33 responses to “6 Steps to Take When an Item is Returned to Amazon

  1. I never miss any of your posts Stephen. Another good one. Thanks!

    • I recently had a customer return a tablet that worked fine but was listed as being defective. When i opened a ticket, amazon offered to reimburse the removal charge fee of .50 but did not offer to reimburse the product. The product was opened so i cant sell it as new. Do i have any options?

      • Can you sell it as used like new and still make some money back? That’d be what I’d do next if Amazon dod not decide to reimburse me. That or I’d ask them again why they were not reimbursing me.

    • You wrote about inspecting fba returns, however in a removal order packing slip there is no information of the returned order.
      I have multiple returns of the same item.
      How can I know which item was returned by whom?

      • That’s a good question, David… and one I’ve had to deal with too. I just do my best to guess which order was the right one, and then open my ticket. I’ve yet to have Amazon tell me that the order did not match the return… but if they ever do, I’ll just try another ticket with another order. Hope this helps!

  2. Could you explain further about your process to request returns sent back to you? I understand you get alerts for returns, at that point do you request a removal order when the product has not yet been returned to Amazon?

    I find it easy to locate and have “unsellable” returns sent back to me or disposed. I was unaware of the process to proactively locate “sellable” returns for return / inspection.

  3. Hi Stephen,
    Great article, thanks for posting, we were just talking about this.
    Anyway, how do you return an item back to you after Amazon determines the unit is sellable and is returned to your inventory when you already have multiple quantities of the same item up for sale (same msku and ASIN)? Do you have to recall all quantities? Or does FBA know which item is the right one to recall because they restickered it?

    Thanks,
    Jen

    • If you have an item that is returned to your inventory as sellable, and you have multiples of that item already in stock, then the only way to inspect the item that was retuned is to remove them all. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it to have them all removed for inspection, or not. For me, I’ll remove up to 3 items for inspection, but if I have over 3 in stock and one is returned as sellable, I’ll usually just make a note of it. That way, if I’m ever someday accused of selling an open/used item as new, then I’ll have proof that the item was deemed as sellable by a FBA warehouse worker and returned to my inventory and I am without fault.

      • Thanks Stephen for the clarification. Yeah unfortunately there are a few skus where I have over a dozen in inventory and one gets returned as sellable that I just hope nothing is wrong with it.

  4. Hi Stephen,
    Amazon does NOT always immediately issue a refund when a customer initiates a return. Just last week I had to battle with a seller because I had initiated a return through Amazon’s system, I returned it, and two weeks later I still had not received a credit. Only when I invoked the “A to Z Guarantee” did the seller wake up and credit me. And this is not the only instance. When it’s “Sold by Amazon” then you are correct. Otherwise, Amazon will frequently wait to issue the credit.

    • Rebecca Smotherman Rebecca Smotherman

      Hi Jon,
      In the article above we’re only referring to returns of orders that Amazon fulfills (either Amazon is the seller or Amazon is fulfilling an order from a 3rd party seller like us).

      Amazon will automatically refund the customer if Amazon is the one fulfilling (shipping) the order, and it’s our job as FBA sellers to follow the steps above to make sure our accounts are protected.

      You are correct that Amazon does not issue an automatic refund for a seller who has merchant fulfilled an item. A to Z claims are only used for merchant fulfilled orders.

  5. Thanks Stephen, appreciate the information and the reminders. I do try to keep on top of refunds and returns, but your methodology and guidance is priceless. As you suggested, I always ask for my customer returns to be returned to me and I have found some interesting results.

    Your articles are always insightful, full of useful information and timely. Keep up the great work.

    Best regards
    Pam

  6. Great Article!!! This one’s a keeper. I saved it to my Evernote & Pintrest accounts.

  7. Because of this, we want to have our FBA setting for selling returns to disabled right?

    Under:
    Settings
    Fulfillment by Amazon
    Repackage Unsellable Customer Returns: Disabled

  8. Hi Stephen,

    If I don’t see an order # in the Returns report, does that mean the buyer did not send it back to AZ? And if so, is this something that I can ask for reimbursement on?
    Thanks so much for all the great advice!!!

  9. Should you ever open a ticket with Amazon regarding a refund before the 45 days have passed?
    I have a pair of shoes that were refunded. In IL it says “defective,” in Amazon there is no evidence of them. I don’t think the customer has any intention of returning them – it’s been a little over a month since the refund – and I’m fairly confident they are not defective. What’s the best course of action?
    Thanks for all your wonderful posts. I’m only 2 months in to FBA and you both provide great content. Regards

  10. Great, thanks!

  11. hello, thank you for this post, my question is what to do if the reason is I found a better price somewhere else? can I proceed to a reimbursement or just assume the loss? thank you in advance!

  12. Say you have 10 of an item. 1 gets returned and Amazon decides to put it back in your inventory. How can I ask to have that returned item sent back to me if Amazon already stuck it it in with the other 9 of the same item? I’m thinking you can’t but you may know of a work around way to achieving this outcome. Thanks Stephen!

    • If you have multiples of an item returned and put back in your inventory as sellable, then it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it to have them all removed for inspection. For me, I’ll remove up to 3 items for inspection, but if I have over 3 in stock and one is returned as sellable, I’ll usually just make a note of it. That way, if I’m ever someday accused of selling an open/used item as new, then I’ll have proof that the item was deemed as sellable by a FBA warehouse worker and returned to my inventory and I am without fault.

  13. Excellent article, very useful. Thank you

  14. Thanks Stephen,
    I normally sell my returned FBA items on eBay. After a Removal Order, Amazon’s shipping is inexpensive both ways. Just make sure to track your items.
    DaveP

  15. recently i had a listing suspended due to the issue of having damaged inventory returned. ive read through this post and comments but i am still unclear as to how to tell amazon to send all returns back to me.

  16. Pingback: How to Handle FBA Returns & Minimize Loss - Full-Time FBA

  17. Great article. Always good advice. This is another keeper. Thanks

  18. I have heard if the customer broke the item and returned it you can send in a request with images to seller central to request reimbursement because the customer was the one to actually damage it. Is this true?

    Also what is the correct process to notify SC when this occurs?

    I have a clock I get for wholesale so I know its new, and I often get them returned when a customer breaks the pendulum.

    Also is this process harder when you are dealing with clothing. If a customer soils the item or takes the tags off, can you request reimbursement because they return them item in used/damage condition?

    Thanks for your article, great stuff!

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