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Job Description for Returns Department

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A returns department employee manages typical purchase returns and exchanges in a retail or customer-driven environment. In many retail stores, returns and exchanges are part of the customer service department.

Service Skills

Front-end service employees in a returns department manage transactions of purchase returns, refunds and exchanges. Basic customer service knowledge, phone and communication skills and business math skills are among the common requirements.

Computer Skills

Returns departments often have intricate technology and databases involved. These include front-end computers for data entry, and in some businesses database management skills are needed. You also should understand the operation of a fax machine, copy machine, paging system and other business-specific technology.

Merchandising and Restocking Skills

Returned merchandise must be separated for restocking or return to the manufacturer or wholesaler. Back-end returns involves heavy lifting for reshelving or restocking of merchandise. In some retail environments, a returns department position involves both customer service and merchandise movement.


Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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