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.