How to overcome Amazon FBA Returns Challenges and get reimbursed 

February 8, 2024 Streamlined Solutions: Maximizing Efficiency in Amazon FBA Returns

Want to reduce return rates and boost profitability?

Selling items on Amazon can be a big deal, but most days, sellers face challenges on Amazon FBA Returns.

Whether you are a 15 years old brand seller or a brand-new seller at Amazon, you always have to deal with processing customer returns.

As a seller, receiving a return from your customer is frustrating and disheartening.

It is not just losing money from the business but getting a negative review from the customer about your product and the brand, which leads to permanent mutilation of your brand and reputation. 

High Amazon FBA customer returns can brutally affect your brand. To protect your brand and reduce the possibility of Amazon FBA return, do the following:

  • Ensure your product listing and add all the accurate details
  • Add a size chart and clear pictures
  • Respond to your customer’s queries before they make a purchase
  • Always prompt your customer to give ratings and reviews
  • Showcase your products and brand

It’s important to understand how do FBA returns work and how to get Amazon FBA refund reimbursement.

This article will help to guide you about Amazon Seller Central return policy, what has changed, and how you can overcome it. 

We will also discuss getting FBA refunds and reducing your return rate to earn more happy customers.

Let’s dive in!

Why does a customer return your products?

Curious to know What happens to FBA returns?

When an Amazon customer submits a request to return their order, they must select a reason for the return.

This selection will determine the party responsible for the Amazon FBA return shipping costs—the customer or the seller.

Amazon provides a list of 72 official reasons for Amazon FBA customer returns, which can be found here.

Customers are generally responsible for Amazon FBA returns related to preferences, ordering the wrong size, or changing their minds about the product. 

On the other hand, sellers are deemed accountable if the customer cites functionality or damage-related reasons such as “damaged due to poor packaging” or “missing parts or accessories.”

Here are some other reasons cited by customers during the Amazon FBA returns process, along with the party at fault, according to Amazon:

“Not satisfied with the quality”: Seller

“Delivered too late”: Seller

“Did not like the color”: customer

“Better price elsewhere”: customer

Amazon FBA Return Policy:

Amazon maintains its return policy for customers to regulate if an item is appropriate for a return.

As an Amazon seller, you have no control over whether or not you return a product, even if it is the buyer’s fault if the product is damaged or defective. 

Customers can usually request Amazon FBA returns within 30 days of receiving their order.

But Amazon can make individual exceptions and accept returns beyond the 30 days.

 When a buyer requests a return and ships the item, Amazon sends the seller an email notifying them that the Amazon FBA returns have been initiated and deducts the order cost from the seller’s account balance. 

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What Occurs When a Product Is Sent Back to the Amazon Warehouse?  

Upon receipt of FBA customer returns, Amazon assesses the product’s condition to determine whether it is sellable.

If the product is unused and is still in new condition, Amazon will return it to your warehouse for inclusion in a future order. 

 If an item is damaged or unsellable, Amazon will determine who caused the damage.

 However, if the customer caused damage to the product, Amazon will not refund you, and the product will be marked as unsellable. 

For any item classified as “Defective” or “Customer Damaged,” sellers must submit a removal request within 30 days of the returned order at the fulfillment center. 

According to Amazon seller central return policy, you can ask Amazon to automatically return or dispose of your unsold inventory. 

What happens if the customer does not return the product?

Suppose the customer does not return the product to Amazon’s fulfillment center within 45 days of the original receipt. 

In that case, Amazon will re-invoice the customer if a refund has already been received and FBA refunds the seller for the item. 

Amazon usually FBA refunds automatically after 45 days. In rare cases, you may need to open a support ticket to receive a refund. 

Advanced Returns 

Amazon allows customers to return eligible FBA children’s products within 90 days in new, unopened condition.

Opened or used products cannot be returned for an extended period. Amazon will pay for the Amazon FBA returns shipping at no cost to the seller.

New Amazon FBA return Policy 2023:

In March 2023, Amazon introduced a new Amazon refund software named “Return Insights” under Manage FBA inventory.

This tool provides sellers with valuable information about their returns, allowing them to gain deeper insights.

With “Return insights,” sellers can analyze trends based on Return Rate % or Returned Units.

They can also apply filters based on Timeframe (30/60/180 days/last year) and Product Category. Additionally, the tool breaks down data for each ASIN, revealing the top Amazon FBA returns reasons.

To access your return insights in Seller Central, navigate to “Manage FBA Inventory” and select “Manage FBA returns.”

Returnless Refunds:

Amazon chooses to do this when the product’s value is low, the Amazon FBA return fees are too high, or the product is difficult to resell once returned.

We are still determining precisely where Amazon sets its price cap, but we know Amazon invests time and money in processing Amazon FBA returns

Sellers can set up a non-refund policy under Amazon seller central return policy in their accounts. You can set the price range, product category, reason, and return date there.

How do FBA returns work on Amazon?

When you know how do FBA returns work on Amazon, you can change your prospects toward returns and FBA refunds.

