Direct Service for Sellers Direct Service for Sellers

Direct Service for Sellers

Whatnot Support Whatnot Support

Please note this feature is in beta and only available to specific sellers. We appreciate your patience as we work to make this feature available to everyone!

Direct Service Overview

Whatnot aims to help anyone turn their passion into a business. Direct Service gives sellers greater ownership of their business by enabling sellers to have direct control over the post purchase experience they offer their customers. Direct Service enables sellers to handle specific request types from buyers who are having an issue with their order. When buyers submit requests through the app, the request will be sent directly to the seller, who will respond to the request from the Seller Hub. 

This update will offer several improvements, including:

  • Efficiency: streamlined issue resolution directly between buyers and sellers. 
  • Trackability: improved trackability of request status for orders directly in the app and from the Seller Hub
  • Better outcomes: sellers have additional resolution options available to make things right, such as sending replacement items

Whatnot is committed to ensuring a trustworthy buying experience for everyone. Whatnot Support will still be available to help when buyers and sellers cannot come to a resolution for an issue. 

How Direct Service Works

  1. Request Submission: When something goes wrong with an order, buyers should submit a request in the app from the order that has an issue. For the request types listed below, the request will be sent directly to the seller to review and respond. 
  2. Seller Response: Sellers have 72 hours to respond to the request and approve the refund with or without a return, offer a partial refund, send a replacement item, or reject the request
  3. Returns: If the seller approves a refund contingent on return of the item, buyers have 7 days from request approval to ship their return. Once the return is delivered, sellers have 72 hours to confirm or dispute the returned items. 
  4. Refunds: Buyer refunds are processed automatically once the request is approved or a return is confirmed. Buyers will see their refund back reflected on the original form of payment within 3-5 business days.
  5. Whatnot Support: If buyers and sellers are unable to reach a resolution, Whatnot is available to step in and help 

Please note that the partial refund flow is not shown above. Sellers can offer partial refunds to buyers, and if the buyer declines the partial refund offer, the buyer will have the option to return the item for a full refund.

Whatnot Buyer Protection Coverage

The primary change for Direct Service is that when buyers request help with an order, the request is sent to the seller to resolve the issue for the below types of refund requests. The below issues are covered by Whatnot’s Buyer protection policy, which sellers are required to honor in handling buyer requests. Sellers will not be required to honor refunds/returns for buyer’s remorse or other reasons not covered; refunds/returns for buyer’s remorse are solely up to seller discretion.

  • The item is substantially delayed in getting shipped 
  • An item is missing** 
  • An item is incorrect or the item is correct but the wrong size/color**
  • The item does not match the description, condition, or photos listed
  • The item is defective, doesn’t work, or expired

**Excludes consumable products like breaks/mystery/pull games and any product that can be opened (e.g., beauty and cosmetics). Missing and wrong item requests from purchases of consumable products will be sent to Whatnot Support, in addition to order issues not listed above

Seller FAQ

What are the benefits of Direct Service?

  • Ownership of post-purchase CX and visibility: At Whatnot, we're empowering you with the agency and responsibility to address customer issues and deliver a high-quality ecommerce experience. With this update, you will have more direct interaction with your buyers, giving you more awareness of customer sentiment and affording more control over the end-to-end purchase experience.
  • Efficiency: Streamlined refunds process for buyers and sellers that is systematic and more efficient for users to self-serve resolving issues (vs. Whatnot intermediating 100% of requests or sellers assisting buyers off platform to make things right).
  • Trackability: Improved tracking and transparency of refund requests in app.

What options do I have to resolve requests from buyers and how am I charged? 

The amount you will be charged depends on how you resolve the request for the buyer. Where you are charged for refunds, the amount will be deducted from your Whatnot ledger

Seller Response Timing of Ledger Adjustment Ledger Adjustment Amount
Full refund without a return  After you accept the request Sale price + buyer paid shipping
Full refund after the item is returned After you confirm the return or 72 hours after return delivery, whichever comes first Sale price + buyer paid shipping + return shipping cost
Offer a partial refund After the buyer accepts the offer Partial refund amount
Request Declined* N/A No charge on Whatnot

*Please note that if Whatnot Support reviews a request you declined and determines the buyer should be refunded, you may be charged for the refund

How will I know I have a refund request?

  • You can find all refund requests in the Seller Hub by clicking ‘Orders’ on the left-hand menu and using the ‘Refund’ quick filter view. You will also receive an email and an in-app notification any time you receive a new refund request
  • You will have 72 hours from when a refund request is submitted to respond to the request in the Seller Hub. Click on the Order that has a refund request, and you will see options to process the request on the right-hand side along with the order details. 

Will I receive the item(s) back if I accept a buyer’s refund request?

You have the option to select if you want the item returned to you when accepting refund requests.If you choose to have the item returned, you will not be charged for the return until you confirm the returned items in the Seller Hub or 72 hours pass after delivery, whichever comes first. 

How do returns work?

If you approve a refund contingent on the return of the item, buyers have seven days to drop off their return. If they do not drop off the item within seven days, the request will be canceled and you will not be charged.

After the returned item is delivered to you, you will have 72 hours to confirm the returned item(s) are correct. Refunds will be issued to buyers after you confirm receipt of the item or 72 hours after delivery, whichever comes first.

