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How to Deal With Amazon FBA Returns and Customer Damages

Whether you’re a brick and mortar store, running your own e-commerce website, or selling on Amazon, one thing everyone encounters are customer returns. Knowing what each stage of Amazon’s process is, what their messages mean, and what you need to do on your end is key.

I Received Negative Customer Feedback About An FBA Order

At times, the first indication of an order issue is negative feedback left by the buyer. At this point, the only action needed on your part is to have the feedback removed. You can do this by creating a case in seller central, and requesting feedback removal.

My FBA Customer Contacted Me About a Return

Even though Amazon has a handy, automated section to request returns, buyers will still occasionally contact you to request a return. You need to make sure you respond to any message within 24 hours but, in this case, it’s a pretty simple message. You pay Amazon to handle your customer service, and that’s what you nicely tell the buyer. We usually send something along the lines of this:


I am sorry to here you are not satisfied with your order. Please feel free to return the item using the information at

If you need additional assistance, please feel free to contact customer support at

Thank you and have a great day,

What Happens When the Customer is Refunded

Once Amazon processes a return and the buyer is refunded, the buyer has a set amount of time to return the item. If the item is not returned, then Amazon should automatically reimburse you. If they do not, you will need to create a case asking why they have not, and when you can expect the reimbursement to occur.

The Customer Returned the Item, Now It’s …

When a customer returns your item, it will be placed in to one of several statuses, based on Amazon’s rules, and apparently what employee receives it and what they decide to do with it. Some of those statuses, and how they can be handled are as follows:

Customer Damaged : Let’s get the worst over with first. Customer Damaged items are items that Amazon say were shipped to the customer just fine, the customer received the item, damaged or opened it, and then returned to Amazon. In most cases, Amazon will not reimburse you for a customer damaged item. There are a few exceptions to this, but not many.

Often, the item is still sealed, and can be resold. You will want to recall the item, verify its condition and, if still new, send the item back for resale. If you feel the need, you can also open a case for reimbursement of the return fees.

Defective : Sometimes, this is just as it sounds – the item didn’t work. All to often, this is a customer who wants free return shipping to Amazon, and claims the item didn’t work. Just like customer damaged, you will want to have this item recalled to verify its condition.

Carrier Damaged : When Amazon’s shipper (UPS, USPS, etc.) damages an item, it is automatically reimbursed by Amazon. Leave the item in the warehouse, and wait for this to happen.

I Had to Recall My Item, Now What?

Once your damaged/defective item is back in your hands, inspect it and determine its condition. If it fits any of the Amazon condition guidelines and can be sent back in, add it to your next shipment. Otherwise, eBay, Craigslist, and local Facebook groups are a good place to sell excess inventory. Or, you can damage it out, destroy it, and account for the loss on your taxes.

I hope that helps clear up the mystery of Customer Returns! Have questions? Leave a comment!

Posted in Getting Started With Amazon FBA