Amazon FBA refund reimbursement:

According to Amazon FBA reimbursement services, you can expect a reimbursement only when:

  • If a customer receives FBA refunds for an item, but it is not returned to the Amazon fulfillment center within 45 days of being returned.
  • If Amazon is responsible for the unsold item after the Amazon FBA returns, you will receive a refund. They will also not add the item to your inventory.

Amazon seller refund report:

Do you want to know how Amazon seller refund reports get calculated?

Amazon uses some price indicators while providing Amazon seller FBA refunds reports:

  • The median price of the product over the past 1.5years
  • The mean list price of the item
  • The median price of the product from other sellers
  • The current price from other sellers

How Amazon Classifies FBA customer returns:

According to Amazon FBA refund reimbursement policy Amazon checks the item’s condition before issuing FBA refunds.

Sellable:

You can then resell the item when it is back in stock. If you still want to check the item to ensure it is still in previous condition.

Customer damaged:

This does not necessarily mean the customer intentionally or accidentally damaged the product after receiving the order. This can only mean that the outer packaging has been opened or the product is in a different condition. 

Damaged:

The items or products marked as damaged will not be resold. However, you can get a refund from Amazon if they are responsible for the damage.

Carrier damaged:

Carrier-damaged products are products that selected Amazon carriers (UPS, FedEx, USPS) failed to collect in transit.

Defective:

Amazon will classify the device as unsaleable and defective. You can test the product yourself by removing it from your inventory. 

Expired:

If you sell groceries or other items with an expiration date, please ensure that the expiration date is current when sending a new shipment. 

Amazon FBA returns fees:

Amazon charges sellers to process returns, as sending products back requires time and money. But if it is the customer’s responsibility, they will be charged for restocking the items. Amazon FBA returns fees are included:

Amazon FBA Return Processing Fees:

As an Amazon seller, you have to pay a return processing fee for each item returned by the customers. It is half of the fulfillment fees for each item. 

The Amazon FBA returns fees often apply to products under Shoes, Clothing, and Handbags. The sellers will shoulder the cost of processing Amazon FBA returns and shipping.

Amazon charges the processing fee according to the size of the product and proceeds the FBA returns reimbursement accordingly. 

Standard size items

Amazon FBA returns fees

Small (less than 10oz.)

$2.41

Small (10-16oz.)

$2.48

Large (less than 10oz.)

$3.19

Large (10-16oz.)

$3.28

Large (1-2 lb)

$4.76

Large (2-3lb)

$5.26

Large (3-21lb)

$5.26 + $0.38 per lb. 

Oversized items

Amazon FBA returns fees

Small and over size

$8.26 + $0.38 per lb.

Medium and over size

$9.79 + $0.39 per lb.

Large and oversized

$75.78 + $0.79 per lb.

Oversized

$137.32 + $0.91 per lb.

Restocking Fee:

Customers who are responsible for returning an item may incur a restocking fee.

 If customers change their minds and return the purchased item, they might be required to pay a restocking fee.

The restocking fee is a ratio of the item’s price determined based on its condition. Here are a few examples:

  • If the FBA customer returns the product in its original condition after the return deadline, a restocking fees of 20% of the item’s price may apply.
  • Suppose the Amazon FBA returns a non-media item damaged or significantly different from what the seller initially shipped. In that case, a restocking fee of up to 50% of the item’s price may be charged.
  • The restocking fee will equal the item’s total price if the customer returns open software or video games.

FBA Removal Order Fee:

According to Amazon seller central return policy, sellers are charged a removal fee for each item being removed. Generally, the removal item is fulfilled within 14 business days. But during peak seasons, it takes up to 30 days. 

Service

Oversized item

Standard size item

Return

$0.60

$0.50

Disposal

$0.30

$0.15

How to monitor Amazon FBA Returns:

It’s essential to detect abuse and monitor your Amazon FBA customers returns so that you can check whether it is your fault or the customer’s.

How to monitor Amazon FBA Returns

Tracking the item:

By utilizing the reports available in your Amazon seller account, you can track the progress of your Amazon FBA returns and determine if Amazon accepts returned items that are still in a sellable condition. 

Verifying the FBA refunds receipt:

If such a situation arises, opening a Support Ticket in your Seller Account is advisable to address and resolve the matter.

Monitoring Amazon Seller central return policy:

To effectively manage your Amazon FBA returns, relying on Seller Central rather than solely relying on email notifications is recommended. 

Outsourcing FBA fulfillment to a 3PL:

Consider outsourcing your FBA fulfillment to a reliable 3PL for more efficient monitoring of returns and inventory. 

At AMZ Prep, we have a team of experts who can assist you with handling returns and order fulfillment, save your time to concentrate on branding strategies and business development. 

How does Amazon FBA return Policy affect sellers?

Most sellers need to learn how Amazon FBA returns affect their business.

Now time to discuss both Pros and Cons of Amazon FBA returns policy;

Here are some of the pros of Amazon FBA returns:

Streamlined Process: Customers can quickly initiate returns through their Amazon account, and the entire process is managed by Amazon, reducing the burden on sellers.

