As an Amazon seller, you always want to ensure that your customers are satisfied with the products they receive. This situation will not only allow you to earn profit to grow your business but will also help you maintain a good reputation among other buyers. If your customers like what they have purchased, they are more likely to leave a good review and recommend your store to their friends.
However, selling on Amazon is not always sunshine and rainbows. Whether you admit it or not, processing refunds is one of the most discouraging parts of being a third-party seller in the most customer-centric company. Because of this, you must be ready to address refund notifications as soon as possible.
Below are five things you must do to handle your Amazon refunds efficiently and appropriately:
No seller wants to see refund requests popping out of the notifications. But even if you do not want to check them out, you must deal with them promptly. According to Amazon’s guidelines, you can settle the issue with the buyer within 48 hours. Doing so will help protect your seller account health or Order Defect Rate (ODR).
If you fulfill your own products, you have to approve the claim first. To see your refund requests, you can proceed to the A-to-z Guarantee Claims page under the Performance tab found on your Seller Central account. Moreover, Amazon will notify you of your customers’ requests through email for your convenience.
Upon receiving the notification, you must head over to the Claims page immediately and handle the issue calmly. Otherwise, Amazon will proceed with granting the A-to-z claim even without your consent.
But if you are an Amazon FBA seller, Amazon will not wait for your approval and will give the refund to the buyer immediately. Afterward, it will be reflected in your account health and ODR. This could affect your seller performance and possibly get your account suspended if done multiple times.
If you decide to give a full refund to the customer, you can also ask them to return the product before you process their refund. In this way, you can still get the product back and decide whether you can sell it again or not.
Communicating with your customers, whether you had a successful transaction with them or not, is crucial in building your brand reputation. If they liked your products or services, you can send a message of appreciation, thanking them for their support. You can also ask for a review or encourage them to buy again in the future. But if they want to return your items and seek a refund, you should properly communicate with them as well.
After all, Amazon enables you to interact with your buyers for various reasons. One of them is to express your regret and apologize that your product did not meet their expectations. By doing this, you can protect your account health because they can still leave a Seller Feedback even after asking for a refund.
Even if they ask you a question like, “How long do Amazon refunds take?” you should still be professional and answer them. Who knows, they might want to purchase from your store once again if they liked how you handled the situation.
Additionally, you can use the messaging feature on Seller Central to direct the customers to do the refund process accordingly. For example, they might message you to refund them directly, but you must instruct them to file the refund claim on their order history themselves. Remember that if you give them the refund on your own, Amazon will not reimburse you.
As mentioned above, you will receive email notifications from Amazon once the customer asks for a refund. If the item is shipped through FBA or Prime, Amazon will issue the refund immediately, even before you receive the returned item. In some cases, you might not receive the item at all, which is referred to as a “returnless refund.”
Therefore, it would be best that you also keep a record of the issued refunds, whether Amazon-initiated or not. Doing this will help you track the packages that you or the Amazon fulfillment center is supposed to receive. It is because Amazon will charge the buyer and reimburse you if their fulfillment center hasn’t received the item within 60 days after the refund.
To take note of your refunds and returns, you should create a dedicated folder on your email account. Once you have received the email notifications, put them in the folder so that they will not be mixed up with your other emails. Furthermore, you can use your seller account by generating a report on returns and refunds in case you missed some emails.
If you are selling only a few items on Amazon, the tip above might work in helping you track your refunds and reimbursements. However, this method might not be efficient if you have multiple products and several customers.
In this case, it would be best to look for seller tools that offer various services, such as checking pending reimbursement and tracking refund status. By doing this, you will not miss out on some reimbursements that Amazon owes you.
Some tools you should try are AMZRefund, AMZReimburse, Refunds Manager, and Helium 10. However, they come with a price. But if you have the means to pay for their services, consider availing one for your Amazon business.
Managing your Amazon business is already difficult enough, but handling refunds can be more stressful to do on your own. So besides using helpful seller tools, you should also consider hiring experts in managing Amazon businesses.
If you do not have the time to familiarize and update yourself with Amazon’s guidelines and policies, they can guide you through important processes related to refunds. Moreover, they can assist you with other aspects of your business, like SEO or PPC.
Therefore, getting full account management services will help you manage your e-commerce business more efficiently and allow you to spend more time on other tasks and responsibilities. For instance, if you do not want to deal with angry customers personally, you can let them do it for you to maintain professionalism on the Amazon marketplace.
Whether you like it or not, you have to address questions like “Does Amazon give refunds?” Refunds are inevitable in any business, after all. However, it is up to you how you will handle the situation and use it to grow and learn.
If you encounter refund requests, you should respond and act on them immediately, communicate with your buyers, and keep records of all the refunds issued. Furthermore, it would help to use advanced seller tools or hire Amazon experts providing reimbursement services, like Seller Interactive.
They have teams of experienced Amazon managers and experts who can assist you in managing your business, whether it is related to refunds or inventory management. If you are interested, you can reach out by emailing [email protected].
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