Create a return on a sales order

To create a return, a shipment must have been created.  

An invoice need not be created in order for a return to be made. However, we recommend that you create an invoice before creating a return in keeping with industry best practices.

Once you have created a shipment and the status of that shipment reads as Shipped, the ‘Returns’ function be enabled.

You will NOT be able to view the returns function on your order if a shipment has not been made.

To create a return, click on the "Returns" function of the right side of your page.


You can now choose to either make a partial return by clicking on Manual, or return the whole order.

If you choose to return the order manually you will be required to enter the amount of product to be returned.

You will only be able to return products up to the quantity that was shipped. Please refer to the scenarios below for examples.

Scenario 1

100 hats have been shipped.
Of these you wish to return 60.
You WILL be able to manually create a return for 60 hats.

Scenario 2

100 hats have been shipped.
Of these you wish to return all 100.
You WILL be able to create a complete return of 100 hats.

Scenario 3

100 hats have been shipped.
You wish to return 120 hats.
You WILL NOT be able to create a return.
Once you have created a return the status of the return will be reflected as Returning.
Stock levels are not adjusted up at this point. Once the returned goods have been shipped and received you will be able manually change the status from Returning to Received. The stock levels will then be updated to reflect the changes.

When a return is made you may not want it to go to the same location that it was previously shipped from. This may be for quarantine purposes (to check if goods are damaged and therefore need to be disposed of instead of being placed back with your available stock.) To ensure that stock that is meant for quarantine/disposal is not placed back with your available stock, create a new stock location : For eg, create a stock location called Headquarters-quarantine and select this location when making the return.

You can preview the credit note/credit memo on a return BUT you will not be able to pay with it. This credit note/credit memo is only intended for accounting purposes on Xero and QuickBooks Online. An example of what a credit note looks like:


You can also view a credit note by searching for the serial number of that credit note. For example if the serial number of your credit note is CN0020, search the number in your sales orders under the 'Fulfilled' tab.

The Sales Order with that Credit note will appear.


 If you click on this Sales Order you will be able to view the Credit Note within;

Sales reports currently do not reflect the changes in values caused by returns.


Now that the order has been returned you may want to continue on with the order life-cycle and perform an exchange. Is it possible? Yes! Follow these steps to create an exchange.

If you require an exchange to be made from the order that was previously returned, you will not be able to do so from the same order. Instead this is the process that we recommend in keeping with best practices:

Once the order has been returned, make a note that this order will be exchanged. You can make this note in the comment section.

Next, proceed to create a new order that will reflect the drop in stock from the exchange.

This method will help you keep accurate records for accounting purposes.

Specifically for orders that have been returned, please avoid cloning, voiding and then recreating an order intended for exchange. Doing this will hinder with the reason for voiding.

For more information on how a return on a sales order is accounted for in Xero, click here, and QuickBooks Online, click here

If you have batch tracked products, you can select which batch you would like to return products to. Click on this article to find out more.

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