Anyone else notice that the new returns system breaks all of shopify sales data

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

When returns are requested and approved, Shopify immediately deducts the sales from your total sales. In theory this is fine, but what happens when you don't refund the customer? They never add the money back to your sales total. Surely I can't be the only one with this problem.

Does nobody else do exchanges or store credit instead of refunds?

Replies 68 (68)

ivhisglory
Tourist
7 0 16

I'm right there with you. I noticed this today, and was thoroughly annoyed with this new change. I don't know if it's a glitch or what, but it's not a true reflection of the situation. If they're going to do this for returns, then at least create an exchange button to create a distinction between the two events.

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

I talked to shopify chat support and they said that eventually they may get around to fixing it but that it is lower priority because it's not considered a "major" issue, because it doesn't affect most stores... Not really sure how it doesn't affect other stores. I'd imagine exchanges are common. It may take a long time until we see a change.

LouisaR
Tourist
3 0 3

Will this affect our payouts if the returns are including exchanges? 

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

Not sure. I don't think payouts are being affected. If you choose not to refund, shopify shouldn't take your money away. But the sales data will make it look like they did. Would be great to get confirmation on this though

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

Update: MAJOR PROBLEM - Shopify did refund one of our customers just because a return was created. Luckily this customer ended up wanting a refund and not an exchange, so we got SUPER lucky. I asked shopify how this happened and they acknowledge that it was a glitch in their system. They said they are "working on a solution". So far it has only happened to 1 of our orders and we've had about 200 returns since this update started. I'm not sure what the difference was on this one, but it's terrifying that shopify may just refund your customers when you initiate a return. So far it's a single isolated occurrence so I'll chalk it up to bad software but something to be aware of.

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

OMG are you SERIOUS!!! Surely they will be up for a law suit in no time. This is really really really really bad.

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

Also how do you know this was an isolated incident? Could there be more that you've missed?

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

There definitely could be more we missed. We have a second case of this where according to our records we didn't give someone a refund but they are marked as refunded. It's possible we made a mistake but now I am very paranoid because the first one was very clearly Shopify. There was no refund email sent to the customer and shopify admitted that the refund happened on their end.

ivhisglory
Tourist
7 0 16

I'm just as lost

 

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

Absolutely!!!! In some countries, its not required to offer a refund. We can offer a store credit in the form of a gift card or an exchange. They need to fix this immediately, its completely throwing everything off!!!!!!!!!!!

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

I'm with ya, but I've contacted them so many times and they either don't care or don't understand depending on who I talk to. 😕

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

I've contacted them three times now, the first two times they assured me this wouldn't affect figures. Obviously not correct and now I'm being told they are having to ask for help from their team, might have to move systems if this doesn't change ASAP as its reporting incorrect figures to xero and my accounting team

Elias
Shopify Staff
2918 285 502

Hey, @mattsirkin & @Sau2610.

 

Thank you for reaching out and sharing this feedback.

 

When a return is approved, it does remove the sales from the analytics to account for the refund. While you can perform exchanges and the analytics will reflect the amount exchanged, you would need to consider a third-party app for store credits. We'd recommend something like CreditsYard. That being said, we've also gone ahead and shared the feedback about having store credits with our development team. If Shopify moves forward with any new features or platform changes, then we'll be sure to announce them on the Shopify Changelog

 

If you have any other questions on this topic, then don't hesitate to let us know.

