movement of the Merchandise in your Facility

Imagine that your receiving staff is perfect. They consistently help save money in your reverse logistics efforts by thoroughly inspecting each box, each item, upon arrival. They ensure nothing is missing and keep an eye out for damages. Everything seems to be going great. But when you attempt to re-stock the shelves, you discover this item can’t be re-sold.  

What Happened?

Many of the same issues that pose problems at the point of receiving can also cause loss before the item is re-stocked. Damaging or missing items before they reach their destination within your storage facility are both avoidable by asking yourself a few questions.  

Does your facility use heavy equipment to move items around? Does someone inspect pallets to ensure they work before stacking? Most importantly, is everyone in your facility trained in safety, policy, and procedure with product or equipment?  

When you choose and train the right employees for the job, it’s less likely you’ll experience damage or loss on your end. That means more products can be re-stocked and re-sold.  

3. Get Product back into the Market as Quickly as Possible

There are many reasons why a customer might return a product – from buyer’s remorse to receiving damaged goods and a plethora of reasons in between. When the item is shipped back, only you can decide if you can put it right back out on the shelves. 

Image credit: Maria Elena

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