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How to Handle Returns on Amazon

Published on: December 1 2022 by Bryan Guerra

How to Handle Returns on Amazon

How to Handle Returns on Amazon

all right so there's a lot of info in
this one so there's no clear-cut theme
here with powerpoint i'm just going to
give you the straight information i
think it's really going to help you okay
it's going to give you some clarity and
i'm also going to tell you my return
policy and how i deal with literally
every single return in the system that i
use okay so overall just to kind of get
it out of the way there's three main
ways to deal with customer returns when
you sell merchant fulfilled on amazon
okay
now you can just refund everything so
you don't have to deal with it or you
can just refund an order so you don't
have to deal with it right if you get a
return or you get a customer that's
unhappy
you can and that's obviously going to
protect you from bad you know bad
feedback bad uh you know like a to z
claims or anything like that and and you
know just the overall hassle of dealing
with the return
or you could provide a prepaid return
label to the customer which means that
you pay for the return shipping
or you could allow the customer to
return the item but do not offer them a
return label that's prepaid to do so
right simply offer them the return
address and tell them they can ship it
back to you when you receive it you'll
issue them a refund okay now really
briefly before we go over some of the
the kind of key information that i want
to cover i'll go over my return policy
so you can see exactly how i handle
certain things and then get into the
nuances of how i you know
help not necessarily recommend because i
recommend that you follow my return
policy but you don't have to obviously
but then we'll get into like the
different overall strategies of how you
can approach it i'll show you the back
end and we'll tok about some other
tools okay
so my return policy is to simply refund
everything under fifty dollars so i
don't have to deal with it okay now yeah
you'll lose some money on some sales yes
but you'll save a lot of time and a lot
of headaches receiving the returns right
messaging and dealing with the customers
matching the returns with the um
with the uh the actual corresponding
order and the corresponding order on
your spreadsheet and refunding the
customer right and then shipping out the
returns filing for the return on your
suppliers website and dealing with that
and then obviously when you get the
return uh authorization and you get the
return um you know credit back putting
that back in your spreadsheet now that's
a major headache all in all right and
that's not that big of a headache and a
big of a deal for one time right but if
you're getting a couple of returns even
you know a week it can start to become a
headache right and chances are if you
scale you're gonna be getting multiple
returns every single week okay
uh so that's my policy for everything
under fifty dollars because it's not
necessarily worth it for me in that
opinion and in my opinion and it's it's
gonna obviously make the customer happy
it's also going to save me a lot of time
and a lot of headaches and i just really
don't feel like dealing with it right
now i also offer a prepaid return
mailing label through pirateship.com for
everything that's been reported broken
damaged or incorrect product received
okay i'm going to show you prior chip in
a second it's really really simple to
use and i highly recommend it
for everybody now i don't recommend that
you set up
your amazon the like the back end of
your amazon returns and we're going to
cover that here in a second when we tok
about more information
but i don't recommend that you set up
prepaid
mailing labels in the back end of your
amazon returns simply for the fact that
then the uh then amazon's basically just
gonna
auto authorize all of your returns and
and you're gonna pre-pay for all those
returns right it's gonna eat your profit
margin instead what i recommend is you
select which ones you want to prepay
mailing labels back and then obviously
you also select which ones you don't
want to offer prepaid shipping labels
back for okay
now for the ones that are reported
broken damaged and incorrect products
received
by the customers what i'll do is i'll
i'll offer a prepaid mailing uh label to
the customer and i'll attach it in
customer messages and i get that via
pirateship.com okay because the issue
here is this is not the customer's fault
right they should not have to pay for
return shipping if they received a
product that's broken they should not
have to
pay for return shipping if they receive
the incorrect product right put yourself
in the customer's shoes if you were the
customer and you got a broken product
for example and then the seller was
trying to tell you that you not only got
the a broken product but you also had to
pay to ship it back you'd be like what
the hell and you'd obviously be you know
pretty pissed off right and so you want
to avoid these situations a because it's
not the customer's fault first and
foremost
be because you know your your word is
that you only ever have your name in
your store right so you need to protect
