5 thoughts on “Refunds: Your Amazon Canary in a Coal Mine”

  1. Reading this makes me a little concerned. There are so many things Amazon can end your business overnight, whether it is in your control or not, your intentional fault or not. Since I’ve started, I’ve sold 2200 out of all of my PL skus. 53 returns are listed, 21 are labeled as defective, about 10 as not as described. Is the important thing is to keep your return rate % down. The reasons themselves isn’t that big of deal as long as your return rate isn’t 5-10%, which Amazon would then start looking at the return reasons? That’s how I see it but is that logical and right? I’ve inspected every single return item and 0 have been defective. That tells me most customers are picking those reasons to get free return shipping. I would think Amazon would know this. I sell a very high quality product, so much that I’m at about 100% more than every other competitor on Amazon. I’m very meticulous about my listings, ensuring all details & pictures represent the product exactly, etc.

    • The percentage is an indicator only. Unfortunately, the actual actions taken are based on customer comments, which only Merchant fulfilled sellers see (it was excluded from the FBA report, which is a known issue they’ll eventually fix). So, you can have a hundred Not as Described reason codes and have no issues at all with PQ, because the customer comments have no red flags. Or you can have one Defective return, and have a listing suspension, because of the customer comment. The metrics as they stand for sellers now are only a way to know which customers to follow up with and see if you can get them to explain to you directly what their problem was. THEN you can make the changes. Otherwise, it’s rather a guessing game until you the seller can see exactly what the Amazon investigator sees. None of it is from the ether – all actions Amazon takes are due to customer complaints, competitor complaints, or some sort of negative feedback. It’s just sometimes hard to see that without those customer comments in the FBA report.

      • Thanks Rachel. I understand and agree with a lot of what Amazon does. I would do it to. They must protect their company, their brand, their customers & reputation. It all affects their bottom line. You would fire an employee who is hurting your business. Sellers are no different. You don’t want to continue selling something that will affect any of that. With that said however, it seems like Amazon will suspend a listing with a snap of a finger because of one comment, which could be a competitor or just some crazy customer. I would hope they would take a similar stance as if it was their own PL product. If they wouldn’t suspend their own product listing because of this comment or that, then why do it to another brand. Amazon is so awesome for a lot of reasons, but this is the area that is worrisome and does feel like you better enjoy what success you have as it is just a matter of time until something happens, out of your control, even if you have the best made product in the world and provide even better customer service than Amazon themselves.

        • Hi Curtis,

          For reasons such as you’ve stated in this thread, we offer ongoing account monitoring services. Essentially, we monitor your Seller account daily in order to catch and resolve quality indicators before Amazon does.

          If peace of mind regarding your Seller account is something you’re interested in, we are here and happy to help. Message us at info@cascadia-pts.com and we can discuss further.


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