Free Return Shipping: Amazon FBA offers free return shipping for eligible products. 

Professional Handling: Amazon FBA ensures that Amazon FBA returns are handled professionally. 

Inventory Management: When a customer returns a product to Amazon FBA, it goes back into your inventory. 

Storage and Warehousing: Amazon FBA provides storage and warehousing for your products, including returned items.

Increased Trust and Credibility: Utilizing Amazon FBA returns can enhance your credibility as a seller. 

Cons of Amazon FBA customer returns:

While Amazon FBA returns offer several advantages, there are also some potential downsides or challenges to consider. Here are some cons of Amazon FBA customer returns:

Return Shipping Costs: While Amazon FBA provides free return shipping for eligible products, there may be instances where the seller is responsible for covering the return shipping costs. 

Return Policy Complexity: Navigating the intricacies of Amazon FBA returns policy and ensuring compliance can be challenging for some sellers.

Potential Inventory Damage: During the return process, there is a risk of products being damaged, especially if they are not packaged or handled properly by customers. 

Potential Fraudulent Returns: Sellers may face the challenge of dealing with illegitimate returns or items intentionally damaged or altered.

Poor Amazon FBA reimbursement services: Sellers may experience delays in receiving reimbursements for eligible returned items, which can impact cash flow and inventory management.

How to protect your business from Scammers?

How to protect Business from scammers?

Now protect your business from Amazon FBA returns Scammers. There are lots of buyers who used to scam to get Amazon FBA returns reimbursement.

Some sellers are using Amazon refund software to check their refund status; some are using several safeguards to protect their business. 

To learn more about Amazon scams and get protected, click here!

1. Respond to customer emails

Although Amazon urges the buyer to work together and resolve the issues with the buyer, there are times when complaints are raised against the best sellers. 

 2. Active Refund

The seller can avoid a claim by quickly clearing the refund with the buyer. If the reason turns out to be valid, the refund can be avoided. 

 3. Shipping Conscientiously

You can limit your liability by providing a valid tracking number for 95% of US shipments and only having to ship to Amazon-provided addresses.

 4. Accurate Product Photographs and Descriptions

Make sure all your offers match the correct ASIN codes. Refrain from replacing the product with another edition; explain this in the description. In the event of incorrect publication of the product list, the seller is fully liable for the claim.

 5. Notify Buyers

 As Amazon processes orders and shipping notifications, it is essential to work directly with buyers to resolve their product issues and questions.

 6. Cancel any order that is out of stock immediately

For out of stock items, it is your responsibility as the seller to email this to the buyer so they don’t have to wait for delivery. Cancel your order if you still need to do so.

 If you take the above precautions seriously, processing an Amazon return will be easier, especially before shipping.

Keynotes:

  • Amazon FBA reimbursement services are not for the items that customer has damaged, are subject to recall, or are considered defective.
  • FBA returns reimbursement is unavailable for products that Amazon does not allow customers to return.
  • If you refund the customer directly, Amazon will not reimburse you for that amount.
  • If a return does not reach the FBA within 60 days of the refund, Amazon will fully reimburse you and charge the customer accordingly.

FAQ

Questions About
Amazon FBA Returns

How do I know why customers are returning the item?

To understand the reasons behind Amazon FBA returns, you can access the FBA customer returns report through your Amazon Seller Account. By following a few steps, such as logging in, clicking on the “Reports” tab, selecting “Fulfilment,” and then clicking on “FBA Customer Returns,” you can generate a report for a specific date range.

 

The report details the returned items, including the return date, return ID, merchant SKU, ASIN, FNSKU, title, quantity, fulfillment center, disposition (sellable or defective), customer return reason, and status. 

 

By reviewing FBA customer returns reasons, you can identify patterns and take necessary actions.

Amazon provides sellers access to reports and analytics related to Amazon FBA returns. By logging into your Amazon Seller Account, navigating to the “Reports” tab, selecting “Fulfilment,” and clicking on “FBA Customer Returns,” you can generate reports that provide detailed information about returned items, customer return reasons, and other relevant data.

Can I offer a replacement or exchange for returned items through Amazon FBA?

 Amazon FBA returns policy for FBA orders primarily focuses on providing refunds to customers. However, in some instances, Amazon may allow sellers to offer replacements or exchanges for returned items through the FBA program. This typically depends on the specific circumstances, the condition of the returned item, and the agreement between the seller and Amazon.

How can I minimize returns through Amazon FBA?

Minimizing returns can be achieved by providing accurate and detailed product descriptions, including images and sizing information. Ensuring high-quality product packaging and prompt shipping can reduce the likelihood of defective items. Addressing customer concerns or inquiries promptly and providing exceptional customer service can also contribute to lower return rates.



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Blair Forrest

Blair Forrest

Blair Forrest is the CMO of AMZ Prep. Blair helps provide consulting and guidance through our articles, guides, and other resources to help growing eCommerce & Amazon FBA businesses master their logistics and fulfillment.

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