Top Tips for Vendor Shipping

Your Shipping and Returns policies are really important and a customer will read these before making a purchase. It’s important that customers feel confident that you have fair policies and will honour them so please be clear and concise.

These can be added on your Vendor dashboard in ‘Settings’ on the ‘Shipping tab’.

Your Shipping Policy

  • It’s a good idea to describe how you will package their items. Boxes? Bubble wrap?
  • How many days will it take to process an order and ship product?
  • Give estimated shipping times; it’s advisable to overestimate by a day or two.
  • Which courier and delivery option will you use for shipping?
  • Can you ship internationally? If so, don’t forget to mention that customs can delay shipping times by up to 6 weeks depending upon where the customer is located, as well as custom fees the customer may incur.
  • Lastly, consider offering free shipping and handling if budget permits.

Your Return Policy

  • Customers should have a minimum 14-day time period in which they can request a return or refund. This complies with the United Kingdom Distance Selling Regulations and only applies to UK based sellers.
  • If you don’t accept returns or refunds, you must say so clearly so the customer does not assume you do.
  • If you do accept returns or offer refunds be clear on your time frames. How long after receiving an item can the customer request a refund or return?
  • What is your process for dealing with exchange requests?
  • On what conditions do you accept returns?
  • How will you handle lost or damaged goods in the post?
  • What address should your customer return to?

Postage Tips

  • Wrap and pack your packages so they are safe and secure.
  • Ensure you use the full postal address provided when addressing your item(s).
  • Be sure to include the return address on the package. You don’t need you full address; you can just put your postcode and house number
  • Make sure you pay the correct postage tariff for your package to avoid delays and your buyer having to pay additional costs.

How to Handle Postage Problems

Sellers are responsible for packages sent until the buyer receives them. This means that you are responsible for anything lost or damaged in the post. The best thing to do is to check the compensation terms and conditions of the postal service before using them; this way you will be prepared if anything were to happen.

Each courier will have varying Terms & Conditions. Make sure you have read and understand them when choosing your service. Some will offer compensation in certain circumstances. If your customer complains to you that a delivery item from you has been damaged in the post, you must be clear how you will refund / exchange etc. You have three options how to deal with this.

  • Ask your customer for photographic evidence of damage to help your claim with your courier service.
  • Ask your customer to return the package to you. You would have to cover return shipping in this case. Whether you can reclaim this from your courier service will be in their Terms and Conditions.
  • Ask your customer to keep hold of the item for you in case it is needed as evidence for you claim.

Whilst a tracking service may cost more, it is often worth having your deliveries tracked. If you can offer your customer a tracking facility this can protect you both against lost or damaged items.

Postage, returns and refunds are entirely the responsibility of the seller. Please make sure you have considered what you need to, and that you have planned for all eventualities.

Track your packages

  • To avoid ‘item not delivered’ claims always provide a tracking number for your orders. Many postal companies offer tracking services, a cheaper alternative would be to use signed for deliveries.
  • Keep hold of your evidence to protect yourself if a claim is made in the future.
  • Insure high-valued goods
  • If you are sending something with high-value you must insure your package so that if anything was to go wrong you can be compensated.
  • Always go for a postal service that offers a signature on delivery, this way you can be protected by PayPal’s Seller Protection scheme.