 

Elias | Social Care @ Shopify 
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 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

Hi Elias

 

So essentially you’re saying that we can offer gift cards as store credit for our customers (which Shopify have stated on several other pages), however our analytics will just have to be wrong as the returns will account for a refund that didn’t take place. It’s not a requirement for a store to offer a refund due to change of mind and a lot of stores do not support this has its very expensive to advertise online and obtain that conversion or sale. 
We also don’t pay high monthly subscription fees to have incorrect information. This is only a new update as we never had this issue before. Please have the development team fix asap or we will be finding other platforms who can provide correct analytical sales information that won’t have us reporting incorrect information to our accounting team and committing fraudulent claims. 

ivhisglory
Tourist
7 0 16

I'm with you on this! It just doesn't make any sense. They need to create an exchange button or remove this update altogether!

ivhisglory
Tourist
7 0 16

This change is by far one of the worst updates to analytics Shopify has ever made. Why not just create an exchange button alongside the return button so that there's a differentiation of the two events? This move makes absolutely no sense, seriously. Yes, pleas give the feedback to the development team. This is a terrible move. Forgive my crassness, but I'm a bit frustrated...

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

Extremely!!!!

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

Some further insight from 'Shopify'

 

SHOPIFY:
"After consulting with our business team, Shopify analytics records refund reports to provide merchants with precise data regarding their store's financial performance. Even if a merchant processes a replacement for an order without issuing a refund to the customer, the original transaction must still be logged as a refund in the analytics report. This ensures that the financial data accurately reflects the order status and correctly represents the store's revenue and expenses. By doing so, merchants can effectively monitor their store's performance and make informed business decisions based on reliable financial data. It is important to note that Shopify analytics refund reports cannot be manually altered or deleted. This safeguard is in place to maintain the accuracy and integrity of the data within the reports. While it may be tempting to modify specific entries, it is crucial to up hold precise records to gain a clear understanding of your store's financial performance. This same principle applies if you are going to be utilizing a third-party analytics app such as Google Analytics. If you have any additional concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us or reply to this email. I am here to provide you with the support you need and assist you in any way possible. We highly appreciate your kind patience and understanding. Have a great day! All the best, support agent

 

ME:

"Thank you for your reply, but with all due respect, completely missing my concern. I'm not asking for 'refund reports' to be modified. Of course that information would have to remain. However our concerns, and I say our as this is recent update on RETURNS that has started to affect figures and other shopify owners have been posting this in the community thread, I am not alone, see thread link below.

Is that when a return is made and accepted in the system, its counting this as a refund, and deducting this amount on the daily sales figures. I do not give REFUNDS for returns unless the item is faulty, and a then refund is processed, but this is a rare instance. My store will only offer an exchange or store credit, as we are within our rights as outlined by the ACCC here in Australia. As there is no exchange or store credit option, credits are provided to my customers in the form of a store gift card, as advised by Shopify support staff on other threads. If an exchange is taking place, I am creating a new order in the system for them as this is required to sync to my third party warehouse and a discount for 100% of that order is applied and the product is sent. However according to my figures now, it's deducted the amount of that item from the return when the item was never refunded. I have still kept the funds from the original order, customer has returned the item (clothing) and an alternative size has been sent free of charge. Does this make sense? Since this update about a week ago, every time I'm accepting a return request from a customer, its deducting this figure from my daily sales. These daily sales figures are integratded with my xero software so my accountants are now receiving incorrect figures from what we have sold and the funds we have received. Please see the thread below with the same concern from other community members and escalate this to the development team immediately or a lot of people will be moving away from shopify if they can't offer an exchange or credit system. Or at least fix this return treated like a refund from daily sales figures when no refund has been given. Feel free to give me a call if you're needing further clarification." 
---LINKED TO THIS THREAD---

 

SHOPIFY

"I totally understand your concern. In Shopify reports, returns without refunds are still categorized as refunds because the system automatically records any partial or full refund as a refund, regardless of whether the customer received their money back. This ensures accurate record-keeping and accounting for all financial transactions in Shopify. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent returns without refunds from being classified as refunds in Shopify reports. The platform is designed to categorize all refund transactions as refunds, even if no monetary refund is issued to the customer. This is essential for maintaining precise financial records for your store. To address returns without refunds in Shopify reports, you can create custom reports or filters within Shopify to exclude or distinguish these transactions. By customizing your reporting settings, you can analyze your data in a way that better reflects the actual financial impact of returns without refunds on your business. Alternatively, you can use separate accounting or record-keeping methods outside of Shopify to track returns without refunds. This allows you to maintain accurate financial records in your own system while still reflecting returns within Shopify for inventory and order management purposes."

