Understanding the Amazon FBA Return Policy as a Seller
Part of selling with Amazon FBA is putting up with returns. They’re going to happen, so you’d be wise to learn about the Amazon FBA return policy early on. Otherwise, you might be in for a rude surprise or two when your first one occurs. Fortunately, the most important aspects are easy enough for us to cover here.
You Can’t Do Much to Contest the Return
You can read the actual Amazon FBA return policy for yourself, but know that there’s very little you can do when a buyer sends your item back.
In fact, the minute a buyer informs Amazon that they want a refund, the company will return their funds. This is before the item is even back in their possession (more on that in a minute).
Now, if the customer says your product was defective, you’ll want to request that Amazon return it to you. This way, you can inspect it and contest the customer’s claim with Amazon if you want. If you receive complaints about items being defective too many times, your account may end up suspended, so it’s definitely worth the extra time to respond if you think the customer was lying (which sometimes happens as that gets them free shipping on the return).
The Customer Has 30 Days to Request a Refund
The Amazon FBA return policy gives customers a full 30 days to decide if they want to return your item or not.
Once they do, the customer has another 45 days before they actually need to send the product back to Amazon’s fulfillment center.
There are exceptions to this rule, too. For example, baby items come with a 90-day window. Amazon also judges return requests on a case-by-case basis.
Holiday items purchased during November or December don’t have to be returned until the end of January.
Amazon Might Not Make Sure Your Item Is Returned
Here’s where the Amazon FBA return policy can be a real challenge for sellers. While the company is supposed to make sure that your inventory is returned, it turns out that this doesn’t always happen.
Therefore, you could be told about a return and lose your money on the sale, but never get the item back so you can sell it again.
When you get an email from Amazon about a return, make sure you set yourself a reminder for 45 days out to check your inventory to confirm the item was sent back. As we touched on above, this is also when you should look at any feedback the buyer provided about their purchase.
If you find out that the product hasn’t been returned, simply report the matter to Amazon ASAP. The Amazon FBA return policy guarantees you’ll be reimbursed if a customer requests a refund but never returns the item.
Again, feel free to go through the Amazon FBA return policy for yourself, but the above article covers the important parts you absolutely must know about as a seller. By all means, do everything you can to keep returns to a minimum. At the same time, don’t begin selling until you understand what happens when those inevitable returns occur.