The ReturnLogic platform references Shopify product information via the Shopify integration. Changes to Shopify SKUs are made within Shopify. Before using non-product SKUs, it's good to become familiar with the Shopify Product page and how Shopify recommends managing SKUs. To learn more, go to the Shopify Help Center.
This article will cover the following topics:
The differences between a product SKU and a "non-product SKU"
Different kinds of non-product SKUs
Examples of common non-product SKUs that retailers use in the return process
Using non-product SKUs to charge customers
The advantages of using non-product SKUs with Product Rules
The advantages of using non-product SKUs
What is a SKU?
SKU stands for “stock keeping unit” which is an internal-facing number that retailers assign to products for the purpose of tracking inventory.
What are some non-product SKU examples?
Product SKUs examples
A product SKU is often a physical product that you need to track financial and inventory metrics on.
physical products you need to track inventory on
products that need to be shipped to and from customers
associated with the price of the item
Non-product SKUs examples and uses
A non-product SKU is often a non-physical product that you may still want to track financial and inventory metrics on.
customization fee (embroidery, engraving, custom text)
digital product (PDF, image, etc)
digital subscription or membership
can be used as a fee
can have a price associated
What are some examples of non-product SKUs that ReturnLogic customers use for the different return types?
If you are adding a fee, it's a good practice to make sure that customers are aware of your return policy. It is not recommended to add fees if they are not already detailed in your return policy.
With exchanges and warranties, new items are being shipped out to the customer's address which means Shopify draft orders are created. Here are some ways retailers may use non-product SKUs for warranties and exchanges:
fee for replacement parts or for the entire item
cleaning or restoration fee
How can I utilize non-product SKUs in my returns process?
To charge customers fees
To sell memberships or subscriptions
To track services that were performed for the customer (ex: repair)
To add SKUs to an RMA (and to the Shopify draft order) that a customer did not select
To combine with Product Rules to limit what customers are able to return within the Return Center workflows. For example, you could use Product Rules to prevent returns on a non-product SKU that was used to charge a fee or is part of a subscription.
To learn more about Product Rules, click here and click on the "Learn about Product Rules" tutorial button at the top left-hand side of the screen.
How should I utilize non-product SKUs to charge customers for certain fees and services?
You can use them however you see fit and in combination with one another. It's important that your RMA processing team members are aware of when to use which non-product SKU. Team members who process RMAs should be aware of all selectable non-product SKUs and when to add each to an RMA.
If you are using non-product SKUs to charge customers for different things, be sure that your staff members know not to also charge them for the same things in the financial section of the RMA page.
Where will I be able to see a non-product SKU that has been added to an RMA?
In this example, we will add a warranty surcharge.
To the right of "requested items". Click on the plus icon next to "Add item"
How can I add a non-product SKU to an RMA?
Similar to where you would be able to manually add a regular product SKU on the RMA page, you can also add a non-product SKU the same way.
Go to the desired RMA page
Authorize the RMA if needed
Go to the Requested Items section of the page
Click on Add Item. This will bring up a pop-up menu that will prompt you to click on the SKU you'd like to add
Search for the SKU by name or SKU number if it already exists in your catalog. If a "warranty" non-product SKU is already added, for example, you could type in "warranty", click on it to select it, and add it to the requested items section of the page.
Alternatively, you can click on Add Custom Item if the non-product SKU you would like to add does not yet exist within your Shopify product catalog.
Let's say you are working on a warranty RMA and want to add a "warranty replacement" surcharge.
Click on "Add Item" if the non-product SKU has already been added to your Shopify Catalog.
Search it by name and select it by clicking inside the checkbox below it.
Once the SKU is added, it will look like this:
The financial section of the RMA page will also reflect this change if there is a price associated:
Since you have accounted for the warranty surcharge in this RMA, you wouldn't need to account for it in the deductions and fees part of the page.
From this page, you can also view the draft order in Shopify by clicking on the link to the draft order at the bottom left-hand side of the page.
Why is using non-product SKUs for fees more advantageous compared to using the deductions and fees part of the RMA page?
Tracking of when various fees have been applied to returns and related financials
Reporting on metrics for services such as repairs and replacements
By using the customization of the name of the non-product SKU (such as warranty charge), it provides additional visibility to the customer so they can better understand what they are being charged for. The more specific and transparent you are about fees, the fewer customers will reach out with questions.
Have questions? We're here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the live chat inside the platform with any questions. Enjoy!