What is RTS (return to sender)?

Here at Thrift by Humble, our main goal as your go-to digital thrift store is to get your valuable orders from our warehouse to your doorstep. So, imagine our surprise when your carefully packed and shipped out purchases end up right back at our doorstep?

When this happens, we call this a case of “return to sender” or RTS. RTS occurs when a courier is unable to successfully deliver an item to a customer and is instead, shipped back to the source a.k.a the sender.

RTS can be the result of multiple scenarios, most of which will be discussed in this blog later on. But one thing is clear: the effects of a parcel being returned to the sender impacts both the seller and the customer. On one hand, the seller that has already covered the shipping fee has the item returned to them without making a successful sale. In addition, returned items often incur a  decrease in value making them more difficult to sell. This results in potential financial loss. Customers also have to go through the process of waiting again for their item(s) to make it back to them.

Before we discuss what course of action you should take when you find yourself dealing with an RTS situation, let’s talk about what situations could lead to having RTS in the first place.

Common scenarios

The world of e-commerce is often unpredictable and the scenarios that could lead to a parcel being returned back to its sender vary on a case-to-case basis. 

However, throughout the hundreds of orders we’ve processed here at Thrift, here are a few common situations as to why an order ends up becoming a case of RTS.

The item is damaged or defective

Items from Thrift are thoroughly quality checked upon arrival and departure from our warehouse. However, parcels can get damaged while in transit and thus, arrive at the receiver damaged.

In this case, the customer is entitled to refuse the package and file for a return or refund.

Such cases can be avoided by ensuring that items are properly packed (e.g., with multiple layers of bubble wrap) to ensure that it arrives at the customer’s doorstep safe and sound.

The customer receives the wrong item

It’s something we’d like to avoid but in all honesty, it happens! Sometimes, the wrong item ends up being sent to the wrong person. The unfortunate result is the buyers’ confusion and disappointment because their expectations haven’t been met.

Similar to the previous situation, Thrift wholeheartedly encourages its customers to reach out to our support team and file for a return or refund immediately.

Reaching out to us also allows us to learn from the experience and ensure that each item is packed with even more care and caution to avoid such mix-ups in the future.

The customer is unable to receive the parcel

This is one of the most common causes of RTS. The courier arrives and the recipient is either unresponsive or simply not at home. We understand that circumstances can often lead to an unexpected errand outside of the house. However, your Thrift orders often come with an estimated date of arrival and tracking number.

A quick message to the sender or courier stating your inability to receive the parcel at a given time should suffice, saving both parties time and effort.

Incorrect delivery address

It’s not uncommon to have multiple addresses saved on your ecommerce shopping sites or applications. Maybe you’ve moved recently. It can also be easy to overlook or make a typo error on a certain segment of your address leading to the courier showing up to a completely different location than the one you’re currently residing in.

To avoid this situation, make it a habit to double check your address before hitting that check out button.

What sellers should do in an RTS situation

In the case that an item is returned to us due to the above-mentioned reasons, there are a few courses of action we can take to resolve the situation.

Oftentimes, the primary action is a second attempt at delivering the item. In the case of an unsuccessful delivery, couriers will often hold off from sending the item back to the sender and attempt to contact the recipient themselves to arrange a second delivery.

However, if multiple attempts have already been made and the parcel still hasn’t been successfully delivered, the item will be shipped back to the seller and it's up to them to contact the customer and resolve the reason for return.

What buyers should do in an RTS situation

Now if the reason for a return is due to receiving the wrong item or a damaged/defective parcel, the buyer can also take certain steps to ensure that their return request is processed smoothly.

  1. First, thoroughly check your order’s waybill and ensure that the name and product item listed (if applicable) are accurate.
  2. Next, customers can also be extra diligent by filming themselves unboxing the item. This is one of the best ways to ensure that your return/refund request is accepted, especially since video footage is often the most solid evidence you can provide.
  3. Lastly, with the necessary requirements collated, you’re ready to go through the return process itself.

To prevent any unnecessary RTS situations, make sure to thoroughly read and review the “What you get” and “Disclaimer” sections of the product listing of your Thrift items. Thrift openly declares any issues concerning the items in these sections. Feel free to also ask our friendly and responsive customer service team any clarifications or questions you may have regarding the item you are eyeing to buy before checking out your order.

How to return the package

Here at Thrift, we like to implement a straightforward and uniform return policy. However, depending on which platform you purchase from, there are small variations in the return process.

For items purchased through Lazada and Shopee:

  1. Send a message to our customer support team via chat, inform them of the issue regarding your order, and attach the photo or video evidence of the problem.
  2. Once step 1 has been completed, select the "Request return and refund” button on the application’s order section.
  3. Allow our customer support team some time to review your submitted evidence and approve the request.
  4. Upon approval, the return request will be processed within the platform. Please wait for further instructions regarding the packing and shipping of your item.
  5. Check out the specific return and refund guidelines per platform through the links below:
    1. Lazada
    2. Shopee

For items purchased through the Thrift by Humble website:

  1. Send an email to our customer service associate Cheeky at cheeky@humblesustsainability.com.
  2. Attach photo or video evidence of the problem with the order.
  3. Give our customer service team three to five days to verify your return request.

Smooth returns with Thrift

Regardless of the situation leading to an RTS, here at Thrift by Humble, we want you to have the smoothest and most seamless shopping and customer service experience. 

Kindly note that behind every return request is a member of the team thoroughly reviewing your details in order to make it happen. Your kindness and patience during this process is highly appreciated! 

Now if you’re looking to file a refund, not to worry! We’ve got this handy-dandy guide to Thrift refunds to quell your questions. Check it out here