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Amazon Return Policy – FBA Returns and Refunds Explained

Customer return is a natural part of a business, but when it comes to Amazon – it’s a bit SCARY. Because Amazon’s return policy is too open for the customers and that is why sellers often face more returns than usual, and it’s typically 15% or more than that.

it’s really high!

You might be surprised that – Amazon has 72 different reasons for customers to return. Due to this – sellers are not able to make any profit and they are even losing their investment. And at the end – you feel Amazon is DEAD!

Yes – Amazon is DEAD from you – because you are not taking care of the returned products.

In this article, we will dive deep into the details of the Amazon Return Policy. Also, we will give you some tips for how you can reduce the return rate, and most importantly how you will act with the return product.

Table of Contents: 

  • What is Amazon’s Return Policy?
  • Is it really Protecting Sellers?
  • What are the non-returnable Products on Amazon?
  • Why do customers return products?
  • What should you do with the return products?
  • How to protect from return scammers?
  • What is Amazon’s Return Policy?

Amazon’s return policy refers to the process of a buyer sending products back to the Fulfillment centers. If you use FBA it will go back to the Amazon warehouse or If you use FBM(Fulfillment by Merchant) it will go back to your address.

If a customer is not satisfied with the purchase Amazon’s return policy allows the  

customer to return the product within a specific time frame. Amazon sellers prefer to set the return window at 30 days but you can set your return window conditions for accepting returns even if you offer a refund replacement or exchange.

  • Is it really Protecting Sellers?

According to Amazon, the return policy is designed to safeguard both customers and sellers. But we think it doesn’t protect the sellers – Because of the open return policy, customers often return the product and the average return rate is 15%. That means if you sell 100 units there will be around 15 items returned by the customers.

If you are using Amazon FBA and a customer returns a product to the Amazon fulfillment center, Amazon found that the product was damaged or unsellable condition but the concern is according to the return policy if the customer or shipping carrier damages the item Amazon will not reimburse you even in most cases.

Amazon didn’t evaluate the returned products and accept the returns this means you are doing nothing but still you need to accept the returns of your product.

Another important factor is your product might be marked as an unsellable condition so whether you need to bring it back or allow Amazon to dispose of it. 

But the interesting part is for creating the removal order or disposing of the item Amazon will charge you now.  Do you know you are accepting returns but at the same time you are losing all of your profit margins even your investment?

  • What are the non-returnable Products on Amazon?

Imagine you are selling jewelry on Amazon and you are handling the Fulfillment process. After delivering the item to the customer, he returns the product and you accept the return. 

Due to the return, you need to pay the return process fees it’s typically high up to 39% of the original product price depending on the courier service. That means if your product price is $100  you need to pay $39 as a return processing fee.

Now, let us know in the comment section, how much profit a seller can make against this policy. 

Whatever, that wasn’t my concern. My concern is – you don’t know – customers can’t make a return for the Perfume item- because this item is non-returnable. It falls under HAZMAT products.

Yes, if you are selling – Hazmat products like Beauty products, Perfume, pet care items, etc. – please DON’T ACCEPT the return.

There are some product categories for those that are nonrefundable. Let’s know about these products:

  1. Hazmat Products: If you buy a Hazmat Product or get this type of product as a gift you can return it to Amazon. Amazon considers these products as dangerous goods such as flammable liquids or gases, lighters, perfumes, nail polish, etc. 
  1. Digital Products: If you are selling ebooks, games, movies, or software these products are non-returnable. The customer has seven days to request a refund on Amazon if it bought accidentally. It might not be possible to return a book that has been partially read. Amazon advises getting in touch with customer support seven days for any accidental download.
  1. Gift Cards: If you are selling Gift cards on Amazon, the customer can’t request a return against it once it buys.
  1. Fresh and Grocery Products:  Groceries and Amazon fresh such as fresh plants, and vegetables including beer, wine, and spirits can’t offer returns or any refunds to the customers. 
  1. Personalized Jewelry: It is impossible to return items that customers buy with customization options other than size and color. Here, Amazon offers a guarantee if the third-party seller makes a mistake and there is a misspelling or error in the configuration, inscription, or design.

Amazon also doesn’t offer returns for print products, prescription medicines, and pet food. So, if any seller is selling these products they might save their profit margin if they know this policy and utilize it. 

  • Why do customers return products?

There are several reasons that customers return products. One of the interesting things is that Amazon customers can return products for many reasons. We are going to draw some common reasons for returns.

Wrong Product: Suppose a customer orders a red color or small size item but you send a blue or last size item. That means you send the wrong item to the customer. Here, customers can make a return request. 

Defective or Damaged Product: If the seller sends a defective or damaged item the customer changes their mind or the seller delivers a product that is not what he or she expected then the customer can return the item.

Wrong Product Information: Another common reason is wrong product information. If the received product doesn’t match the description that you provide on the listing, the customer may return it so it’s really important to provide an accurate product description.