 

ME:

"This makes absolutely no sense though as by definition, a refund is to pay back money. If no money is paid back and the customer is still receiving a product or gift card, it is NOT a refund. Surely someone can see this is making figures INaccurate??"

---SCREENSHOT DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF REFUND---


now awaiting reply...

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

Update from Shopify team - basically "manually work it out" - absolute joke. How can returns be considered as a refund when no money was returned to the customer. What is going on??? Someone needs to do something!!!!!

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

That's about what I expect. Unless this post gets hundreds of likes and comments, Shopify isn't gonna do anything. 😕 I'll keep reaching out to them on the chat periodically, but I know its pointless.

synzaar
Shopify Partner
1 0 3

This issue has had me panicking. We do more exchanges than returns and I couldn't understand why my sales were so abysmal recently. It didn't make any sense, and even when I totaled up my Shopify "payouts" for the month and compared them with net sales, the numbers were WAY off, and gave me some peace knowing I was getting decent payout numbers but horrid sales numbers. This IS a major issue. Screws with everything... budgeting, forecasting... I've been hitting the panic button on my advertising changing ads thinking it's not working, all because my net sales in Shopify shows absurdly low (and inaccurate) numbers. 

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

Yep, I was in panic mode too. It's comforting knowing that Shopify is aware of the problem and has no plans to fix it lol.. At least the good news is they just raised their credit card processing fees this month 🙂 priories in line 

MrEames
Visitor
1 0 3

This change to the return system has sales reports and return reports completely broken. My sales reports are showing increases in sales when I issue refunds.

For some reason shopify support are refusing to admit there is an issue here. I've received responses from support ranging from "We just fixed it, it's fine" to "if you need even more accurate reports, you could look into an app like Better Reports to show you more streamlined data with their solutions to balancing reports!" and finally my favorite "When it comes to returns, you are correct that it should show as a negative value. However, in our system, when you return an item, you are getting the item back which means you are gaining the value of the product back, so it will zero out! This is due to you being up the value of the product again, but when an order is then refunded, it creates an issue with the report as you are now down the initial order amount!" 


Apparently Shopify Support thinks when an item is returned to me my sales go up by the value of that item. Absolutely ridiculous. 

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

The last reply I got from Shopify staff was suggesting to move to a different platform entirely if we don't like it 😅 So we are doing just that.

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

Nice, I'm on my way that direction as well. Especially with the raise in credit card processing fees. They're trying really hard to lose business lol

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

Those are some pretty good ones 😂 They have a lot of dumb people in their customer support.. I'd rather them just say, sorry we know it's a problem. We're working on it and it should be fixed by 2026. That would make me happier...

JWRou-11
Tourist
4 0 9

the update is garbage.  about 40% of our returns convert to exchanges and Loop Returns is holding that exchange data. all Shopify knows is that there's a return and they assume it's a refund and decrement sales.  **TO ALL -- beware of how it's impacting tax sale collection**  because the refunds are miscalculated, our sales tax reporting is also incorrect. 

 

i don't see any upside to this change. it's def not to get a cleaner financial data (reason shopify provided, mentioned above) as the cleanest way to accomplish that is tracking dollars in and dollars out.

 

this new method adds customers intended returns to sales reporting which is the opposite of clean data. also, what correction is made if the customer creates a return but never sends back the return and is therefore not refunded?  that is a TBD but is a regular occurrence that results in returns and net sales being off indefinitely.  or a very common scenario --  customers say they will return 4 items and send back 3. not accounted for in this new calculation.  this update is a doozy if you rely on a returns SAS.  like criminally bad in that we can't report revenues and tax correctly.  we're trying to get clean data via payouts report.  but since sales tax for returns isn't decrementing correctly (ie. is calculated for the intended return vs. actual refund issued) the sales tax reports are also unreliable and will need to be cross checked with an export from returns software.

