A to Z for switcheroo by scammer


OK so scammer returned her broken electronic item for our new $200 unit. She removed the serial number label ostensibly so we could not trace the registration back to her. I messaged her to return our item if she wants a refund. She opens A to Z claiming we sent her the damaged item (ie Item not as described).

I reported her to Amazon. Seller support said don’t refund since I have proof it is not my item (ie photo of the missing serial number).

What strategy is best for the A to Z? My metrics are 0% across the board - so taking the hit is of no concern.

Should I refund and withhold 50% restocking or follow advice of Seller Support and do not refund. If I do not refund, will A to Z team keep the case open until buyer returns my item? The problem is it is Russian Roullette cause it is impossible to know what the A to Z people will do. 50% restock seems the conservative choice.


Do not refund if it is not the item you sold her. Take pictures of the item and the missing serial number and submit them when you reply to the claim. Explain that you sold her a new item (and if you wrote down the serial number, give them the number), item returned is used with the serial number no longer in tact (keep from saying that she removed it). Tell them that it is not the item you sent them (if there are differences like color, shape, etc… make sure you point that out too). Tell them you will refund when the item you sent the buyer is returned and to please close the case pending return of correct item.

No guarantees, but that’s the best defense I can think of.


If she opens an A-Z…defend it by stating you will be happy to refund the order once the item is returned. Without accusing the buyer of wrong doing…say that the buyer has mistakenly sent back the wrong unit (serial number doez not match). Give your return address and say you are awaiting the return of the correct unit.


I would not refund as this person is clearly trying to run a scam and it seems amazon knows they are a scammer. Most people who scam that openly have done so in the past and gotten away with it. Fortunately, amazon keeps record of these scammers. I think you can win an A-Z claim.
No guarantees with amazon as claims very customer oriented. If you can take the metrics hit go for it!


Problem is I already messaged the buyer to return the correct item if they want their refund. That is what lead to her next step of immediately opening A to Z claiming that she received the damaged item like that. So I can defend asking them to hold the case open pending return of the undamaged new item. What AZ will do then is anyone’s guess. They could:

A) Hold the case open pending return (she probably wont return so claim would be denied)
B) They could deny the claim outright (if they perhaps see a history of fraud with this buyer)
C) They could grant the claim and fund it themselves (unlikely cause it’s a large amount)
D) They could grant the claim and grab the refund from my account.

The ding is no concern to me. The money is not going to break me. My issue here is that she is just a boldfaced scammer that I would love to see taken down a peg. I would hate to see AZ reward her efforts by giving her a full refund whether they fund or take from me.

What to do, what to do…


> I reported her to Amazon. Seller support said don’t refund since I have proof it is not my item (ie photo of the missing serial number).

What else did they say? Did they say how to respond to the A-Z claim. Make sure you do respond to the claim because if you don’t respond, they’ll decide against you and the next person at Seller support will say “oops, here’s a tutorial.”


Defend the claim. Tell them you sent a new item and she returned a used one with the serial number no longer in tact. Tell them any differences in the item you sent and the one sent back to you. Take pictures. Tell them you will refund when the new item you sent to them is returned. Ask them to please close the case pending return of CORRECT item sent. Many have been through this and have had the case closed.


+My issue here is that she is just a boldfaced scammer that I would love to see taken down a peg.+

If Amazon requires the buyer to return the item, they can take a hammer to it and return it damaged. You would then be expected to issue a refund. I don’t see where they are going to be taken down a peg. At most you are going to inconvenienced.
The buyer is Amazon’s customer and if Amazon want to allow scammers on their site, there is little we can do about it. We follow it, crunch the number and adjust our business accordingly.

You are in business to make money, not to knock people down a peg or administer justice. Do what is best for your business, your family and your employees.


The initial reason for the return was “Product Damaged but Shipping box OK” The LCD is cracked on the monitor. She obviously cracked her old one and then swapped it for the new monitor. The one she returned is not only cracked but it is well worn and as I said the serial number is gone.


What was the initial reason for the return? That will go a long way, IMO, of telling whether or not the buyer “received the bad item” that was returned to you…I would stick to my guns, if I was in your shoes…



Here is your defense:


About Items That Can’t Be Returned
Some items cannot be returned to Amazon.com or can only be returned to a third-party seller.

Amazon.com doesn’t accept returns of the following items:

Items classified as hazardous materials or use flammable liquids or gases (contact the manufacturer directly for service, warranty, return, and refund information)
Computer laptops, desktops, and Kindles more than 30 days after delivery
Any product missing the serial number or UPC
Downloadable software products
Online subscriptions after they have been accessed
Gift cards (except as required by law)
Pay As You Go (or prepaid) phone cards (contact a local authorized dealer or the carrier directly)
Prepaid game cards (World of Warcraft, Xbox 360 Live, Wii Points, etc.)
Mattresses fulfilled by Amazon (for orders fulfilled by sellers you may contact the seller directly)
Some jewelry orders
Some health and personal care items
Grocery products
Prime Pantry products
Fresh flowers and live indoor plants
Open software
Items with special shipping restrictions imposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (as indicated on the product detail page)
Live insects


Very interesting. The problem is it says “Some items cannot be returned to Amazon.com or can only be returned to a third-party seller.” So if I defend on that they might say I have to take it since I’m a TPS? It might be worth a shot though. The photo definitely shows the serial number is gone.


Good luck. Please let us know what happens.


OK, I’ll run with it. I am curious to see if Amazon will follow their policy and if not what lame excuse they come up with. Should be fun…


By default Amazon’s return policy is yours…so the missing serial number is a valid reason for you to deny …just as Amazon could deny the return.

The can only be returned to a third-party seller is because if it is merchant filled…then the customer can not return the item directly to Amazon…meaning the item can only be returned to a third-party seller …that’s assuming the item is returnable…the missing serial number makes the item not returnable


Amazon states you must have a return policy at least as generous as theirs. 3p sellers can go above and beyond. So if you are willing to go above and beyond you can ignore this list. If not then this policy is your policy per Amazon policy.



Well the verdict is in…

Once again, Amazon does not follow their own policy. People, you might as well be reading the funny pages instead of Amazon’s so-called Policies. They have requested that I refund the buyer as the status on the A to Z. ie “Waiting for seller to refund.”

Not that I really expected them to behave otherwise. I do appreciate everyone’s input especially Lunatik Fire… it was worth a shot.

I guess it’s open season for all you scammers out there. Scam away with impunity as scAmazon is on your side.


I would not refund.

Hold out. Fire off an e-mail to jeff@amazon.com explaining the situation.

I have had two ludicrous A-Z claims overturned and funded by Amazon this way.

As always, keep the message short and to the point.

“Customer returned an item that is materially different than the product they were sent, and which was missing the serial number. Please deny this claim”.

Or something to that affect.


Poor guy. I feel for you. We have been getting hit with A-Z’s where Reps don’t follow policy either. I’m glad your metrics can handle the hit though.


Don’t give up, I had a very similar A-Z claim for expensive item last week. The claim status was also “Waiting for seller to refund the buyer”, and it was closed as “Amazon Funded” after I refused to refund and e-mailed Jeff.
I would suggest you to write an e-mail and explain what happened.