Running a successful merchant operation doesn’t just end at making a sale and completing the fulfillment cycle all the way to delivery to a customer’s doorstep. Sometimes customers have issues with delivery, or the condition of their goods on arrival. Maybe they didn’t even get the right item. Inevitably some customers may want their money back, and that’s where refunds can seriously impact your bottom line.

The subject of returns, refunds and refund disputes has become especially important with increased fulfillment and returns demands in the current climate.  For Walmart Marketplace, we’ve initiated new efforts to revamp our returns policies and tools with the goal to help you manage your customer refunds more effectively. Ultimately, you’ll have a lot more freedom to handle these cases, especially for fraudulent claims, which lets you keep your profits in the bank and not in dispute limbo.

While we work on improving the process, there are a few updates you can start benefiting from today. Continue reading this blog to learn more about adjustments we’ve made to help you process refunds and deal with fraudulent returns.

Save the sale with a friendlier customer response window

Normally, as a seller, you are responsible for all product-related and customer service questions, including matters of returns and refunds. Previously we required that sellers respond to inquiries initiated by the customer directly or by Walmart Customer Care within 24 hours, but we noticed that this was creating a lot of overhead and stress for sellers that needed to respond to these communications in such a short period.

With these issues in mind we’ve decided to increase the response window to 48 hours (effective August 4th), allowing sellers more time to respond to inquiries and issues as they occur. You won’t have to stress about rushing to respond too quickly and more time gives you the freedom to do some background research on the inquiry.

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“Many sellers still have to operate with reduced staffing because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Steffen Matt, Director of Product, Walmart Marketplace Solutions. “It makes it hard for them to respond to customer inquiries within the current Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 24 hours. We decided to extend the SLA to 48 hours (starting August 4th) to give sellers more time to take care of the customer.”

See your Net Sales and dispute refunds with the new Payments dashboard

Sellers frequently need a fast and easy way to calculate Net Sales of their past orders. The new Payments Dashboard shows sales, refunds, and reimbursements for individual purchase orders in one place. Even better, we added the option to dispute a refund right from this dashboard. That way you don’t have to go hunting for refund details or the option to dispute, taking time and energy away from your other business operations.

To dispute a refund, all you’ll need to do is visit the Payments dashboard, click on the Transactions tab, and search for the particular transaction you’ll want to address.

Once you have the transaction selected, a Dispute this refund button will be available at the bottom. We also list the last day you’ll be able to dispute the refund.

Numbers to know for disputing refunds

You can dispute a refund 48 hours after it has been issued.

You have up to 45 days to dispute the refund.

There can be only one dispute per refund.

A dispute can be appealed one time.

All Walmart decisions are final once the appeal has been finalized.

Deal effectively with high value items and fraudulent returns

We know that sellers may experience some frustration in having top dollar items get returned and automatically refunded, then having to dispute the refund if the seller suspects fraud. This takes time to resolve and meanwhile keeps the refunded money out of the hands of the seller. For those selling many high value items (which Walmart defines as any item over $250 in value), this can have a seriously negative effect on the available operating capital.

This process has recently been changed so that you can pause the 48 hour auto-refund if you suspect it was committed fraudulently. What will happen next is that the case gets routed to a specialized dispute team that reviews all the claims. These reports get stored into a profile for the customer, and if the dispute is approved, the return will be cancelled. Now sellers won’t have their bank weighed down by fraudulent claims on high value items while waiting for disputes to be resolved.

Provide your feedback for returns & refunds

Everything you want to know about refunds (but were afraid to ask)

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