 

this needs to be reverted asap.  or at the least, **FEATURE REQUEST**  give stores the option to calculate returns when created OR calculate returns when refunded.  simple checkbox in settings.  for stores doing a significant % of returns as exchanges AND relying on 3rd party returns software, we can't run our businesses at scale.

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

Absolutely, its like they have no idea who their customers are or how they operate a business.

LouisaR
Tourist
3 0 3
If you go to the “sales over time” report, select the filter and choose “payment status.” Payment status will show you partial and full refunds. I sort the report by payment status, export it to csv format, then sum up all partial and full refunds to get the actual refunds for that day or week. This is what we physically returned to customers. This is a helpful, yet manual, way of calculating true net sales for those of you in need. I haven’t investigated the tax scenario. How do you know taxes will be reported as incorrect?
mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

This is super helpful ^ we will be doing this for the time being until Shopify gets their act together. Thanks Louisa. I can't attest to the tax scenario yet. Gonna look into that on 4/1 when the quarter ends. I am very afraid of how wrong it will be though lol

streu21
Tourist
10 0 34

This is absolute madness @Shopify . You took something that was working just fine and made a huge mess of it. Do you understand that as business owners it's kind of important to, ya know, know what our actual sales totals are. Like many of the responders here, our sales numbers are now totally screwed up and unreliable. Sometimes returns are actually being added to our sales totals, sometimes they are being subtracted from them. In most cases, these aren't even items that were actually sent back. Just returns that were started. No refunds had been issued. We can look at the payments report but we can't filter that report like we can the sales reports, so it's not much use. This should really be very simple. Net Sales should = Payments Received. Returns should = Refunds Issued. People start returns and then never send the items back. Or they don't send everything back that they said they should. Are those added back later?How do you account for these @Shopify? This is the stupidest, most useless, unhelpful update that Shopify has done. And that's saying something. 

Who asked for this change? How does this improve the experience of store owners? 

On top of all this, Shopify continues to make it nearly impossible for us to get in touch with anyone there who actually knows what the hell is going on. Great job alienating all of the people who use your platform. What a joke.

reponestrength
Tourist
5 0 6

The people here are freaking out, justifiably, but it gets worse. My company does nearly 100% repairs, not returns. We make a small tech product with remarkably low return rates, but they're used in rough environments and we have a very generous warranty and repair process. We've used a third party app to manage our 'returns' successfully for years, but when using Shopify's new returns system it assumes 100% of our returned items are refunds, when it's actually 0%. It makes no sense at all, and shows Shopify has an almost complete lack of awareness of their own customers operations.

sexyshoes239
Shopify Partner
4 0 5

Hi Everyone,

 

I started noticing these accounting discrepancies in February and glad to see I'm not the only one with these concerns.

 

We use Loop returns. After spending hours trying to understand what Shopify changed, and spot trends on 3rd returns app reporting I can now say this is complete Nonsense! Shopify has no clue how real business operations flow and keeping consistent accounting practices.

 

I feel now, everyone on the thread is concerned about payouts aligning to what are real refunds and returns along with finance summary reports and crap reporting methods when using 3rd party app such as a Loop returns.  I'm happy to discuss with any questions and now feel the only way Shopify will address issues is if our collective voices make enough noise.

 

I get why Shopify made these reporting changes. THEY want better clarity and metrics on your business performance (think how often people may initiate a return).

 

Shopify has many financial solutions and this metric is just another they will use to say your net sales will be accounted for HOW THEY feel serves their internal decisions pertaining to our stores performance.

 

This is flawed and does not take into account many details of the sales process and how companies approve, refund, exchange, etc. For those interested, here is a transcript to our 3rd Party App Loop Returns. Shame on shopify!

 

They are introducing so many updates and changes to every aspect of the admin panel, reporting, basic dashboard layouts, and on and on.

