Item appears lost in transit, buyer keeps messaging me for refund

I mailed an order the day after receiving it, using Amazon Buy Shipping, and the last USPS tracking was on February 26th (In Transit to Next Facility, over 2 weeks ago). The buyer contacted Amazon a few days ago, and they wrote:

We’ve been contacted by a customer regarding the order identified below.

Details: The item has not arrived as scheduled.
please contact the customer for refund as its been missing.
Please send a status update to the customer.

Not sure why they didn’t just tell the customer to open an A-Z or help them file the A-Z, as that’s what I thought the process was. I mentioned that the item may be lost due to the lack of updates and asked the buyer to open an A-Z for a refund, and they replied:

Hello Seller,
Please help me with the tracking or else issue me refund.
Thank you.

I replied, reiterating they should open an A-Z, and they wrote back:

Hello Seller,
I have not yet received the refund.
Thank you.

I replied again, telling them I could try to help them with the A-Z if they were having issues and am waiting for a reply. Should I continue pushing for the A-Z to be filed, or am I supposed to do something differently here? Thanks.


Technically the buyer must contact the seller first before filing an A-Z AND Amazon wants the seller to cave and refund on their dime.

I do make an attempt to find out the whereabouts of the package but if no success, I direct them to file an A-Z. It all depends on the value and what if anything I find from the postal service. Usually if it is a small amount I just go ahead and refund (and then of course the package gets delivered shortly after :angry:)

A case of not getting the message or ignoring it. Not much you can do but keep resending the message until they actually file the A-Z or a CS agent files it for them. Or the package shows up. Nothing else you can do short of refunding.

Make sure your initial arrival scan at the PO falls within the ship by date. If even one day past you would likely lose the A-Z.

Good luck!


Was it an expensive item? If not, I will often just send another one. I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.


Thank you! Yes, it was scanned during pickup and hit the Regional Origin Facility within the ship by date. I also started a missing mail search…for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to use the other option I normally use to start a USPS investigation (probably past a deadline).


Under $20, so not very expensive. I may consider sending them another one, although it may be too late at this point and with the poor communication (maybe English isn’t the buyer’s first language?), it might be difficult to get a reply to if a replacement would be okay.

On a side note, this was the third order I’ve had with this buyer (first two uneventful), but all 3 were going to different places around the country, with ship to names like:



So, could this be an international drop-shipper or something?


Yep I assume a drop shipper or freight forwarder.

Welcome to SAS!


Thank you! Glad to have found this place as I didn’t want to use the new Amazon Marketplace forums :upside_down_face:


Even if you did use the NSFE…


You saved yourself first the time to ask the question, then the anticipation of a response, the disappointment of no answer, and the ultimate resignation that the NSFE is a POS.



YES, assuming that you used Buy Shipping. If the Buyer replies at all again, briefly note that according to Amazon policies, they must use the A2Z claim process for any refund.

The A2Z is especially important given that you’ve shared that this is a repeat Buyer but with many addresses. You need to CYA and protect your business by having Amazon’s customer go through Amazon’s documentation procedures.

So by forcing both the Buyer and Amazon to stick to Amazon’s policies, you hold them both to the same accountability that they each hold you. :eyes:

You can also go directly to USPS tracking (Amazon’s reporting isn’t always the full pucture) and ask for text updates, though it seems you’ve started investigating already. This is more for you to maybe get the item back.


Any time there is an issue with delivery and Amazon pushes out the email from the customer contact, we then refer them back to Amazon to do an A to Z. Remember to tell them to wait 48 hours after contacting you through this email before filing the A to Z as that is the process Amazon is following (currently).


Yes, I told them they had to file the A-Z according to Amazon’s policies (as @papy mentioned) and also that they may need to wait 48 hours after first contact. I do wonder, after seeing how all the address seemed to be forwarding address, if they are hoping to get a refund without Amazon getting involved (maybe if they’re a drop-shipper who has already filed lots of claims).


I always tell the ITEM NOT RECEIVED claim.

Annoying that Amazon makes them contact us first.

On the bright side, had one two weeks ago. Amazon funded.

Now they found me on Etsy and ordered. I recognized the items, researched, and sent it out signature required (over $100). Then sent them an email – that I got from Etsy – and said I upgraded their shipping to Signature required so maybe THIS time the post office will do their job right.

Got a huge thank you so they are aware. Meanwhile I am hoping their Amazon account was noted for t h e INR…true or not. Protected myself on Etsy just in case.


This would be my thought, except that you are also seeing tracking go poof in this one case.

Regardless, that’s why you just stick to referring them to the A2Z claim. It protects you and them.


I’m assuming that if you use buy shipping you can’t file a claim with the carrier?

If tracking shows that it’s actually lost in transit, there’s 0 chance the customer’s trying to pull something, so ideally you’d just send them another one and take it up with the carrier if that’s an option.

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:thinking: Why would you send a replacement at your cost, if you used Buy Shipping to ensure that Amazon would cover the cost and protect their customer’s purchase if there were problems with delivery?

Even FBA doesn’t automatically send out a replacement if there are problems with delivery.


That’s why I’m asking if you can make the insurance claim with the carrier if you’re using buy shipping. If you used your own account you’d file the claim, get the $100, and send them another one at the carrier’s cost.

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Two points to consider.

Drop shippers are extremely reluctant to file a claim (most of them just won’t) – they know Amazon is watching. They like to claim INR as often as possible to increase profit. But they do it by pressuring the seller, not through a claim.

The other point is that buyers, even legitimate buyers, must wait past the delivery window to file a claim for non-receipt. I have forgotten the wait period (two or three days)


Well it looks like the A-Z went through:

We have granted an A-to-z Guarantee claim of [total] on order [ordernumber]. We have covered the cost of the refund and have not counted the claim against your Order Defect Rate.

Why is this happening?
The A-to-z Guarantee protects customers when they purchase items sold and fulfilled by you directly. Our guarantee covers both the timely delivery and the condition of items you sell. If customers are unsatisfied with either and cannot reach a resolution with you, we enable them to file a claim with us. In this case, we resolved the customer’s issue and determined that you should not be held responsible for the issue raised.

Now, let’s see if Amazon decides to give me a defect anyway, like they did the last time they said I wasn’t responsible and I wouldn’t be getting a defect (on an item I mailed on time, using Buy Shipping, and USPS said the address was invalid/undeliverable) :triumph:

Thanks to everyone for the help!