Bogus "Damaged or Defective Item" Returns


#1

So I’ve now had three of these. The first two were “the items looked better in the (Amazon stock) pictures”. I guess these people have never ordered at McDonalds. The third was a book inscribed by the author to a previous owner, described “inscribed by the author to previous owner” returned for - see if you can guess - being inscribed by the author to previous owner. The last one was the first auto-return so I only found out about it after the fact. At no point did I authorize the activation of auto-returns so I’m not even sure how this happened.

So I am now showing three “damaged or defective” orders in my stats and Amazon stubbornly refuses to change the status. In each case I have asked them to explain how my items were either “damaged or defective” and they refused to respond - simply stating that my appeal was denied. Or acknowledging that this was not accurate but claiming that their system won’t let them change it.

I have looked at “return settings” and there is no way of NOT opting into some form of automatic approval as far as I can tell. I sell a lot of mugs and am now wondering how many broken mugs I am going to pay return shipping on when I would have simply issued a full refund with a photo showing the damage.

I am seriously considering closing my account. As an interim step I am thinking of putting my account on hold for just long enough to cost Amazon ten times in commissions what they have cost me with these returns. After all my inventory will still be available on other platforms and in my store. Its a small gesture but if enough of us make them pay for screwing with us in this manner than perhaps they will reconsider treating us this way.

How do I make sure that Amazon a) doesn’t waste my money providing shipping for worthless damaged items which I would have refunded without a return upon receipt of proof of damage (i.e. a photo);
b) make sure that items are not entered as “damaged or defective” - affecting my stats when they are neither.
c) Make sure customers read my return policy before initiating a return.

Edited by: agoodread13 on Nov 9, 2017 10:03 AM

Edited by: agoodread13 on Nov 9, 2017 10:06 AM


#2

Amazon will survive, believe it or not.


#3

First you can’t require a photo and second you cannot opt out of the automatic returns program.

> b) make sure that items are not entered as “damaged or defective” - affecting my stats when they are neither.

Not much you can do.

> c) Make sure customers read my return policy before initiating a return.
>
>

Your refund policy is identical to the rest of ours. You aren’t allowed to have a lesser policy than Amazon’s own. You could have a greater one–like 90 days instead of30–but other than that your policy is identical to Amazon’s. There’s nothing buyers need to read. Discretionary returns may have a percentage restocking fee, up to 20%, NOT a flat rate fee.


#4

The customer has acknowledged it was their error but still expects to be refunded outbound shipping. The item did include a packing slip. The condition was “collectible very good” as it was a first edition inscribed by the author.


#5

Its all news to me. At no point was I asked to “sign up” for this and when I go to the return settings page I can only choose between three settings that all allow for automatic returns with shipping at my expense.

Seriously the first time I get billed for the return of a broken mug that I would have refunded without a return I am just going to walk.


#6

>… a book inscribed by the author to a previous owner, described “inscribed by the author to previous owner” returned for - see if you can guess - being inscribed by the author to previous owner…

Did you include a packing slip, and did that packing slip repeat the description?
Sometimes customers do not remember what they ordered.

Did you grade ‘good’ or ‘acceptable’? Amazon condition guidelines do not allow a book with writing to be ‘very good’ or higher.
Some customers expect sellers to follow the condition guidelines.


#7

There are a number of ways to refund without return and opt out of the program entirely for your goods. It is all on the help page.

This has been gone over in great detail for months.


#8

When we get cases like this, we refund the customer minus the cost of the shipping label, and then we file a SAFE-T claim. Only happened twice so far, but in both cases, Amazon approved our claim and we did not have to pay for the shipping.

edit:

You can also set some products to be refundable without a return. In this case, however, it will still be approved automatically. It’s against Amazon policy to ask for pictures anyway, so I wouldn’t recommend doing that.

edit-2

The auto-returns are mandatory for everyone and were preceded by many announcements, emails, and notifications over the past several months.

Edited by: WaterSaving on Nov 9, 2017 10:34 AM

Edited by: WaterSaving on Nov 9, 2017 10:36 AM


#9

Only because small sellers just roll over and take it.


#10

You can’t come to someone’s business and tell them how to run it. Their customer friendliness (basically letting them get away with anything) is hugely responsible for their success. You either adapt or make your own website since you know better than they do.

And yes. Not only they take it, when suspended, they write endless letters begging to be let back in. So i would say that even with their policies, Amazon is the best place around to sell on


#11

We all agreed to Amazon’s policies and policy changes when we agreed to sell here.

Participation agreement (now referred to as Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement)
https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/help.html/?itemID=1791&ref_=xx_1791_a_r3_cont_sgsearch

Automated Returns Policy
Main help:
https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/202072200

Help on exemptions for items with “special requirements” (I would try the heavy items there):
https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/202174980

Help for “returnless refunds”, which may be appropriate for some sellers under some conditions:
https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/202174940

Help for people who continue to think they have to pay for all returns:
https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/202175040


#12

Ummm this is a new policy and I’m not the first (or last) to complain about it.


closed #13

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