Buyers and their silly return attempts


So we ship out a box of coffee K Cups. Buyer receives it. Then we get one of those translated messages from Amazon CS.

"We were contacted by the customer regarding order#

The customer called because she received the wrong item. She needs the decaf one for health reasons. Kindly send her a return label that she can use to return this item back to you. if you have the decaf available, kindly send her one."

First off, this was for the Original flavor. So the ORDERED the wrong product but received the right one. She just wants Decaf.

Under Amazon return policies, grocery items are not returnable. Except for damage or shipping error. Since the listing states “ORIGINAL FLAVOR” and says nothing about Decaf, her return falls into this.

So we send her a message stating these items are not returnable per Amazon, but that we would consider if the box was sealed but there would be a restocking fee per Amazon policies.

Her response:

I want to return the original. Please send me the 64 count decaf and a return label for exchange.

So, this lady thinks she can order 54 count original, get a free return of a non returnable item, and have us send out the 64 count in its place at the same price?

Whats worse is she bought the 54 count during a sale and got it for $8 less then regular price, which makes the 64 count about $14 more.

Sounds like a bait and switch.


Ignore the part about customer wanting something else. Focus on the part where they declare they don’t want what they received. Customers are allowed to return for any reason or no reason. In this case it counts as a discretionary return, with no fault on the part of seller. This means buyer pays return shipping.

Reassure the customer that you will refund in full upon receipt of the product, and provide packaging instructions, a non-paid label, and instruct them to keep their post office receipt with the tracking number. Explain that since you did send exactly what was ordered, return shipping cost will be born by the customer.

It does not matter that you cannot resell these. Unless you want to refund without return, you may ask that the product be returned before you refund.

If the customer wants the decaf version, they simply need to place a fresh order for that. Do not engage in any attempt to send replacement.


Grocery items per Amazon stated policy are not able to be returned for buyer mistakes


Doesn’t matter. Customers can “return” (get a refund) for anything for any reason for 30 days after delivery. Get the shipping label going if you want it back or face an A-Z and a ding to your metrics. Otherwise, refund without return.


Correct they can’t resell an over cooked steak but try going to a resturaunt, ordering a steak and when it is put on your table say “I meant to order chicken”. A lot of places will charge you for both.

This is an ordter by mistake issue here. Not a I shipped wrong. If we made the mistake we have to 100% let her return it.

However since it is buyer error, it does state this is not returnable. We had this happen last year, we declined the return, buyer opened A to Z, all we did was copy Amazon’s return policy and they denied the claim and took it off our metrics.


If the post office will ship it, it can be returned… but it might not be resellable.

If you order a stake in a restaurant and return it because it was over cooked, the restaurant can’t resell it to someone else, but they can take if off your bill.

You can refund without a return, or accept the return and either use the coffee or dispose of it yourself.


However since it is buyer error, it does state this is not returnable. We had this happen last year, we declined the return, buyer opened A to Z, all we did was copy Amazon’s return policy and they denied the claim and took it off our metrics.

So there’s your answer then.

Just as a side note, when you buy directly from Amazon and request a return on a food item, they simply refund you. And that’s for discretionary returns, too.

But a seller could request that a buyer return a food item. That’s not against policy.

We sold supplements with a satisfaction guarantee. We would request the buyer send us the empty bottle back.


Don’t confuse non returnable with non refundable. And the non-returnable is actually for Amazon. We as 3p sellers can require the return.


As has been pointed out, this is incorrect.

The reason to ask for return before refund is to avoid creating the impression that all one needs to do to get free food on Amazon is order and complain.

Even though the seller has to toss the return into the trash, it may be worthwhile to require the return.

Obviously, this is up to the individual seller.


I would do exactly the same, I do approve the return request, but I tell them they are responsible for initial and return shipping: AND because this is a food item, unopened or not, a restocking fee WILL be assessed. I seriously NEVER thought to say they couldn’t return according to Amazon policy! GENIUS!

I’m in the same category and get those too. Once had a lady buy a multi-pack of chips (something like 6 HUGE 18 oz bags), EAT them ALL, then want a refund because the chips “didn’t live up to her expectations”. As much as I wanted to say something completely snarky, I didn’t. Never heard from her again, must have been a fishing expedition.


Yeah, but Amazon has ways to keep track of “buyer abuse”. While we as 3P sellers have no idea how many times the cust has “returned” nonreturnable items. Could be Amazon told them they can no longer return grocery/health/beauty products.

Had a neighbor be told they’d hit the limit on grocery returns after she figured out how easy it was to get free food. So Amazon themselves has an unwritten rule about how much abuse they’ll take too.

Her account wasn’t banned though, she was just told in no uncertain terms NO MORE FREE GROCERIES!

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