If something does not look right with the returned items, you can dispute the return in the Seller Hub. Disputing the returned items will notify Whatnot Support and put the request on hold, meaning you will not be charged until Whatnot Support investigates the issue.

By default, all returns will go to the Return Address you’ve set in your account settings. To update your Return Address, please follow the below steps:

  • On Web: click you profile icon > general > settings > scroll down to seller settings > click Update Return Address
  • On Mobile: navigate to your profile > two-line menu icon > Addresses > add a new address (if needed) > tap the address you want > tap “Set as return address”

What protections am I offered as a seller? 

Whatnot is committed to ensuring a trustworthy buying experience for everyone. As part of Direct Service, Whatnot will provide several protections in multiple areas, including: 

  • Fraudulent requests: Whatnot tracks refund behavior across the platform to help prevent buyers from submitting fraudulent refund claims. Where refund fraud is suspected, Whatnot will step in, and the you will not have to handle the buyer’s request.
    • If you have concerns about the merit of a buyer’s refund request or do not believe it is covered by Whatnot’s Buyer Protection Policy, you can reject the request, which will allow the buyer to escalate it to support. Please note that if a request is escalated to Whatnot Support and we determine the buyer is owed a refund, you may still be charged for the refund.
  • Chargebacks: You will not be responsible for any chargebacks initiated by buyers.
  • Returns: When you require that item(s) are returned for a refund, you have 72 hours from delivery to dispute the returned items if you have concerns about their accuracy. You can dispute the returned item(s) in the Seller Hub.
    • You can escalate refund requests to Whatnot if there are issues with the return (i.e., the item is incorrect, missing, or is damaged in transit). 
  • Appeals: When Whatnot Support steps in to resolve any disputes and determines the buyer is owed a refund, you have the option to appeal the decision. 

Seller Guidance for Direct Service

Sellers will be able to directly respond to refund requests from buyers for certain refund reasons.

Below we have set out some guidance on how sellers can respond to each refund request to ensure a positive commerce experience. 

Refund Reason Seller Guidance
Item's condition does not match description

Buyers are entitled to a refund if the item they received does not match the description or condition listed.

We require buyers to include photos of the item when submitting the request, so you should check the photos that the buyer submitted first. Verify the item's condition against the video receipt or listing photos and description.

- If the buyer doesn't point out specific flaws or issues, you should ask them to clarify what about the item was misrepresented

- If the flaw or issue from the buyer's claim was not shown during the show or in your video receipt, you can offer them a partial refund or a full refund with or without return

- If the flaw or issue was explicitly mentioned and shown during the show, you can deny the buyer's request. It's recommended to share a screenshot of where you showed the flaw or issue in a DM to the buyer before rejecting the request

One of my items is missing

Buyers are entitled to a refund if any item from their package is missing.

- If you have proof that the item was packed (e.g. photo or video evidence of packing station), we recommend sharing that with the buyer before rejecting the request

- If you did not pack the item in the buyer's shipment or are unsure, we recommend either processing a refund without return or sending the buyer a replacement item. You should confirm the item with the buyer in a DM to ensure they agree to the replacement item

If the buyer agrees to a replacement item, you can decline the refund request, generate a new shipping label for the replacement via your shipping courier (on-platform label generation coming soon), and send the buyer the new tracking number in a DM.

I received the wrong item

Buyers are entitled to a refund on items that are incorrect or in the wrong size / color.

We require buyers to include photos of the item when submitting wrong item requests, so check photos that buyer submitted first. Compare against the item shown in the video receipt. If items are different, resolve the issue by:

- Refunding the buyer with or without requesting the buyer return the item

- Sending a replacement to the buyer without requesting a return

If the buyer agrees to a replacement item, you can decline the refund request, generate a new shipping label for the replacement, and send the buyer the new tracking number in a DM

Giveaway was not sent to me

You must fulfill the giveaway item within Whatnot's standard shipping timeframe.

Confirm that you sent the giveaway item. 

- If you did not send the item and still have it, you should send the item to the buyer as soon as possible 

- If you did not send the item and are unable to find it, you should send a replacement instead. You should confirm the item with the buyer in a DM to ensure they agree to the replacement item

If the buyer agrees to a replacement item, you can decline the refund request, generate a new shipping label for the replacement, and send the buyer the new tracking number in a DM

Help with submitting a cancellation request

There is no change to the existing cancellation process and policy on Whatnot. Buyers can request a cancellation from sellers through the app within 24 hours of purchase or until the shipping label has been printed, whichever comes later, until the order is shipped. Sellers can accept cancellation requests at their discretion. 

As part of Direct Service, you can now see all cancellation requests and refund requests in the same screen to streamline the process.

Order is delayed and has not shipped

Buyers are entitled to a refund on items when sellers substantially delay their shipment (i.e. not dropping off packages within a reasonable time frame). If the tracking information for the package never updates or reflects an in transit status, the buyer is entitled to a refund.

Confirm that you shipped the item. 

- If you did, then check tracking information. If there is tracking information shown on the USPS website, let the buyer know that the order is on the way.

- If you did not ship the item, process a refund for the buyer


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