How to manage product returns on Amazon?

15/07/2021
Returns are a part of an e-commerce business. Customers will return or replace the products purchased for various reasons. But that should not set you back from growing your business. Learn how to manage your returns on Amazon using your seller dashboard and enjoy some quick tips for a smooth returns handling process.

As a seller, you should always aim to provide complete and accurate details about your products. This ensures that customers know what they are buying and reduces your returns. But even if you do that and provide excellent customer service, chances are that the product ordered did not match the customer’s expectation, or that the product received is damaged/defective. In such cases, returns are expected.

So how to deal with returns? How to manage them? And how to make customers happy? Here’s a quick guide to understand all this and manage your returns.
sell on amazon representation of products sold online

How to manage your Amazon returns?

Well, Amazon has an easy process to let you manage your return orders.
  • Step 1: Once a customer initiates a return, you get a notification. Now, you can process the return request either automatically or manually. If you’ve set your returns to Auto-approved Return, any return will be processed only if it complies with the Amazon return policies. Login to your Seller Central account. Go to the ‘Orders’ tab and select the ‘Manage Returns’ option. You can choose the particular return by applying filters on the left-hand side or by selecting the date.

    For manual approval, the seller processes each return individually. They can approve or deny any return.
  • Step 2: On selecting the return request, you can either Authorize Request, Close Request, Issue Refund, or Contact the buyer.
  • Product returns
    For authorization, you have to provide an Authorization number, either by yourself or request Amazon to do it. Confirm the return address and then authorize it. You’ll get a message that the authorization is successful.
    Product returns
    Product returns
  • Step 3: Once the return has been authorized from your end, the customer has to print the Return Merchandise Authorization and Return Mailing label. Then they have to place the Merchandise label inside the box and affix the Return label outside the box and send it to you.
  • Product returns
  • Step 4: Once you receive the product, inspect it thoroughly and verify the reason. You can now choose to return a full or partial refund, depending on its condition. For issuing a refund, you need to fill in the details required. Click on ‘Submit Refund’ for initiation. It will take 3-5 working days for the refund to be credited back to the customer.
  • Product returns
  • Step 5: If you think the request is not a legible one, you can choose to close the return request and provide a proper reason for rejecting the request. The message will then be sent to the buyers and the request will be closed.
  • Product returns
  • Step 6: And lastly, if you wish to contact the buyer for more clarification and resolving the issue, you can send a message to them and can also attach an image or a file. Click on ‘Send email’ when done.
  • Product returns
Note: If a customer wants to cancel an order, they can do so within 30 minutes after making an order. If they cancel the order beyond this time limit, then you can cancel it from your end. If you haven’t shipped the product yet, go to ‘Manage Orders’ and cancel the order, or you cancel it using an order cancellation feed. Amazon will then update the order status and send an email notification about the same to the customer. If you’ve already shipped the product, you can ask the customer to return it to you, and then issue the refund.

Best practices for Customer Returns

All things run smoothly when you have a proper system in place. So here are some best practices to follow for the customer returns.

1. Easy return process

Returning goods should be an easy process for the customers. They should be able to return the products just by initiating a request and providing a reason. Do everything possible to make it a painless process.

2. Set a return window

Provide a return window, like 10 days or 30 days, within which the customer can either easily return or replace the product. Your return window should start from the estimated delivery date, and not the date of the order or shipment.

3. Quick response

Once Amazon notifies you about a return request, respond to it within two working days. Depending on the request, you can either authorize it or resolve the issue by reaching out to the customer.

4. Provide Return Shipping

Customers prefer if they don’t have to ship the return on their own. It’s advisable to provide return shipping for better customer service. You can subscribe to Amazon Easy Ship to have Amazon take care of return shipping.

5. Establish return policy

Have a return policy in place to follow a standard procedure for all your returns. Send specific returning instructions with the customer to make the process hassle-free.

6. Automatic authorization

For the fastest return resolution, automate the return authorization. Go to ‘Manage Returns’ in the Seller Central dashboard and click the ‘Edit Return Settings’. On the Returns Settings page, choose options for how you want to automate your return authorizations.

7. Inform customers

Don’t forget to notify the customer that their refund has been initiated. Also, mention the timeframe within which it will be credited back to their account. We don’t want customers to hang loose or feel ignored, do we?

8. Customer feedback

After the return request is closed, it’s a good chance to reach out to the customer and ask them about your service. You may request them to add feedback on your product or service. This will really help in building your credibility in the marketplace.

Returns should not be taken as a setback. Since you cannot avoid it, it’s better to have a proper management system to deal with it. Make them a part of your learning experience to improve and grow your business further. Join the Amazon marketplace today to enjoy a smooth selling experience.
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