Competently handled returns and the highest standard of after-sales service are significant factors for the account evaluation. Amazon oversees returns handling system of each seller. The quick and hassle-free fulfilment of purchases plus consideration of the customer's interest when it comes to returns contribute to the Account Health.
What are you going to read about on Amazon returns policy?
- The Most Common Reasons for Product Returns
- Returns Policy on Amazon
- How Is the Seller Notified About a Product Return?
- Non-returnable Products
- What Does a Product Return Mean for the Seller?
- Return Shipping Costs
- FBA and FBM
The Most Common Reasons for Product Returns
Research conducted in the United States in 2021 shows that product fit issues are the top reason for returning an online purchase. As many as 70% of consumers who returned their order provided the above-mentioned reason. In the second and third places, respondents indicated that the item was damaged/defective or not as described.
Returns Policy on Amazon
The returns policy on Amazon favours consumers by assuming that most products can be returned within 30 days of receiving the order. From 2020 onwards, this time is prolonged during the holiday period. By placing an order starting from 1 October, the customer can send it back even up to 31 January.
How Is the Seller Notified About a Product Return?
The customer has the option of signalling their wish to return a product by sending a return request to the seller. The customer can select which order they wish to return and state the reason. They can also add a comment with more details concerning the return. The seller is obliged to respond to such a notification within 2 working days. If the seller fails to respond to the return request, Amazon will grant the customer a refund under the A-to-Z guarantee. If the product return request is not submitted, it does not relieve the seller of its obligation to respond to a product return request made via written message in the seller’s panel. It is worth stressing that customers often pick this direct form of communication with the seller. Providing the information needed to process a return and getting help from the seller directly affects account statistics.
Besides filing a claim, the customer has the option of withdrawing from the contract if the product arrives damaged or too late, or does not comply with the specifications. However, it should be considered that Amazon has defined several non-returnable items in its returns policy. These include e.g.: personal hygiene/healthcare products, digital content (e.g. e-books or MP3 files), and computer software with the sealed packaging removed. These are also products with an expiry date in the nearest future. Services that have been fully delivered are also considered non-returnable. In the above-mentioned case, returns are regarded as a withdrawal from contract.
Custom products purchased on the platform also cannot be returned. Amazon has made these changes to its returns policy because it is difficult to reuse or resell such products. Amazon wants to emphasize that purchases of customised products are final and will not be subject to cancellation. Yet, in the event of damage, you can submit a complaint. You have 30 days since receiving them to do so. If the project is not fulfiled according to the customer’s specifications, it comes under the A-to-Z guarantee.
What Does a Product Return Mean for the Seller?
The seller has to manually process each return, preferably within 48 hours. The transfer of the money to the customer’s account (return authorisation) takes place automatically or upon seller’s approval.
Return Shipping Costs
Occasionally, the return of a product by the customer means additional costs for the seller. The seller is obliged to pay for the postage costs depending on:
- the category to which the returned product belongs;
- whether it is a complaint or a withdrawal from the contract;
- having a foreign address in the country where the seller conducts business (local address);
- an active APRL (Amazon prepaid return label) programme;
- the relevant marketplace.
To avoid additional costs and negative consequences of acting contrary to Amazon’s terms, you should verify each of the above elements. Failure to process a particular return or authorisation delays may result in your account getting blocked.
Learn how to unblock an Amazon account.
Benefits of Free Delivery and Proper Fulfilment
Correct transaction processing can give your business a competitive advantage. Efficient and reliable fulfilment of e-commerce orders helps to build customer trust & satisfaction. What if the customer’s expectations regarding product delivery are not met? Or the goods are damaged during transit? Such fulfilment issues can have a negative impact on your e-commerce business. The speed at which customers get a product can make or break a sale. According to a survey, free delivery was the most important factor for 83% of US shoppers when ordering online. More than half (54%) of shoppers have abandoned online shopping because of delivery costs.
Use a fulfilment service or adapt your processes to grow your brand. Then you can also keep your customers happy! To be able to offer free delivery without incurring losses, you must implement the right pricing strategy.
What is a pricing strategy and when should we start thinking about it?
FBA and FBM
One of the most important decisions for any Amazon seller is the selection of a logistics model. FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) and FBM (Fulfilment by Merchant) differ in several aspects. These concern storage places, the way the returns are handled, customer service fulfilment etc. Some companies manage fulfilment in-house, while others use a service such as Fulfilment by Amazon. Another option is a combination of in-house and third party fulfilment options. In the case of returning purchased goods:
Do you want to learn more about differences between FBA and FBM? Take a look here
- If the return shipping costs are the customers’ responsibility, a shipping address must be provided.
- With Fulfilment by Amazon, the return process is completely automated.
Competently handled returns and the highest standard of after-sales service are significant factors for the account evaluation. Amazon oversees returns handling system of each seller. The quick and hassle-free fulfilment of purchases plus consideration of the customer’s interest when it comes to returns contribute to the Account Health.
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