Amazon’s return policies should be a top priority for sellers.
Undoubtedly, returns are an important part of selling and they hold true for even the most lucrative and largest marketplaces such as Amazon.
Amazon returns are your responsibility. You might have shipped the wrong product or colour, size, or SKU.
Amazon Returns could also be derived from:
- Stock unavailability
- Delivery issues may cause the buyer to lose their order.
In most cases, however, it’s not your fault. Here’s the harsh truth: Amazon requires sellers to accept returns, even if they are the fault of the buyer.
Let’s look at the new Amazon Return Policy for individual sellers as well FBA sellers . We will also discuss how to process a return request, what the charges are for returns, and the reasons.
- Amazon Return Policy
- Amazon Return Process
- Amazon Refunds – How are They Issued?
- How to Process a Return Request?
- Amazon Return Procedure: Individual Seller (or not-FBA)
- Amazon Return Procedure: FBA Seller
- What to Do Before Issuing a Refund?
- Protect Yourself from Amazon Return Scammers
- How to Refund Tax
- Amazon Seller Restocking Policy: Restocking Fee
- How to Process Gift Returns
Amazon Return Policy
Most items shipped via Amazon.com can be returned within 30 day, including Amazon Warehouses. Some items may have specific requirements or policies.
Amazon Return Process
Amazon will automatically authorise returns if you are a professional seller, provided that the items fall within their return policy.
Amazon will not send you a return request if the item is outside of the policy, or exempt from a pre-paid return.
To process a return request, you will need to follow these steps:
- You can review, approve, or decline the request by visiting the Manage returns page.
- You can also access Manage Returns by clicking on the drop-down menu Orders.
Amazon will send a return label with an address to the buyer once you have approved the buyer’s return request.
Note: A return label is not prepaid by default.
You can upload any custom prepaid label as long as you pay for return shipping.
Amazon Refunds – How are They Issued?
The refund a buyer receives when he/she returns your product depends on three factors
- What length of time has the customer owned the product?
- What was the purchase price?
A buyer can return a product by going to the Online Refunds Centre page.
It may take up to 3-5 business days for the seller to issue a refund if the buyer requests one after the item is shipped.
|Payment Method||Refund Time (soon after the refund has been processed).||Refund Method|
|Credit card||3 to 5 Business Days||Credit card|
|Credit card||Instant||Gift card|
|Debit card||Max. 10 business days||Debit card|
|Account Check||Max. 10 business days||Account Check|
|Amazon gift card||Instant||Balance on gift card|
|Certificate of Promotion||Not applicable||Refunds are not possible|
|Amazon gift card and credit card||For more information on time, refer to the fields above||Gift card balance or maybe both|
|Prepaid credit card||The issuer will determine the duration, which can be as little as 30 days.||Prepaid credit card|
|Reward points||Max. 5 business days||Reward points balance|
Note: Even if Amazon cancels a buyer’s prepaid card, the card is still kept in the account. You can use this card for future purchases.
If the order was made via Amazon Currency Converter, the refund will be processed in local currency. The rate used to calculate the refund is the same as the one that was applied at the time the order was placed.
How to Process a Return Request?
You can manage returns as a seller by using Manage Returns. This includes:
- Authorise the request
- Close the request
- Issue a refund
- Get in touch with the buyer
1. Authorise the request
An individual seller can opt for a manual authorization, while a professional vendor receiving an out-of-policy request has the option to manually review it. Follow the below steps to accomplish this:
Step 1 : Login to your seller central account, select Orders > Manage Returns.
Step 2 To authorise a single return request, select the request you wish to review.
Step #3: After completing step 2, you will be prompted for the RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization), a number that Amazon generates. Or, you can enter a custom RMA #. This RMA number will be visible on the buyer’s return authorization slip.
You will be able to upload your own prepaid label or use an Amazon-generated unpaid return label. If your label is Amazon-generated the label will automatically generate your return address.
To change your address, however, please follow these steps:
- Go to Account Information and select Return address.
If you have to authorise the return manually, you will be asked for a return address. Either use one of the addresses you have saved for returns, or create a new address.
