31 posts categorized " Returns Refunds & Cancellations "

May 06, 2013

For Pro sellers: Customer returns processing just got easier

Amazon has just released a new feature to assist sellers with processing customer returns. Previously, sellers were limited to the default number generated by Amazon when authorizing a return request. Now sellers can use a custom return number.

This new feature is in response to custom return numbers being one of the most requested features among high volume sellers.

Custom return numbers enable sellers to integrate their existing Customer Relation Management (CRM) systems with Amazon's returns system, creating a more seamless return process. During the return authorization process, sellers can now use either the Amazon return number or a custom number.

The custom number now appears on both the buyer's return authorization and the return mailing label.

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.

October 08, 2012

Restocking fees: What's a reasonable amount?

Managing returns can be a real hassle for the seller, especially in cases of buyer remorse or when a returned item has been damaged by the buyer. In situations such as these, you may charge a reasonable restocking fee. But how much is "reasonable"?

Typically, a restocking fee is a percentage of the item's price. The percentage depends on the type of item and the condition in which it is returned. Amazon allows sellers to charge restocking fees only in well-defined situations.

For more information on when you can charge a restocking fee and how much you can charge, search on "managing returns" in Seller Central Help. Also refer to the Amazon Product Return Policies.

September 27, 2012

Whoops! New 2-hour grace period for refund mistakes

One of the reasons sellers contact Seller Support is because of refund mistakes. Occasionally, a seller refunds the wrong order or issues a full refund when they intended just a partial refund. We know that correcting mistakes like this can be tricky. As a result, we have just added a standard holding period for all refunds.

Now, when you generate a refund, it will sit in Pending status for up to 2 hours. This additional buffer gives you time to correct refund mistakes.

If everything is correct, no further action is needed on your part. But if you issue a refund by mistake or for the wrong amount, you have 2 hours in which to cancel it. After that 2-hour window has closed, we release the refund. It can no longer be cancelled.

Additionally, we notify the buyer only when the refund is actually released, so if make a mistake and correct while it's in Pending status, the buyer will never know.

For more information, search on "refunding orders" in seller Help.

August 20, 2012

What is a Concession?

Sellers can always issue partial or full refunds for order costs, but the Amazon system also allows sellers to compensate buyers for order issues as an alternative to or in addition to refunding order amounts. Buyer credits that exceed the order total are called concessions. There are situations where you may want to issue funds to the buyer beyond the cost of the item(s) and shipping amount. For example, if a buyer receives a defective item and you want to compensate them for return shipping along with the order refund, you could issue a concession.

Concessions can be issued as partial refunds, with partial refunds, or along with full refunds. There are limits on the total amount sellers may provide to buyers when they issue order refunds and concessions. An order refund can't exceed the total amount originally paid by the buyer; however, the amount allowed in concessions may exceed the total cost of the order itself. Amazon displays the concession maximum for each item in an order using a formula that calculates the higher of the following two numbers:

Limit 1: 50% of the sum of original buyer-paid shipping plus product price
Limit 2: Twice the original buyer-paid shipping, plus $10 plus $20

To issue a concession:

  1. Log into your seller account
  2. Go to your orders section and bring up the details of the specific order you want to refund
  3. Click the "Refund order" button on the Order Details page
  4. Choose the tab that fits your refund: Full (which is the default page) or Partial Refund (which is a tab below the order number)
  5. Use the pop-up menu to select the appropriate Reason for Refund
  6. Enter the amount of the return shipping and/or other concession into the Amount to Refund box
    You will receive a pop-up asking you to confirm the concession
  7. Add a memo to the buyer
    This is optional but highly recommended, allowing up to 255 characters
  8. Click the Submit Refund button


Additional facts to note about concessions:

  • It can take 15 minutes for the data to be updated in the order to reflect the refund in your seller account
  • Buyers will see a concession amount as a different entry than a partial or full refund on their payment statement
  • Concessions do not contribute to the refund percentage in your seller performance metrics. If one or more products in an order are fully refunded, then the order is counted as a refunded order and is included in your Refund Rate

If you would like a more in-depth look at concessions, please access the Help section of your seller account and search for concessions.

July 09, 2012

Out-of-policy return requests

Sometimes when a buyer asks to return an item, the return does not fit within the Amazon return policies.

Here are some reasons that can put a return outside of the return policies:

  • The buyer submitted the return request after the return time-frame passed. For most items, a return request must be submitted within 30 days after the order is delivered. See the category-specific return policies.
  • Issues with the item are related to a manufacturer's warranty.

It is up to you to decide how to proceed when you receive an out-of-policy return request. You can either approve the return request or decline (close) it. You have the option to issue a refund even if you decline the return request.

If you do decline the return request, and also decide not to issue a full refund, it's in your best interest to tell the buyer the reason in as much detail as possible. However, even when you do all you can, the buyer might still decide to file an A-to-z Guarantee claim. If so, Amazon will review the buyer's claim and ask you to provide any additional information you may have.

For more information about A-to-z Guarantee claim processing, search on "guarantee" in seller Help.

June 25, 2012

Managing negative feedback from buyers

As a seller, some days it seems like all you get is complaints. People can be quick to gripe and slow to praise. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep calm, but even if the buyer comment is not courteous, replying in a similar manner can backfire and reflect badly on you.

If you receive a negative comment about your service, we encourage you to first contact the buyer. Listen politely to their issue and respond professionally. It may be worthwhile to offer some sort of consolation to resolve the issue, such as a refund of shipping costs if the buyer's feedback is about late delivery of an order.

Once you have contacted the buyer, if you are able to resolve the problem, carefully determine whether it's appropriate to ask them to remove their negative feedback. If they decline your request to remove their feedback, please respect their decision. You may ask a buyer remove feedback. However, you may not offer nor pay any incentive to a buyer for either providing or removing feedback. Pressuring a buyer to remove negative feedback is a violation of our policies.

If you work with a buyer to resolve a situation, but the buyer decides not to remove negative feedback, you may choose to post a response on the website. Explain how you worked to correct the problems. Your response won't change your feedback rating, but other customers will be able to read your explanation when they see the buyer's feedback. This reply is seen online, so carefully consider what you want to say before posting your side of the story. A poorly thought-out reply can reflect badly on you.

And finally, take time to learn from the experience. Did you make mistakes? Are there ways you can improve your business processes? In most cases, there's a lesson you can take away from the experience.

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