 

We downgraded from Shopify plus because the only benefit was someone answering the phone to refer us to the same articles or to hire an expert. Since our sales were under 1.5M just didn't see the benefit of reduced credit card fees.

 

NOW, I'm starting to believe that all these changes without clear training articles, announcements, and app interfrremce are to further confuse store owners and push them to paying $2500/month to get access to live person whom can attempt to answer questions on all the updates occurring weekly.

 

Am I alone in seeing this trend?

 

Anyhoo, I am normally the silent observer, but with 7 years on shopify, and testing most integrations, apps, or processes,

 

I feel that the community is our only place to get information and let Shopify understand what the real world is saying and feeling.

 

#######

BELOW Transcipt From Sexyshoes>Loop

########÷

 

  1. returns, then don’t even return them. How can this be addressed and fixed?
  2. Non-Returnable items need to be confirmed that shopify sales reports are not getting a decrease in reporting.
  3. How is loop reporting to shopify and triggering returns/refunds from sales reports? We cannot even align our closed books for previous months sales when Loop is reducing our sales summary finance reports for historical booked days in previous months which seems to be happening. We need better understanding of this.

 

The articles I have read and updated as recently as 3/24/2024 are advising to implement far reaching accounting practices, multiple exporting reports, merging, updating data, etc. It’s really nonsense and not sure what can be done or if you are getting similar complaints.

 

There is heavy activity across the dev and chat boards, while nobody has really been clear on what occurred, why, and confirmation of what sales are getting decreased by Loop triggers, what happens when we don’t approve returns, and how true refunds/returns (actually received to our warehouse and approved) affect shopify.

 

For our accounting purposes:

 

Net Sales = Gross sales – discounts – refunds (can be from defective merch, or unable to fill) – returns (actually received to inventory for resales, not a pending arbitrary number based on an intention)

 

COGS = Beginning Inventory + Purchases – Returns (approved and received) – Discounts/allowances + Shipping collected – Ending Inventory value

 

From everything we are seeing these GAAP methods are not being followed, and or have become an endless rabbit hole of reporting and comparison which nobody has really addressed on the Loop or Shopify side to give advance notice or what happened.

 

Hope this helps clarify the concerns better.

Sincerely

Scott

 

REPLY LOOP BELOW

##################

 

Hello Scott,

Thanks for following up, jumping in and passing along this insight of what you are encountering!

In reviewing the points you provided, the behavior you are encountering with all returns, impacting your sales is a result of a change Shopify made recently. I do know Shopify sent this update to a merchant

Shopify did make this change and the visual reporting changes that you are encountering are stemming due to this change they made - not a change Loop made. That said, I can share that our engineers and product team are aware of the change Shopify made and they are actively working with Shopify to understand the changes they are making and how those interact with Loop! I will follow up in this thread to update you if and when our team receives any updates. 🙂

Thank you for your agility regarding this Shopify change and your patience in helping me understand what you are encountering!

Best,
Rece

##########End Loop

 

In conclusion, this has probably been one of the most irresponsible changes Shopify has implemented without beta testing or getting input from their customers.

 

I hope this helps with some of your concerns.  For store owners using integrated accounting software, I certain this will be a nightmare if you value GAAP reoccurred. You will most likely need to export several csv files from your apps and shopify, then do merges, updates, J/E adjustments with clear backups. This is a huge cost of time and just makes it harder to make informed business decisions.  Did I mention how angry and disappointed I am with Shopify yet?

 

The Loop response was ridiculous and I'm cooling off before responding back to them. 

 

LOOP was founded by ex-shopify engineers and built around a solid integration and understand of shopify platform. Even they have no clue 1 month after the roll outs occurred.

 

Hope this help the group. My apologies in advance for grammar issues.  This is a quick rant done my cell. Please don't send my spelling correction notices. Just trying to help those who are frightened, or not clear on what triggered this.

 

Let's hope that shopify reverses this change, or at least updates some flexibility with 3rd party return apps which actually create refunds once received and approved, etc.

