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Creating vendor returns

Vendor returns help you remove items from your inventory and keep a record of the reasons why you're sending items back to your vendors (for example, if it’s damaged).

By creating vendor returns instead of manually adjusting the quantity on-hand of your items, you'll enrich your inventory data by documenting the reasons why you removed quantities of certain items. You can leverage the Returned report when you need to analyze your returned inventory in the future.

If the quantities of an item you want to return were originally received on a purchase order (PO), the latest PO where the item was received is also linked in the vendor return.

Employee permissions for vendor returns

As maintaining an accurate inventory is crucial to a Retail POS account, it's important to understand and set appropriate employee permissions for vendor returns.

Employee setup permissions

The Locations access permission is configured from Settings > Employee Setup in the Details section of an employee account. The employee can create, view, and edit vendor returns for all or selected locations.


Employee role permissions

When configuring an employee role from Settings > Employee Roles, the following permissions affect vendor returns:

  • Inventory - Basic: Can access Inventory from the main menu.
  • Inventory - Vendor Returns: Can create and edit vendor returns from Inventory > Vendor Returns.
  • Inventory - Vendors: Can create and edit vendors from Inventory > Vendors. Can also edit vendor details from a vendor return.
  • Inventory - Vendor Return Reasons: Can create and edit vendor return reasons from Inventory > Vendor Return Reasons.
  • Inventory - Product Cost: Can view, edit, and export the cost of items. This is optional and typically set for managers and owners.


Creating a vendor return

If you received a purchase order and need to return items to your vendor for any reason, begin by creating a vendor return.

  1. Navigate to Inventory > Vendor Return > + New Vendor Return.


  2. Select the Vendor to return items to and Shop to return items for.


  3. Click Create vendor return.

Your vendor return has been created as OPEN and assigned a unique vendor return number. The name of the employee who created it will be featured under CREATED BY.


Editing a vendor return

Review your vendor's details, as they will display on the packing slip if you print it. To edit a vendor return:

  1. Under the status, click Edit Details.


  2. Edit the vendor details as needed. The following fields will display in the vendor return and on its packing slip:
    • Vendor Name
    • Account Number
    • First Name, Last Name
    • Phone / Mobile
    • Country, Address, Address 2, City, Province, Postal Code
    • Email 1 / Email 2
    • Notes


  3. Click Save changes.
  4. To go back to your vendor return, click the back button on your browser.
  5. Under your vendor's details, you can enter additional information in the Reference number and Notes fields.
  6. In the Cost summary section, you can enter Shipping and Other costs incurred for the items you're returning.


    These fields, along with the item description and serial number (if applicable), will also display on the vendor return packing slip if you print it.


Adding items to a vendor return

To add items to your vendor return:

  1. Under Add items, enter your items in the Item search field or click the Add Items button to search or filter for items in your inventory.
  2. Click Select or check off multiple items and click + Add Selected.


    Once you've added the items you want to return, they’ll display under Items in a list with the following headers:

    • # (items listed in order they were added to the vendor return)
    • S/N (serial number, if applicable)
    • Item
    • PO
    • Reason
    • Vendor ID
    • Stock (current quantity on hand (QOH) based on the shop selected in your vendor return)
    • Return Qty.
    • Cost
    • Subtotal (Cost x Return Qty.)

      Under the Cost summary section, the Subtotal of all your items is added together to give you the Return Value of the vendor return.

    • [UK only] VAT rate and VAT amount (from the PO, or default tax rate)


  3. To remove serial numbers from stock on serialized items during vendor returns, click S/N and Add serial number or use the trash can icon to delete.


    If a serial number is attached to an item on a vendor return, the serial number for that item will be moved to Old Serials (with associated Vendor Return ID) under Inventory > (item) > Serial #s tab. This improves serial number tracking as they move in and out of stock.

  4. Under PO, If an item was originally received on a purchase order (PO), the latest PO the item was received on is automatically linked to the item in the list. You can View PO, Select other PO, or Remove PO.


    If a PO number isn't automatically linked to an item in the list, click Select / the pencil icon and select a purchase order from the available results. The results only include POs that are associated with the vendor and the item.

    Linking a PO to an item on a vendor return does not remove quantities from the PO once you send the vendor return.

  5. To record why you're returning an item, select a vendor return reason from the dropdown in the Reason column:
    • None
    • Defective
    • Damaged
    • Warranty
    • Incorrect shipment
    • Wrong quantity
    • Product no longer needed
    • Other


    If the vendor return reason you need isn't listed, you can create a custom vendor return reason.

  6. If an item has a vendor ID in its details associated with the vendor, it will be automatically entered under Vendor ID. If not, you can enter it in the Vendor ID field and it will also be saved in the item's details.
  7. Enter or scan the quantity you want to return for each item in the Return Qty. fields.

    If Return Qty. is higher than Stock quantity, you will see an Over Return warning and won't be able to send your vendor return. You will need to investigate and correct the stock quantity.

  8. The Cost of the item will be taken from the purchase order the item was received on. If the item is not linked to a specific purchase order under the PO column, the default vendor cost or the item's default cost will be used. In any of these cases, the cost can be manually edited.


    Cost adjustments in Cost will not be saved as the Default Cost in the item's details.

  9. If you need to delete any items from the list, click their respective checkboxes and click Delete. You can also click the checkbox in the column header and click Delete to delete all your items.


  10. At the top right of the vendor return, under More actions, you can click Print packing slip if you need to include it with your shipment.


Sending a vendor return

Once you've added all the items you want to return and addressed any Over Return warnings, you're ready to send the vendor return:

  1. At the top right of the vendor return, click Send to vendor.
  2. Click Send.


Your vendor return status is now Sent. The current date is added to the Date sent field. You can click the calendar icon to choose another date.


For merchants with Lightspeed Accounting, your vendor return data will sync once sent. If you manually export to QuickBooks Desktop, your vendor return data will be included in the exports you create in Reports > QuickBook Exports. These exports will be created either once the return is sent or closed, depending on your setup under Export Vendor Returns > Reports > QuickBooks Settings & Options.

Closing a vendor return

Once your vendor has received your vendor return, you can click Mark as Closed at the top right of your vendor return.

Your vendor return status is now Closed. The current date is added to the Date closed field. You can click the calendar icon to choose another date.

Managing vendor returns

If you need to make changes to the items you added to the vendor return, click More Actions > Reopen at the top right of your vendor return.


To declutter your list of vendor returns, it’s recommended to archive closed returns by clicking More Actions > Archive.

Should you ever need to unarchive it, you can always click Unarchive this record at the top of the vendor return.


To export the list of items in your vendor return, click Export.


What's next?

Creating vendor return reasons

Create custom vendor return reasons.

Learn more

Creating purchase orders

Order or reorder stock for your store.

Learn more

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