Dropshipping means that you don’t ship the products you sell. You receive an order, pass it along to a supplier, and they take care of the shipping part.

But that doesn’t mean your work is done as soon as you place the order with a supplier. After all, if your customers need something, they’re not going to the supplier. They’re coming to you.

Which means that you need to help out when:

  • Your customers have a question about their order
  • There is an issue with delivery
  • Your customers are demanding a refund

To bridge that gap between you and your suppliers, we recently launched Dispute Management. Dispute Management puts you in direct contact with suppliers, and you never have to leave the Oberlo app. No emails, no phone calls, no keeping track of order numbers. 

Dispute Management enables you to effectively address your customers’ questions, concerns, and complaints.

Let’s go over how you can use Dispute Management to streamline your orders and keep your customers happy.

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The Scenario

Suppose you run a store specializing in clothing accessories. A customer places an order for one of your blue bandanas, and you receive an email 10 days later saying that the bandana arrived – and it’s red.

In the past, this would have been a headache for everyone involved. The customer has the wrong product. You have an annoyed buyer. And the supplier has a merchant who just lost money, a customer, or both.

Dispute Management can’t magically make the bandana turn blue, but it does give you a quick, reliable way to resolve the issue with your supplier.

How It Works

The Dispute Management interface has two categories for contacting suppliers: 

  1. Report a problem
  2. Request a refund

The categories falling under “Report a problem” are:

  • Tracking code seems to be invalid
  • Customer did not receive the order
  • The product is defective/damaged
  • The customer received wrong product/size/color
  • Product did not meet the description
  • Other

“Request a refund” options include:

  • Product is defective/damaged
  • Incorrect product size ordered
  • Product did not match the description
  • Company shipped wrong product size
  • Customer did not receive the item/order
  • No tracking number provided by the supplier
  • Tracking info incorrect/unable to track

Every Oberlo Verified supplier is plugged into Dispute Management and will be automatically notified when you report a problem or request a refund. This opens up a dialogue between the merchant – you – and the supplier.

Here’s How It Looks

We need to contact the supplier about this red bandana. To do that, we’ll find the relevant order inside the Oberlo app. Here it is:

When we click on the button with three dots, we’re offered a couple choices. We can either report a problem, or ask for a refund.

In our wrong-colored-bandana scenario, the customer hopefully doesn’t want a refund. Instead, they just want a new bandana – this time in the right color.

We’ll select “The customer received wrong product/size/color,” and then explain what the problem is. This is where we’ll attach the image that the less-than-happy customer sent us in their email.

Attaching files directly to the dispute ensures that all Dispute Management communication takes place inside Oberlo. Suppliers use a similar interface as the one you use to contact them. On the supplier side, they’ll see this:

 And when they respond, you receive a notification inside Oberlo:

You’ll get a heads up every time the supplier contacts you, and be able to see the entire dispute dialogue, including attachments, in a timeline:

After the issue has been resolved, you can simply close the ticket. And if it doesn’t get resolved in time, you can escalate it to a refund request.

Oberlo Verified Suppliers

Dispute Management only works with orders placed with Oberlo Verified suppliers. All suppliers that you find in the Oberlo Verified network have to meet certain requirements, and engaging with merchants via Dispute Management is one of them.

If you have a problem with an order from AliExpress, you need to contact them through the AliExpress platform.

Additional details on Oberlo Verified disputes

Additional details on AliExpress disputes