Late Product Delivery:  The next is if your product is delivered late based on the given time frame in that case, the customer can return the product so if you don’t want to lose money or maintain the expected profit margin you should be very careful before shipping the item. 

Some Extra Tips:

We often face a question if a customer doesn’t return the product and asks for a  

Refund then what steps should be taken?

Indeed, some sellers often see that customers don’t return the product within the specific return window and ask for a refund even customer didn’t return the product  

and Amazon gives them a refund especially.  

If you use Amazon FBA  and if the customer doesn’t return the product as per Amazon’s return policy you are not obligated to provide the return. But if the customer makes an A-Z guarantee claim you can appeal against the claim along with valid documents and Amazon will remove the claim if they are convinced.

But in most cases, Amazon favored customers. If you want to know more about the A-Z guarantee claim please check this video, hope you will find the video very helpful. 

Amazon A to Z Guarantee Claims – Strategies for Winning A-Z Claims on Amazon

In some cases, Amazon May automatically issue a refund to the buyer even if the item is not returned within the designated period this is typically done for certain situations such as items with low value or when return shipping costs might be excessive. 

In that case, you also appeal to Seller Central. Before submitting an appeal please be aware of this also you should keep detailed records of all communications and transactions related to the return.

If a customer requests a return outside of the return policy or the product is the return damaged for this items returned you may charge the customer for restocking fee.

What should you do with the return products?

It’s the most important part of this blog because if you don’t know what should you do with the return products. If you don’t take any steps yet you will lose money or your profit margin or even more

If you use FBA and you don’t bring them back Amazon will dispose of your products which means total money will be gone even Amazon will charge you the disposal fees which means “to pour water on a drone mouse.”

With these following tips, you can at least make some money for returnable products. 

  1. If the returned product is in a new condition you can list it as a new item and sell it again, this means, you are not losing much.
  1. If the returned item is not in a new condition, you can sell it to the FBA Grade and Resell program. The main benefit here is that you don’t need to pay for the removal order to bring back the item or you don’t need to pay the disposal fee if Amazon disposes of your item. Also, by selling through this FBA Grade and Resell program, at least you are earning 50% of the product price.

If you list the item as used like in new condition you may need to set the price percentage of 15% off means for a $100 item you are making $85 if you list. 

The item is used in very good condition you will  need to set the price percentage of 20% off  

This way you can at least get the product cost. NO WIN OR LOSE!

  1. If you are facing challenges in returning the inventory, you can consider the Amazon FBA Liquidation program.

On the FBA Liquidation program, Amazon usually pays you around 5-10% of the average sale price of your products minus liquidation fees. 

This means, still you are getting some money for the returned products. Also, again you don’t need to pay removal order processing fees or disposal fees to damage your item.

  1. This one would be another good option that is — CLEARANCE SALE.

Like – you can establish a clearance section on your Amazon Store and sell those returned items at discounted prices. Like if you give a 60-70% discount, still you are managing at least 30%.

If you have a personal website – you can bring them back from the Amazon warehouse and sell them on your website at a discounted price like 50-60% off, For this, you need to pay the removal order fees, if you use Amazon FBA.

  1. It’s beneficial but you can’t make any money from here it is something  

ethical or social responsibility – the Amazon FBA Donation program. With this  

Amazon FBA Donation program, you can donate those returned products to charity organizations. This means you are donating them to a charity and at the same time saving money on removal orders fees or disposal fees. 

Protect yourself from Amazon return scammers: 

Scammers are everywhere. Actually on Amazon –  Sometimes buyers send an empty box as a return or they do not return the same item they purchased from you. — this means a total scam.

Not only that – they could file a claim on Amazon against you to get the product as FREE. 

Actually, this type of FRAUDENTIAL activity may happen with FBM sellers and they may need to refund. Because on FBA, Amazon takes the shipping responsibilities. So they will handle it from their end.

To avoid this – we would suggest using Amazon FBA.

So, if you face anything like this – give the reference to Amazon’s return policy and remember them if they violate any rules you can take an attempt against it.

Also, be sure to report this issue to Amazon.

If scammers file a claim for a refund, respond promptly, and provide the details of the purchase and evidence within the 7-day window.

Final Thoughts

Nobody wants to lose the money they already made on a sale, but returns and refunds will happen even if you did nothing wrong, Return is one of the parts of the business, but if you handle this issue with the customer in a proper way, you can build trust with the customer and grow your brand. The seller should be aware of why customers return the product because it affects business directly also sellers should know the whole return and refund policies to grow business seamlessly. 

Please remember that Amazon’s mission is to help customers, the sellers are not Amazon customers, and our mission is to help sellers which is why we are giving all our content for free we are an e-commerce agency with more than 10 years of experience.

We have been managing more than a thousand Amazon choices and best-seller rank products and guiding Amazon sellers to utilize the platform properly to get the most out of it. We would love to help and work for you as well 

If you have any queries regarding OnBuy, feel free to let us know in the comment box or email us at the following email address: 

To know more about e-commerce, please check out our other blog. Also, you can check our YouTube videos as well related to other marketplaces.

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