Repackaging vs Refurbishment
Beware of Amazon’s default settings!
Your listings are automatically set to allow Amazon to refurbish your product if it is returned damaged by a customer. This increases the likelihood of them shipping out another customer’s return as new.
If this happens, you will upset a brand new customer. They will return it so your return rate will increase PLUS if they mark it “not as described” or “used sold as new,” Amazon may suspend your listing with a Please Explain request.
In addition, you are highly likely to get a lowstar Seller Feedback or Product Review.
There are two Amazon services that relate to salvaging damaged customer returns: Repackaging and Refurbishment. Here’s what they say about their Repackaging Service:
“FBA repackages your eligible customer returns so that they can be sold as new. The service applies both to retail and FBA return items, and cannot be disabled in your settings.
Each returned unit is evaluated to determine whether it can be repackaged. Repackaging can include replacing the poly bag or bubble wrapping, or re-boxing the item. It can also include repackaging of branded and unbranded boxes, and poly bags.”
Note, you cannot turn this off!
Amazon grants itself a lot of scope to recoup some costs from products that are returned in a damaged condition. They then either put them back into your stock or sell them from their Amazon Warehouse storefront at a discount.
Their Refurbishment Services grant them even more scope:
“Additional packaging services are available through optional refurbishment. Depending on the item, FBA can re-tape, re-glue, and re-staple boxes; remove excessive tape, non-product labels, and stickers; and re-box branded and unbranded corrugated boxes. Shoes and apparel refurbishment can include steaming and removing stains and odors.”
Fortunately, you can turn this off in your Seller Central account.
1. Navigate far-right and click on Fulfillment by Amazon
2. Then navigate to Refurbishment. If this is showing Enabled, click the Edit button
3. Click Disable and make sure you click the Update button so it saves
4. A confirmation notice should pop at the top of your screen
5. Scroll back down to Refurbishment and double-check that the Disabled option is showing.
While this won’t solve all potential problems caused by Amazon putting a returned product back into stock, at least you have closed this door.
As always, ask us anything. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll know someone who does! Back to Blog
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