Vendor returns are your go-to way to remove items from your inventory as they allow you to keep a record of the reasons why you're sending items back to your vendors (e.g. damaged items). If the quantities of an item you want to return were originally received on a purchase order (PO), the latest PO the item was received on is also directly linked in the vendor return. This helps you paint a clear picture of the ins and outs of your inventory. Once vendor returns are SENT or CLOSED, the returned items are also tracked in the Returned report, allowing you to analyze your returned inventory data at any time.
Vendor returns are also a great way to write-off items for your business. By creating vendor returns to your business 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. As a result, you'll also open the opportunity to leverage the Returned report when you need to analyze your returned inventory in the future. To create a vendor return to your business, begin by adding a vendor for your business. Afterwards, simply follow this help article as you would for any ordinary vendor return.
Returning items to a vendor involve understanding how to:
- Create a vendor return
- Edit a vendor return
- Add items to a vendor return
- Send a vendor return
- Close a vendor return
Before you begin
As maintaining an accurate inventory is crucial to a Retail account, it's important to understand the employee permissions surrounding vendor returns.
Limit To Shop permission
The Limit To Shop permission is configured from Settings > Employee Setup in the Details section of an employee account. If a specific shop is selected from the Limit To Shop drop-down, the employee can only create, view, and edit vendor returns for the shop they're limited to.
For more information on employee accounts, please see Adding employees.
Employee role permissions
When configuring an employee role from Settings > Employee Roles, there are six permissions that affect vendor returns.
The following permission is simply a prerequisite to unlock the three vendor return-related permissions:
Inventory - Basic
Can access Inventory from the main menu.
The following three permissions are vendor return-related:
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.
The following permission is optional and is typically only enabled for managers and owners:
Inventory - Product Cost
Can view, edit, and export the cost of items.
For the permissions to take effect, simply have your employees sign out and sign back in. For more information on employee roles, please see Adding employee roles.
1. Create a vendor return
If you received a purchase order and need to return items to your vendor for any reason in particular (e.g. defective items), begin by creating a vendor return.
- From the main menu, click Inventory > Vendor Returns > + New Vendor Return.
- Select the vendor you want to return items to.
- Select the shop you want to return items for.
- Click Create Vendor Return.
You've now officially created a vendor return. By doing so, Lightspeed Retail assigns it a unique vendor return number, sets its status to OPEN and stamps the name of the employee who created it under CREATED BY. If you need to edit the shop or vendor assigned to your vendor return, click Edit to the right of your vendor return number.
2. Edit a vendor return
Next, you'll want to review your vendor's details as they will display on the packing slip if you print it. To edit your vendor's details:
- At the top right of the vendor details area, click Edit Details.
- Edit your vendor's details. The following fields will display in the vendor return and on its packing slip:
- Vendor Name
- Account number
- First Name
- Last Name
- Address 2
- Postal Code
- Email 1
- Email 2
- Click Save Changes.
- To go back to your vendor return, click the vendor return number in the breadcrumbs at the top of your screen.
- Optionally, click Hide details on the right of your vendor's name to help you focus on the other areas of your vendor return.
Another area you can edit in your vendor return is the one directly under your vendor's details. From there, you can enter additional information in the Reference and Notes field. Under COST SUMMARY, you can also enter Shipping and Other costs that you incurred for the items you're returning. Everything you enter in these fields will also display on your vendor return's packing slip if you print it.
3. Add items to a vendor return
Now that you've entered your vendor's details and additional information, its time to add items to your vendor return. To do so, under Add items, enter or scan your items in the Item search field. Alternatively, click the Add Items button to search or filter for items in your inventory.
Once you've added the items you want to return, they display under Items in a list with the following headers:
- Vendor ID
- Return Qty.
If you are in the United Kingdom, you will also see the VAT Rate and the VAT Amount from the associated purchase order, or the default tax rate if there is no purchase order associated.
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 will be used. If a default vendor cost has not been established for this item, the item's default cost will be used. In any of these cases, the cost can be manually edited.
The list can either be sorted by clicking the above column headers or narrowed by entering or scanning items in the Search field. The list includes a maximum of 50 items per page of results. You can toggle through the pages of results with the arrow buttons at the top and bottom of the list. If you need to delete any items from the list, click their respective checkboxes on the far left and click Delete. You can also click the checkbox in the column header and click Delete to delete all your items.
