The six step returns process from MDL is designed to help Booksellers simplify their returns


MDL processes returns according to the BIC driven, industry-wide Returns Authorisation (RAN) system which has been endorsed by both the Publishers' and Booksellers' Associations within the UK.

The 7 Step Process

  1. The customer sends his/her request to MDL indicating ISBN, title and quantity.
  2. This can be done via:
    • EDI
    • NB you do not need to subscribe to use this facility, it is free. (More information is available on the website)
    • via email to using a returns request spreadsheet (see Make a Returns Request)
  3. The requests are then processed through our system to determine which titles may or may not be returned. (See below.)
  4. Our back office system creates a unique Returns Authorisation Note (RAN) listing all the titles and quantities that may be returned. A second page (if applicable) will be produced detailing titles that may not be returned with reasons. Finally a bar-coded address label is produced.
  5. These will be sent back to the customer either by EDI or via dependant upon the customer’s chosen medium.
  6. The customer packs the authorised books, noting any quantity amendments he/she has made, and sends them to Macmillan Distribution at the address given, using the bar-coded label. (With the "third message" you should confirm electronically the number of copies that you are returning.) NB it is important to send the books back to the address shown on the label, as failure to do so might incur substantial delays in processing.
  7. Upon receipt into our designated returns facility, the received quantities are scanned against the customer's RAN.  Once the return has been fully scanned within the facility our Key Accounts department will arrange for the RAN to be released for credit.  An overstock RAN calculates the average cost of all copies of that title supplied to the bookseller and as such all credits are based on an average weighted price of that title supplied to the bookseller over the twelve months preceding the latest invoice. Only titles and quantities that have been authorised will be credited.
If you have any more questions about our returns system see our Returns FAQs
Reasons for rejecting a returns request
R01 - Returns quantity higher than quantity supplied
R02 - Too early (outside parameters) The request is being made within 3 months of the title’s publication date.
R03 - Too late (outside parameters) The title was last purchased from us over 15 months ago.
R04 - Supplied firm – firm sale
R05 - Exceeds agreed trading cap
R06 - Usually ISBN/EAN number not known or not supplied by us
R07 - No longer supplied by us, refer to new supplier
R09 - Distributor unable to authorise, apply direct to publisher
R10 - Reference not supplied or invalid, used for publisher recall reference, promotion or event reference, or pre-authorisation reference

Delivery Details

We use DPD as our carrier for parcels within the UK and Eire and UPS and DHL for international parcel deliveries.
► Find out more


Preferred Day

MDL operates a preferred day service for its major customers and a small order lead time for the smaller ones.► Find out more


Make a returns request

Please make your returns request through Batch. ► Request
Alternatively download our returns spreadsheet and email it once completed to


Make a claim

To make a claim, please download our claim spreadsheet, and email to
► Download



The seven step returns process from MDL and information on reasons for rejecting a returns request.
► Find out more


Payment Options

MDL accepts payment in a wide range of formats from Batch to BACS.
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