Step 4 – Select the request you wish to review and authorise multiple return requests at once. Next, go to the Manage returns page and select Authorise all returns that you see in the dropdown menu.
You can configure Settings > Return Setting to get a return email with a link to close, reply or authorise.
An individual seller and professional seller that receives an out of policy request have the option to authorise the return request immediately. Amazon will issue the buyer an unpaid label in such cases.
An professional seller who has SKUs that are exempt from the prepaid program can choose to authorise the return request either automatically or manually.
2. Close the request
If you are:
- You can request a refund but not ask for the item’s return
- You can refuse to accept the return (for example, if it is not within the Amazon policies).
Give the customer explanations and choose a reason to close the return request. Amazon will send the customer the message and a closure reason once the return request has been closed.
A buyer can, on the other hand, close a request for return. You (the seller) will receive an email advising you of the return request.
3. Issue a refund
Refunds can be issued
- Once the item is returned
- If you allow the buyer to keep your product
Amazon recommends that you wait until you receive your product before you issue a return.
Amazon will process your refund within 48 hours after you receive your product back. If you fail to process your refund within 48 hours, Amazon can refund the exact amount to the buyer or charge the seller the money.
To avoid a negative experience for the buyer, ensure that you monitor the refund closely and that it is received on time.
4. Get in touch with the buyer
You can contact the buyer to discuss the matter anytime. It is better to resolve the problem than manage the return and issue a refund.
Amazon Return Procedure: Individual Seller (or not-FBA)
A buyer placing an order with a seller who fulfils and ships from their own inventory (also known as an individual, or third party seller), then the seller will send the return to Amazon.com.
Although most sellers offer similar returns policies to Amazon.com, some policies may be different. Before making a purchase, it is important to check the return policies of each seller.
Any of these three should be provided by a third-party seller:
- Valid return address within the U.S.
- A proper pre-paid return label
- Refunds are given without the need to return the product.
An individual seller may not offer these options. The buyer can file an AZ Guarantee Claim to get assistance.
It is essential that the buyer sends the item within the U.S. if it is worth $100 or more.
An item that costs $35 or more must be returned to the seller with a tracking link from the shipping company. Amazon recommends that buyers purchase items below $35 by using the USPS delivery method.
How do you respond to an AZ Guarantee Claim after it has been notified?
If Amazon decides it needs more information while investigating a claim it will email you. You must respond within three calendar days.
If you do not respond within three calendar days to the claim notification, the customer will grant the claim and debit your account with the claim amount.
Here’s how to respond to the claim notification:
- Step 1 : Navigate to the menu Performance and select A–Z Guarantee Claims.
- Step 2 On the tab Action Required, search the claim and click Response to Amazon.
- Step 3 Add your comments to the text box and provide any details that will help Amazon understand the claim situation.
- Step 4 After you have completed the above steps, click the submit link.
Amazon encourages you to check your email frequently and to respond to claims as necessary. This is also a critical part of your ODR (Order Decent Rate).
Amazon Return Procedure: FBA Seller
FBA sellers must immediately respond to any return requests placed on their accounts. Amazon could charge you more if they consider the returned items “unfulfillable”.
Take a look at these three possibilities:
Possibility 1 :
If an item is returned by Amazon.com and Amazon determines it to be in saleable condition, the item will be automatically placed back into the inventory and designated “Fulfillable”.
FBA credits your account with a portion of the referral fee and, if applicable, pays the Variable Closing fees associated to the item .
If Amazon finds the item to be damaged and not-saleable, and It accepts full responsibility for the damage then the item will be removed from your inventory.
Amazon credits your selling account with the following:
Selling price of item + Part of referral fees + applicable taxes
It also credits, if applicable, the Variable Closing fees
If Amazon finds that the item is damaged and not-sellable, and it doesn’t accept responsibility, the item will be added as an item to your inventory, but will be marked “Unfulfillable”.
Amazon credits your selling account with the following:
A portion or all of the referral fee Variable close fee (if applicable
You can request a return order to get the item back to you.
See the detailed guide Remove inventory from Amazon.
