70 posts categorized " Holiday Selling Tips "

January 07, 2013

Handling Holiday Gift Returns

Congratulations! The holidays are over, and you survived. Welcome to the season of returns, which can be just as or even more chaotic than the holidays themselves.

Here are some basic guidelines for handling gift returns:

  • Amazon's extended holiday return policy is that orders shipped by Amazon between November 1 and December 31 are returnable through January 31. This includes FBA orders, but excludes seller-fulfilled orders. We encourage but do not require you to offer an extended holiday return period.
  • Gift recipients that need to make a return can go to our Online Returns Center to obtain a mailing label for returning gift items.
  • You may charge restocking fees (up to 20%) for returned items that are not damaged, defective, or materially different.

For more information about both holiday and non-holiday returns, search on "returns" in Seller Central Help.

December 19, 2012

Returns, A-to-z Guarantee Claims, and Chargebacks

Snowman For most sellers, A-to-z Guarantee claims and service chargebacks are a rare occurrence. However, when they do occur, be sure to take action to resolve them promptly.

Here are some situations when you may need to refund, accept returns, or cancel orders:

  • You can't fulfill an order or part of an order.
  • The customer doesn't receive your order.
  • The customer returns a product.
  • The customer files a credit card chargeback or an A-to-z Guarantee claim.
  • The customer requests that you cancel an order.
  • The buyer is unable to receive the order at the address provided.

To help prevent being held responsible for the reimbursement of a claim, follow our Community Rules when listing, selling, and shipping your products, and document shipment to the buyer and their receipt of the correct product. Check your A-to-z Guarantee claim pages daily, and proactively resolve any issues.

For more information, search for "returns", "A-to-z Guarantee", or "chargeback" in seller Help.

December 18, 2012

Dealing with Negative Feedback

Leaf When you sell on Amazon.com, you should work with buyers to resolve any differences. Communication is usually the key -- simply explaining a delay or reassuring a buyer puts most issues to rest. But sometimes an order results in the seller receiving negative feedback from the buyer.

If you receive a feedback comment that you are not happy with, we encourage you to contact your buyer and work with them to resolve any order issues. Your buyer could then remove the feedback if they feel it would be appropriate.

If the buyer has indicated that they're willing to remove the feedback, here are simple instructions to give them. They are also available on the buyer Help page, Leaving Feedback.

  1. Go to http://www.amazon.com/your-account
  2. Under Personalization, in the Community column, click Seller Feedback Submitted By You.
  3. A list of all the feedback left by you will display. Click the Remove link next to the feedback you want to remove.
    Note: If there is no "Remove" option next to a comment, this means the 60-day removal period has expired.

Amazon will remove feedback only in the following cases:

  • The feedback includes obscene language.
  • The feedback includes personally identifiable information.
  • The entire feedback comment is a product review.
  • The entire feedback comment is regarding fulfillment or customer service for an order fulfilled by Amazon.

Remember that you can do a lot to avoid receiving negative feedback by providing great customer service!

December 12, 2012

Handling Post-Order Problems

Snowman The majority of holiday sales on Amazon.com go well, but occasionally you may encounter a problem. Let’s look at some of the most common things that could go wrong with an order and the ways to handle them.

I: The buyer has made a mistake with an order and wants to fix it.

Below are the most common things buyers may ask you to do to fix an order and how you can respond:

Cancel the order

  • If you have not yet shipped the order, you can cancel it. Buyers only have a 30-minute window to cancel their own orders, but you can cancel them up until the time you ship them.
  • If you have already shipped the order, you can't cancel it, but you can ask the buyer to return it for a refund. It's best to wait until you have the product in hand again before you return funds to the buyer.

Upgrade the shipping

  • If you have not yet shipped the order, it is up to you to decide whether to upgrade the shipping at the buyer’s request. Sellers aren't obligated to provide a service that a buyer hasn't paid for or to accept promises of future reimbursement from buyers (sellers can't invoice buyers for extra costs, including postage).
  • If you have already shipped the order, provide the buyer with information about the shipping method you used, give them a realistic time frame for delivery, and ask them to be patient. Here's the information Amazon provides to buyers about delivery expectations: Marketplace Shipping Times.

Ship the order to a different address

  • If you have not yet shipped the order, and the buyer says they cannot receive the order at the address they provided originally, you should cancel the order. The buyer can then return to Amazon.com to place a new order using the correct address. Amazon policy requires sellers to ship only to the address provided in their seller account.
  • If you have already shipped the order and the buyer states that they won't receive the package at the address they provided, you can’t cancel the order, but it may still be possible for the buyer to get the package re-routed if they know the recipients. Packages should be routed back to you and you can then refund the buyer.

II: The buyer hasn't received the product they ordered.

As you might expect, buyers are often anxious to receive their holiday orders and will contact you by e-mail to check on the shipment status.

