One of the best parts of being an Amazon FBA seller is watching your sales go up — each sale is more money in your pocket, so watching those sales alerts can be a little addicting. But what happens when the opposite happens and a customer returns some of your product? It can be a little bit of a shock the first time it happens, but if you sell at a certain volume it’s inevitable that you will have to deal with some returns. Follow the steps below to help ensure that your Amazon rating takes as little damage as possible when customers return merchandise.

  • Always make sure the item is actually returned! There’s a lot of record-keeping that you have to keep up with when you own an Amazon business, and this is one more thing to keep track of, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. When a customer initiates a return, Amazon automatically refunds the customer their money. The customer then has 45 days to get the item physically returned to the warehouse. If they don’t, Amazon reimburses you, the seller. Usually, this all goes smoothly, but as with all operations of this size, some things will fall through the cracks. It’s up to you to keep a record of all refunds and make sure they actually get returned to your inventory at the Amazon warehouse — and if it doesn’t, contact Seller services to get your refund.
  • Consider contacting the customer. This doesn’t have to be complicated — a quick message to apologize for any inconvenience can make a big difference in the feedback a customer chooses to leave.
  • Personally inspect all returns. Yes, Amazon warehouse workers are supposed to inspect returns, but they are working in a hurry and aren’t as familiar with your items (and standards) as you are. If a warehouse worker decides a small tear in the wrapping doesn’t detract from an item’s ‘new’ status but your next buyer disagrees, you’ve now possibly gotten two bad reviews from this one item. Far better to have all returns sent to you for you to decide how to list them. It costs less than a dollar to have them sent back to you, and the protection this provides your account is invaluable.
  • Test ‘defective’ merchandise. This step can actually can earn back your income if a customer lied about a product being defective. If you are able to conclude for certain that a product that was claimed to be defective is not, you can open a ticket with Seller Central and get a full reimbursement if the item has been opened.

As you can see, there are several steps you can take during the return process to minimize your losses, many times resolving the return with no losses at all. Get credit for things that don’t end up getting returned, resell what is still in good condition, and ensure all defective merchandise is actually defective, and you’ll find your losses slashed by a surprising amount when it comes to returns.