Product Database FAQ

We’ve recently begun to ask for Product Databases from our sellers and some, understandably had questions. We thought it would be good to collate the most common questions into a single space so any anyone curious can get the answers they need.

Q: Why do I need to provide a product database?

A: We have been developing a new returns management system that will offer many new features and provide a faster and more accurate means of processing and shipping returned goods. This requires product data to be in place so the arrival process is as smooth and accurate as it can be. This brings us in line with how most Return management companies operate.

We feel that while many sellers have different products, requirements, and means of running their own operation, this method will bring the most benefit to the most number of sellers and our hubs. For unique cases, there are always alternatives.

So overall the benefits are 
  • Faster and more accurate processing of your returns.
  • More accurate processing of resell / fulfilment orders.
  • Less queries on returns allowing you to process refunds and exchanges quicker.
  • Automated generation of commercial invoices for cross borer shipments.

All this saves you time and money and ultimately provides a better service from us to you and to your customers.

Q: What is the data used for?

A: When a return arrives at one of our hubs, a bar code is scanned in the majority of cases, if not on the item then on the return packaging. Being able to match this to an existing item gives our hub staff all they need to know on what the item should be, along with if it matches the goods that are supposed to be returned. This can highlight errors or fraud when incorrect goods are returned by mistake or malice.  The result tis more accurate product data as well as providing meaningful data about your returns allowing you to address issues with certain items or identify trends.

The data is also used when returned goods need to be shipped cross border as it allows us to create Commercial Invoices instantly, automatically, and accurately, without requesting additional data from you and then waiting for that data to be inputted into our system. The non-barcode mandatory fields of the database are used for this, and so some sellers whose returned goods do not need to cross borders may not need all the columns filled in (though we still recommend you do so for identification purposes).

Q: My returns do not cross an international border. Do I need to provide the database?

A: Yes. While some of the columns highlighted as mandatory may not be needed due to no Commercial Invoice needing to be created, we still need a list of barcodes, and preferably SKU information as well, to help with identification. Without this, our hub partners will need to input item data manually, which will slow down the process and may introduce errors. If there is any mandatory data you cannot provide and you do not cross international borders (e.g. EU only customers), then let us know and we can advise you based on your situation.

Q: Can we stick to the old way of doing things?

A: Ultimately, no. As we’re developing a new and better system for return management, the old method of doing things on our previous portal will slowly be depreciated. As we sunset this older system, our new system will take over, and while the change may be new and unfamiliar for some of our customers, we’ll be on hand to receive feedback, add features, and make changes to keep the user experience as smooth as possible. We ask for your patience and understanding while this transitional process is underway.

Q: Our database changes all the time, so importing once would be pointless!

A: Some data will always be better than no data at all, so even if this is likely to go out of date, we still ask that you send it to us. In the future, we plan on adding systems that will allow you to export and update your product data yourselves, so updating it on mass or individually will be possible. Integration with us is also a preferred alternative as this works dynamically updating your products with us, adapting to any changes you may make. Until then, you can send your product data to us and we will import it for you. This also helps us to manage the data as some checks are required before it can be imported. We can also test our new system to account for the many different situations we encounter with different sellers products.

Q: What is a ‘Primary Barcode’?

A: The Primary Barcode column on our Product Database is only called this as we can use it to match and update products via subsequent imports for those who use their barcodes as their primary identifiers for their products. Otherwise, when a product is scanned all the barcode fields are checked, so if one type of barcode is included on the box and another on the item, you can add one to the primary and the other to the Barcode 2 column and both will be checked. Outside of it being used for a unique identifier, there is no specific ‘type’ of barcode that is required for the primary column.

Q: We cannot provide some of the data. What do we do?

A: Let us know your situation and reason you cannot provide the data while providing what you can. Many of the mandatory columns in the template are used only for Commercial Invoices, so they may not be needed if your returns do not cross a border. Some sellers do not use the barcode for example, or ship unique goods, and in such cases, the SKU may be used instead, or other similar workarounds.

Q: We do not want to provide our product database, What happens?

A: If for some reason you do not want to or are not able to provide the product database this will mean we may have to review your pricing and services from us to reflect the extra work involved.  This may mean an increase in processing fees and may also incur charges for tasks such as invoice generation, query resolution if being integrated would have avoided such fees or queries.

Any increased fees will be communicated to you with a minimum of  30 days’ notice of any changes.

Fees for manual / non integrated or no database provided customers, processing costs will be approximately 10% higher.

Q: How will integrating help with this?

A: Integration is the preferred option over the product databases, but not everyone can integrate with us. Integrating allows us to fetch product information at the moment of arrival and scanning, as well as fetching the product database periodically as needed, if no barcodes are available. If you are already integrated, you do not need to provide a Product Database (unless it is via the Spreadsheet Rest-API method). If you are not, please have a look at our integrations page to see if we currently integrate with your order management system.

Q: How is the data stored? Is it GDPR complaint?

A: You can view our privacy policy for details on how we store all the data we manage, but suffice to say, as a company that is based in and operates out of the EU, yes, we are GDPR compliant, and take data protection very seriously.