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Completely Confidential

Return To Vendor (RTV) and Vendor Compliance Solutions

Return To Vendor (RTV) and Vendor Compliance Solutions

why return to vendor is often a terrible choice

Retailers and their vendors (suppliers) must work collaboratively to ensure that their products and store offerings are well received for purchase by consumers in a timely manner.  To manage the complexities of receiving merchandise from multiple vendors before products reach the retailer’s sales floor, vendor compliance guidelines are developed by many retailers that establish how the parties will do business.  

Vendor compliance guidelines typically outline the programs, policies, procedures, standards, and technologies being utilized for product packaging, shipping, communications and much more.  When vendors can regularly satisfy the retailer’s requirements successfully, both parties can minimize their costs of doing business.  However, there may be circumstances from time-to-time when vendor non-compliance may occur resulting in penalty assessments or, even the possibilities of canceled purchase orders and the return to vendor (RTV) of the goods.



  • Goods move more quickly through the retailers supply chain system and onto the sales floor.
  • Retailers have the correct inventory availability levels to meet their seasonal demands.
  • Reduced operational costs for both parties; risks and disruptions can be mitigated.
  • Processing systems and technology are better able to provide operational efficiencies as intended.
  • Vendors maintain excellent relations with their retail partners as a trusted source of goods.
  • Chargebacks, penalties, and other additional costs that can occur, such as for product rework, can be minimized.



 Retailers will often assess charges for vendor non-compliance which are outlined in their vendor compliance guides.  Penalty assessments will vary by retailer and depend upon the specific issues a retailer may experience with a merchandise delivery from a vendor.  While each individual retailer’s list can be very extensive, some of the representative vendor compliance issues might include, but not be limited to:

  • Carton non-compliance with standards such as dimensions, strapping/banding, not marked with required information/labels.
  • Goods not packed/shipped in correct quantities, configurations, or style sortation requirements.
  • Failure to use correct compliance labeling (eg. product warnings, or correct Country of origin markings) on merchandise. 
  • Incorrect or missing sizes.
  • Product out-of-spec per quality assurance tolerances or poor workmanship.
  • Product bar code labels damaged, mis-matched, or missing.
  • Retail tags and placement requirements do not meet standards.
  • Mold, mildew, or odors on merchandise.
  • Defective hardware or missing component parts. 
  • Timeliness of delivery fines (aka. On-Time, In-Full fines “OTIF”).

For vendors, addressing retailer compliance is critical.  When issues arise with merchandise shipments, the retailer and their vendor must act quickly to mitigate impacts.  

Fortunately, vendor compliance programs will often allow some flexibility to correct problems through repair and return processes outlined in vendor compliance guides (rather than through canceled purchases orders!).  Depending on the circumstances, the retailer may either elect to perform any special work required to address issues and assess penalty fees or, the retailer and vendor can often engage an outsourced 3rd party to complete the necessary product rework required to meet the retailers merchandise delivery guidelines and quality standards. 



Because available space at retailer and vendor distribution centers may be very limited for reworking merchandise to meet vendor compliance issues or quality standards, many businesses will turn to Quality Corrections & Inspections to serve as their outsourced 3rd party partner.

For nearly 40 years, Quality Corrections & Inspections has served as a valued product rework service partner to retailers, vendors, and overseas manufacturers of products such as apparel, footwear, accessories, and general consumer merchandise.  Customers engage QCI to inspect and rework millions of products annually!

Our company’s experienced technicians are skilled in various services to administer inspections of merchandise and make corrections or repairs as needed.  Our product rework centers are well-equipped with flexible production space, equipment, and tooling for projects ranging from a few thousand units to hundreds of thousands of units. 

Product rework services provided by Quality Corrections & Inspection include:

  • Mold & Mildew Remediation
  • Odor Removal/Ozone Treatment
  • Relabeling, Ticketing & Tagging
  • Footwear Refinishing, Sole/Insole Repair & Replacement
  • Industrial Sewing Alterations or Repairs
  • Hardware Replacement/Repair (eg. buckles, bows, eyelets, buttons, snaps)
  • Color Bleeding Corrections
  • Blooming & Spew
  • 100% Inspection, Sorting, Grading, Spec Measuring
  • High Volume Laundering Services
  • Garment Finishing and Value-Added Services
  • Component Change Outs or Additions
  • Customized Rework Solutions 
  • CPSC Compliance Corrections/Rework
  • Function Testing
  • Soldering
  • Kitting, Repackaging, & Hand Assembly

Outsourcing your vendor merchandise rework to Quality Corrections & Inspections will allow your staff to focus on other critical business functions as product rework projects can be very disruptive for retailers and vendors to perform internally.



Consider QCI for all your repair and reworking needs. We make it easy to send in your products and receive them with a quick turnaround.

When you choose QCI, you can benefit from the following:



Allow us to help you correct your merchandise in times of need so that inventory can properly flow on-time and in-full (“OTIF”) to important retail channels.  Quality Corrections & Inspections is focused solely on product rework services.  Whether your needs are correcting factory defects, conducting third-party inspections, or providing other value-added services, we are well-positioned to meet your vendor compliance needs and help avoid full inventory returns to vendors.

Contact us to learn more or request your free project analysis today!