FBA Removal Fee
Each item being removed is subject to a removal fee. A removal order usually takes 14 business days. It may take longer in some cases, particularly during holiday season, though.
|Service||The item is too large||Standard item size|
FBA Returns Processing Charge
Below is the table that explains the fulfilment fees for each unit. This includes customer service, order packing, pick up, shipping, and product return fees.
|Items of Standard Size||Fee|
|Small (10 oz. or lesser)||$2.41|
|Small (10+ -16 oz.||$2.48|
|Large (10 oz. or lesser)||$3.19|
|Large (10+ – 16 oz.)||$3.28|
|Large (1 to 2 lb.||$4.76|
|Large (2-3 lb.||$5.26|
|Large (3-21 lb.||$5.26 plus $0.38 per lb. After initial 3 lb.|
|Items that are too large||Fee|
|Small, but not too small (about 71 lb. or lesser)||$8.26 + $0.38 extra for each lb beyond the first 2 lb.|
|Medium-sized, but not too large (around 151 lb. or lesser)||$9.79 + $0.39 extra for each lb beyond the first 2 lb.|
|Large, yet not too large (about 151 lb. or lesser)||$75.78 + $0.79 extra for each lb beyond the first 90 lb.|
|Special: Oversized||$137.32 + $0.91 for every additional lb after the 90th lb.|
WhatDoes Before Issuing a Refund?
Amazon recommends that you do three things before you process a refund request from a buyer:
- After you have authorised the return request you must wait for the shipment to arrive from the buyer before you can issue a refund. The buyer may keep the product or throw it away. This is up to you.
- You have the option to request a partial refund if the buyer sends you the product in damage or in a different condition than what you received. To avoid any further confusion, it is important that you inform the buyer about this before you make a decision to accept a partial refund.
- If the seller has correctly described the item and the buyer doesn’t want it anymore you can refund the original price, not Amazon shipping costs. This is a benefit for sellers.
Protect Yourself from Amazon Return Scammers
A few sellers take photos or videos of themselves while they are shipping expensive items to protect themselves from unscrupulous buyers. If a buyer claims he/she didn’t receive the order, this serves as proof that the seller shipped the product correctly.
These safeguards are more time-consuming than your current heavy workload. These protections can save you money and help keep your name clean, even if you are contacted by a buyer to con you.
Find out more about Amazon scams .
These are just a few of the safety precautions you can take to avoid any further encounters with scammers.
- Send all packages to your signature
- Insurance on Packages containing Expensive Items
- Use a tracked delivery system
Amazon advises third-party sellers to be aware of the following to avoid unscrupulous buyers.
1. Answer customers’ emails
Amazon encourages buyers to solve problems with their buyer. However, there are occasions when top-performing sellers may be subject to claims. This is mainly due to sellers not responding to customers’ messages within a specified timeframe. As a seller, it is important to respond promptly to customers.
2. Refunds proactive
If the seller investigates the claim promptly with the buyer, he/she can avoid the claim. The refund can be cancelled if the reason is not appropriate. This will make it less likely that a buyer files a claim against your company.
3. Conscientious shipping
Trackable shipping methods, signature-required approaches, and carefully packaged can all help to prevent claims for lost or damaged goods. You can reduce your liability by providing a valid tracking number for 95% shipments within the United States. Also, you should only ship to addresses that Amazon provides.
4. Exact product descriptions and images
Correct descriptions and images of products will eliminate any misunderstandings or unwanted issues about what the buyer actually expects to receive. All offers should be compatible with the correct ASINs. It is inappropriate to compare the product with another edition. The seller is responsible for any incorrectly published product listings.
Avoid misunderstandings and unwelcome issues about what a buyer actually expects to receive. Be sure to match all offers with the correct ASIN. It is inappropriate to compare the product with another edition and then explain it in the product description. The seller is responsible for any incorrectly published product listings.
5. Inform the buyers
Amazon does not handle shipping and order notifications. However, it is important to communicate directly with buyers to resolve any issues or questions they may have about the product.
6. You can cancel any out-of stock order immediately
It is your responsibility to notify the buyer if an item goes out-of-stock. If you haven’t already done so, you can cancel the order.
It is easier to deal with an Amazon Return if you follow the steps outlined above, especially before shipping.
