Digital River coordinated returns

Learn how to manage returns when Digital River is your designated fulfillment coordinator

In Digital River coordinated fulfillments, you can use the Fulfillment Returns API to request and retrieve returns. After you create a fulfillment return, you should monitor and respond to the events it emits.

Requesting a fulfillment return

When requesting a fulfillment return, you should first ensure the items you want to return are in the correct state. Once you've done that, you can then define and submit the return request.

Ensuring the correct item state

Before providing customers the option to return an item, you should ensure that the item is in a shipped state. Customers shouldn't be allowed to return pending, backordered, or cancelled items. You can obtain this information by either retrieving the upstream fulfillment order or listening for fulfillment order events.

You may decide you want to build your integration so that customers have the option to cancel pending and backordered items.

Defining and submitting a fulfillment return

When customers indicate they want to return all or part of a fulfillment order, submit a POST/fulfillment-returns request that specifies the items to return and in what quantity. More specifically, you need to provide us the identifier of the fulfillment order these items are attached to, data on the inventory items to return, and the identifier of the upstream order.

Fulfillment order identifier

The fulfillmentOrderId parameter is used to specify the identifier of the upstream fulfillment order associated with this return.

Inventory item data

For each item you want to return, you must provide the identifier it was assigned in the upstream fulfillment order and the quantity of that item to return.

Order identifier

In the request, you should also set upstreamId to the identifier of the upstream order. This allows you to retrieve this identifier from the payload of a fulfillment_return.accepted event and use it when issuing refunds.

Upstream data sent in a POST fulfillment return request

When defining a POST/fulfillment-returns request, you can retrieve the required data from the following upstream Order and Fulfillment Order resources.

Upstream APIAttributeFulfillment Returns API

Fulfillment Orders



Fulfillment Orders






A fulfillment return

Once you've successfully submitted a POST/fulfillment-returns request, you get back a fulfillment return with a unique id which you can use to later retrieve the fulfillment return.

The object provides you information on each requested and accepted return item. A fulfillment return also contains enumerations that indicate its state and who initiated it.

Once the fulfiller approves the return, we also provide the return address where the customer should ship the items.

Returned items

The items array of a fulfilment return contains information on requested and accepted returns. For each item in this array, quantity is the number of items you requested to be returned. The quantityAccepted is how many items have been accepted for return by the fulfiller.

When quantityAccepted is less than quantity, then the fulfiller has not yet approved all products for return.

The fulfillment return life cycle

A Digital River coordinated physical return has a defined lifecycle at both the fulfillment return level and line item level. Each stage of these lifecycles is represented by the state attribute.

Fulfillment return level

The state attribute at the fulfillment return level indicates where a fulfillment return is in its lifecycle. The values for a successful fulfillment return (i.e., the happy path) are created > pending > accepted.

(1) When the fulfillment return request...(2) the state transitions to...

has been received by the fulfiller but they haven't approved or rejected it yet


has been approved by the fulfiller but the returned items haven't been received at the warehouse yet


has been accepted by the fulfiller because the returned items have been received at the warehouse


has been rejected by the fulfiller


Line item level

The state attribute at the item level indicates where a line item is in its return lifecycle. The values for a successfully returned line item (i.e., the happy path) are pending > accepted.

(1) When the line item...(2) the state transitions to...

identifier is sent in a successfulPOST/fulfillment-returns request but the product(s) is not yet approved for return by the fulfiller


has been received by the fulfiller at the warehouse and the product(s) return is accepted


return request is rejected by the fulfiller


Return initiator

The type attribute indicates who initiated the return. A client return is standard and is typically initiated by a customer though the storefront. A warehouse return is initiated when a shipment is refused.

Return address

Once a return request is approved by the fulfiller, we populate the location hash table. This data structure provides the address where a customer should return the products. To be notified of these approvals, you can subscribe to fulfillment_return.pending events.

Monitoring and responding to fulfillment returns

Once you have successfully submitted a POST/fulfillment-returns request, you can determine its status by either calling the API directly or listening for webhook events.

Retrieving a fulfillment return

There are two methods in the Fulfillment Returns API that can be used to retrieve fulfillment returns. You can either get a list of fulfillment returns filtered by optional query parameters. Or you can get an individual fulfillment return by sending its unique identifier as a path parameter.

Listening for fulfillment return events

You can configure your webhooks to listen for fulfillment return events. The data.object of every one of these events consists of a fulfillment return.

Return created events

When you submit a successful POST/fulfillment-returns request, we send you a fulfillment_return.created event. This indicates that your return request has been created by Digital River but not yet approved or rejected by the fulfiller.

Return approved events

If the fulfiller approves the return request, we send you a fulfillment_return.pending event. You can use this event to determine what items can be returned and where they can be sent and then convey this information to the customer.

Return accepted events

When the fulfiller notifies us that they've received and accepted the returned products, we send you a fulfillment_return.accepted event. If you don't want to reimburse customers until they have returned products, your integration should wait to receive this event before issuing refunds.

Return rejected events

A fulfillment_return.rejected event indicates the fulfiller has rejected the return.

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