We all wake up to the worst surprises some days, and as an Amazon seller, those days are usually when you send a package to the wrong address. This can happen for several reasons; sometimes it's your fault, and other times it is the buyer's fault or the delivery personnel's. So, what happens in an 'Amazon seller shipped to wrong address' situation? Read on to find out!
What to Do When You Accidentally Ship a Product to the Wrong Address
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If your order is fulfilled to the wrong address, one of these three scenarios likely happened:
- Your buyer provided you with the wrong address
- You mistook the address when shipping out
- Your delivery personnel mixed things up when delivering the package
As you can imagine, all three are unfortunate outcomes that call for different solutions. So, here is how to correct each unique shipping mistake.
1. What to Do When the Buyer Provides the Wrong Address
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If you get a message saying the order was delivered to the wrong address, the first thing to do is compare the address details given to you by the buyer to where you delivered the Amazon package.
In most cases, the buyer likely provided you with the wrong address, which could also happen for several reasons. For example, they could have recently moved to a new address and forgotten to change their address details. Alternatively, they may have accidentally misspelled their address when filling in order details.
Regardless of why the buyer provided you with the wrong details, you do not have much to do in correcting the address when shipping out.
When you start a Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) business, you do not directly handle the shipping process. Instead, Amazon ships your products to the buyer's address, so it is the buyer's responsibility to get these details right before closing the orders page.
If the client provides an incorrect address and the order is shipped out before they correct it, they will need to contact Amazon customer service representatives to try and track the package. Understand that you or Amazon FBA could have done nothing about the wrong address, so the return or reshipping responsibility should fall on the buyer.
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Here is what you can do when the buyer wants to provide the correct address for an Amazon package you have already delivered:
Step 1: When an Amazon package is delivered to the wrong address, the buyer normally gets a tracking notification once the delivery is made.
If the order is delivered and they can't find the product at their address, they may try contacting you or an Amazon customer service representative to enquire about the mixup. Once they confirm they provided the wrong address, they might send an email requesting you to resend the order to their new address.
Step 2: Unfortunately, Amazon only allows sellers to send packages to the registered addresses, so you will want to avoid resending the product to a new address. You may incur losses with the Amazon packages if you resend the product.
Step 3: To avoid losses, it is best to have the buyer order afresh. If they cannot do that, you can ask them to try and track down the package at the old address. Sometimes, they can find the packages that way and request the address holders to ship the product to their new address. Alternatively, they can also ask the address holders to return the package to you.
Step 4: If the Amazon package is returned to you, you can issue a refund and have the customer make a new purchase.
2. What to Do When the Buyer Requests an Address Change Before You Ship Out
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In another scenario, your buyer might request an address change on the order before you ship it out. Since Amazon policy states you can only ship the order to the provided address, the best solution from your end will be to cancel the order and have the buyer make a new purchase, this time with the correct address.
If you have already sent the package to the Amazon warehouse for shipping, you can try alerting Amazon customer service to see if they can halt the shipment, even in transit.
If the shipping provider cannot stop the delivery driver, you can ask the buyer to contact the current address holders. They can refuse the delivery or agree to forward the package to the new address.
If neither option is applicable, you can ask the buyer to make a new purchase with the correct address.
3. What to Do When You Mistake the Buyer's Address
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As an Amazon seller, you might have that one bad day where you get some details wrong. One way to mess up delivery is when you misspell the buyer's address and forget to double-check the details before shipping out. This case is possible if you choose the Fulfilment by Merchant business. Nevertheless, this is a mistake you need to own and remedy as follows:
Step 1: Offer to replace the product at your cost. If you choose this, an Amazon customer service representative will communicate to the buyer that you will replace the product, and the buyer will not have to pay anything. But, unfortunately, you will suffer the loss of the previously-shipped item, especially if it is never returned to you.
Step 2: Offer the customer a full refund. If you ship the Amazon package to the wrong address, you will likely have annoyed the buyer enough that they don't want to buy from you again.
Alternatively, you might have inconvenienced their plans, such that the product no longer serves their interests. At the risk of getting an awfully low rating, you should be ready to offer the customer a full refund of their purchase.
4. What to Do When Your Delivery Driver Delivers to the Wrong Address
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Unless you make the delivery yourself, you will likely work with a delivery service. These services rely on drivers to get products to their correct addresses. Unfortunately, these drivers are humans, and it is not uncommon to miss a few details along the way.
