Customer Damaged Returns

UPDATE 7/15/17

Amazon seems to be cracking down on reimbursing people for “customer damaged” items – over the past couple months my success rate has gone from around 95% to about 10%. I’ve been having better success recently by following up on denials with a second letter which is detailed in this post.

 

If you have been selling on Amazon for any length of time you probably have been annoyed by Amazon’s over-liberal return policy when it comes to “Customer Damaged” items.

When items are damaged by the customer then, per Amazon’s formal policy, as the seller, YOU are responsible for it.

For example, during the 4th quarter, I got a great deal on a Hexbug toy which I sent to Amazon in perfect condition. A couple days ago, I got it back from Amazon totally demolished and with pieces missing.

Before & After

Most of the time when I get a return it’s in good shape and I’ll just resend it back in. Obviously, I won’t be sending this item back in.

Given Amazon’s current policy, I am responsible for this. I have to take the loss and live with it. I find it frustrating at times but view this type of return as the cost of doing business on Amazon. A painful part, but one that overall doesn’t have that great of an impact on my business. Especially given the fact that Amazon often will take responsibility even though their policy says they don’t.

Next time you get an item back from Amazon that looks like someone backed a truck up over it, just open a case and ask Amazon to reimburse you for it. I actually have around a 95% success rate in getting them to refund me using the following process.

Step One – Take photos of:

  1. The Damaged item(s)
  2. The shipping label on the box they were returned to you
  3. The packing slip
  4. The box the item was shipped to you in

Step Two – Open a case via Seller Central

  1. Click Here
  2. Click “Selling On Amazon”, then “Fulfillment by Amazon”, “FBA Issue” and finally, “Something Else”
  3. Choose to submit your contact via email and submit your reimbursement request. Sample reimbursement request text provided below.

 

One unit of ASIN ABC1234RD and two units of DEF5678DR were returned to me Damaged\No Longer New. The items were damaged and/or removed from their packaging.

Please initiate reimbursement for the damaged items

I have attached the following images.

1. An image of the mailing label on the outside of box

2. An image of the box the item was returned to me in

3. An image of the packing slip

4. An image of the Damaged/No Longer New units that were returned to me

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.

Respectfully,

Your Business Name

Step Three – Sit back and wait for a response! If they do say no, then give it some time and open another case, often it will get approved the second time around.

About the author

Matt Colvin

6 Comments

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  • Well, this did not work for me.

    Amazon Feb 02, 2017 08:42 PM
    Greetings from Fulfillment by Amazon,

    I hope you’re doing great today.

    This is in reference to your concern regarding the removal order 1701251AO6 of which an item for ASIN: XYZ123XYZ was damaged. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

    I understand that you are requesting to be reimbursed. I’d be glad to assist you with this.

    Thank you for providing us the images. Upon thorough checking, I found the disposition of this unit prior removal order is “Customer Damaged.”

    Please know that Amazon takes 100% responsibility for units that are damaged during the removal process. In the photos you attached, it appears that this damage is not caused by the removal process. It is also supported by the disposition of the unit prior to removal which shows “Customer Damaged.”

    Please understand that units that are defective is not covered by FBA Lost and Damaged Inventory Reimbursement Policy. You may verify the information with the policy which is located in “What is not covered by this policy” section of FBA Lost and Damaged Inventory Reimbursement Policy help page below.

    FBA Lost and Damaged Inventory Reimbursement Policy
    https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/200213130?referral=A3UBJJF5I8L8YU_AGHLDORFWOUPX

    For more information about “Condition Codes” and “Your expected Action,” please click the link below:

    Inventory Disposition
    https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/200372710?referral=A3UBJJF5I8L8YU_AGHLDORFWOUPX

    I appreciate your understanding in this regard.

    As of today, I will change this case’s status to “answered.” However, please do not consider the case closed. If you have further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us back by clicking the “Follow-up questions” link below and we will review your new correspondence.

    • Well shucks, sorry to hear that. Like I said in the post – based on their terms of service they technically are NOT responsible for giving you a refund in this situation, just been my experience that they do it often enough to make submitting the request worthwhile.

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