Amazon Forcing Free Instant Replacement For Returns On Some Seller-Fulfilled Orders

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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Amazon will now allow buyers to receive instant replacements for returns on some seller-fulfilled orders, raising seller concerns about being forced to float the cost of replacements for 30+ days and whether they can trust the Safe-T process to handle cases where different or damaged items are returned.

The announcement was made on February 8th with an effective date of February 12, leaving little time to adjust business plans and practices and contradicting Amazon's previous statements promising 15 days notice for policy changes and updates.

Instant replacements are available for seller-fulfilled returns

Starting on February 12, 2024, buyers will be able to request an instant replacement for items sent using the Prepaid return label program.

If buyers receive an item that is damaged, defective, or different from what they ordered, they may be able to select a free, instant replacement during the returns process.

Buyers are required to return the original item within 30 days of receiving the replacement. If they don’t, you’ll be eligible for an automatic reimbursement.

If the buyer returns an original item that was used, damaged, or different from what was sent to the buyer, then you can go to Manage SAFE-T Claims to file a claim for reimbursement.

With this change, buyers will have a consistent process for returning products across all our fulfillment options.

To learn more, go to Replacements for seller-fulfilled returns.

Sellers expressed their extreme displeasure at this new policy in the Amazon Seller Community, calling it a forced "BOGO" scheme.

So this is the reason all these people are all of a sudden wanting replacements! We do not offer any replacements and we will not ship items to these customers again after this we will cancel every one of their orders as we know how we ship there is absolutely nothing wrong with the items we send and has not been an issue until AMAZON just created this debacle! FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL!

Also this is affecting ODR right? Giving this option making customer think if I click this I get FREE replacement buy saying Damaged or Defective truly great job you nave fail to amaze sellers it is almost like you have a think tank that does nothing but think of was to make it miserable to sell on Amazon at the same time giving every seller PTSD by the stress you cause them. Also is there a limit or can customers request multiple times just to never be satisfied.

All this just makes me appreciate the actual brick and mortar stores more you see way less returns in person. I want the No Return Option or Make Customers provide images of shipping box item and actual issue going through fighting with bots and vetting if is is legit claim or not because most gripes are an uneducated customers who does not know what they are buying and in their mind are expectation is something other than what was offered.

And for PRIME dont send items until original order is scanned coming back we had an item whch stopped working did a replacement then realized it was bad connect and went to cancel the replacement and you had already shipped which makes one seem it is just so you can charge more fees to the seller total wasteful.

This is absolutely awful. So now when someone wants a replacement, you have to wait for them to return the item (up to 30 days) and if they dont, you have to go through safe-t.

So now orders will take up to 30+ days to clear? This is by far one of the biggest fails amazon could do. This is 100% a push for more FBA, along with their "low inventory charge" BS recently. I get trying to appease to customers, but this is going way too far. Hopefully customers wont even notice this.

Well this makes limiting inventory to a single item per ASIN the only way around this BOGO scam!

This is a step 100% in the wrong direction.

"If the buyer returns an original item that was used, damaged, or different from what was sent to the buyer, then you can go to Manage SAFE-T Claims to file a claim for reimbursement."

This sounds nice but I have noticed SAFE-T denies claims for high valued items or starts asking for information that is irrelevent or not possible to provide, like wanting invoices for "used" items and then declines the claim. Safe-T is a coin toss based on the mood of the agent and whether they have exceeded their claim quota or not. Its not a consistant process.

9 out of 10 items returned to me that the buyer says is "damaged, defective, or different from what they ordered" has nothing wrong with it.

If the seller has the opportunity to provide customer service, we can resolve all of these situations such as if the buyer does not know how to use the item they purchased, and we best know our items to know when a replacement is appropriate to provide.

In addition, instant replacements before an item is returned and verified makes it easier in the already easy process to abuse returns and comit returns fraud which is ABUNDANTLY DONE by Amazon buyers. SAFE-T does not help with this and pretends it does not happen, and then makes the seller the one who is guilty until proven innocent that we can't submiting a false claim ourselves.

FFS. That's a real kick in the groin to start my day.

How does this POSSIBLY come close to meeting the requirements for 15 (previously 30) day disclosure of new policy before taking effect? This will impact items shipped WEEKS ago, and 2/12 minus 2/8 is not 15 days.

We all (including Amazon) know exactly where this is going. Why don't you just make FBA mandatory and be done with it?

"If buyers CLAIM THEY HAVE RECEIVED receive an item that is damaged, defective, or different from what they ordered, they may be able to select a free, instant replacement during the returns process. "

There, I fixed it.

We simply won't participate in this process, even if it costs us our account. We (the seller) are a subsidiary of our brand, and cannot front the cost of inventory that hasn't sold in order to help Amazon move more of our money to their customers.

WHY DO YOU HATE FBM SO MUCH? I hope you have exactly the life you deserve.

How will this very short notice policy change impact your Amazon business? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!