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This article applies to selling in: United States

Preventing product condition issues

Amazon customers need to be able to shop with confidence and receive products in the condition they expect. As a seller on Amazon, you play an important role in ensuring that buyers know what to expect when they purchase an item from you. Describing your products accurately and addressing potential product condition issues early by following the best practices below will help you prevent customer complaints, protect your reputation as a seller, and keep your account healthy.

Product condition issues create a poor customer experience and can negatively impact your Account Health. By following Amazon’s Product authenticity and quality guidelines, Listing quality guidelines, and Condition guidelines, you can ensure that customers have a positive experience when shopping on Amazon.

Common product condition complaints

Below are some of the most common product issues that can lead to customer complaints. Whether you fulfill your own orders or use FBA, proactively identifying and addressing these issues will ensure a positive customer experience and help you avoid potential enforcements.

Condition issue Reason for complaint
Scratches, scuffs, or other physical imperfections Scratches, scuffs, or other physical imperfections are not consistent with New condition guidelines, and can lead customers to perceive an item as Used. Any products listed in New condition should have no scratches or scuffs.
Items that are dirty, soiled, or have hair, stains, odors, or other substances These issues indicate previous use and create a poor customer experience. Soiled, dirty, or heavily stained products are not permitted on Amazon under any listing condition.
Previously opened product packaging A product package that has been previously opened indicates that a product is used or has been returned and resold. In order to meet New condition guidelines, products should arrive in their original, unopened packaging.
Missing or broken seal or protective covering When customers receive items that have a broken seal or are missing a seal entirely, they may believe the item has been used or tampered with, especially in the case of consumable products and liquids, gels, or creams. A lack of seal can also lead to spilling, leakage, and other product issues.

Keep in mind that customers’ expectations and perceptions may be different for e-commerce items as compared to items bought in a physical store. Seals for items purchased online help improve customer confidence in the product they receive.

Wear and tear, signs of age, or damage These issues indicate previous use and create a poor customer experience. While signs of wear are acceptable for Used condition items, damaged or expired products are not permitted on Amazon under any listing condition.
Missing parts Missing parts compromise the functionality of an item and may lead to complaints about the product being defective or used. Shipping an item that is missing essential material or parts is prohibited.
Item doesn’t work at all or doesn’t work as expected Customers expect products to work as described in the listing. If a product arrives and does not function, in whole or in part, this creates a poor experience for customers.
Wrong item, size, color, or style received Customers expect to receive the correct product in the correct size, color, or style they ordered. Shipping the wrong item or a different size, color, or style of a product without notifying the customer first creates a poor customer experience.
Different language, country version, model, or edition Customers expect to receive the specific country version, language, edition, or model that they ordered. Shipping a different version of an item than advertised in the listing is prohibited.

How to prevent customer complaints

The best way to prevent and proactively address complaints is to monitor your feedback from customers. Review buyer messages, customer feedback, product reviews, claims, returns, and the Voice of the Customer dashboard to understand what customers are saying about your products. This information can also be a helpful indicator of the things that could affect the quality and condition of your products.

Consider the following factors if you receive customer complaints regarding the quality and condition of your products:

Accurate listing

  • Make sure to select the correct condition when listing a product, according to Amazon’s Condition guidelines.
  • Ensure that you are listing under the correct ASIN and that the version, edition, or language described in the listing matches your product.
  • Make sure that you are accurately describing the product and its functionality in the listing. If the item is compatible with other products, be specific about which products your item works with.
  • Ensure that your listing accurately describes the item and that there is no confusion about what the customer should expect to receive. If your item comes in different packaging or does not come with a seal, consider including this information in the product description.

Quality audits

  • Improve your quality control processes and inspect your products regularly to ensure that they match the description in your listing and function as expected.
  • Work with your supplier to identify issues and areas for improvement. If your supplier cannot reliably ensure that products work as expected or meet the condition for your listing, consider changing suppliers.
  • Train staff on proper handling of products and ensure that they are sending the correct item or version of an item for a particular order. Make sure your staff can identify and prevent issues with both new and returned products.
  • If you need to open a package or break a product’s seal to inspect a product, do not return it to your sellable inventory.

Secure packaging

  • Implement packaging improvements to prevent minor damage, such as bubble wrap, paper, inflatable air pillows, or polyethylene foam sheeting. Consider the environment in which your product will be stored and shipped when designing the packaging.
  • If your product does not come with a protective seal, consider working with your supplier to add seals or use shrink-wrap to protect the item. You can also describe the packaging of your item in the listing so that customers know what to expect.

Storage and shipping

  • Improve storage to ensure that the product is kept clean and is not exposed to moisture, temperature changes, rust, or other issues that could cause wear or damage.
  • Store different items separately to reduce potential errors. If you sell different sizes, colors, or styles of the same item, make sure to label them clearly to prevent confusion. Similarly, if you sell multiple country versions, models, or editions of an item, makes sure they are clearly marked.
  • Ensure appropriate shipping and handling procedures for self-fulfilled orders, such as two-person handling for heavy or bulky items.
  • If you use FBA, ensure that your items arrive at the fulfillment center in the condition advertised and in appropriate packaging.

Returns processing

  • Label and store returned products separately to avoid confusion.
  • You may only resell returned products as “New” if they meet New condition guidelines. Ensure that the original packaging is unopened and intact, and that all components of the product are present.

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