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.
- 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:
Performing a Refund
Note: Orders refunded before June 11, 2018, cannot be refunded again using the new Line Item Refunds feature. Additional refunds to those orders will need to be made through the payment gateway's virtual terminal.
Go to Orders › View. Locate the order you wish to refund and click on Action › Refund.
You will then be taken to a new refund view that is broken down into two steps:
- Refund Order
- Confirm Refund
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.
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.
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.
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 individual items
Use this if you wish to refund specific line items within the order. If you select this option (and use Avalara), the sales tax to be refunded will be calculated by Avalara and included in the total amount to refund to the customer. By refunding specific line items, you will naturally be performing a partial refund on the order.
Refund entire order
Use this as a quick and convenient way to refund all line items within the order. If you select this option (and use Avalara), the sales tax to be refunded will be calculated by Avalara and included in the total amount to refund to the customer.
- If this is the first refund that is performed on the order, this option will appear as Refund entire order.
- If you have previously refunded individual items on the order, then this option will appear as Refund all remaining items.
Apply an order level refund
Use this if you wish to refund a custom value. If you use this option, the order tax will not be re-calculated.
Regardless of the refund type, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The following chart breaks down how a particular payment method is refunded, depending on how the customer originally paid for the order.
|Online Payment Method||Refund Method|
|Gift Certificate||Store Credit|
|Store Credit||Store Credit|
|Offline Payment Method||Refund Method|
Cash on Delivery (COD)
|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.
Once you have selected your preferred refund method, enter any notes in the Reasons for refund section to document the reason for the refund. Click Confirm Refund to complete the refund process.
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.
There are some situations in which sales tax may be overcharged. For example, a connection failure with Avalara AvaTax can result in the 10% fallback rate being applied, or you may have a tax-exempt customer who was erroneously charged.
In the event that you are refunding an order where BigCommerce has detected an overcharge, the amount that was overcharged ("adjustment") will become the minimum refund amount. For example, if a customer was overcharged tax by $5, and you are trying to make a refund on the order, you will see that a $5 minimum refund is required because of the tax adjustment.
If there is an adjustment on an order, an alert will display on the refund screen.
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.
Why does my refund keep getting declined by my payment gateway?
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.
When can I perform an offline refund?
You can perform an offline refund if:
- You are refunding a customer who paid via an offline payment method (i.e. cash, bank deposit, cheque or money order).
- You actioned the refund directly via the payment gateway/processor, and not through BigCommerce. In this case, performing an offline refund is an optional manual process to 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 important if you perform future partial refunds against the same order.
How soon can my customers expect to be refunded?
The time it takes for the refund to be issued to your customer will vary depending on the combination of the payment gateway, payment processor and financial institution your merchant bank account is set up with.
It may take anywhere between 3-10 business days for your customer to receive the refund.
Can I refund an order that was paid with a gift certificate?
Yes. In this case, you will technically not be refunding the funds back to the gift certificate, but crediting the customer’s account with store credit.
Can I refund an order that was paid with store credit?
Yes. As with gift certificates, this refund will be in the form of crediting the customer’s account with the respective amount via store credit.
What happens when I edit an order by adding, removing or changing the price of a discounted product?
Changing the price of a discounted product will not affect the discount as they are disabled during the editing process. However, any discounts associated with that product will be removed from the order if the product is removed.