Amazon FBA Returns:  Everything You Need to Know in 2021

Amazon sells more than 12 million products. That’s an astounding statistic and helps form a big picture of consumer activity. 

Shoppers benefit from ultra-fast and convenient shipping and a customer care strategy that helps them more often than not. You don’t become the world’s favorite online marketplace for no reason, and easy access to products and excellent customer care have certainly helped propel Amazon to the top of consumers’ shopping lists.

But what happens after a customer receives their purchase and decides for no reason that they no longer want the product? Well, it’s pretty simple, Amazon accepts returns on most items and has made their return policy almost as easy and convenient as their shipping policy; some may argue too easy.

This article will outline Amazon’s return policy, how it benefits consumers, and what sellers can do to navigate returns and refunds better to align with a profitable business.

Amazon FBA Refunds

What is the Amazon FBA Return Policy?

Amazon Return Policy

Most items purchased on Amazon can be returned within 30 days of shipment for a full refund if the product is incorrect, damaged, or defective. 

This policy applies to all items sold under the Fulfillment by Amazon option. So long as products were sold via FBA, a customer is not responsible for return shipping fees, yet international shipping is not covered. Amazon extends its return policy to 60 days during Q4, otherwise known as the holiday season.  

The process of initiating a return is pretty straightforward and can be accessed on the orders page of an Amazon account. The customer simply selects the return or replace option and chooses the return method, following the instructions and selections such as:

  • Printing the Label
  • Label-Free Shipping
  • Box-Free Shipping 
  • Drop-Off Location

The simple and easy process of initiating a return has made Amazon a favorite amongst consumers. Ultimately customers know that within the 30-day window (or at times surpassed that window), they can safely assume a return will be approved.

 

Amazon Return Policy Explained

Is there a Limit to Returns on Amazon?

Yes and no. While as a consumer, there may be no limits on returns, accounts are monitored for abuse in policies, and action can be taken against a buying account if abuse is found.

Can Anything be Returned from Amazon?

There are a few categories in where returns are not permitted and for obvious reasons. Health and safety are always a top priority for Amazon, and for this reason, not every product will be allowed for return. *However, Amazon is known to make exceptions as they see fit.

  • Jewelry
  • Grocery Items
  • Pet Supplies
  • Hazadous Materials
  • Products that have been tampered with
  • Live Flowers & Plants
  • Gift Cards & Downloaded Software

What is an Amazon Returnless Refund?

Returnless refunds are typically not applied to Amazon FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) orders and usually only apply to FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) charges. A merchant seller has two days to respond to a customer; failure to do so can mean a returnless refund is granted.  

While typically not processed for Amazon FBA orders, it’s common knowledge that Amazon makes exceptions. These exceptions, if not properly managed, can harm a seller’s business.

Frankly, a returnless refund on both FBM or FBA orders can cause Amazon sellers to lose sleep. Imagine issuing a customer a refund but also being out the physical product? These instances can hurt a seller’s bottom line and have massive impacts on maintaining quality control.

Without a physical product, sellers cannot inspect for defects, get coverage from their manufacturer for the cost of goods, and understand where product or packaging improvements need to be made. 

It’s an entirely frustrating scenario for many reasons, but most importantly can negatively impact the seller’s bottom line.

How To Mitigate Amazon Returns

In 2020, Amazon generated 80.46 billion U.S. dollars in third-party seller service revenues. If you think about the sheer volume of orders and returns being processed on Amazon every day, it’s easy to see that improper return management or follow-up can see an Amazon business losing out on profits.

If a customer returns a product and is refunded, but any of the following scenarios arise, a seller is owed a reimbursement by Amazon.

  1. The product is not returned after the refund is processed.
  2. The returned item is not added back into the seller’s inventory.
  3. A replacement product is issued, but the original product is not returned.

Reimbursements are a benefit that helps protect Amazon FBA sellers from total loss. Reimbursements must be submitted in a formal claims process, and if not familiar with how to create a proper claim, mistakes can be made, and money can be lost.

Unfortunately, many sellers have no idea they are owed reimbursements for returns, and without filing a claim, these reimbursements add up and go unnoticed.

 

Filing for return reimbursements on your own can be challenging. That’s why GETIDA is here to help.

Amazon FBA Reimbursement Claims

There are a few ways to navigate reimbursements in your Amazon business, but we always suggest using our services to help you achieve the maximum refund owed to you. 

Here are the general ways a seller can file a claim:

  1. Using GETIDA’s Amazon reimbursement software
  2. Filing claims manually
  3. Hiring a Virtual Assistant or Reimbursement Expert

Now, just how tricky is it to file a reimbursement claim on your own? 

It depends on a few factors, but the time frame in which you have inventory and the number of products you sell can impact how complicated it is to create a reimbursement claim.

The other problem with attempting claims on your own is the lack of seller support that is an ongoing issue within Amazon. Even if you file a claim and you think you’ve covered all the critical areas within the claim, your claim can be denied for any number of reasons.

If you decide you aren’t ready to attempt claims on your own but are not yet convinced that GETIDA can help you, you can also hire a Virtual Assistant to create reimbursement claims.

Every VA will have varying levels of experience and expertise. You will have to grant them specific account permissions and or access to submit the claims on your behalf. Allowing access to a VA is undoubtedly a risk as you may not know their relative level of experience. If hiring off of Upwork or Fiverr, be sure to read the listings in total, and of course, read the reviews thoroughly. Your account is everything to your Amazon business, so doing due diligence in hiring a VA can protect you from account suspension in the long run.

Final Takeaway

It’s much easier, safer, and almost fool-proof for GETIDA to file your reimbursement claims on your behalf. This is our area of expertise and how we help sellers maintain a profitable business and an account in good standing with Amazon.

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