 

Shopify did revert the sales dashboard a few weeks ago to show your sales metrics on the page. That was another boneheaded update, so they may actually be listening when enough customers started engaging the community. 

 

Good Luck!

Scott

 

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 39

Thanks for posting this detailed response. I agree with you completely. The only way we are going to see change is through collective complaints and voicing our concern. Shopify has made it clear that they don't really care about the issue on a one-on-one basis. I hoping enough people view and upvote and comment that they have the same issue.. Maybe they will take note. It's a real shame.

sexyshoes239
Shopify Partner
4 0 5

I will share what Loop advises and a few links to their recent suggestions to re-align the sales reporting all happens outside of shopify or Loop. It's difficult and beyond 90% of users skills just to manage the excel file process once you get the correct exported reports from Shopify and then exporting Loop csv files.

 

Why would shopify create a process that requires everyone using 3rd party apps to manage all sales reporting outside of the platform. Thats what we Pay for and it's now just another guide for us. The reality is export many reports, customize columns,  and then disregard what you see in shopify sales reports.

 

Oh, and while you wasting those 10 hours of time each month, ya just may want to exports all the payouts csv and compare those against the finance summary to be sure they didn't actually make the refund and deduct it from YOUR money.

 

And Lastly, be sure to note that the actual refunds you execute and approve no longer reflect on the day you processed it. We  now keep the customers money for 2-3 days and when we decide to pay them, we will just reduce your sales reports accordingly on the same day we pay them, NOT the day your processed ans accounted for it.

 

Now you understand why Saturday your sales dashboard said you did 7k but 3 days later you go back and it says 5k. Yep those were returns initiated so we just reduced your sales  good luck the rest if the way figuring it out from here. But don't worry, this is to provide you precise and accurate, consistent reporting of your real sales and deposits 

 

What a disgusting insult to the people who made this company the success it is today though hard work and loyalty.

 

Still angry!

 

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

"Oh, and while you wasting those 10 hours of time each month, ya just may want to exports all the payouts csv and compare those against the finance summary to be sure they didn't actually make the refund and deduct it from YOUR money."

 

Can you please advise on how to do this? As one of the other uses confirmed shopify refunded a customer from a return THEMSELVES and called it a 'system glitch' - I have absolutely no words. Its so hard and expensive to capture online sales and money retention for business owners is absolutely imperative. And then they just give the money back without your authority. Absolutely ludicrous. 

sexyshoes239
Shopify Partner
4 0 5

Hi Sau2610-

 

I'm providing the link below which provides updated information posted by Loop Returns as of March 26, 2024. As you can see they are updating instructions acting as if this is something store owner's should already be doing, but its obvious the influx of complaints is forcing them to continously update their FAQ pages as as pertains to this new shopify update. 

 

It's important to note that these instructions are only for Loop Returns. That said, Loop is considered a 3rd party App just like the many others (Happy returns, Returnly, Aftership, etc.) All that Shopify has really done to notify store owners at this time is to create a small pop up when opening certain sales reports:

 

sexyshoes239_0-1711585360550.png

 

You may follow the accounting logic but each 3rd party app will have different exports and process to arrive at some sort of reconciliation. At the very least, this should provide everyone with more information, the complexity, and limitations if using integrated financial app (quickbooks, etc.)

 

