Amazon warn sellers selling returns as new to stop!

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Amazon have put out a warning regarding product conditions emphasising that goods sold as new must be new, effectively a warning to those selling returns as new. Even a shabby box is enough for many Amazon customers to consider a product as not new so this could include not selling returns from your own customers.

The post on Amazon seller central points out that Amazon have several product detail and listing policies to ensure customers have a consistent buying experience and receive items in the condition they expect. They say that in order to keep your account healthy and avoid suspensions due to customer complaints you should review Amazon policies and best practices to avoid complaints that a used item has been sold as a new one.

This would appear pretty much aimed at sellers who don’t source goods directly from manufacturers or wholesalers. It’s well known that many online sellers source from a variety of suppliers and some buy up pallets of returned goods to resell. However selling returns as new isn’t always a good idea – if the product is the result of a failed delivery then it could be in perfect new condition, but if the buyer has opened the box then it’s probably not going to be considered by an Amazon customer as ‘new’. Behaviour Amazon definitely want to stamp out is selling returns as new just because you ‘refurbish’ a product and think it’s good enough – new means new.

“When you list your products, make sure to specify whether they are new or used. Items listed in “New” condition are expected to arrive in brand new, unopened condition with no signs of damage or wear. Sellers receive “Used Sold as New” complaints when buyers complain that the items they received appear to be used, even though the item was listed in new condition. Customers may perceive an item as used if the product packaging has been opened or has come off, if the product contains previous user data, or if the item shows signs of use such as scratches, dirt, or scuffs.”
– Amazon

Amazon 5 point checklist to avoid selling returns as new

Amazon suggest you ask yourself five questions to determine if you are in danger of selling returns as new

  1. Sourcing
  2. Are you sourcing the product from a trusted supplier that sells items in new condition?

  3. Listing
  4. Is the product accurately described on Amazon and listed in the correct condition? Have you ensured that there is no ambiguity and the customer is well informed?

  5. Packaging
  6. Is the product in its original manufacturer packaging as listed on Amazon? Is the packaging robust enough to stay intact throughout the chain from manufacturer to Customer?

  7. Shipping
  8. Have you taken all appropriate steps and quality checks to ensure that the product is stored, packed, and shipped appropriately, and will not be damaged when shipped?

  9. Returns
  10. When handling customer returns, are you ensuring that your product still meets “New” condition guidelines before returning it to your inventory?

6 Responses

  1. Wow, pot meet kettle. Amazon FBA has done this for years. We’ve had dozens upon dozens of negative feedback because of used/opened products. 99% of imperfect feedback is because of FBA, mainly for them not meeting delivery expectations. Somehow our FBM operations are better than FBA.

    For years Amazon FBA has accepted returns, then resold them even though they shouldn’t have been. The adjustment report you get from FBA confirms this with contradicting return reasons.

    Return Reason: Buyer says it is defective
    Result: Placed back into inventory


    Classic Amazon.

  2. We have received a number of policy warnings for “Used Sold as New” over the last few month on brand new products. Trying to explain to Amazon that, the goods sent to the customer were new and unopened is like speaking to a brick wall. Customers regularly use this reason to get free returns and adverts can be pulled at a moments notice. It doesn’t give confidence in using Amazon as a stable platform especially when FBA has been closed for months.

  3. Amazon are the worst and they care not a jot about sellers, treat us like cash cows while abusing us.

    We’re working our way through quitting this dodgy platform – when we analysed our real profit it’s getting to be not worth it.

    We’ve stopped selling through FBA because of the issues of customer returns -as an example, 1 year warranty and customer returns for a full refund at 11 months 20 days. Or returned but missing parts and Amazon say it must have gone out that way. But Amazon says that it’s our issue!


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