Return address as digital nomad

New Member
2 0 0

Hi everyone,

We will be launching our store today (super excited) but just have a few last minute questions.

So we are currently located in Australia, our dropshipping store will target customers in EU though. We are not staying in one place as we are constantly on the move, how do you guys do that with return policy?

Since we just started we dont want to buy a PO address yet, also we dont have anyone to empty it and return it for us. Any other digital nomads around here with the same issue? And how do you fix it?

Follow up question, We are just starting so buying a PO address is the next step for us (if all goes well), but then also. How will be emptying the PO address and return it to the supplier. Also, if our customer wants to return something the costs of return are for them, however this would mean they will only pay for the return costs to the PO address (somewhere in europe) and we will have to pay for the return costs to our supplier (probably asia), is that correct?


Thank you for your help!


8 0 1

If you are dropshipping you are dropshipping store then in my experience I never made my clients return anything to me. I was in the same boat as you, not having a PO box address for them to send it back to. Often times, I would tell a customer to keep the product and that they will be refunded. It also depends what suppliers you are using to get your products. Some suppliers are not too reliable on getting an address to send back any products to. I would definitely check with your supplier to see where you would need to send your product back if you needed to.

I know that with my product finder I used it would tell me where the supplier was located at. You can read more about this now.

Again, I often times never made the customer send back the product. But that is totally up to you. Let me know if you have any questions.

Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
811 27 273

Hey, Rebecca!

Aria here, I'm on the Social Care team at Shopify.

This is definitely a tricky scenario. Not only do you need to consider the logistics of handling returns when you're on the move, but you also need to consider the cost. When you are dropshipping from China to Europe, your customers will see that it arrived from China. It will, therefore, be a little odd for them if they are returning it to a completely different country. The cost of returning an item to China will also be way higher than the cost of shipping from China in the first place. You'll probably find it's not worth your while to pay for the return to China because you'll end up losing money.

As a business owner, I would cut China out of the equation entirely. The shipping time takes too long. It's better with ePacket but still not as good as shipping within the same country. I would target the USA because it's the worlds largest retail market, as far as English speaking countries go anyway. China itself is bigger.

I would look for a supplier who is located in the same country as your target customers. That way you can reasonably ask your customer to ship the products directly to the supplier in the event of a return. The following apps have products that ship from the US and in some cases, Europe:

If you're using Oberlo already, you can choose your product category then filter to find products that are located in the US:

There are more apps springing up in our App Store all the time. Dropshipping from US suppliers is becoming huge and there are more appearing with European suppliers as well, such as Spocket.

When you're thinking of working with a particular supplier, contact them first to ask their advice on how best to manage returns. In a lot of cases, your customer can return things to your business name and the order number from your store and just use the supplier's address.

If you do want to continue with dropshipping from China, there are still ways you can handle the returns policy. If a product is damaged, you can ask for photo evidence and just refund it. You can then send the photo to your supplier and tell them you'd like a refund and it's not worth the cost of shipping a damaged product all the way back to China. Keep in mind though, clothing is returned more often than most other products. There's a high chance of it not fitting, especially when Asian sizes are taken into consideration. It's worth keeping in mind.

Dropshipping is a great business model when you don't have a lot of start-up capital, and/or you don't want to deal with shipping products yourself. You will have lower margins though than you would if you had a traditional business model. This means it's important to keep your costs low. I'd avoid hiring a PO Box if you can.

Does that help? Hopefully, I've given you options you didn't consider. What plans do you have for your marketing?

Social Care Guru

Aria | Social Care @ Shopify 
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