Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA)

Return Merchandise Authorisation forms, or RMAs allow for customers to submit requests for returns while specifying whether they would like it processed as a refund or replacement. Customers can create new requests, or edit and track the statuse of existing requests. The customer would typically contact the merchant to request a refund and if approved, the RMA number would then be assigned so as to identify it to the returned product. 

As it provides a more organised and user friendly means of communication between the merchant and customer (at what could otherwise be a sensitive time in the relationship) is worth taking advantage of!

Note: RMAs are not available for virtual products, downloadable products and gift cards.


How Return Merchandise Authorisations are processed - Order of Events

  1. Customer requests an RMA (through the frontend RMA requests can be made by both guests and logged in customers, as well as through the admin system).
  2. Merchant considers the RMA requests (or perhaps requests additional details), and then authorises it partially, completely or rejects it (by cancelling the request).

Note: If authorised, you may decide it fair to compensate or pay for the return shipment. You can create a shipment order with a supported carrier from the Admin.

3. The customer returns the merchandise

4. You receive and process the return partially, or completely or you decide to cancel it.


How to configure your webstore to start accepting RMAs

  1. Navigate to System > Configuration > Sales, and then expand the RMA Settings tab.
  2. Complete the following fields:


  • Enable RMA on Frontend: Set to Yes to allow customers to raise, edit and track RMAs from their customer account. (setting this to No will mean that RMAs can only be raised from admin).
  • Enable RMA on Product Level: This is the default value for products. Set this to Yes if you want to by default allow RMAs to be processed for all products.
  • Use Store Address: Select which address and contact name is to be used for the return merchandise shipments.

Note: RMA notification emails are configured via the System > Configuration > Sales Emails tab (along with other sales emails).


To Enable Shipment Methods to be used for RMA

  1. Navigate to System > Configuration > Shipping Methods, and then expand each section that you would like to be used for RMAs.
  2. In each of the applicable shipping methods, set Enabled for RMA to Yes, and then click Save Config.


How Manage RMA Requests

Existing RMA requests can be managed from 3 locations in the admin:

    • Manage RMA screen (Sales > RMA > Manage RMA)
    • Order (Sales > Orders > your order > RMA tab)
    • Customer (Customers > Manage Customers > your customer > RMA tab)

Once created by the customer, and reviewed by yourself, you then need to decide how you would like to proceed with the request. You can either Approve or Reject it.

To reject an RMA

Click the Close button on the RMA page, and the status will then change to 'Closed'. For good customer management, always ensure a open line of communication has been made so as to explain why the request has been rejected.


To approve or partially approve an RMA

  1. On the RMA page (Sales > RMA > Manage RMA), select the RMA items and set the status appropriately to Denied or Authorised (if authorised, this is the pre-approval stage). When happy, click the Save button.
  2. If only some of the items are authorized, the status of the request would then be "Partially Authorised". If all of the items have been set to authorised, the status will then be "Authorised".
  3. The customer then sends the physical goods back to you for inspection, and once received you will then need to specify the quantity returned received and click the Save button.
  4. At this point:
    • If the Returned Qty = Authorised Qty, the status will then become "Return Received".
    • If returned qty is less than Authorised Qty, the return request status becomes "Return Partially Received".

5. In order for the request to be "Processed and Closed", all RMA items will need to be assigned a status of either Approved or Denied. Once this is done, and the order is then "Processed and Closed", you may find that additional return resolutions (refund or exchange) then need to be create to satisfy the particular scenario. RMAs may require the additional action in order to fully resolve:

    • Exchange: Credit memos can be created for the original order, and a new order created for the items to be exchanged. Alternatively, if the replacement products are identical to the ones originally ordered, products can simply be exchanged to the customer (outside of Magento).
    • Refund:You can refund the original payment through the raising of a credit memo.

Note: Each RMA request scenario will be different and there will often if not always be unique factors at play (reason for return, desired solution etc). RMAs in Magento are designed to offer additional means of organising sometimes complex scenarios, so as to ensure that you have all the tools available to communicate and provide customer service to a high standard.

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