  • If the package included tracking information, remind the buyer of the carrier and tracking number to help resolve questions about the delivery date.
  • In many cases, the shipment isn't late but may not have arrived as early as the buyer hoped. It's possible that the package didn't arrive at the earliest estimated date.
  • In the case of "slow" packages, you will often need to explain the delivery time frames.
  • In the case of a "lost" product arriving in an empty box, you should contact the shipper to report the issue and ask about the options available to you. For a "late" product that may be lost, you may want to engage your carrier for assistance in locating the package and moving it along.
  • If the maximum delivery date has passed, the best solution is to refund the buyer. Compensating buyers for lost shipments is simply a cost of doing business.
  • For a product that never arrives and is truly lost, you may still be able to recover your costs if you purchased insurance originally. You will need to determine your own level of acceptable loss when deciding to insure packages.

III: The buyer has received the order but wants to return it.

Here are the basics on handling returns:

  • As per your selling agreement, your return and refund policies must be at least as favorable as the current Amazon refund policies. You must accept returns within the guidelines spelled out in the policy, even if the product was exactly as described and the buyer simply no longer wants it.
  • Returns of new products are different from returns of damaged/defective/materially different products.
  • Returns should be posted to the address included on the outside of each package.
  • In cases where there is nothing wrong with a product, buyers should cover the cost of return shipping.
  • In cases where a product is damaged or defective, or when it is materially different than the product described on the product detail page, sellers should cover the costs of return shipping. You can do this by issuing a concession to the buyer in advance of the return.
  • In some cases, a reasonable restocking fee may be charged to a buyer for returned products. To learn more, search for "restocking fees" in seller Help.

We hope this information about how to resolve post-order problems has been helpful. For more information, search for "handling orders" in seller Help.

December 10, 2012

Package Orders with Care

Snowman Many of the orders placed in the weeks before Christmas are intended to be gifts. Buyers not only expect to receive their orders on time, but also in excellent condition. Returning products that were damaged in transit isn't a good buying experience any time of the year, and even less so during the holiday season.

Help protect your products by following these tips for packing orders for shipment:

Package Orders Carefully

  • Prepare a professional, clean package. Wipe away dust or debris that may have collected on the product while in storage. Use new shipping/packing materials. Seal all shipments tightly.
  • When sending fragile products, package them using bubble wrap or polystyrene chips. Use a "Fragile" sticker or mark the package clearly.
  • Put your product in its original box (if you still have it), then put it in a slightly larger box and fill out the gap with paper, polystyrene, or cardboard. Shake the box and add more packaging if there's movement.
  • Include a packing slip in the package. You can print one from the Manage Orders page.

Label Packages Clearly

  • Use a complete shipping address. You can cut an address label from your printed packing slip and attach it to the package.
  • Use a complete return address, typewritten or printed in a neat and legible manner, on all packages.
  • Orders may arrive sooner if you use the nine digit ZIP Code associated with the buyer's shipping address. You can find the extra four digits for any U.S. shipping address at www.usps.com.
  • The use of metered postage is recommended. Avoid excessive postage and the use of small-denomination postage stamps.

December 06, 2012

Monitor your Customer Metrics Closely

Snowman Amazon has established performance targets for sellers to follow so buyers can shop confidently, with a sense of safety and security about their third-party transactions.

Your Customer Metrics indicate how you are doing with respect to our performance targets. During the holidays, it’s important to frequently monitor the Customer Metrics page in your seller account so you can identify and resolve operational problems promptly. Excessive order defect rates (negative feedback, A-to-z Guarantee claims, and chargebacks) can lead to account suspensions and even account closures.

Check your feedback and A-to-z Guarantee claim pages daily, and proactively resolve any issues.

For more information, search for "performance" and "A-to-z Guarantee" in seller Help.

December 05, 2012

Manage Your Inventory Proactively

Holly Managing your inventory proactively is one of the smartest things you can do during the holidays. Here are some tried-and-true tips from experienced sellers:

  • Determine which of your products may be most popular during the holidays and make sure you have enough stock available at all times.
  • Match your products by ISBN/UPC to the correct product detail pages. For example, if you list a book, your copy must be listed against the ASIN for the product with the exact same title, author, binding, edition, publication date, publisher, and ISBN.
  • Keep your listing details up to date. You can use the tools in your seller account to edit the product description and price, or the shipping methods you offer.
  • If you use inventory uploads, remember that all products in a feed must be processed before any of the changes appear on Amazon.com. If you have time-sensitive changes, upload those first in a separate file, and upload changes that are not time-sensitive in a later file.
  • If you use inventory uploads, be sure to download your inventory processing reports from the Upload Products & Inventory page and check them for any errors that prevent your SKUs from being listed on Amazon.com.

For more information, search for "manage inventory" in seller Help.

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