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Knowing how to deal with Amazon returns after a long holiday shopping season can help you save time, effort, & money while improving customer service.

Important Things to Remember When Dealing With Amazon Returns

Over the past few weeks, Amazon received a considerable number of visitors along with tons of online purchases. Both Amazon FBA and FBM sellers enjoyed increased store engagement and sales over the 2021 holiday shopping season. 

Now that the holiday season is over, Amazon sellers are faced with Amazon returns. This is a typical scenario in the eCommerce landscape following an extended holiday period. So, learning the best amazon fba tools is definitely a great help to get through this.

According to CBS News, it is estimated that the eCommerce return rate is around 25%, which is three times higher than that of the return rate of physical stores. In fact, UPS estimated that they would be handling more than 60 million return packages during the month of January 2022.

How to Prepare for Amazon Returns 

  • Match or Exceed Amazon’s Return Policy

Amazon has its own returns policy setup intended to assist Amazon FBA sellers. It can be deduced from the returns policy that Amazon enforces a customer-first approach when it comes to product returns. Therefore, be sure to  align your specific returns policies with Amazon’s returns policy. 

This means that you should provide and enforce a fair returns policy for your shoppers if you are enrolled in Amazon FBM. By doing so, you are not simply complying with Amazon guidelines, but you are also establishing a positive brand for your business. 

Having a defined returns policy will simplify the process of Amazon returns, which in turn will encourage customers to continue supporting your Amazon store and products.  

  • Implement a Proactive Approach

Apart from processing Amazon returns, sellers should likewise identify and take note of the cause for the returned items. Identifying these causes will prevent more Amazon returns in the future. 

To identify the common causes of Amazon returns, you can check feedback left by your customers. Try to examine the contributory factors leading to the return of the items, which may include:

  • Item Quality or Defect
  • Mismatched Item and Item Description 
  • Wrong Item Size or Wrong Product Shipped
  • Item Ordered Did Not Meet Customer’s Expectations

Identifying these issues can help you make proper adjustments to your operation to decrease or avoid product returns the next holiday season. 

  • Determine Fulfillment for Amazon Returns

By now, you should have determined the ideal fulfillment method for Amazon returns. You have 

Amazon FBA where Amazon entirely controls the returns process, and the Amazon FBM option that allows Amazon shoppers to ship returns directly to you. 

Knowing the trade-offs for both fulfillment options for Amazon returns can give you an idea of which option is  more beneficial for your business. While Amazon handles product returns for their FBA sellers, the process is extensive and relatively costly. 

On the other hand, Amazon FBM  allows shoppers to return items directly to you, minimizing shipping costs. However, you will have to deal with disposing of products once returned. 

  • Plan Ahead

As mentioned above, you will be disposing of returned items, so it is recommended  that you plan how to dispose of these items. Items sitting in Amazon fulfillment warehouses will incur storage expenses. You can create a removal order for the said items to mitigate the costs.

Once the removal order has been processed, the stale or returned inventory products will be delivered to you. And if you wish to take no part in the disposal of Amazon returns, you can utilize the following Amazon services as an alternative:

Amazon FBA Liquidations

To avoid paying additional storage fees, you can use FBA liquidations to deal with excess inventory or Amazon returns. You simply submit a liquidation request from your Seller Central dashboard. 

Amazon will evaluate the selling price of the items for liquidators to purchase. You can expect that the average product selling price is around 5% to 10%, which you will pay within 60 days. 

Amazon FBA Grade and Resell

Instead of paying Amazon to destroy the items or return them to your warehouse, you can make use of the FBA Grade and Resell program. This program allows you to relist your unfulfillable returned inventory and sell this inventory  as used items.

You will need to select items from the inventory you want to submit to the program, whereby Amazon will check the condition of the items and grade them accordingly as:

  • Used – Like New
  • Used – Very Good
  • Used – Good
  • Used – Acceptable

Amazon FBA Donations

If you wish to be more charitable, you can also convert Amazon returns into donations. The Amazon FBA Donations program will donate excess inventory or returned items to charities instead of destroying them. This move will also help decrease excess inventory from reaching landfill sites.                                                                                                                                                                                      

  • Familiarize Amazon Refunds

When dealing with Amazon returns, you should also take the time to learn about Amazon refunds. Some of the factors for refunds likely depend on the following:

  • Item’s condition upon return
  • Duration the customer possessed the product
  • How the item was purchased

If the buyer chooses to receive a refund after the item has been shipped to the seller, it might take an extra 3-5 business days to process the return, followed by the issuance of the refund. 

You should also familiarize yourself with the refund timeframe if customers  follow up. Depending on the refund method, it will require additional time before funds will be available on your customer’s account. For guidance, you may refer to the subsequent table created by Amazon

Amazon Returns – Part of the Process

You should be aware that eCommerce is a highly competitive industry. There will be instances when sales will be low or even shipped items are returned. However, you need to understand that Amazon returns are part of the business. Any retail store, physical or online, experiences product returns. 

Although returns on Amazon are unavoidable, they can be limited. Try to focus on offering value to customers by selling high-quality products and optimizing them properly with as much helpful information as possible. 

In terms of listing and pricing, make sure that you offer a competitive price so that online shoppers are not tempted to look for a competitively priced item while waiting for the package. To have a competitive advantage in the Amazon marketplace, you can use an Amazon repricer, like Seller Snap to improve your pricing strategy. 

By doing so, you are not only limiting Amazon returns, but you are also providing customers with a satisfactory shopping experience. 

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