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This article applies to selling in: United States

Best practices for customer returns

Note: This Help page applies to sellers with Professional selling plans. If you are an Individual seller, see Customer returns best practices for individual sellers.

Returns are an essential and normal part of the buying experience, and when handled well, they can delight customers and encourage them to become repeat customers. However, when returns are not handled to the customers' expectations, they can have a significant impact on the customers’ trust in you as a seller on Amazon.

Below are some best practices for managing return requests. Following these steps can help improve the customer experience, improve your feedback, and reduce your A-to-z Guarantee claims.

Establish your return policy

Make sure your return policy is at least as good as Amazon's in every category.

Use the correct close codes

  • Only use Duplicate Request when you've already approved or closed another request for the same product.
  • Only indicate that you've refunded the customer if you have actually refunded them.
Note: Using the wrong close code could affect your Return Dissatisfaction Rate and send the wrong information to the customer.

Use the correct return timeframe

Make sure you count the return window from the date of the product's arrival, not the date of the order or shipment. If you don't use tracking, the return window starts on the expected delivery date.

Respond to return requests promptly

You must respond to a return request within 48 hours from the time the customer requests a return. We highly recommend that you not only respond to the customer inquiry, but also approve or close the request in the Manage Returns page of Seller Central.

Notify customers of refunds

When refunding the customer, make sure to notify them through the Buyer-seller Messaging service. If the customers don't know that their orders have been refunded, they might feel like their requests are being ignored, even though you've already resolved their issue.

Make the return easy for the customer

When orders arrive damaged or defective, the customer wants to be sure they can get a refund or a replacement. Do everything you can to make it as painless for them as possible. It is not their job to file claims with the carrier or deal with the hassles of shipping. Provide a pre-paid label if the product is ineligible or exempt, send a replacement, or issue a refund as soon as the original is sent back.

Don't make customers jump through hoops

For some customers, taking and uploading pictures is not easy. This does not disqualify them from receiving the same returns service as everyone else. We understand that seeing the picture of the product being returned can sometimes help you, but remember that our customers shop online because it’s fast and easy. The more friction they have to deal with, the more dissatisfied they will be.

Know the process

  • All in-policy return requests will be automatically authorized, generating an instant prepaid label for the buyer
  • Return requests for out-of-policy, ineligible, or exempt products require manual reviews and a response within 48 hours
  • Upon manual authorization, if the product needs to be returned, you can provide your own prepaid or unpaid label to the buyer

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