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

Solved

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

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 41

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?

Accepted Solution (1)

jeremy_t
Shopify Staff
2 1 0

This is an accepted solution.

Hello again - 

 

This is a short message to let the community know this topic remains a top priority for us. We are continuing to explore options and as before, you can expect a follow up post on this thread with another update from the team. We appreciate your patience.

 

As a reminder, 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.

Jeremy Topper | Product Lead | Shopify 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

View solution in original post

Replies 71 (71)
mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 41

Hi Jeremy,  thanks for your response. Here is a summary of issues that the community is facing. Please address the proposed solution to each one of them:

 

1. Returns messing with sales data: There are 4 possibilities we face when a return is requested:

a. Refund given - No problems there

b. Exchange given - Solution provided in your response

c. Store Credit given - This is a problem. Sales are immediately deducted when the return request is approved. The response from Shopify up to this point has been that gift cards are not meant to be used as store credits, and deducting the sale from your sales data will actually fix the issues of gift cards double counting your sales. The flaw in that logic is that not all gift cards are used fully (or even at all) and also sales data should be based on the time of transaction. You should not be deducting the sale at the time of the refund, and then hoping that they spend the gift card. You should just not be counting gift cards as purchases that add to sales in the first place. If shopify is taking the stance that gift cards are not store credits, then please implement a store credit feature. And please do so BEFORE breaking the entire sales data collection system. Implement it, test it, release it to the world, give it 6 months of trial and error, and ONLY THEN change the way sales are recorded

d. Customer doesn't return the item - This is a problem. The proposed solution is to cancel the return. I understand that this would fix the individual sales data, but I think we can both agree that is a silly solution. We have about 1000 returns per month. 10% of those don't make it back to us. Is the actual proposed solution for me to go and manually cancel all 100 of those? And when would I do that? How do I know if it is just taking a long time for the return to get back to us? Also, the purpose of sales data is to be accurate in real time. This solution would only ever be accurate for sales up to 2 months prior to the current date (or however long we decide to close returns after no item is received).

 

To summarize in the most concise way possible - the data should represent actual transactions of money exchanging hands. Period. Wait until we refund the customer, then deduct the sale.

 

2. Sales tax - The shopify US sales tax report doesn't work anymore. And the data on which sales we owe taxes on does not exist in Shopify. Please propose ANY method for finding out how much we actually owe for our Q1 taxes, because I am completely baffled. 

 

Please respond to these concerns with solutions and I will remark your answer as the solution. 

Thanks,

ivhisglory
Tourist
8 0 20

Hey, Jeremy

 

Thank you for taking the time to reply. The goal for all merchants is to streamline and automate our exchange/return processes; the reason Shopify’s native Self-Service Return feature was so appealing…

 

It allowed for returns to take place and for an exchange or refund to be issued based on what the customer’s intent was in the Notes section of the return portal…

 

Now, regardless of intent, Shopify has deemed all returns as Refund Owed transactions; the problem we are all having…

 

I’ve found my own workaround:

 

(1) Once a customer requests a return, I just create a return label and send it to them as opposed to approving the return right away.

 

(2) Depending on the customer’s intent in the note’s section of the return portal, I issue a refund or exchange once the unwanted item is received…

 

(3) If a refund was requested, I approve the return request and issue the refund. If an exchange was requested, I decline the return and add a customized note to the customer under the ‘Other Reason’ option…

 

As you can see, this is not ideal. What I’m proposing - maybe you can give this feedback to the developers that be - is that a Self Service Exchange option be created. It’ll have all the functionality of the self service return just without the weird adjustment to daily sales reports. Is that feasible?

mattsirkin
Excursionist
17 0 41

@jeremy_t I support this solution as well. It would be great if your team could add this feature.

 

In the meantime, it would be nice if we could turn off the changes to sales data being reported, at least until the issue is resolved.

streu21
Tourist
10 0 34

Hi Jeremy,

 

Thanks for letting us know that solutions are being sought. Do you have any idea how long that might take? This update is really screwing up our sales data. Not really great for us merchants to not have a clear understand of what we're selling on a daily basis. 

ahood30
Visitor
1 0 0

Jeremy

 

What is the update here? Our business has been thrown into hours upon hours of back and forth with our developers on 3rd party apps, customer support, and our team with no end in sight of where this ends up. The lack of your team's responsiveness and awareness of how this is impacting all of your stores who all use these return apps - considering the need for more functionality then the native ones on Shopify is disappointing to say the least. 

 

 

JCB2
Excursionist
12 0 10

Hi Jeremy. Why do returns result in the cost of goods sold for that item being reversed TWICE? And should we now throw out the COGS data that our integration software has sent from Shopify to our accounting software and do all that manually instead? I've love to hear your thoughts on that. Thank you.

JenniferCalla
Visitor
2 0 1

I can't work out if the COGS data is correct or not - are you finding that it isn't now?

JCB2
Excursionist
12 0 10

From what I'm seeing, I can only conclude that it's incorrect. It wasn't happening prior to late February. At that point it happened once or twice. Since a few days into March, Shopify has accounted for virtually all returns twice each in the Cost of Goods Sold report. I don't know if it's just the reports that are wrong, or whether it's sending incorrect data to integration software that also sends data onward to accounting software, because I've cancelled the software I was using for that in favour of doing bookkeeping manually now.

(We were using the Amaka integration for Shopify and Xero, but cancelled it for other reasons before discovering this situation with COGS - and we spent about 12 person days re-doing our bookkeeping for a nine-month period. I've lost count of the number of different systems I've tried for integrations over a 7-year period, and from that I think it's fair to say that generally companies who describe their integration as "seamless" are brazen liars.)