In addition, even when the buyer provides the correct address, the details or surroundings can be a bit confusing to drivers. For example, it is possible for street names to sound familiar or for the area to have identical door numbers and colors. So, expect the possibility of your delivery person leaving the package at the wrong address.
If this happens, here are a few solutions you should be ready to provide;
Step 1: Replace the product. If your buyer didn't get the product, you could offer to replace it. If this is the best solution, it will be best to send a new package at no extra cost on the buyer's side. When doing so, you will want to avoid making the same mistake as in the first delivery.
So, request the buyer to leave a more detailed description of their address to make delivery easier for your driver. For instance, if the street address has several housing units, they can point out the door number and color in the description. So, they can describe it as "Unit 9, Blue Door... Not Red Door."
Step 2: If your buyer no longer wants the product, you will need to offer a full refund of their purchase.
5. What to Do with a Missing Package
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Amazon delivers thousands of orders daily, so missing packages are common. Now, if you already sent the item to an Amazon warehouse, but the buyer insists they never received it, you will be happy to know that it is no fault of your own. Rather, that will be Amazon's loss to take care of.
The first thing that will happen if this is the case is that the buyer will contact you about their missing package. Normally, customers are advised to file complaints at least 2 days after the agreed delivery date, after which they can submit a claim within 15 to 90 days.
When the buyer reaches out to you, remain professional even though you will be inclined to blame Amazon for the outcome. Remember, your customer does not care who is at fault; they only want their order fulfilled or refunded. In addition, respond to your customer within 48 hours.
In your response;
Step 1: Request your customer to verify the 17-digit order number of their missing package, and compare it to your FNSKU inventory.
Step 2: Confirm that you sent out the order, then express disappointment that the customer did not receive it on time. Remember, sometimes it could be that the order was never shipped or it was stolen.
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Both are instances that are greatly inconveniencing to the customer. It is also advisable not to blame Amazon when communicating with your buyer.
Step 3: It is best to ask your customer to confirm the order was never delivered. In some cases, it could be the delivery service did not find someone home, so they had to take the package with them. Alternatively, it could be that the item was delivered. Still, the customer has yet to double-check the delivery location or ask their housemates if they received it on their behalf.
After explaining the situation to your customer, guide them when claiming a missing package.
Step 4: If Amazon customer service requests it, promptly send your customer another package. Remember to maintain good communication by telling them when the order is shipped and when it will be delivered.
Step 5: Once you have sorted the customer, you might have prevented them from filing a buyer's A to Z claim, which would make it hard for you to ask for a reimbursement.
But, assuming your customer is satisfied, you can also ask for reimbursement from Amazon to recover the money you spent resending the package. You can do this through the Amazon FBA Reimbursement claim.
To do so, you must log in to your Amazon account, go to Reports, Fulfillment, Inventory Adjustments, and create a case file. Need help figuring out how to do that? Here is a video to help you get started:
Frequently Asked Questions About Amazon Sellers Shipping To The Wrong Address
a) What should you do when the buyer provides the wrong address?
If your buyer provides you with the wrong address, you need to consider the order processing stage before attempting to correct the address. You can only change the order address before shipping the product, and sometimes it involves canceling the order to conform to Amazon policies.
If you have yet to ship the package, you can change the shipping address or cancel the order so the buyer can provide the correct address. Note the latter is the safest option that protects you in case something happens to the package after you ship it out. Alternatively, you can politely ask your buyer to make a new purchase with the correct address. While you can, it is not the best solution to replace the product if you are sure the buyer provided you with the wrong address.
b) Can you change the shipping address?
You cannot change the shipping address as a seller. Only your customer can initiate the process if such a change needs to be made. As a seller, you are only allowed to ship items to addresses provided by buyers on the order page.
c) What happens if you mistakenly ship to the wrong address?
You may have to compensate your customer if you record the wrong address. As a seller, you may need to replace the products without charging your customer.
Luckily, some address holders can refuse deliveries made to their address, which will normally be returned to you.
d) What happens if a package is lost in transit?
As an Amazon seller, you must ensure your buyer receives the package. So, you will need to compensate them if anything happens in transit, normally by replacing the item.
Sometimes, it may be the fault of your delivery service that a product gets lost or broken during delivery. If so, you will still need to compensate your customer before seeking reimbursements from Amazon or delivery services companies.