Returns & Exchanges

Returns happen.  We get it.  Whiplash can be configured in a number of ways, allowing you the ability to offer your customers the returns workflow that makes sense for your business - while maintaining consistency and visibility throughout the process.

Each of the steps is adjustable to a degree.   The basic process is as follows:

  1. Customer initiates a return
  2. Customer ships the return
  3. Return is received and processed
  4. Systems update and notifications sent

Your options for each aspect of this process are detailed below.

Customer Initiates a Return

In order to maintain visibility, we require your customer to request a Return Authorization.  They do this by using the Whiplash returns widget (or an integrated returns service like Returnly).  The Whiplash widget is a brandable return link, unique to each order, and can be shared with your customers in a number of ways. 

Manually sending the return link
  1. Your customer reaches out to your customer service department asking to return an item
  2. Log into Whiplash
  3. Locate the customer's order by searching for an order ID, customer name, etc.
  4. Click the order number
  5. In the Order Detail page, click 'Create Return' to access the refund portal your customers will see
  6. Copy the URL from the address bar and send it to your customer

Automatically sending the return link
If you'd like your customers to be able to make returns without contacting you first, you can include the link in your shipment confirmation emails from Whiplash. (Aside from utilizing custom development, there is currently no way to include this link in confirmation emails from your e-commerce provider.  Our Returns functionality is accesible via our v2 API)

  1. Toggle Email confirmation to Always in the "Email Confirmation" preferences
  2. Include the return link in your email confirmation template, which might look something like this:

<p>If you need to make a return or exchange, click <a href="{{order.return_url}}">here</a>.</p>

Sending the return link with a third-party serviceWe integrate with Returnly, which allows you to utilize their return platform seamlessly with Whiplash.   At the end of your customers' interaction with Returnly they'll have a Whiplash RMA link and we'll process the return as usual!
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How does the widget work?  (Customer Perspective)

The Pre-Approved Return URL looks something like this:

Each order shipped has a unique ID - and corresponding Return Authorization URL.  Anyone in possession of this URL will be able to generate a Return, which lets Whiplash know to expect and process an incoming package. From there they can either purchase the shipping label in the app, or generate their own.

Once the customer goes to the URL:

  1. They will select a reason for sending each item back.
  2. They can select what items, credit, or refund they'd like in return.
  3. They'll be given a shipping label to print and affix to the package.
  4. A Ship Notice is automatically created detailing the items coming back to the warehouse.
  5. If the customer requests new merchandise is requested, an order is created with the status 75: Pending Return. This order won't ship until the inventory has been received back at the warehouse. If you'd prefer to ship this order immediately, you can skip this verification on the Order Details page. Here's what the whole process looks like:
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Return preferences

You can control which items are available for customers to exchange in Account -> Preferences -> Returns.

You can customize:
You may have specific items that you don't want to be returnable, such as a seasonal or final-sale item. To prevent these items from being returned, turn off the Returnable option on the Edit Item page. (On the item's page, go to Details -> More)

As the store owner, you are able to override any of these settings by visiting the Pre-Approved Return URL yourself, and modifying the items listed there before sharing the URL with your customer.

Customer Ships  the Return

As stated above, you can decide whether you want to pay for the customer's return label during the Return Authorization process. Label purchasing is only available for returns coming from the US.

Return is Received & Processed

Processing Workflow
When a customer uses the RMA link, a Ship Notice is generated letting us know what items were returned and that they're en route to our facility. When we receive a return, we'll identify the order it belongs to, leave notes in the order regarding the status of the returned item, and receive it back into inventory if it's re-sellable. Average processing time on returns is anywhere from 3-7 business days, depending on volume.

We will work with you if you have specific needs for determining if items are resellable, defining a specific workflow for you during onboarding.

Systems Update & Notifications

System Update
When a return is processed, we receive re-sellable inventory back into stock.  Inventory counts are adjusted, and any connected systems will now reflect the new inventory.

In the Notifications preferences, in the section called "Consumer Return" you can add members of your team to receive notifications when returns are Created, Deleted, have a Changed Status, or are Completed.


Returns are billed at the same rate as the original order. In the case of an exchange, you would also pay for the new outbound order.

Return labels are billed when the label is generated. You can set the number of days before unused labels are voided in your account preferences under the "Returns" tab. Any voided labels are credited to your Whiplash account balance upon receipt.

International returns

You can accept returns from customers outside the US, but your customers cannot use the returns portal to generate them. To allow international returns:

  1. Have your Support team generate a Return link while logged in, and work through the portal. This can only be done while logged in.
  2. Select "No shipping label necessary."
  3. Have your customer send the return to the facility, addressed to "ATTN: {{ COMPANY NAME }}". Many Whiplash users require international customers to purchase their own return postage as a matter of policy. You could also buy their shipping label for them outside our platform, or reimburse them for packaging.
  4. The return will be processed as normal when it arrives to us.

Shipped Externally

If the order was shipped externally and you need to process a return, please click here.

Last updated Oct 8th, 2019