I have yet to test and review the process and am mostly concerned to track and audit payouts against the actual not received, approved, or REAL refunded monies through Loop. That audit in itself is a real pain point, but will be needed based on the other users comments that Shopify actually executed a refund (debit from payouts) for a non-approved or received return. This is the real problem now. We don't have confidence and clarity in the reporting, and these "phantom" refunds in sales reports for initiated returns by customers not approved or actually refunded by the store owner should never trigger a reduction on our payouts. Furthermore, the payouts are always trailing a few days, and the actual refunds now take 2-3 days to to get processed by Shopify and show up on sales reports then. Not the day we actaully execute the refund. Therefore, we have multiple reports, conflicting data, and days which don't align up. This makes it more difficult to track the real refunds, adjustments, credits, return fee that get deducted from the return (if you use that method), and so on.  I'm thinking that we will have to create Powershell scripts that will look up on order number values, then the data from the different reports to output a reconcile showing the true sales and processed returns. This makes the Shopify analytics useless to us except as a general guideline to our sales. That said, you cant even compare now against prevous months and quarters, as this wasnt the accounting process then and you will certainly see a downward trend in sales as of February forward if you utilize Gift Cards (about 40% of your returns are handled that way), exchanges, or have restocking fees (adjustments). Shopify is just going to reduce your sales the moment the 3rd party app (at least Loop) receives a customer return submission. Loop then opens the archived order, even if the customer never returns it or lies and returns 2 of the 5 items they claimed.

 

Until you inspect and inspect, receive, and issue a refund, there should be no way that Shopify automatically deduct the value of this intitiated return by the 3rd party app from your sales reporting. They are making some pretty huge assumptions and ignoring other key compononets altogether.

 

I find it interesting that Shopify says this issue only arrises with 3rd party apps while they promote their own internal new customer checkout with return functionality. There return function does not even support Gift Card refunds and exchange options so why would you penalize everyone that has to pay for a return app to begin with becuase theirs is inferior. 

 

Anyway, I hope this helps and here is the link for review.  Enjoy the reading and good luck!

 

Accounting/Reconcile Instructions: 

https://help.loopreturns.com/article/320-accounting-and-reconciliation-overview#Why-do-merchants-nee...

 

Thanks Everyone,

Scott

 

 

 

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

Hi Scott,

 

Thanks so much for the time taken to help provide some clarity to Shopify customers. Definitely not your job and its amazing that the community seems to be giving better customer service that the service we pay extremely high premium fees for.

 

To be honest, what I have been doing is accepting a return from a customer, adding their request to the notes section of the order, this triggers an accepted email to the customer, I then go in and cancel the return request and then reach out to the customer via email to deal with their return. If an exchange is taking place once the item is received back and approved, I will create a new order in the system and then discount to 100% as the exchange and dispatch the order. As I have cancelled the return, the Shopify reporting data doesn't recognise this anymore and doesn't deduct from my sales figures. If a store credit is taking place, then a gift card is issued. I know I'm basically giving up my reporting for return rates but I would much rather have more accurate net sales figures. I don't use a third party currently for any returns.

I have only just started this procedure about a week ago so there will be some discrepancies with my reporting since this new update was initiated but I at least feel more in control with the reports as of now. Its too hard for my accountants to figure this out if I was accepting all returns to the system.

Sau2610
Excursionist
13 0 37

ALSO - everyone let's start posting this thread on their social media accounts!!! TikTok and Instagram and Facebook.

sarahmmybigblue
Shopify Partner
6 1 3

We also realized this right after developing our integration of returns with Shopify. We now give merchants visibility on returns when they are requested by customers (auto-approved by merchants) and inspected and restocked at the warehouse. Context: we are a 3PL and post-purchase experience platform (providing a return portal to merchants).

The problem our merchants face is that they now have too many returns in their Financial summaries. Some ask us to no longer sync returns with Shopify now.

What I am unclear about (I haven't found documentation for it) is why Shopify considers a Return approved as negative sales (and adjusts the Returns line with negative amount at this moment). Many customers request a return but end up never shipping their return.

=> Is it possible to get an answer from the Shopify team on why this has been done this way?
We also have store credit and exchanges returns so we are also wondering how to handle this in a Shopify-approved way.

streu21
Tourist
10 0 34

Some days we have the issue where returns (not actual refunds) are being counted against sales and then sometimes returns are actually being ADDED to our sales totals for the day. Is anyone else having this issue? Does @Shopify actually have anyone who can explain what is going on? Seems more than a little crazy for us to not have a clear idea of what our sales are each day.

