Don’t be afraid to refuse a damaged or extended return, or to charge a restocking fee or withhold a portion of your refund if you are not satisfied with the service. If you meet certain criteria, it is within your rights to cancel the return.
Seller Services forums have some sellers who state that a restocking fee from Amazon can lead to an A-to-Z Guarantee claim being filed against your account. While a customer may be upset enough to pay a restocking charge, this does not mean you have violated Amazon’s return policy guidelines.
Restocking fees are allowed within the Amazon returns policy so long as you follow all the rules.
Continue reading to find out the definitive answer about Amazon’s position on restocking fees. Also, learn what you can and cannot collect.
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What’s an Amazon restocking charge?
The restocking fee, which is a percentage from the item’s cost, depending on its type and condition, does not include shipping costs. Amazon considers a restocking charge a “partial reimbursement” since the fee amount is deducted from the refund.
Amazon US offers a unique approach to restocking fees or partial refunds. Sellers can charge a restocking fee in certain circumstances.
Amazon will accept returns if a customer declares an item damaged or returned beyond the returns window. Sellers have the right to offer a partial refund for customers who return items that are damaged.
Are restocking fees illegal?
The laws regarding restocking fees vary from one state to the next. Restocking fees are generally only illegal when:
- The product is defective
- The retailer failed to deliver the merchandise in a specified time frame
- The purchase price is less than 50%.
- Customer is not properly informed about restocking fees
Does Amazon’s restocking fees lead to an A/to-Z claim?
While it is true that buyers may file one if they don’t receive a full refund, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Amazon will accept the buyer’s side.
All you have to do to defend your account against a claim.
As a seller on Amazon, you are entitled to the correct restocking fee. However, it is important that you adhere to the guidelines set forth in the Amazon return policy.
When is Amazon allowed to charge a restocking fee?
Restocking fees may be charged depending on the reason for return.
Sellers cannot charge a restocking fee if the return is deemed to be the seller’s fault. If the item is returned for any reason, sellers cannot withhold a refund.
- Item not as described
- Item damaged
- Inaccurate website description
- Item defective
- Send the wrong item
Sellers can charge restocking fees if the reason for the return is not the buyer’s fault. If the item is returned for any reason, sellers can withhold a portion.
- It is no longer required/wanted
- By mistake
- Better price available
Sellers may charge a 50% restocking fee if the item isn’t returned in the same condition it was purchased.
Amazon states that sellers do not have to accept returns after the return window has expired. These return reasons can be used to charge a restocking fee if you accept the return.
- Buyer changes their mind and returns the item in its original condition within the return window
- If the buyer decides to cancel their purchase, they can return a non-media item in the time frame. However, the seller will receive the item damaged or substantially different from the way it was shipped.
- The buyer returns the book to us within the time frame.
- Within the time allowed for returns, the buyer returns a CD or DVD, VHS tape.
- A buyer returns an item that is materially different to what they ordered
What is the Amazon restocking fee for sellers?
The Amazon Seller Return Policy states that it can range from 20% to as high as 50% of the item’s original price.
If a buyer decides to cancel a purchase according to the below return policy, sellers may withhold up to 20% from an item’s original price.
A buyer can change their mind within the return window if they aren’t satisfied with a non-media item. However, sellers may withhold up to 50% of the item’s cost if the item is damaged or otherwise defective.
Sellers can withhold up to 50% of the item’s original price if a book is returned in a damaged condition or after it has been opened.
Guidelines for Partial Refunds or Restocking Fees
How can I calculate the Amazon restocking fees?
Before deducting the restocking fees from the refund that you issue to your customer, you can calculate it according to the return reason. This must be done within two business days after receiving a return.
How do you charge a restocking fees on Amazon
These instructions are from Amazon to issue a partial return, which is the same thing as collecting a restocking fee.
- You can locate the order that you wish to refund under the Manage Orders menu in Seller Central. For more information on how to locate an order, please see Search orders.
- Click Refund order in the Action column. You can also click on the Order ID, then click on Refund order in the Order Details. Not all orders will be eligible for the Refund Order button.
- Click the Issue Refund button.
- Refund Request: Please Select the Reason
- Enter the amount to be refunded in the Amount column. Gift wrap costs can be refunded.
- Optional: You can add a note to the buyer.
- Optional: In the Note to self input box, add a seller note for your records. This allows you to keep track of all actions taken regarding an order, including reminders or concessions to buyers.
- Click Submit Refund.
The data may take up 15 minutes to update. All associated buyer returns will be closed automatically when the refund is submitted.
The closed orders section of Manage Returns, located under the Orders menu, allows you to contact the buyer. Buyers have the option of opening a new request for return for any amount remaining.
Amazon may approve returns automatically, but sellers should be aware that Amazon’s returns policy provides some protections for unwarranted returns.
Don’t be afraid to withhold a portion of your refund if you receive a damaged or extended return. If you meet the above criteria, it is within your rights to withhold a portion of a refund.