How to Minimize Your Fulfilled by Amazon Returns


Fulfilled by Amazon offers too many attractive benefits to list, but one big drawback is their return policy. If a customer buys your item and decides to return it, there’s nothing you can do. However, you can take proactive steps to decrease the number of Fulfilled by Amazon returns you’re seeing.

Get Clear on Why These Fulfilled by Amazon Returns Are Happening

This may seem obvious, but it’s important that you don’t simply take returns for granted. While it’s true that more sales will lead to more returns, that doesn’t necessarily mean the two metrics have to grow in tandem. Even with huge sales volumes, you can work to limit returns if you understand why they’re happening.

Amazon describes the state of your product in terms of “dispositions” when they’re returned. There are five:

  • Sellable – The condition of your item is fine, so it can go right back into your inventory and be resold.
  • Damaged – Either you or Amazon damaged the item before it arrived with the customer. You’ll have to speak with Amazon to get to the bottom of this.
  • Customer Damaged – This doesn’t mean the buyer damaged your item. All it means is that the item was opened by the customer and it is no longer in new condition. When this happens, open up a removal order so you can inspect the item’s condition for yourself.
  • Carried Damaged – If the carrier (e.g. FedEx, UPS, etc.) damaged your product in transit, you should be reimbursed by that company.
  • Defective – You’ll want to create a removal order for this disposition, too, so you can inspect it. A lot of customers claim a product is defective to get free return shipping.

Obviously, if carriers are damaging your products, there’s not a whole lot you can do, but these should also be rare instances. Let’s look at two common reasons for an increase in Fulfilled by Amazon returns.

Don’t Let Defective Products Become a Problem

Depending on the nature of your business, you could be receiving Fulfilled by Amazon returns because your products really are defective. If you’re buying items to resell them, you may need to spend a bit more time inspecting them before putting them up for sale.

On the other hand, if you’re making your own products, it could be that the manufacturer you’re using is dropping the ball. Again, carry out your own inspections and then speak with the manufacturer.

In case you need one more reason to jump on this issue, too many “defective” returns will put your account in danger of being suspended.

Consider Your Product Descriptions

If you’re selling your own items and creating product descriptions for them, your Fulfilled by Amazon returns could be because customers don’t think your copy is accurate. The images you use could be misleading, too.

Although you’re not trying to deceive anyone, poor product descriptions are something you must address immediately. Even if people don’t return your items, they will leave you negative reviews, which will also hurt your account.

Again, Fulfilled by Amazon returns are part of using this platform. As sales increase, you’ll see more of them. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about them. Instead of continuing to give refunds without thinking about it, use the above information to look for ways to limit returns to a minimum going forward.