that at all costs it's the only stok
that you have to carry like your name is
the only stok that you have to carry
till the end of your life and you're
always going to be invested in it right
so invest in it wisely right and most
importantly number three
is you want to not those two aren't
important they are but you want to avoid
like like you know bad claims right if
you try to make them pay for return
shipping you risk very unhappy customers
better views ding dong things on your
metrics like inaccurate products or in
authentik claims and worst of all a to z
claims which are going to go against
your odr you can only go again you can
only stay below one percent odr so if
you get a couple a to z claims you're
going to be screwed right you don't want
to do this it's not the customer's fault
just offer a prepaid mailing label
through pirate ship yes you're gonna eat
the cost of the return shipping back to
you um obviously if it's worth it to you
if not if it's under 50 bucks that's why
i recommend that you just refund them
okay and you don't deal with it but if
it is worth it for you then offer to pay
for the return shipping through
pirateship.com um to the customer and
then you know everybody's happy and they
get to return it they don't have to pay
for it right keys here are don't be
cheap
prepay for the return here and re or
simply refund them if it's cheap enough
don't be short-sighted on the one sale
here think big picture of your account
health and big picture of your ability
to sell and make money on amazon going
forward trust me it's not worth it to
take the one-off sale uh and try to
nitpick with the customer over on all
sales just either refund them or offer
them a prepaid label and move on sell
sell to other people sell more make more
money in other ways i promise you that's
the right decision take your emotions
out of it okay and also this goes with
with uh something later which is like if
you know if a customer claims that that
an order didn't you know they didn't
receive an order but the tracking shows
that it was delivered to the house like
key here is like don't speculate if
they're scamming you either it you know
you can't prove it so it's a wasted
effort and it's just a waste of your
time
and your like and your emotional sanity
honestly um and assume that every
customer is honest even if they are okay
also refund every order where the
customer says that they didn't receive
the order okay
and this is obviously after sending the
customer the customer service template
on missing packages like we just covered
okay and this is obviously assuming that
they're still claiming it's missing
after you sent that customer service
message that basically says like hey you
know here's the tracking number here
wasn't here was when it was delivered um
please check with like your neighbors or
check with like your building manager or
check with like you know all whatever
the you know ev literally everything
that we went over in the customer
service template okay
uh and again don't speculate if they're
scamming you or not you can't prove it
it's wasted effort just assume every
customer's being honest and it didn't
show up even if they aren't okay so
refund them and you're refunding them a
because you don't want an unhappy
customer that you know reports it number
one but also if they report that it
wasn't there and it never showed up
amazon is going to side with the
customer
100
of the time okay let me repeat that
amazon is going to side with the
customer 100 of the time if you don't
have signature confirmation on your
packages i've lost a to z claims where
it was pretty much proven even with a
picture even with the driver saying it
that like they handed it to the customer
at the actual location i still lost the
the a to z claim because i didn't have a
dr the signature confirmation that's
amazon's policy on it right so if the
customer the key here the reason i'm
telling you this is if the customer
claims that it wasn't delivered to their
house even if you have a tracking number
to prove it you will still lose if they
file an a to z claim so it's not worth
it don't let it escalate to that refund
them okay
and obviously then that leaves one last
thing so anything 50
plus that's not reported damage
obviously or not the wrong product which
is you know anything like i said
anything 15 under our refund anything
that was reported as broken or not the
right product i uh provide a prepaid
label for so anything 50 bucks more
or 50 bucks plus uh that's not damaged
and not the wrong product i tell them
that i'm gonna honor them i'm gonna
honor a full refund but i will not cover
return shipping now i'm not going to
advertise that i'm not going to recover
cover return shipping but what i'm
basically going to say to them is i'm
going to use the customer service
template like we covered before on how
they can ship it back for a refund to
your return warehouse right so it's
something simply like yeah you can
certainly return it um you know you can
ship it back to my return warehouse
listed below and when i receive the
product in its original condition uh and
its original package i'll issue 100
refund something along those lines and
then obviously list them your return
warehouse or your your house or whatever
