- A rigid and comprehensive Amazon returns policy is put in place to protect both sellers and customers on the eCommerce platform
- Customers can return items bought on Amazon within a thirty days window from the delivery date
- Depending on the nature of the return, sellers can close a request or go ahead to issue a refund
Amazon returns policy is constantly changing. And if you are a seller on the eCommerce marketplace, it is essential to keep yourself updated on the changes and how you can apply the guidelines to your business.
Returns are a common concern for both eCommerce sellers and shoppers. Say a customer receives the wrong item or the product sent is damaged. These and many more are valid justifications to return items and request a refund. But how do you handle returns while adhering to the Amazon returns policy as a seller?
This blog post answers common questions about Amazon returns policy, such as return processing, issuing, and restocking fees.
Table of Contents
What is the Return Policy for Amazon?
Returns are a huge aspect of most commercial businesses. Goods could get damaged before getting to the customers, and products could be sent with the wrong specifications or even damaged. It is only fitting that eCommerce businesses have a functioning returns policy to help them manage return claims.
For Amazon, a rigid and comprehensive returns policy is put in place to protect both sellers and customers on the platform. Customers can return items sold and fulfilled by Amazon for free within thirty days of delivery.
However, Amazon has no control over returned items bought from third-party sellers. They are only bound to receive returns from their buyers within the same thirty days returns window. Please note that Amazon returns policy does not cover all kinds of goods.
How Are Amazon Returns Issued?
Basic rules guide Amazon returns policy and how refunds are issued. Amazon expects that third-party sellers adhere to the thirty days returns policy and give refunds when necessary. For every return, Amazon provides the customer with a refund, but these factors determine the refund:
- The condition of the returned item
- How the item was purchased
- The period between delivery of product and return
Refunds for returns can be given in the form of gift cards, prepaid credit cards and others (check the table below for more information). While processing returns, the customer can check the returns page to select their own refund method.
How to Process Amazon Returns
To process Amazon returns, you can follow any of these steps:
- Authorize the request
- Close the request
- Issue a refund
We’ll get into the details in the coming section so you know how to process Amazon returns.
You can opt for manual authorization of Amazon returns in these simple actions:
- On your seller account, select orders, then Manage returns.
- Select the request you wish to review
- Enter the Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA) number. RMAs can either be custom generated or found on the buyer's return authorization slip. You will also be required to modify your return address or use a saved address.
- In case you want to authorize more than one request simultaneously, you can go to the same page on your account as in step 1 and select all returns from the dropdown menu.
Close the Request
You can close the request if you want to issue a refund without having the customer return. You can use this option if the item or the request defies Amazon's return policy.
Here, provide a practical reason for closing a request and explain to the customers in detail. After this, Amazon will notify the customer of the reasons stated.
There are also times that a buyer chooses to close a return request. When this happens, Amazon sends you a notification email to keep you informed.
Issue a Refund
Another action you can take when processing a return is to issue a refund. You can issue refunds whether or not the buyer returns the item or you choose to let them keep it. If they are returning the product, you can wait to receive it before issuing the refund.
You have 48 hours under the Amazon returns policy to process the refund, or else Amazon will refund the customer directly and deduct the charge from your seller's account.
Related post: How to Reduce Shipping Costs on Amazon in 2022
How to Protect Yourself from Amazon Scammers
It is evident that Amazon is generous with returns, and some buyers may want to abuse the returns policy for selfish reasons. It is also possible to find scammers taking advantage, which can be very dangerous for your business as a seller on Amazon. You can apply these guidelines to avoid scammers:
Answer emails from customers
Scammers often use emails to trick both sellers and buyers on Amazon. In the case of any report or issue about a purchase, sellers are advised to respond to emails from customers and resolve critical issues as soon as possible.
Package your items carefully
Before shipping, ensure the items are carefully packaged and protected to avoid damage. Correct packaging guarantees the buyer receives the item in perfect condition and thus cannot lay claim for a damaged product.
After carefully packaging the item, forward the package's tracking number to the customer. The process proves that the package was sent to the correct address and as when due.
Use accurate product images and descriptions
When your product images and descriptions do not match the product, you risk getting scammed or having a lot of return requests. The best way to handle this and clear any misunderstanding is to use the right product image and description. This way, the buyer is well informed of the product before making a purchase.
Keep buyers informed
Instead of waiting for Amazon to keep customers notified, you can directly inform your customers of shipping updates and answer their questions about the products you sell.
Cancel any out-of-stock orders immediately
Rather than having a customer order an item that is not in stock and lodge a complaint when they don't receive one, regularly update your product listing. When you are out of a particular product, inform the customer and cancel the order immediately.
Restocking Fees for Amazon Returns Policy
Amazon has a restocking fee for different items depending on the reason for returns and the return policy for such cases. Buyers have a window of thirty days to return a purchased item. However, there are exceptions for this found on their website.
These are the usual restocking fee according to the Amazon returns policy:
- Buyers receive 80% of the price if an item is returned in good condition but outside the window
- For cassettes tapes, vinyl records, DVDs, or the types that have been opened from their plastic wraps, the buyer gets 50%
- Items returned with missing or damaged parts, 50%
- 0% for opened software and video games.
Integrate Your Amazon Store with Easyship for Cheap Rates
Returns are a big part of eCommerce. And if you sell on a platform like Amazon, it is crucial to adhere to the return policies. Leaving returns unattended can leave you with bad customer reviews that are not healthy for your business' reputation.
You can reduce returns rates by applying the best practices, like packaging items correctly, communicating with your customers, and using the right product images and descriptions.
Easyship can streamline your fulfillment and ship items safely to the right location for cheaper rates. All you have to do is to integrate your Amazon store with Easyship.
With Easyship, you can generate the correct shipping documents for international and local customers no matter where you are shipping from. Yet, that is not all; get instant access to these features right away:
- Free Shipping Rates Calculator: Access high-volume discounts from major couriers. Plus, get instant access to delivery lead times from premium shipping couriers
- Global Fulfillment: Easyship has warehouse partners on four continents to reach customers worldwide. Plus, Easyship helps scale up fulfillment capabilities without increasing overhead costs
- Shipping Policy Generator: Our shipping policy generator helps merchants and crowdfunding campaigns generate their shipping policy by providing tracking and insurance options, plus other vital information for your shipping process
Ready to ship? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and get instant access to high-volume discounts up to 91% off for hundreds of shipping companies for your small business
Amazon Return Policy FAQ
How strict is Amazon's return policy?
Amazon gives buyers a thirty days window to return specific goods provided the reasons are justified in their returns policy. However, Amazon keeps abusers of this policy in check.
Can you get banned from Amazon for returns?
The number of times you can request a return is not spelled in e Amazon returns policy, but Amazon can ban customers they suspect are misusing the service.
Does Amazon check their returns?
Except they are from third-party sellers, Amazon checks returned items.
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