What to do when the part does not fit?

If you are reading this article it is likely because you have just received a message from a buyer complaining that the part they found online and purchased from you does not fit their vehicle.  The short answer as to what to do next is, "Give the buyer a no-hassle refund and figure out who pays for the losses later."   Some issues to consider after you deal with issuing the refund are.

1.  What is Sophio's policy regarding order defects (short ships, mis-ships, cancellations, part does not fit, part is defective, part did not fix my vehicles problem)?

Answer:  Our policy is that we will not pay for the mistakes of third parties including suppliers, marketplaces, listing tools, or any other third party that caused a problem for you and or your customer.   You may file a claim with us when you feel the situation is extraordinary by sending an email to fbs@sophio.com and we will review the request.  The frequency at which you file claims will factor into our decision.  Please understand that Sophio is first and foremost a technology platform.  Our drop ship service known as FBS was created as a value-added service to make it easier for new sellers to get started selling parts online.  Sophio earns less than 1% profit on your orders and the average order size is $35 which means if the item we drop shipped is not returned we stand to earn $.35.  If we were selling to you at full retail prices we could afford to research and resolve your problem orders but you would not be selling due to your prices being too high.  The message here is that "You as the retailer have to absorb the majority of the risk, since you stand to earn the majority of the profit." 

2.  Who should pay the shipping to get the item back?    

Answer:  It depends.  Was it the buyer's fault or your fault?  Some examples of your fault include:  Your listing said the part fit the buyer's car.  Your message to the buyer said YES the part fits.  Your phone call with the buyer confirmed it fit.   Now you may be thinking, "I buy my parts from Sophio and I do not create my listings, WHI does, and  I have nothing to do with 'any of this'.  The reality is that you DO have something to do with it, it is your store, not Sophio's.  You set the prices, you activated the inventory, and you took responsibility for handling the customer service.   

3.  Did the sale take place at a marketplace such as Amazon or eBay?

Answer:  If Yes - you should seriously consider paying the shipping even if your listing states otherwise.    The simple rationale is that your seller reputation is at risk.    You do not want the buyer to leave you a negative review.  You are likely thinking to yourself, but I am just sitting here counting the profits, I did not tell the customer to buy the item and I did not pick the item off the shelf and put it in a box.  We totally get you and agree with you, but as mentioned above, since you are selling the part retail, you have to 'eat' your customer's mistakes or your supplier's mistakes.  If there are too many mistakes you fire the customer, or the supplier, or both.  It's that simple.  There are ways to BLOCK buyers on all the marketplaces, and Sophio does not require you to buy parts from us.  It is a free service offered to any Sophio seller.

4.  Did the part get purchased from Sophio or someone else?

Answer:  If Sophio facilitated the dropship of your order, and the Sophio supplier picked the wrong part, or sent a core instead of a reman item, or sent someone else's order, or or or, and and and, your assumption should be that Sophio will tell you "Please refund the customer and ask them to send the part back to Sophio.  Sophio does not do exchanges."  You are likely thinking, 'I want to help my customer, my customer just wants his part, and I want to make him happy.'  We agree with you, but in our experience 'wrong parts' usually result in 'more wrong parts', which will without a doubt cost you a lot of money in the end.  Why?  Simple, wrong parts without immediate refunds equal unhappy buyers.  Unhappy buyers leave negative reviews.  Negative reviews can cost you your entire online business.    Your assumption should be that 10% of all sales will be returned, and 10% of those returns will be upset customers.  These upset customers need their refunds IMMEDIATELY.   Unless the part is VERY expensive, do NOT make them wait for their refund.  Offer to pay the shipping and ask them nicely to return the item.  When they beg for an exchange, tell them 'you purchased the last one'.  When they say 'But we still see the item available on ____'.  Say, 'The inventory is not real-time on the site.  It will not be available tomorrow.

5.  Can I call the supplier myself and offer to pay them to do an exchange?

Answer:  If you have your own account with the supplier, of course, you can.  However, if Sophio is your supplier we are unable to facilitate exchanges.  They are just too time consuming to keep track of and in our experience we usually make matters worse when we try to do the right thing.  It would be a different story if we were delivering parts in our own vehicles to a local garage down the street and we were going to be returning to the garage and the warehouse every other hour on the hour.
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