How to deal with the Amazon A to Z guarantee

Do you sell on Amazon? If so, here’s a comprehensive guide to handing their Amazon A to Z guarantee.

If you are an Amazon seller, the platform may be the best thing that has ever happened to you. It allows you to reach a wider worldwide market from the comfort of your home or office.

But not everything is rosy, and there will always be setbacks that every business will have to face. And the chances are you will eventually need to solve an Amazon A to Z guarantee.

Trethowans
Trethowans

If this ever happens, here’s what you need to know to handle this in the best way possible.

What is the Amazon A to Z guarantee?

Amazon is well known for its excellent service. It is this reputation that makes selling on Amazon so profitable for everyone. Buyers immediately trust anything under the Amazon brand or Prime label. 

This level of trust people put on the tech giant can only be achieved through rigorous quality filters and guarantees that help the buyer feel safe with their purchase.

The A to Z guarantee assures the buyer two things: their purchase will arrive on time, and it will arrive in good condition. 

If the customer has a problem with either of these, they can file a claim and the Amazon team will determine if they’re eligible for a refund. 

Unfortunately, too many of these claims can have a negative effect on the sellers account and impact their ability to sell. Which is why A to Z claims should not be taken lightly. 

Keep in mind that enough claims could cause your account to become suspended or even terminated.

(Source: Tinuiti)

What can you do about these claims?

First of all, it’s important to understand how the Amazon A to Z Guarantee works since there are some filters to protect sellers:

  • If the buyer finds a problem with the product, he is first encouraged to contact the seller via message or return request. This with the purpose of giving the seller a chance to solve the problem himself within 48 hours.
  • If the seller fails to fix the problem within this timeframe, then the buyer can file a complaint and Amazon will step in.
  • After the submission of this complaint, the seller has 72 hours to respond. If he fails to do so, the claim will be granted to the buyer for a refund and the amount in question will be withdrawn from the seller’s account.
  • Amazon will make a decision based on the information available. Should they need any additional details, they will contact the seller through e-mail and give them a timeframe of 72 hours to respond. So, it’s very important that you remain on top of your e-mails so you don’t miss any notifications. 

But don’t worry, even if the buyer wins the claim, you have 30 calendar days to appeal to Amazon’s decision.

Order Defect Rate (ODR)

These claims have a direct effect on your Order Defect Rate (ODR). This is how crucial customer support and customer experiences are when you’re doing business through amazon.

Not all is lost, the A to Z Guarantee has specifics to whether the claim is eligible for the guarantee or not, so when does this guarantee apply?

  • If the item arrives 3 calendar days after the latest estimated delivery date or arrives 30 days (or more) after the order was placed.
  • When the buyer wishes to return an international shipment, but the seller fails to provide a prepaid label, return address, or full refund without the need of returning the item. 
  • If the item is damaged, defective or missing parts upon its arrival or if It’s misclassified or misrepresented on the listing. 
  • If the buyer considers he or she was overcharged.
  • When the seller fails to accept the return request as it is specified on Amazon’s return policy. 
  • If the buyer returned the item but hasn’t received a refund. 

It’s good to know when the guarantee applies and when it doesn’t but it’s far better to know how to avoid these claims overall.

Check product descriptions

When it comes to the Amazon A to Z Guarantee, your product descriptions are of the utmost importance. 

Take the time to write accurate descriptions and include all of the features. Make sure you’re filing it under the right category, add the specs and aspects of your product, and be as specific as you can. 

We know it’s not your intention to mislead buyers, but if your description isn’t accurate it could be misinterpreted. Shampoo comes with instructions for a reason.

Pay close attention to your shipping and handling

There are many things to consider when talking about the logistics of delivery. If you’re not a part of the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program, the fulfillment of your orders goes on your own. You can also use the help of a fulfillment partner, but that comes with a series of aspects to take care of.

Provide a tracking number

If you’ve ever bought something online yourself (which, who hasn’t?) you know how annoying it can be to not get a tracking number.

Not only does it make the seller look unprofessional, but it gives you a sense of unease. And to make matters worse, during a claim process, if the buyer doesn’t have a tracking number the claim is granted to them automatically.

Spend money on good packaging

To a lot of sellers this may seem trivial, but there is a reason why businesses spend so much time, money, and effort in packaging. No wonder unboxing videos are such a hit!

Unboxing is an experience on its own and the more effort you put into the visual and physical experience of opening that box, the more special and happier your buyer will feel.

Be clear about your returns policy

Remember to be clear on the specifics of how you handle returns, you need to advise the buyer of the workings of your return policy and keep it updated. Be clear of who has to cover the costs of returns and other details the buyers may need to know.

Keep track of your emails

Remember this is the main channel of communication between you, Amazon, and the buyers. In the case of claims, you will have to keep a close eye on your e-mail since you have a timeframe to answer. Failing to do so could result in the buyer winning the claim. 

This means you will have to issue a refund and pay for the return shipping. Also, there are various steps to a claim where you’ll need to be on top of your inbox.

Be mindful of your pictures

Many misunderstandings can come from your pictures. So make sure that you show only your product and the items included. Don’t add things that don’t come in the package. People might think they’re buying more than they really are and that can easily lead to a claim. 

If you’re going to include infographics, make sure the information displayed is accurate. Try to portray the product in the most realistic way possible to avoid problems with buyers.

It’s better to dispense with any information and graphics that may cause a wrong impression of what you’re selling.

How to deal with scams

Unfortunately, there will always be people who try to cheat the system at your expense. There are some cases of people who purchase specific items to use just for a special occasion or one weekend and then return them under the claim that the item came damaged.

And the worst part is it isn’t much you can do about it. Amazon will review the cases, but their customer-oriented policies make it hard for sellers to come out winning in this specific scenario.

They even have to pay for the return shipping, the refund, and in some cases shipping from the fulfillment centers back to their own facilities. There are a couple of things you can do if you find yourself in this situation.

You could ask the buyer to pay for the return shipping with the promise of a full refund after an evaluation of the item. However, this option comes with the risk of getting a bad review from the customer under a perception of bad customer support.

It comes down to thinking if the cost of the refund compares to the hassle of dealing with a claim. 

When dealing with a claim keep things short and polite. Remember, every conversation will be saved for future reference. 

Do not get into an argument with the buyer under any circumstances. Keep communication educated and cordial. 

(Source: Seller App)

With good practices the Amazon A to Z Guarantee should be a breeze

This may all seem very scary, but it is a normal part of a business, and something every seller will have to deal with eventually. 

Take a deep breath and think that most claims can be resolved with communication. There’s no need to escalate the matter right off the bat. 

With good practices and good customer service you’ll be able to navigate the Amazon A to Z Guarantee in no time.

AMZ Advisers is a full-service eCommerce consultancy focused on creating growth opportunities for brands, manufacturers, and private labels across the US, Europe, Canada, and Asia. 

The AMZ Advisers team has been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.