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.
To learn more about each column in the Items area, please see the list below.
The # column lists your items in the order they were added to the vendor return.
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. To view the PO, select another PO, or remove the PO, click the PO number and select one of these three options.
If a PO number isn't automatically linked to an item in the list, click 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.Note: Linking a PO to an item on a vendor return does not remove quantities from the PO once you send the vendor return.
To record why you're returning an item, select a vendor return reason from the drop-down in the Reason column. To help you get started, these common vendor return reasons are created for you by default under Inventory > Vendor Returns and are available for selection:
- Incorrect shipment
- Wrong quantity
- Product no longer needed
If the vendor return reasons you need aren't listed, please see Creating vendor return reasons to create custom ones.
If an item has a vendor ID in its details that's associated with the vendor, it is automatically entered in the Vendor ID field of the vendor return. If an item doesn't have a vendor ID in its details that's associated to the vendor, you can enter it in the Vendor ID field of the vendor return on the fly. If you do, the vendor ID for the item and vendor will also be saved in the item's details.
The Stock column displays the current quantity on hand (QOH) of the items in your vendor return. If you have multiple shops, it's important to note that the Stock column is based on the QOH of the shop selected in your vendor return.
Enter or scan the quantity you want to return for each item in their respective Return Qty. field. If the quantity you enter in an item's Return Qty. field is higher than its Stock quantity, however, Lightspeed Retail will highlight the item in red and display an Over Return warning. You also won't be able to send your vendor return. To regain this ability, you need to investigate and correct the item's Stock quantity to a value that is higher than its Return Qty.. By addressing the discrepancy right away, you'll promote the accuracy of your inventory in the long run.
The Cost field is where you should enter the per unit cost of the items you're returning. The per unit cost might have been entered for you automatically depending on the following scenarios:
- If your items were originally received from a PO and had a cost entered in their respective Cost fields, it is automatically entered in their respective Cost fields in your vendor return.
- If your items weren't originally received from a PO and have a Default Cost entered in their details, it is automatically entered in their respective Cost fields in your vendor return.
- If your items weren't originally received from a PO and have and don't have a Default Cost entered in their details, you can enter it on the fly in their respective Cost fields. If you do, however, the Cost you enter will not be saved as the Default Cost in the item's details.
An item's Subtotal is calculated by multiplying its Cost by its Return Qty. Under COST SUMMARY, the Subtotal of all your items is then added together to give you the Return Value of the vendor return.
4. Send 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 your vendor return. To do so:
- At the top right of the vendor return, click the Send to Vendor button.
- After reading the information in the message, click Send.
You've now officially sent your vendor return. By doing so, Lightspeed Retail sets its status to SENT and automatically selects the current date under DATE SENT. If you need to edit the date under DATE SENT, click the current date and use the calendar to select a different date.Note: If you've integrated your Lightspeed Retail account with Lightspeed Accounting, your vendor return data will sync over once it's sent. If you're manually exporting your Lightspeed Retail data and importing it into QuickBooks Desktop, your vendor return data will be included in the exports you create in Reports > QuickBook Exports once it's sent or closed. The triggering status is configured based on your selection in the Export Vendor Returns when drop-down under Reports > QuickBooks Settings & Options.
At the top right of the vendor return, under MORE ACTIONS, you can click Reopen if you need to make changes to the items you added to the vendor return or the fields under COST SUMMARY.
5. Close a vendor return
Once your vendor has received your vendor return, you're ready to mark it as closed. To do so, click Mark as Closed at the top right of your vendor return.
You've now officially closed your vendor return. By doing so, Lightspeed Retail sets its status to CLOSED and automatically selects the current date under DATE CLOSED. If you need to edit the date under DATE CLOSED, click the current date and use the calendar to select a different date.
If you need to make changes to the items you added to the vendor return or the fields under COST SUMMARY, click More Actions > Reopen at the top right of your vendor return. To declutter your list of vendor returns, we also recommend 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.
Lastly, if you need to export the list of items in your vendor return for your business needs, click Export at the top right of the Items area.