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Thread: Buyer opened an item and now wants to return it for no fault of the seller!
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Permlink Replies: 37 - Pages: 3 [ 1 2 3 | Next ] - Last Post: 07 Dec, 2015 11:33 AM by: Amazon Defense ...
full_satisfacti...

Posts: 5
Registered: 27 Aug, 13 4:43 PM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 8:11 PM  
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Hello,

I am a seller. I sold a brand cellphone (in factory sealed box) on Amazon, last week (shipped expedited). Buyer received the item, tore open the factory packed phone box and tried to activate the phone. Then she was told that the phone doesn't work in the service that she wants to activate it on even though the website page clearly mentioned that this phone works on Virgin Mobile service. now she wants to return it back to me. Firstly, I am at no fault for this situation. Second, the phone has been opened so if she returns it back, I can't sell it back as brand new (sealed) and its price drops from $99 for which it was sold to around $47 for which used (like new) such phone is currently selling on Amazon (by other sellers). Should I reject the authorization to return, siting that this was at no fault of the seller also that the buyer should have asked a question if this phone will work on her service plan, prior to making the purchase. Any suggestions to what my options are (as a seller), will be much appreciated. Thanks.

John

Here is the correspondence as it occurred with this seller & me:

Begin message

Dear John Smith and Andrea,

This email is being sent to you by Amazon to notify and confirm that a return authorization has been requested for the item(s) listed below.

John Smith, please review this request in the Manage Returns tool in your seller account. Using the Manage Returns tool, please take one of the following actions within the next business day:

1. Authorize the customer's request to return the item.
2. Close the request.
3. Contact the customer for additional information (through Manage Returns or the Buyer-Seller Communications tool).

Andrea, the information below is confirmation of the items that you have requested to return to John Smith. No additional action is required from you at this time.

Order ID: 111-1111111-1111111
Item: Samsung Galaxy Ring (Virgin Mobile)
Qty: 1
Return reason: No longer needed/wanted

Request received: December 04, 2015

Sincerely,

Amazon Services


End message
------------- Begin message

Hi Andrea,

I am sorry to hear that you want to return this item back. Have you opened the box in which it was shipped? If so, have you also opened the sealed box and took out the phone to check it? Please let me know. Thanks.

John


End message -------------

Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 22:27:41 +0000
From: rx6sqcyd09d96nr@marketplace.amazon.com
To: <e-mail address removed>
Subject: Re: Return information from Amazon seller John Smith (Order: 111-1111111-1111111)

I bought the cellphone because I wanted to activate the phone with Assurance wireless (the government free phone company) which works through Virgin Mobile. I had called Virgin before I bought the cellphone and they said It could be bought and activated without problems with them; I opened the box and broke the seal because I needed to activate it, but when I called to do it, assurance wireless said it is not possible they said it is not compatible and I got mad with them because they said before that I could buy this kind of cellphone if it is from Virgin Mobile.

Now I can't use the phone I want, and have to return it. Yes, box and seal are broken.

Andrea

Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 5, 2015, at 6:54 AM, "John Smith - Amazon Marketplace" <e-mail address removed> wrote:

Order ID 111-1111111-1111111:
1 of Samsung Galaxy Ring (Virgin Mobile)

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Beff Jezos

Posts: 7,366
Registered: 26 Mar, 12 5:11 AM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 8:16 PM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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Remove the buyer name NOW.

And -- she can return it for any reason she wants.
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Woods Freedom

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Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 8:23 PM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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This buyer is VERY Honest and you have to take it back even if it was opened, etc,

While as per your statement it will drop value more than 50%, you can not charge more than 20% restocking in this case because it seems customer didn't even had the chance to use it,

Such things happen and I am sure you returned something in your life time under similar circumstances. Be nice to this buyer and appreciate the fact that customer didn't claim defective or something else more special than this,
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full_satisfacti...

Posts: 5
Registered: 27 Aug, 13 4:43 PM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 8:25 PM   in response to: Beff Jezos in response to: Beff Jezos  
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Thanks for your quick reply but if I refund her full price, I am at loss of half price of this phone! What about that? Its of no fault of mine that she made a mistake while purchasing. What are my options to minimize my losses? Thanks. If I put myself to the buyer's shoes and do the same thing, I will expect that the seller will deduct the cost of losses they will incur if I have to return it back, else it is unfair to the seller. Thanks.

Also, if I accept the phone back, I have no way to tell that she is returning the phone that I sent to her or if she is returning back another phone (same model) that she may have with her which may not be functioning properly or something like that? I am a casual seller (not a business and can't take this loss). Please advise. Thanks.

John
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Gumby

Posts: 2,185
Registered: 22 Oct, 13 8:16 PM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 8:32 PM   in response to: Woods Freedom in response to: Woods Freedom  
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Woods Freedom wrote:
This buyer is VERY Honest and you have to take it back even if it was opened, etc,

While as per your statement it will drop value more than 50%, you can not charge more than 20% restocking in this case because it seems customer didn't even had the chance to use it,


Wouldn't this be similar to the media return policy?
The buyer returns a CD, DVD, VHS tape, software, video games, cassette tape, or vinyl record within the return window that has been opened (taken out of the plastic wrap).
Restocking fee: Up to 50% of item's price

Yeah kudos to this customer for their honesty but......
Just throwing it out there :|

OP keep in mind though when not issuing a full refund you are open to a to z claim. Always open to negative feedback as well. Unfortunately decisions like this often come down to your accounts ability to handle such things.

Edited by: Gumby on Dec 5, 2015 8:32 PM
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full_satisfacti...

