An RMA, or Return Merchandise Authorization number, is a unique number used by merchants to identify and track product returns. In Returnly, the RMA number is generated once a shopper submits a return or exchange request by way of a merchant’s Return Center. It can also be generated when a return or exchange is created directly in your Return Manager. Once generated, the RMA number can be used to search for a return within this dashboard, reference a return in your reports/analytics, and identify your return data with Returnly’s API.
Return Authorization numbers (RAs) and Return Goods Authorization numbers (RGAs) numbers are the same thing as RMAs and can be used interchangeably. For the sake of simplicity, we'll always use RMAs when working within Returnly.
RMAs on Shipping Labels
The RMA number can be found printed directly on the return shipping label, eliminating the need to open the package to know which return a package is for.
RMAs within Returnly
After creation, each RMA number goes through a journey of various statuses. Transitions across/between these statuses can be automated or manual, and are driven by key events throughout the lifecycle of an RMA. Broadly speaking, most RMAs follow the flow shown here, where Needs Attention could be an issue or error that requires manual intervention.
You can find and use RMA numbers in a variety of ways within Returnly. For example: on the merchant side, they are able to view and manage returns. If you have a high number of orders, or multiple items within an order and only want to focus on one specific item, you can search for it with the RMA number.
Furthermore, a merchant is able to see what has happened to the RMA and when within Returnly. In the example below, you can see an activity log for an individual RMA. These activity logs are very useful in understanding the fate of an item, and can help your customer-facing teams explain what is happening to an inquiring shopper.
We cover what the statuses mean and how you can action on them in greater detail in this article.