Returns Policy

CBS is fully committed to the industry standard rules operated by Batch Returns. The returns process is the result of the work initiated by the Booksellers and Publishers Associations to take cost and inefficiency out of the book industry supply chain.

Booksellers should process their returns requests through for a fast and automated response.

The industry-agreed parameters which are as follows:

  • No automatic request will be granted until three months after the publication date of the title.
  • No automatic request will be granted once fifteen months have elapsed since the end of the calendar month in which that title was last supplied.
  • The quantity for return must not exceed the total number of copies supplied in the fifteen months leading up to the returns request, net of previous returns and pending valid authorisations.
  • Requests for return of more copies than have been supplied by the recipient of the requesting the book’s lifetime will be rejected.

In addition, requests will be rejected for books supplied on firm sale or in excess of existing returns caps.

Making a returns request through Batch

Electronic transmission of returns requests is the key to increasing the speed and reliability of the returns process. The requests you make will be automatically downloaded and will generate a speedy response which will confirm that your returns request has been authorised (or the reason why it has not been authorised).

The response to your returns request will come back to you in two parts: one including titles which are required to put back to stock, together with any requests which have been rejected; and one including titles for which stock is not wanted back. You should pack and return the books listed on each authorisation separately. All possible care should be taken in handling titles returned where the books are required back for resale, and all stickers and other markings should be carefully removed from these books.

Each authorisation message will also include:

  • the reference number allocated to the authorisation (RAN);
  • the value of the credit per unit which will be given;
  • and, for information only, the discount off the current recommended retail price which the credit will represent.

The authorisation number must be clearly displayed on the outside of each parcel of returns you dispatch, if possible in bar-coded form.

Whilst every effort will be made to inform you of books received in error or other obvious problems, CBS reserves the right not to credit returns received which do not have the authorisation number and number of parcels clearly marked and to pulp the books without further notification. In order to minimise any disputes about the receipt of goods you are strongly encouraged to use a carrier who can easily provide Proof of Delivery.

Credit notes will be raised at a weighted average cost, which in the simplest case will be identical to the price paid for a single purchase. The calculation adds up the value of your transactions relating to the title in question in the month in which the latest supply was made and the preceding eleven calendar months and divides the total by the total quantity supplied to arrive at a unit credit value. This method of calculation, which will in due course become universal throughout the industry and replace the various different calculations adopted by publishers at present, is not only transparently fair but will also remove uncertainty about the value of the credit you receive, since it will appear on your returns authorisation.

The terms applying to credit notes will be the same as for invoices and deductions must not be made from payments until the credit notes fall due.

Non Batch Users

For customers not using Batch Returns, then all overstocks returns requests must be submitted to either the Publisher or the Publisher’s appointed sales team. Parcels must be securely packed, attaching the authorisation label and enclosing the returns authorisation documentation with a list of books and their corresponding invoice numbers and dates.

Damaged in Transit/Incorrect Shipment/ Defective.

Any incorrect shipment and/or books received damaged in transit should be brought to the attention of the Customer Services within 7 days of receipt and prior to any return. Instructions regarding method of despatch will be issued.

Books received in a damaged condition or outside the policy will not be credited and the customer will be notified by means of a ‘zero value’ entry on the credit note along with a note of damage beside the title. This will be the only notification that books have been received at CBS in non-resaleable condition and is the opportunity to send instructions regarding the disposal of the books. If no reply is received within 14 days of the credit note date, the customer will forfeit any rights to the books concerned and CBS will reserve the right to destroy the damaged books. If you require these books to be returned to your premises, your account will be debited with a charge of £6 per carton to cover administration, packaging and carriage costs.