JCB2
Excursionist
12 0 10

As an update to this issue, I've now found that the Shopify COGS report is virtually useless because it counts unpaid orders as if they're products already sold.

40 or more percent of our sales value comes from orders created and fulfilled up to 2 months before we can claim payment under a contract, and some fulfilled and unpaid orders are returned (requiring the order to be changed), long before we can claim payment.

To boot, I've found that these days when a product is returned on an unpaid Shopify order, Shopify no longer substracts the returned item from the owed amount on the order, even after the return is "closed", so the customer ends up owing twice as much in the case of an exchange on an as-yet-unpaid order. And the only way I know how to fix this is to duplicate the order, void the initial one, and change the new order to take the returned product out of the items appearing in the non-returned area of the new draft order.

I just can't fathom how a company can be that stupid.

I don't know how long this has been going on, because for months we've kept non-paid orders in Drafts just to avoid messing up our Amaka integration data, since that couldn't handle changed orders of the fully fledged type. Now that we no longer use the Amaka integration, I've turned about 100 draft orders into proper orders, only to find that this no longer works as a way of doing business either, while it did while we were trying to use it that way in the early second half of last year.

ivhisglory
Tourist
8 0 20
Just reading this dilemma has me stressed out for you - my goodness! What work arounds have you guys established to lessen the workload of this mess?
JCB2
Excursionist
12 0 10

Workarounds? None to speak of yet. We only recently cancelled our Amaka integration, so we've only just discovered some of these things. But as far as I can tell we'll just have to duplicate the order and void the original every time we get a return or exchange on an as-yet-unpaid order. Don't know yet what we'll do about COGS.

JCB2
Excursionist
12 0 10

It gets better! Today my Shopify product categories are in Chinese! Not kidding!

artiecodes
Shopify Partner
4 0 2

Hi Jeremy, have there been any subsequent announcements?

I spoke to a Shopify Plus rep today who implied that a fix to the issues spelled out here (returns being deducted from revenue) will be shipped by Shopify soon.

Can you shed any light on what those changes are and when they can be expected by merchants/partners?

EvanARitt
Tourist
3 0 1

Thank you to everyone else who has contributed to this discussion. We've been frustrated and trying to figure this out for the last month and a half.

 

@ Shopify, what functional benefit is there to automatically deducting $ from daily sales when a return is created instead of when the return is actually processed? If that 'update' was reverted and the exchange feature is kept, it would work fine for us, but our accounting and analytics are off and your proposed solution of going back through orders and removing returns is tedious and unnecessary. 

 

 

Chriiis34
Visitor
1 0 0

Fully agree! We experience major issues as well as this influences the revenues before the cashflow happens and also has an impact on the number needed to be reported to the tax authorities!

HatsUnlimited
New Member
5 0 0

Just posting in hopes of helping along this thread. 

We just moved to Shopify in February and I was excited to finally automate our returns. 

Unfortunately did not see this issue, and now after rolling out a return app have found the ugly truth. 

We just rolled out Redo to our customers, but while the team at redo tried to explain these changes, the full impact could not be understood until we went forward. 

Essentially, we leave the link to Shopify on, and as soon as a customer initiates a return or exchange it adjusts our sales regardless if the customer ever sends the item back. Or, I leave it unlinked and when I process the return or exchange in their portal it shows (in an unsatisfactory way) that there has been a change in the collected funds on Shopify. But does not adjust the taxes?

What a mess. This is extremely unhelpful and really messing up our reporting/taxes. The likely solution will be to have to go back to our manual returns/exchanges method resulting in a much poorer experience for our customers.

Shopify, please roll this back or figure something out.

HatsUnlimited
New Member
5 0 0

Update: Found that it in my instance with redo, it will adjust on the taxes report. Just again when  you look at the order in Shopify, you won't see how it's been adjusted. Quite unsatisfactory.

gerardofelix
Tourist
3 0 1

This issue has been driving me crazy... honestly disappointing that shopify is aware of it too and is letting it be...

JCB2
Excursionist
12 0 10

Can others please comment on what their Shopify COGS reports are showing for returns? Are they showing that each return reverses the COGS amount twice, which is what I'm seeing? And those with inventory software integrations might want to check whether that's sending incorrect inventory value data to inventory and accounting software. I can't comment on the latter because I cancelled my integration software before discovering this.

ivhisglory
Tourist
8 0 20

I'm pleased to announce that Shopify did something (or I just noticed it) regarding self service returns/exchanges. They now have an option to input what item a customer has requested for their exchange. When you input the item in this section, if it's the same amount as the original item(s) in the order, it'll zero out the 'Expected Refund' portion. 

 

Here's my suggestion:

 

(1) For known exchanges, do the process mentioned above and pictured below.

(2) For known returns and unknown exchanges, do not approve the return, but send a return label instead and wait for the item to be returned before approving.

 

Hope this helps, guys!

 

Finally.png

jeremy_t
Shopify Staff
2 1 0

This is an accepted solution.

Hello again - 

 

This is a short message to let the community know this topic remains a top priority for us. We are continuing to explore options and as before, you can expect a follow up post on this thread with another update from the team. We appreciate your patience.

 

As a reminder, 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.

Jeremy Topper | Product Lead | Shopify 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

ivhisglory
Tourist
8 0 20

Thank you, Jeremy. The best solution would be to revert back to the way self service returns once worked. Shopify has showcased and encouraged merchants to use their native apps/features, yet they are causing more harm than good. Thank you again for your diligence...