LouisaR
Tourist
3 0 3
I’ve had this too! Someone please advise what the positive refunds mean!
deanphoebe
Visitor
1 0 1

Yes this is happening to us too and it’s SO frustrating 

GabriellaTM
Visitor
1 0 2

We are also extremely frustrated by this new change. As a business that uses Loop Returns and offers returns in the form of store credit (unless a product is defective or damaged), this has change had completely messed up all of our analytics and numbers. 

I’m glad I am not alone as I was panicking when this change was implemented. Shopify needs to make this change OPTIONAL with a way to turn it off, or get rid of this update all together.

Msongsong
Visitor
1 0 1

This is absolutely madness! Shopify what is your reasoning behind this? Is their an easier to look at this? 

 

JenniferCalla
Visitor
2 0 1

We have also been battling with this one after wondering why on earth our returns rate seemed to be 40% higher than normal.  We are a footwear company so get fairly high returns rates but many of these end up as exchanges for a different size which is done through our returns app - ReturnZap.   It's completely confounded our book keeper who usually double checks the reconciliations of Shopify Payouts v's what's in our Xero accounting software against the reports so she can see if anything might be amiss.  Now we have no way of doing this, at least quickly and it's costing my business a fortune in additional hours work.  

 

It would surely be easy to have a 'Returns' column and 'Refunds' column in the reports - and it only be the Refunds that affect our Net Sales figures.  That way Shopify can use the information for their own internal reporting but we still get real numbers for our accounting. 

 

For accurate reporting in our accounts the 'invoice' is created at the date of order and payment from the customer and the 'credit note' for a refund is the point at when we have seen and checked the returned item and agreed to refund it. 

 

The item is ONLY checked back on to stock once we have received, checked and refunded it so should not hit our accounts at all until that point.

 

Another thing is - how the hell are we supposed to do like for like comparisons to previous years - gah!!!!

 

This is BEYOND a joke and I will be using my PR agency and LinkedIn to go to the business press about what an absolute joke it is.

 

If you are happy to, please respond with a quote of what this is costing your business in time and money so I can include it when I contact the press.

sexyshoes239
Shopify Partner
4 0 5

Jennifer,

 

I hope you had success in gaining more insights or a resulting update from @Shopify.

 

About two weeks ago someone emailed me from their dev team asking if I'd be willing to have a one hour video conference outlining our particular return process.

 

I replied sure, but only if they are taking this update seriously. Still no repsonse back to my initial reply.

 

I'm a small business,  so unfortunately I've had to just ignore their sale reports and try to use payout reports to plot my cash flow tools. I can't imagine the problems accounting and people they report to are having.

 

Business is already difficult and every app takes our precious time month. Shopify should be the one app that gives us stability.

 

But I'll play along: Initial investigation, testing, research due to lack of shopify transparency to app devs and store owners. 20 hours from 2/15 -3/5.

 

Helping and communicating to other store owners and return apps. 5 hours.

 

The lack of forecasting, comparison period sales reporting, and actual financial reporting accuracy: Priceless.

 

Let's call it 200 hours per year, and still not entirely sure what our true sales are. IRONIC, isn't it?

Dotflakes
Excursionist
35 0 10

It's absolutely frustating!! Initial approval of return is neighter a financial transaction, nor a material transaction until the item is physically received by the seller and made final decesion on that return. 

jeremy_t
Shopify Staff
1 0 0

Hello everyone - Thank you for sharing feedback regarding the recent change to adjust sales when a return is created or approved. We are actively investigating options to address the feedback we've heard from our merchants and partners.

 

Most importantly, this change does not impact payouts. 

 

Additionally, since there are a few mentions of exchanges in this thread we would like to call-out that native exchange support was released to all Shopify merchants earlier this year! You can find documentation here. Additionally, you can cancel a return or remove a return item that is never sent back, and your sales will be appropriately adjusted.

 

You can expect a follow up post on this thread with another update from the team. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and appreciate your patience.

Jeremy Topper | Product Lead | Shopify 
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