How to Refund Tax
Sometimes you may just wish to refund the tax amount. It is important to first check that the buyer qualifies for tax exempt status. The buyer can request a refund if the answer is yes.
The seller can direct the buyer to request the refund of tax. Here’s how to process the refund.
- Go to Manage orders to find the order to which you wish to issue the tax refund.
- Click the Refund order option on the Order Details Page.
- The Refund Order page’s top side displays Refund Tax only.
- Choose Order from an Unincorporated Area or Tax Exempt Buyer.
- You will need to choose the jurisdiction that you want to refund if you select Order from an area.
- You will need to choose an exemption reason if you select a Tax exempt buyer.
- Click the Submit a refund button.
If you are unable to refund tax due to some reason, please check whether the order was placed through FBA or shipped to an address where Amazon handles tax collection, calculation, refunds and remittance.
These steps will be used to confirm the Fulfilment Method & Tax Collection Obligation.
- Check your Fulfilment Method from the Manage orders page. It should be either “Amazon” or “Merchant”.
- Check the Manage Orders Page to see if there is a note next to the tax that says “tax is managed by a merchant” or “taxes are managed by Amazon.”
- You can ask the buyer to contact Amazon Customer Support if the fulfilment method states “Amazon” and the text indicates that the “tax will be managed by Amazon”.
- If the fulfilment method states “Merchant”, and the text indicates that the tax is managed by Merchant, you will be responsible for the refund.
Amazon Seller Restocking Policy: Restocking Fee
|Returns of customers||He/she is awarded|
|You must return the item in its original condition.||80% of the price|
|DVDs, CDs and cassette tapes; vinyl records or VHS tapes that were opened from their original plastic wrap.||50% off the item price|
|There are missing parts or signs of wear on the item.||Maximum 50% of the total item price|
|Open source software or video games||0% of the price|
*Note: Most products have a return window of 30 calendar days after the delivery date. To determine if an item has a return window, the buyer must navigate to his/her orders page. Then, select Return/Replace Items.
A third-party seller can charge a buyer a maximum 20% restocking fee even though the product was returned in its original condition within the 30-day period.
Returns items may be subject to a restocking fee and tax. This applies to all customers residing in MD CT, PA, NV WV, WI, or VA.
The seller may charge a customer a restocking fee if the following conditions are met:
- The customer may find the exact same item on a different website.
- Customer’s Remorse is when he/she decides to change their mind.
- The customer returns the product significantly different, damaged, or impaired from what it was sent.
How to Process Gift Returns
Gift recipients (the person who received the gift) may return the product that was given to them by another buyer, even if it was not designated as a gift at purchase.
Note: The Manage returns page shows a “gift return”. It can be processed along with other returns.
The gift recipient will send the return via Send a Gift to the Returns Centre page.
Here’s how to process the gift return
1. Get in touch with the person who received the gift
Amazon recommends that you only communicate with the recipient of the gift to respect the privacy of the customer who purchased it. This is how to communicate with the recipient
- Go to the Manage page.
- Click the button Contact Gift Recipient.
Notice: A Gift Return can also be identified with a Gift Badge ( ).
2. Talk to the BUYER of the gift
If you feel that you need to reach the person who bought the gift, please do so.
- Navigate to the Manage orders page.
- Click on the Contact Buyer name to view the details.
- After completing the above steps, both the buyer AND the gift recipient will see their Customer’s Email History.
3. Return the gift and get a refund
To refund the gift recipient, navigate the Manage returns page by clicking on the button Issue refund.
After completing the above steps, the refund amount will automatically be emailed to the recipient in egift card or electronic present card.
If you wish to refund the BUYER of the item, go to the Manage orders page. Click on the Refund order link. However, ensure that you refund it to the correct person.
Potentially Dangerous Returns:
Amazon recognizes that some returns may contain “potentially dangerous” materials. These items are marked with a warning that they may be dangerous or harmful. This type of return will require manual authorization from the seller before the buyer can complete the return and ship the item back. Before you send the item back, ensure that you have received the hazardous item at your return facility.
We hope you found the article about return policies for sellers helpful. Please note that this information is taken from the Seller Central help pages. Amazon changes policies frequently so keep your eyes peeled for any possible modifications.