it is right wherever you're shipping or
using from okay
so that's my return policy now
before we get into how to deal with
amazon returns what i do want to cover
really briefly is what pirate ship is
now i recommend pirate ship for
everything okay i use pirate ship for
returns on facebook i used pirate ship
for returns on mercari um or sorry not
makari on amazon i also use pirate ship
when i'm shipping out products sometimes
like if if i need to ship out a product
where i'm actually like reselling the
product i'll use pirate ship because it
offers you the best rates now you can
literally paste the address in here
right like right directly from amazon
for this specific example obviously the
package dimension the package weight
choose what what the package
specifically is you can also say
qualifies for media mail or you know
literally categorize it whatever and
then say get rates
and it's gonna tell you the best rates
between like ups fedex the post office
and whatever so that you can pick the
best rate and you're not just going
through one carrier right it's no
brainer i highly recommend
pirateship.com okay
now
how to deal with amazon returns okay so
with amazon returns you want to go to
the way that you get there is in your in
your seller central you want to go to
orders manage returns edit return
settings okay and also you want to make
sure that you have your correct ad uh
return address under the manage return
addresses so let me show you that
so
you want to go to again orders
manager turns it's going to take you
right here and then you also want to
make sure that you have your
current warehouse or your current return
address or your current house under
managed return addresses because when
obviously when a customer returns it
they're going to ship it back to you and
when amazon auto authorizes it they're
going to ship it back to this address as
well okay so you want to receive all
those you want this to be your returns
if you have a prep center there you go
put it in there but the majority of you
are probably just going to be using your
house or your location okay
so that's how you approach that
um let's go back to the powerpoint here
so the ways that you're going to get
returns there are several different ways
um you'll get messages in your seller
central messages sometimes asking for
returns um in this case use the temple
that i gave you previously and ask them
to ship it back right when you receive
it back then you want to check the name
on the label and match it with a
corresponding order name or look for the
return authorization slip or barcode
paper and you'll see what that is
obviously and every amazon return has
those or should have one of those inside
of the return that you can then match
with an order id then mark that on your
uh on your spreadsheet right and when
somebody messages you asking for a
return and says that they're going to
ship it back
excuse me
or when somebody uh or when you get an
email like we're gonna cover here in a
second that amazon's
like allowing a return to come back you
wanna find that order or that person in
your spreadsheet and that corresponding
row i mark it in orange and i literally
put a note on it saying that that
person's coming back so that way when i
get a package back i can either match
the order id or i can match the name
super super quickly because i'm just
looking for the orange ones right but
obviously this goes without saying just
match the name or match the order id on
the return slip with the barcode inside
the package okay and then obviously
refund the order for that customer by
finding the order id
on amazon and file for the return on
your supplier and send it back to your
suppliers okay and make sure like i said
keep track of everything as well as
keeping track of like the profit and
loss through the return so when you pay
for shipping if it's prepaid make sure
you deduct that out of your cost right
there um if the supplier refunds you
back make sure you take that out of your
like you you get the picture just make
sure that you keep track of it so
everything remains accurate throughout
the entire thing otherwise like let's
say hypothetikally you have like a
thousand transactions and 50 of them are
returns
well you might be you know inaccurate if
you're not keeping track of that by like
a few hundred dollars or maybe even a
grand it depends right so it's it's key
to keep track of this profit and loss
throughout the entire process which is
another reason why i said before in my
return policy you know i refund
everything under 50 bucks so i have to
deal with it right but you don't have to
if you're you know kind of strapped for
cash or if you're you have thin margins
you don't necessarily have to do that
that's just what i do and i recommend it
for most people okay and you'll also get
return emails from amazon saying that a
return was auto authorized is coming
back to your return address in that
situation specifically that usually
means that not always but it usually
means that it was either reported as
broken um or damaged when their customer
returned it or they got something they
weren't expecting or something along
those lines okay so you or it honestly
could be a number of other things like
