Marketing
September 26, 2022

Everything to Know About Amazon Restocking Fees

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Understanding the different Amazon fees is crucial for sellers who care about making profits. Most of the Amazon fees you must be mindful of are imposed on you. Amazon seller restocking fee is just one of the fees you need to understand fully.

When calculated precisely and knowing when and how it happens can save you money. So let's go ahead and look in detail at the things related to amazon restocking fees for individual and FBA sellers. Read on!

What Are Amazon Restocking Fees?

What Are Amazon Restocking Fees?

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A restocking fee is a price charged to a buyer when commodities are returned for a refund. The restocking fee usually differs based on the condition of the item and the details of its return.

Amazon restocking fee is a mode to describe a partial refund for a return that does not warrant a full refund. Your ability to charge a restocking fee depends on the nature of the return.

Amazon return policies mostly aim to ensure customers have an amazing experience, which favors the buyer. Nevertheless, Amazon acknowledges that there are times the seller does not deserve to incur the return cost. Hence, the restocking fees lest you, the seller, keep more of the sale price in these cases.

How Much is the Amazon Restocking Fee?

eCommerce will inevitably involve several returns. That's the nature of running an online business where your customers can't see the goods in person before purchasing. To provide a good overall customer experience, most returns don't qualify for the restocking fee.

As we have mentioned, the Amazon restocking fee is charged based on the original price of an item. The cost differs depending on the type of item, how it was returned, and its condition. So there is no specific amount for the Amazon restocking fee.

In most cases and in compliance with Amazon return policy guidelines, the restocking fee varies from 20% to 100%. However, most cases do not qualify for that full percentage, and most Amazon sellers qualify for a restocking fee of up to 50%. 

When Can I Charge an Amazon Restocking Fee?

When Can I Charge an Amazon Restocking Fee?

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The Amazon restocking fee does not apply to all situations, meaning there are only a few instances you can qualify to request a restocking fee. Some main scenarios where you have the option to charge customers an Amazon restocking fee include:

  1. Suppose the customer changes their mind about an order and returns the item in perfect condition within the allotted return window, which is usually 30 days. Then, for a late return where there's nothing wrong with the returned goods, you can charge up to 20% of the item's price.
  2. When your customer returns the purchased item within the return window, you notice that the item is opened, used, damaged, or materially different than it was originally shipped. Therefore, you can charge up to 50% of the item's original cost in such instances. 
  3. If a customer changes their mind about a purchase of items such as software or video games but opens the package before returning it, you can charge up to a 100% restocking fee. However, these are very rare instances.
  4. The other reason you may receive a reimbursement from Amazon is if the customer requests a return but never returns the product.

When I Can't Charge an Amazon Restocking Fee

When I Can’t Charge an Amazon Restocking Fee

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Having to return a full refund for cases that aren't your fault can be frustrating. However, accepting the returns without raising issuing is important for a good customer experience. A few common scenarios where a restocking fee can not be charged include:

  1. You can not charge a restocking fee if a customer returns purchased goods in their original condition within the return window.
  2. When the customer receives a used or damaged item, remember a seller can file a claim with the insurance company if they purchased insurance.
  3. You can not charge a restocking fee if a buyer returns an item damaged during shipping. For such cases, the seller pays for return shipping but can file a claim with the carrier or insurance company if they purchased insurance.
  4. You could not charge a restocking fee if a customer received materially different goods from what they ordered.
  5. There is no restocking fee charged if the buyer refuses delivery due to visible damage incurred during shipping or caused by the carrier.
  6. Remember there are instances you will cover the there return shipping costs. For instance, if the clothing was the wrong size. However, you can charge restocking fees to help recoup some shipping costs.

How to Process a Restocking Fee on Amazon

How to Process a Restocking Fee on Amazon

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As an Amazon seller, you can take various actions on a return request, including:

  1. Authorize a refund request
  2. Close the refund request
  3. Issue a refund
  4. Contact the customer

1. Authorize the request

Authorize the request

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Both the professional seller and individual seller have the option of reviewing the refund request manually. To do this, you ought to follow the following steps.

  1. Log in to the seller central account and select Orders under Manage returns.
  2. To authorize a single return request restocking fee, pick the return request you wish to review.
  3. Then you will be prompted to use the Return Merchandise Authorization number, which Amazon generates, or you will have to enter a custom RMA number. Note under this section; you will have the option of using an unpaid return label, which Amazon generates, or uploading your own prepaid return label. If your label is Amazon-generated, your return address will be generated automatically; if not, you will need to add your address.
  4. If you want to authorize different return requests simultaneously, you will choose the request you need to be reviewed. Then, you will click on select authorize all selected returns from manage returns.
  5. Then click the Issue Refund button.
  6. Under the Refund button, you Select the return reason. Here you will provide the right reason for the refund and the refund amount.
  7. Then you can add a note for your buyer or a seller memo for your personal record. This allows you to trail the actions you have taken on orders. You can include reasons for concessions and reminders of promises to buyers.
  8. When everything is okay, click the Submit button to administer the refund or accept returns.

