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Line Item Refunds (Beta)

Line Item Refunds is an upgrade to our existing refund experience. Our new line item refund functionality will help you determine the average return rate (over the past 365 days) for a customer, perform multiple partial refunds on the same order, and even refund additional line items such as gift wrapping or handling fees.

 

This feature is currently in beta. There are a few features and payment gateways that are not yet implemented. See Beta Limitations and Supported Payment Gateways for more information.

Beta Limitations

  • Adyen, Square, and Gift Certificates will not be supported at beta launch. They will be available later in the beta.
  • Refunding to multiple payment gateways (i.e. split refunds) is not supported.
  • Automatic restocking of inventory when a refund is performed is not supported. This functionality will be implemented in a future release.
  • Refunding items via Return Request is not supported. This functionality will be implemented in a future release.
 

Note: Setting a return request to Item(s) Refunded will disable the ability to refund the order through the order's refund action. In this situation, the refund or partial refund will need to be made through the payment gateway's virtual terminal.

Supported Payment Gateways

The following payment gateways are supported and allow full, partial or multiple refunds through the BigCommerce control panel unless otherwise noted:

 

Note: If your payment gateway is configured to ‘Authorize only,’ payment will need to be captured before any refunds can be performed.

Performing a Refund

 

Note: Orders refunded using the current refund system cannot be refunded again using the new Line Item Refunds feature. For example, I am not in the beta and refund an order. I then enter the beta and switch to Line Item Refunds. I will not be able to refund that same order again. This holds true for both the beta and future release.

Go to OrdersView. Locate the order you wish to refund and click on ActionRefund.

Order Action Menu

You will then be taken to a new refund view that is broken down into two steps:

  • Refund Order
  • Confirm Refund

Refund Order view

Refund Order

Confirm Order view

Confirm Refund

Refund Order

In the Refund Order view, you can understand who is asking for the refund, what the original order contained and which items can be refunded back to them.

Customer Details

The customer details section displays the order's billing information. You will see the customer's first and last name, email address, billing address and their return rate. The return rate is one of our key features with this update. It allows you to proactively detect and assess if the customer is exploiting your returns policy.

This is particularly useful for apparel retailers that have customers that "rent" clothing on a monthly basis by purchasing a product, wearing it and returning it for store credit.

Customer Details section

Order Summary

The order summary provides a short rundown of the order. You will see various pieces of information, such as the current status of the order, when it was created, whether it has been previously refunded, where it originated, and the shipping and tax totals.

Order Summary section

Refundable Items

In this section, you can refund individual items, refund the entire order or apply an order level refund. Note that order tax will not be re-calculated for an order level refund.

Refund option types

The following product types can be refunded:

  • Physical Products
  • Downloadable Products
  • Gift Wrapping
  • Shipping Fees
  • Shipping Handling Fees
  • Purchased Gift Certificates

In the case of mixed product orders (e.g. a physical product and a gift certificate is purchased together in the same order), the Refunds Interface will update to separate the two types of products.

To refund an item, click the drop-down box next to the item you wish to refund and select the number of units. The Refund item total will update accordingly. Line items that do not have a shipping cost associated with them (e.g. downloadable products, gift certificates) will have no shipping costs to refund. Also, if the line item does not have a unit associated with it (like in the case of shipping or handling fees), you can specify the amount to refund.

Note that you will not be able to Continue if the refund amount is higher than the original unit price.

Refundable Items section

Line items that have discounts applied to them will be indicated with an information icon next to their price. You can view which type of discount (cart-level discount, coupon code, product level discount) was applied by mousing over it.

Line items with discounts applied

Depending on your payment gateway you will be able to perform multiple partial refunds through the BigCommerce control panel. To help protect you from over refunding, we have included the refunded amount next to the quantity ordered in the Refundable Items section and in the Order Summary section.

Once an order has been partially refunded, the order status will automatically update to Partially Refunded. If you have enabled customer email notifications to be sent when an order status changes, an email will be automatically sent to your customer to notify them of the partial or full refund.

You can also refund specific items for orders with multiple shipping addresses.

Confirm Refund

Once you have selected the type of refund, you then proceed to the Confirm Refund view for a quick check and review before sending the refund off to the payment provider to process the refund.

Refund Summary

The refund summary provides a snapshot of the items you have selected to refund along with the total amount to be refunded. If you have chosen to perform an order level discount, instead you will be presented with a summary of the refunded amount.

Refund Summary section

Refund Options

When performing a refund, you can choose your preferred refund method. Note that if you perform a refund back to a debit or credit card, it may take an additional 3-10 business days (depending on your payment provider and banking financial institution) for the refund to be received by your customer.

Also, any excess that could not be refunded back to the original payment method (e.g. credit card) will be applied to the customer's account as store credit.

Refund Options section

The following chart breaks down how a particular payment method is refunded depending on how the customer originally paid for the order.

Online Payment MethodRefund Method
Credit Card
  • Credit Card
  • Offline (Optional, see Offline below)
Debit Card
  • Debit Card
  • Offline (Optional, see Offline below)
Gift CertificateStore Credit
Store CreditStore Credit
Offline Payment MethodRefund Method
Bank Deposit
Cash on Delivery (COD)
Cheque
Money Order
Offline (see Offline below)

Offline: An offline refund is a refund that has financially occurred outside of the BigCommerce system. Performing an offline refund will record (within BigCommerce) that a refund has been actioned against an order. This ensures that your order information is up-to-date on your BigCommerce store, which is essential if you perform future partial refunds against the same order. However, as the merchant, you will be accountable for refunding the specified amount back to the customer. BigCommerce takes no responsibility for the facilitation of this offline refund back to your customer.

Offline refund option

Once you have selected your preferred refund method, enter any notes in the Reasons for refund section to document the reason for the refund. Then click Confirm Refund to complete the refund process.

Reason for refund section with Continue button

 

Having trouble issuing a refund? Make sure that the payment in question has been settled. Some payment gateways settle transactions at a particular time every day or dictate that a transaction must be older than 24 hours before it can be refunded. These are the most common causes of refunds not processing correctly.

Refunding with Avalara AvaTax

If you are using a third-party tax solution to calculate sales tax within your cart/checkout (e.g. Avalara AvaTax), a tax document will be generated to capture the sales tax calculated on the order.

When you perform a refund, we will retrieve this historical tax document generated for the order and use this to calculate the appropriate sales tax that is to be refunded back to your customer. Whether you are refunding the entire order, a single line item, or a partial refund on shipping, this tax document ensures that all of your refunds are accurate and tax-compliant.

Another advantage of using Avalara AvaTax for your sales tax calculation is that all of your sales tax calculations are centralized in one location. This is beneficial as it allows you to also take advantage of Avalara’s tax returns product (Avalara Returns), which is an app within the BigCommerce App Marketplace. By using both Avalara AvaTax and Avalara Returns together, your sales tax forms for each state can be automatically prepared and ready for you to file. Alternatively, you can also opt to let Avalara handle everything, including filing and payment on your behalf, giving you even more time to focus on growing your business with BigCommerce.

If you plan on switching tax providers (e.g. moving from Manual tax to Avalara AvaTax), we recommend making the switch during a time when you have low order volumes. Switching tax providers during high order volume periods can lead to refund calculation anomalies as your source of truth for the sales tax would have changed.

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