Amazon’s A-to-z Guarantee is designed to give buyers confidence that if there are any major issues with their purchase they can easily get their money back. However for sellers, an A-to-z Guarantee claim can have a serious negative impact on their seller rating. We take a look at what steps you can take to avoid Amazon A-to-z Guarantee claims before purchases and what to do when a customer experiences a problem.
What is an Amazon A-to-z Guarantee claim?
Amazon guarantees a refund, or partial refund, to buyers if:
- The item doesn’t arrive, or it arrives 3 days after the latest estimated delivery date or 30 days from the order date, whichever is sooner.
- It’s either damaged during shipping, defective, misclassified, misrepresented, or has parts missing.
- They’ve returned an item but haven’t received a refund from the seller.
- The seller refuses to accept a return request that’s within Amazon’s return policy.
- They want to return an international order, and the seller doesn't provide a return address in the UK, a pre-paid return label, or a full refund without the item being returned.
Buyers have to file an A-to-z Guarantee claim within 90 days of the Estimated Delivery Date.
How can you avoid an Amazon A-to-z Guarantee claim?
An A-to-z Guarantee Claim can seriously affect your seller rating, and in some case eventually, lead to your seller account being suspended or closed. Amazon’s main priority is the buyer’s experience, so more often than not they’ll find a claim in the buyer’s favour; it’s crucial that you do everything you can to prevent claims in the first place:
Describe your items accurately
Make sure that all your listings are matched against the right Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) in Amazon's product catalogue, and that it’s listed in the right condition - don’t sell a second hand or used item as brand new.
Packaging and shipping
Items that arrive late or damaged are the main reasons for A-to-z Guarantee claims. Make sure that your packaging properly protects your products and add extra packaging if you find a lot of items arrive with damage.
Whenever possible send items with a trackable service, or one that at least offers delivery confirmation, so that you have an idea of where your parcel is or whether it has been delivered. If you can see where a parcel has been held up you’ll be able to give your customer a useful response when they get in touch about a late delivery, and they’re more likely to be patient and not file a claim.
Out of stock
Remove out of stock items immediately. If you do receive any orders for a product you don’t have, refund the buyer straight away and send them a message explaining why you cancelled.
Respond to emails
Before making an A-to-z Guarantee claim, Amazon encourages buyers to contact the seller. Keep on top of your messages and respond quickly - if a buyer can’t get a reply from you then they’ll open an A-to-z claim.
Refund when necessary
When a customer contacts you about a missing or faulty item take the time to investigate whether you were at fault. By looking into the issue and keeping them informed the buyer will know that you’re taking the problem seriously, and they’re less likely to make an A-to-z Guarantee claim straight away. If you find that the problem was with you then refund them immediately, you want to avoid a claim that you know you’re going to lose - especially in cases where the buyer says an item didn’t arrive and you sent it using a non-tracked service.
For low value items, even if you think the customer might be lying about the item being missing or damaged, it might be better to refund them rather than putting your seller rating at risk with an A-to-z Guarantee claim.
No matter how many precautions you take to prevent unhappy customers, there will always be a few times when things go wrong. The occasional damaged product or missing delivery is a part of selling online, but by putting these measures in place you should be able to minimise their effects and protect your seller ratings. If you do find yourself with an Amazon A-to-z Guarantee claim you can find out more about the process here, and learn more about how to handle returns on Amazon here.