It's important to note that submitting the refund request will automatically close the buyer's return requests. Processing returns can take up to 15 minutes for the data to be updated.

You can reach out to the buyer in the Orders menu from the closed order section if you like. There is also an option where the buyer can open a new return request for the remaining amount.

2. Close the return request

As a seller, you can close a return request immediately if you plan to provide a refund requesting for the item's return or decide not to accept the return, for example, if the return request is outside Amazon's return policy.

To close the return request, you will need to pick an appropriate reason as to why you want to close the request and explaining to your customer.

After you have closed the return request, Amazon will send your closer reason to the customer. In other instances, the seller will get notified via mail if a customer also closes a return request.

3. Issue a refund

. Issue a refund on Amazon

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As an amazon seller, you can also opt to issue a refund if the item has been returned in perfect condition or if you are letting the customer keep the product. Remember, if you want your product back from the buyer, it's advisable that you wait until you receive the product for you to issue a fund.

Once you have received your items, you are expected to process the refund within 48 hours. However, if you don't do that within that period, amazon will be forced to refund the actual amount to the buyer and still charge the exact from your seller account.

Therefore, it is necessary that you monitor your refunds actively and ensure that your customer receives their refunds on time.

4. Contact the buyer

Emailing your customer and discussing the issue raised is also an option. Instead of managing the return and issuing a refund, it is a great idea to resolve the issue with the buyer.

How to Calculate Restocking Fee?

How to Calculate Restocking Fee?

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To calculate, you can use a restocking calculator and basically enter the item's price and the restocking percentage. Then, the calculator will evaluate the restocking fee. However, sometimes the calculated will provide the estimated prices.

You can also use the following steps to calculate the restocking fees:

  1. Determine the original price of the item
  2. Find the restocking percentage
  3. Then use the formula Restocking fees= Purchasing price multiplied by restocking percentage divided by 100

How Does Amazon Handle Restocking Fee Disputes?

How Does Amazon Handle Restocking Fee Disputes?

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If you have a contention with a buyer regarding the restocking fees, Amazon provides an opportunity to resolve the dilemma.

To dispute a restocking fee, you must reach out to Amazon's customer service and explain your situation. After that, the team will help you handle the issue most professionally. 

Remember, as an Amazon seller; you will need to file the relevant documents or paperwork for the team to analyze. The review team may take a few days or weeks to conclude their work, but they will ensure that both the seller and buyer will be happy at the end of the day.

Tips on Handling Your Amazon Returns

Tips on Handling Your Amazon Returns

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1. Keep records of the return notification email from Amazon

When the buyer initiates a return of a product ordered via Prime shipping, Amazon will issue a refund immediately, without waiting for the item to be returned. After that, they will send a notification to your mail to notify you that the refund has been issued for your seller account.

You should store these notifications in a folder to organize them. This will help verify that the return actually occurred within the return window.

2. Request reimbursement from Amazon.

If your products were not returned within the return window, you could request reimbursement from amazon.

3. Contact the buyer

You can protect your seller rating by contacting the buyer. Sometimes if the buyer requests a refund, they will leave feedback for you. Therefore, it is a great idea to contact them and apologize to the customer for the bad experience. In most cases, this will stop the buyer from leaving negative feedback on your account, which protects your rating on the Amazon site.

4. Have returned items sent back to you for review

If your items are sent back to amazon seller central, you can have them sent to you for your personal inspection. If you find that the items were opened, used, or damaged, you can request a restocking fee.

5. Find out why items are returned

Finding out why items were returned will help prevent such incidents in the future.

For instance, if there's an issue with quality or defects, you may want to contact your supplier and have the issues resolved. If the issue was with the shipment, you could sort it out with your shipping agents.

You can contact the buyer directly and find out why the item was returned. Alternatively, you can run a report in your Amazon Seller Account. This report is great for identifying frequent issues.

6. Have a system in place

Don't rely on Amazon to watch over your refunds and returns to avoid a restocking fee. Enforcing accountability in your seller account will help minimize the cost of processing returns.

Frequently Asked Questions on Amazon Seller Return Policy

1. Can an Amazon restocking fee collection lead to an A-to-Z claim?

Sometimes, a buyer can file an A to Z claim if they did not receive a full refund. Nevertheless, this does not mean that Amazon will take the customer's side. If such a case happens, you must represent yourself and state that you follow the rules to win the complaint.

2. Are Amazon's Restocking Fees Illegal?

According to state legislation, restocking fees that retailers impose differ. Charges for return shipping are permitted in most cases but may be restricted in rare ones. For instance, a restocking fee should not be charged if the wrong item was sent to you or the product has a problem, the seller cannot deliver the item in a timely manner, or the buyer isn't made aware of restocking fees upfront.

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