This is a new one for me, not sure how to handle it.

I received 3 orders from 3 different buyer accounts for the same item within a few minutes of each other. Each order has the same shipping address of what sounds like a contractor or hardware type of business. My assumption is that they need one, and 3 different people at the company ordered it (we have the BB). I don’t have order limits or anything like that.

This item is pretty heavy so if I’m right, 2 of these will come back and I’m not interested in that. Even if they use the correct return reason and pay the return shipping at their cost, I still have to cover the outbound shipping. This is also a low margin item, so I want to deal with the returns even less.

If I received multiple orders at the same time for the same item to the same address all from the same buyer account, I would send them a message asking if they want all the orders or if some of them are duplicates. In my experience, around 20% of such orders are mistakes by the buyer and they ask us to cancel the extra orders.

However, since they are from 3 different buyer accounts, none of which has ever ordered from us before, I am a little uncomfortable messaging them to tell them that there are other orders for this item with the same shipping address. If I’m wrong about what is going on, such a message would be unprofessional at the least.

At the moment I’m leaning toward just sending the items and eating the returns as the cost of business, but part of me really wants to ship one and cancel the other 2.

Honestly, this is what I would do. If you can handle 2 cancellations it’s an option.

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It’s worth mentioning that these items don’t travel that well, so in addition to the high cost of shipping there is a statistically relevant chance at least one of these items will come back banged up enough that I can’t resell it as new.

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Maybe something like…

Dear Customer,
Your order is one of three being shipped to the same location.
Can you please verify that this location requires all three units.

Thank you.

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Yeah… but which account do I send it to? :laughing:

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All 3 :grinning:

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Yup… Agree on this.

Hopefully there aren’t a million people at the address and one of them will get the note, confer with their co-workers and answer for all 3.

If nobody responds, I would probably ship all 3 orders.

We have had similar order oddities before. We have a few extra days’ padding in our ship date (for several reasons), and it comes in super handy in instances like this. Our products are like yours in that they are expensive to ship, so we try hard to avoid sending something unnecessarily.

We’d reach out to all three, mentioning that we had multiple orders for the same product to the same address, and that we are confiming so that they receive what they need. Usually your instincts are right…we’ve gotten appreciation from customers when we catch their mistakes in advance (usually an unpopular/special color). Give them a day or so to respond (up to the cutoff for on-time shipment). Without a response, just ship all 3.

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Well, I sent a message to all 3 accounts. I’ll see what happens.

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There are times when you just have to trust your gut instinct.

Keep us posted.

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if it’s B to B I’d consider calling, just for this situation…

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All three buyer accounts are regular personal buyer accounts with individual names on them. Only the address is for a business, so I’m not willing to start breaking rules (even the ones nobody will find out about) over this.

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If shipped, definitely would have signatures. One guy gets 3 and the other two file an INR. Site gets 2 free.

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Why not just have one person file INR for all 3?

When they come back banged up…at least you can do a restocking fee with photos.

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Techinically this is a violation of amazon communications guidelines. There is no reason to contact the customer to verify an order.

I would do that if I saw 2 orders placed right after each other and almost always the 2nd was a mistake. Now I just have to suck it up.

I don’t see this as a win for you unless they actually need all 3.

I think you can easily defend that it falls into one of these options

OPTIONS

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You may only send Permitted Messages to customers who have contacted you about purchasing a product or who have already purchased a product from you on the Amazon store. We define Permitted Messages as those communications necessary to complete an order or to respond to a customer service inquiry.

He can complete the order without contacting the customer

Proactive Permitted Messages are those messages that you initiate that are not responses to a buyer’s question. Proactive Permitted Messages can be sent via email, using Amazon’s templates via the Contact Buyer or Request a Review page in Seller Central, third-party applications in the Application Store, or via Application Programmer Interface (API). You may send proactive Permitted Messages for the following reasons: resolving an issue with order fulfillment, requesting additional information required to complete the order, asking a return-related question, sending an invoice, requesting product review and/or seller feedback, scheduling the delivery of a heavy or bulky item, scheduling a Home Services appointment, verifying a custom design, or any other reason where the contact is required for the buyer to receive their purchase

Contacting them to ask if they want to cancel 2 orders is the opposite of communication required to fulfil the order or receive their purchase.
Keep in mind this is amazon you are talking about. They will not take kindly to good customer service that leads to the cancelation of an order.

To be clear, I’m not trying to get them to cancel any order. Trying to get a buyer to cancel an order rather than just cancelling it myself and taking a metrics hit is explicitly prohibited. I want buyers to buy more of my stuff. I’m asking for confirmation that they want duplicate orders, which you have already conceded is often a mistake. Buyers place orders for multiple items all the time, but when they order multiple items on multiple orders at the same time, I believe confirming the order details is warranted as " resolving an issue with order fulfillment." The only wrinkle in my case is that the orders came from multiple buyer accounts instead of just one.

Amazon’s communication guidelines are specific enough to weed out a lot of bad behavior while still being vague enough to cover general good service. I’m not worried about breaking this particular Amazon policy with these sort of confirmation messages.

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If I knew my items don’t survive shipping well, I’d improve the packaging or not sell it. If they come back to me banged up, then they are getting to the customer banged up. That’s not good.