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How to handle Amazon FBA returns

How to handle Amazon FBA returns

A customer returning a product is something that no business manager would want to go through, particularly if your business is just taking its first steps. 

Not to mention that Amazon FBA deliveries involve various steps when it comes to processing and completing returns. Thankfully, these steps also tell you exactly what and where things went wrong. This will allow you the chance to better handle returns in the future. 

We’re going to tell you exactly what you need to know in order to properly handle Amazon returns. 

Returning Items To FBA 

Fulfilled by Amazon is different to Amazon itself. Essentially, there is a 45-day window for customers to return their faulty or damaged product for which they wish to be refunded. Therefore, when you receive a return notification it’s best if you wait for a few weeks to receive the return before refunding the customer. 

However, if the customer fails to return the item within that timeframe then it may never make its way back to your Amazon FBA return inventory. 

On the other hand, Amazon may also deem the product as unsellable - this is if the product is returned damaged (customer or carrier damaged) or is defective. 

Depending on the reason for returning a product, you have to approach the issue differently. For example, you will be reimbursed by Amazon in most cases, but there are certain situations when you will have to deal with the problem yourself, so to say.

How To Access Amazon Return Reports

Aside from the usual email from Amazon to inform you of the order refund, there are two other ways through which you can get your hands on the return reports.

To begin with, go to your Amazon Seller Central account and click ‘Reports’ at the top. Then, select ‘Fulfilment’ and head to the ‘Returns’ page.  

A more detailed report of returns can be generated if you click ‘Reports’, then ‘Payments’, and then manually generate a report for a certain period. 

This is how you can find out if Amazon has actually refunded the price of an item to one of your customers. Remember that these two methods do not tell you whether the customer has successfully returned their item or not. 

Checking If The Product Has Been Returned

To check if a product has been returned or not, you will need the order number from the refund notification that Amazon will have sent to you via email. Then, you will have to go to your Amazon Seller Central account and click on ‘Orders’. 

Once you have done the above, select ‘Manage Orders’ and click ‘Advanced Search’ within the drop-down menu that will appear on your screen. 

On the following page, paste the order number into the search bar. You will then be shown which products have been returned by the customer. 

However, this is not how the story ends; you will also want to check if Amazon has put the product back into your Amazon FBA return inventory. 

To do this, you will need to copy the ASIN/SKU of the item and go to ‘Manage FBA Inventory’. Paste the ASIN/SKU into the search bar and if the product doesn’t show, you may want to scan through your archives. You can also run a search that includes archived items. 

Opening A Returns Case With Amazon 

If you still don’t know what happened to your item (you literally have no idea where it may be) then you should open a case with Amazon to find out more. However, it is recommended that you wait a bit before doing so, as processing returns can take a while and Amazon may not have gotten around to adding the product to the Amazon FBA return inventory. 

When you open a Fulfilled by Amazon returns case, Amazon will provide you with all the information you need to resolve any issues - they will also let you know whether or not the item has been returned.

Try not to worry if your questions remain unanswered. You can open a direct line of communication with Amazon, thus, work at resolving your Fulfilled by Amazon returns issue. You can always contact Amazon through your Amazon Seller Central account if you have any concerns regarding your Fulfilled by Amazon returns. 

The Bottom Line

To put it simply, before jumping to the conclusion that your customer didn’t return their product, it can be wise to remember that the Amazon pallet distribution network and its similar services are huge. This means it may take a while before you hear back about your Fulfilled by Amazon returns, so be as mindful as you can - it won’t hurt to be a little patient either. 

However, as soon as the waiting is done you will have to go through all that we mentioned above. This is how you properly handle Amazon FBA returns. 

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