Posts: 5
Registered: 27 Aug, 13 4:43 PM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 8:38 PM   in response to: Gumby in response to: Gumby  
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Thanks Gumby for your comments. Does Amazon Seller Support provide any protection to Sellers in such a situation?
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Hamster Roll

Posts: 1,578
Registered: 28 Sep, 13 2:56 AM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 8:42 PM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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as stated 20% restocking fee is the only option you have here.

if the buyer opens an az claim, you might lose the $99 plus the phone.
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Gumby

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Registered: 22 Oct, 13 8:16 PM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 8:52 PM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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Does Amazon Seller Support provide any protection to Sellers in such a situation?
Little to none unfortunately.

Personally I would interpret the return policy as receiving this item "materially different than how it was originally shipped to the buyer" which allows a 50% restock fee for non-media items. I don't sell cell phones though so not my department. The majority here will likely tell you to issue a full refund. It's really your call and a roll of the dice.

Another debate that often comes up on the forums is your return authorization and how to present it to the buyer. Myself I always let the buyer know exactly what to expect up front in the return instructions.
Dear Buyer,
Please be sure to pack item......
Please be sure to return within......
Items not returned in resalable as new condition are subject to a restock fee of....

One thing you really need to keep in mind is an a to z claim will count against you win lose or draw.

Restocking Fees

Edited by: Gumby on Dec 5, 2015 8:55 PM
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J and R Enterpr...

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Registered: 14 Apr, 12 4:02 AM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 9:04 PM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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You do have a way to verify if it is the same phone, serial number on box and phone should match up, if not she pulled a switch.

Business works both ways, you can make money and at times you might have a loss, this is one of those cases you will have to eat the loss, relist as very good, unused, sell it and move on.

Before issuing refund have her send back and explain you will inspect it to be sure all is ok with it and at that time issue her a refund, if not the same phone explain serial numbers are not the same and she sent back another phone.

Do it all through Amazon so there is a record of it.

It sounds a bit strange she contacted them first and they said it would work, that is Virgin but she wants to use it on some government system and it might not work that way, no clue about such free government cell phone programs.

Sure would love to have our phones free and save a couple hundred plus a month!
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Gumby

Posts: 2,185
Registered: 22 Oct, 13 8:16 PM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 9:14 PM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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Another thing to consider
If you are not an authorized dealer for this item (ie you received as a gift, bought for yourself but never used it, etc..) and the warranty is not transferable, you should not have listed it as new. Again, cell phones are not my department but this applies to many other products.
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Beff Jezos

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Registered: 26 Mar, 12 5:11 AM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 9:14 PM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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Casual sellers have to know and follow the same rules as the rest of us. That might sound harsh, but it's just the reality of life on Amazon. We all have to give refunds or risk losing our accounts.

I would encourage you to step back and do a lot of reading before trying to sell anything else here.
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Something New E...

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Registered: 05 Mar, 12 10:30 PM
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2015 10:28 PM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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full_satisfaction_guaranteed (ironic seller name, eh?) wrote:
"the website page clearly mentioned that this phone works on Virgin Mobile service"

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong here, but don't you have to apply to sell locked cell phones? I'm wondering if the OP sold this phone in the unlocked category to get around the listing restrictions on selling locked phones.

David
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Debranator

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Posted on: 06 Dec, 2015 4:47 AM   in response to: Something New E... in response to: Something New E...  
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BINGO!
I was wondering why this was not mentioned.
First of all....
Amazon has a 30 day...longer during season. .
No holds barred return policy.
All long time pro sellers know this.
If there is an item that loses value after opening...and this applies to vintage collectibles also....
If you sell it on here...they have the right to return.
But you are NOT allowed to sell carrier locked phones here.
Only the carrier and certain carrier approved sellers can.
For the rest of us...it is a violation.
If she opens an a to z...you will lose it...and possibly get suspended and or a metrics ding.
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SELLC

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Registered: 20 Jun, 13 4:41 PM
Posted on: 06 Dec, 2015 5:11 AM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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full_satisfaction_guaranteed wrote:
Thanks for your quick reply but if I refund her full price, I am at loss of half price of this phone! What about that? Its of no fault of mine that she made a mistake while purchasing. What are my options to minimize my losses? Thanks. If I put myself to the buyer's shoes and do the same thing, I will expect that the seller will deduct the cost of losses they will incur if I have to return it back, else it is unfair to the seller. Thanks.

Also, if I accept the phone back, I have no way to tell that she is returning the phone that I sent to her or if she is returning back another phone (same model) that she may have with her which may not be functioning properly or something like that? I am a casual seller (not a business and can't take this loss). Please advise. Thanks.

Than is what selling on Amazon is all about.
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Amazon Defense ...

Posts: 1,847
Registered: 28 Aug, 12 5:02 PM
Posted on: 06 Dec, 2015 5:35 AM   in response to: full_satisfacti... in response to: full_satisfacti...  
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full_satisfaction_guaranteed wrote:
Also, if I accept the phone back, I have no way to tell that she is returning the phone that I sent to her or if she is returning back another phone (same model) that she may have with her which may not be functioning properly or something like that? I am a casual seller (not a business and can't take this loss). Please advise. Thanks.
No way to tell? If the phone was sold as new and was sealed when you sold it then you could and should have made note of the serial number that's usually on a sticker on the packaging somewhere. That way when she returns it you can double check it to be sure it is the same one.

Although I'll admit that I myself made this mistake before when selling electronics on here with a serial #, where I didn't make note of it before shipping it out.

In the future you ALWAYS should make note of it. Some sellers on these forums have suggested snapping a picture of the serial number and placing that on the packing slip when shipping the item to the buyer, so they know that you're paying attention to such things. Of course if it came down to an A-Z, Amazon would throw any proof like that out the window, so a fat lot of good even doing that does.

Just keep an eye on serial numbers for your own records and to spot people trying to pull the ol' switcheroo on you.
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