Instant replacements are available for seller-fulfilled returns

Lovely :angry:

News

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I have been expecting this change for quite some time as it aligns FBM with how FBA works for buyers.

I would not have voted for this change, but I do understand why it has happened.

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This actually sounds like a good thing for FBM sellers, next step will be instant refund, and you can get reimbursed if they don’t actually return it. This will be consistent with how FBA operates and will reduce negative feedback and A-Zs while the item is in-transit from people wondering why they haven’t gotten a refund yet.

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The next iteration:

Pre-emptive Returns - All FBM and FBA will be required to send (2) separate duplicate orders just in case something happens to one of them. Customer not required to return the “back-up” if both received OK.

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it looks like it only applies on pre-paid return eligible categories, so, by default, that would exclude Handmade and Custom (except for SFP on those). ?

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I really don’t see what’s so bad about this.

If I received a defective item and had to wait a week for the return to get processed, and then wait another week for the replacement to arrive, and I didn’t know the difference between FBM and FBA policy (which most buyers don’t), I’d probably just return for a refund, leave a negative feedback or review and buy from someone else who’ll ship the item immediately. That’s a BAD customer experience and it’s why FBA sends a replacement immediately and rebills you later if you don’t return the original. Bad customer experiences are bad for the customer, bad for the brand, and bad for your ncx/ODR rate.

Remember most buyers don’t know the difference between FBM and FBA and expect a consistent buying experience across both, so if they get inferior service from an FBM seller they’ll just think it’s the seller’s fault (or Amazon’s fault, since some of them don’t even recognize that there’s 3P sellers)

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Let’s hope this is so …

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I would not have a problem with this, IF it were not Amazon doing it. Their track record with Safe T claims (and…) is not one that instills confidence in this plan working for both buyer and seller.

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This is something that the bot will actually handle well though. Whether a shipping label shows as picked up/in transit/delivered is pretty clear cut and there’s no room for the bot to make errors.

When there’s a dispute about who’s fault (buyer or seller) it is, that’s not straightforward for the bot to assign blame…

And since this Never Happens…(see the NSFE). :upside_down_face:

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Yes for that … No for this …
Oopsie … the programmer forgot that and it wasn’t meant for this …
Bot can not connect a dot that isn’t there or go around a misplaced dot that is there …

Bot is only as good as it’s programmer …
Programmers are human (or so one would think) …
Humans make errors …

And there is the wiggle room for a bot to make an error …

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But you don’t. With RFS you only have to wait until your returned item is scanned as on its way. Now buyers don’t even have to do that.

If you think buyers won’t file negative feedback when they get charged for a replacement item a month later because they never returned the original, you clearly have different buyers than I have.

Additionally, any process that requires me to fight to get my money back in inherently slanted against me, especially on Amazon. Safe-T claims are notoriously unreliable, and even when the claim is granted the amounts refunded are capricious. Even when the claim is granted at the correct value, filing the claim is an extra time tax I don’t want to pay to get back money that should never have been deducted from my account to begin with.

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I have never experienced a high problem rate with customers, either with ebay, Amazon FBM, or Amazon FBA. The categories I’ve sold/sell are poor targets for scams though. I get the typical return a different / used / empty item crap, but everybody gets that to some extent.

Even still, a replacement because defective request should be a low risk transaction. Most of those requests are likely because there actually is a problem with the product, and you want to provide the best customer service when that’s the case. Scammers don’t typically try to buy one, get a free replacement and skip out on returning the original. They would just buy two and get a refund for both.

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Thanks Much @wadeorcas & SAS!

I guess I somehow missed this in the Announcements & News.(This is what actually got me to complete my signup & registration to SAS.)
I knew I can count on the Seller Community (that we all know well from the days there was actually Seller Support available by Amazon via the Forums.

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@GGX Your absolutely right, those mesups we all hate are NOT ERRORS

May I Attemp To Correct this satement for our specific scenario?

Programmers are Things Or Beings

  • Designed,
  • Created, &
  • Maintained
    by Amazon which are here to…

help sellers sell & do business, by offering Customers the world (For Free)

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OK, “Most” that is.
Now please note that the remaining minority of returns Return for Replacements are easily valuated at few thousand dollars a month, for some/many sellers.
So why do we NEED (so importantly) To Replace before buyers hand their return back (to carrier) for its return journey?

Aside from the FACT that many Return requests, can easily be resolved without anything being returned at all.
And numerous other Return (for Replacement) CANNOT BE RESOLVED BY A REPLACMENT at all. (like the classical, switcheroo aka: sent wrong item return, where in truth Customer ordered Wrong Item, and a replacement will just be a repeat.
[These are truly an issue with the Prepaid Label program, the way it was designed, IMO. Not with RFS, nor Instant Replacement which are built on-top of that & amplify the said issues.)

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Mostly because FBA does this, so Amazon wants to create a more uniform buying experience on the platform irrespective of who’s fulfilling it. The thought process is correct, it’s just that the implementation is a mess, as usual.

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Color me unsurprised by Roberto’s reply here:

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-forums/discussions/t/6351cd84-2229-424a-8611-a49f2fec2168?postId=7509ef6c-b03a-4d58-a35a-e71bbdb2c4fb

As is true in various other circumstances with Amazon’s published policy, a specification of 30 days (or any other ‘blanket’ assertion, in black and white, re: time frames) does not always reflect the additional processing time that Amazon’s automated mechanisms will require.

There’s a reason why Amazon is so beholden to the execrable “Defective By Design” model of provisioning Customer Support.

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One thing that you could always do…

Keep a detailed record of every time you believe Amazon owes you a reimbursement and denied you (whether that be for an FBM claim, FBA losing your inventory, or whatever else), and then when you’re done with your selling career, take them to arbitration for all of it.

For a big seller this would be a sizeable amount, but would also require a sizeable amount of time to keep these records (you’d likely need to hire someone to do so).

I believe in arbitration you would have a good chance at winning a % of your claims.

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A happy ending:

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