they said that they didn't want anymore
and they're paying for the return
shipping but that's rare in this case
usually if it's auto authorized by
amazon it's coming back because it was
like damaged or the wrong product okay
now
the last way that you will get return
requests is either through emails or
messages um or usually an email and in
this case you're you're gonna get like a
return the customer has requested a
return and you'll you'll get that
obviously through an email most times
okay and in this case you need to then
go back to your orders again manage your
turns and then find that specific return
request okay now i'm going to teach you
how to approach it here in a second and
i'm going to show you but let me just
show you what that looks like all right
so this is an example of what one looks
like this is a prior return i don't have
any return requests that are actually um
you know recent right now but this
person reported a broken bowl right so
what would happen is you'd come over
here and you'd be able to authorize the
return or you'd be able to issue the
refund just out if you just wanted to
issue the refund you'd also be able to
contact the buyer there should be
buttons on the right when you find the
corresponding order and the
corresponding buyer okay you can also
view more order details if you want to
issue the refund from here like i said
prior and then just close the refund if
you want to close the refund and contact
the buyer this is how you're going to do
it right you're going to go to orders
like i said and then you're going to go
to your returns and then find that
actual return and then approach it from
there and that's only when you get a
return request and amazon's telling you
there's a return request okay
so once you do identify it you want to
contact the buyer by clicking that
little contact button from there and
then let them know where to ship it back
uh with the same template that we've
covered before right or if it's under 50
bucks you can also just issue the refund
from there which is what i tend to do if
it's under 50 bucks right now if you do
get a return request here that's
claiming the item was damaged or the
wrong item was received you want to
either refund the customer again or
close the and then close the request
this is again the best and easiest
method in my opinion or you can provide
them with a return
prepaid return label by again hitting
the contact customer button on the right
of that specific return like i just
showed you and then going to
pirateship.com and buying a shipping
label for that customer from that
customer's address on the order to your
address or your return warehouse or
wherever it is right and then simply
attach that in the messages for them and
let you let them know in the message
that you attached it for them and
they're you're providing them a prepaid
return okay
now
that's if obviously the product was
damaged or the wrong item was received
now if the product is damaged on the
wrong item is shipped um you know
shipped you want to provide a return uh
label you know and then i obviously just
said trust me i plan on going over this
a little bit more but i've already
covered why you know you want to avoid a
to z claims unhappy customers bad
feedback you know other claim like we've
covered that already right now this is
rare that you'll get like a return
request here when you need to actually
go find it in your orders and manage
returns it's it's rare that if you get a
return request that it's going to be for
a reason like um you know
the the uh
it's damaged or inaccurate like that's
rare usually if it's reported damaged or
inaccurate or something like that or the
wrong product amazon will will tend to
auto authorize them because the customer
will go through a different way and
their their return will be authorized a
different way right so every once in a
while you will see it like the one that
i just showed you but that is rare
typically
typically when you get a return request
here that you have to go find an orders
managed returns it's going to be because
like the customer changed their mind or
they're going to claim something like it
arrived late when you actually as a
customer go into your order and you file
for a return there's a number of
different choices that you can click and
based on what the the choice that the
customer clicks is going to be be how
they they're able to return the item
right whether it's auto authorized
whether they're going to message you
whether
and so will your your your return
policies as well right uh whether
they're going to message you and so on
and so forth and that's basically how
you handle returns in the overall
strategy there right now again just to
reiterate if you haven't set this up yet
you want to go to orders manager turns
you want to set your return address and
then you want to specifically set up
your return settings do you want to pre
uh you know do you want to auto
authorize everything do you want to
provide pre made paid labels for
everything do you not want to provide
prepaid labels and if so for what right
now i've given you my strategy and how i
approach this it's up to you to set up
yours however you want to but this is
how i do and this is how i recommend
that you do hope it helps