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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

Amazon Restocking Fees: Guide For FBM Sellers In 2024

Updated: Feb 7

Returns are easily one of the worst things when you sell on Amazon, but the ability to charge restocking fees to customers can help lessen the sting.


Returns cost money! Sellers pay for inspections and repackaging returns, and now FBM sellers have some power to recoup some of these costs by charging restocking fees.


In this article we'll explore the restocking fee, how to set it up, how much to charge and what customers can do if they disagree with the charges.


Incidentally, do you feel the need to fix poor cash flow? We've got the lowdown for Amazon sellers.


Let's discuss your eCommerce fulfillment costs. Check our pricing.


What is the Amazon Restocking Fee?


So, what exactly is Amazon's restocking fee and how does it work?


Well, as an Amazon seller, it's important to understand the restocking fee policy. The restocking fee is a charge applied to qualifying return requests. It helps cover the costs of inspecting and repackaging returned items.


The amount of the restocking fee is calculated based on factors such as the original price of the product and the reason for return.


Familiarizing yourself with Amazon's restocking fee policy is essential for managing returns effectively as a seller.


How Does Amazon Restocking Fee Work?


When a customer decides to return an item, sellers have the option to charge a restocking fee based on the item's condition and return period.


Amazon restocking fees are an important aspect for sellers to understand in 2024. These fees help cover the costs of inspecting and repackaging returned items and discourage frivolous returns.


The amount of the restocking fee depends on various factors, such as the original price of the item and the reason for return. It does not include fees incurred during return shipping, and you can't charge customers for it. The fees have to come from your own budget.


It's crucial for sellers to navigate the restocking fee process effectively to protect their profits and maintain a positive customer experience, but thankfully the Amazon restocking fee is there to lessen frivolous returns, like when a customer changed their mind.


How Much is the Amazon Restocking Fee and how to charge a restocking fee?


Are you curious about how much you'll be charged for returning an item on Amazon? As a seller, it's important to understand the Amazon restocking fees for 2024.


The amount of the restocking fee depends on various factors, such as the item's condition and the reason for the return. Restocking fees can range from 20% to 100% of the item's price.


It's crucial to familiarize yourself with these fees to ensure accurate pricing and protect your profits.


When Amazon Sellers Can Charge Amazon Restocking Fees on Amazon returns


Here's the scoop on when you can charge those pesky restocking fees. As a seller on Amazon, you have the ability to charge restocking fees in certain situations. The eligibility to charge these fees is determined by factors such as the return request, return window, and the condition of the item.


Here's when sellers can charge a restocking fee to your buyers for a late return (usually 30 days):

  • Buyer's remorse - the customer changed their mind

  • The same product is available elsewhere, for a cheaper price

  • Items were purchased by mistake, or aren't needed anymore

It's important to note that the restocking fee varies depending on these factors. To charge restocking fees, you can utilize the features available on Seller Central. Sellers can charge up to 100% of the item's price as the Amazon seller restocking fee, depending on the reason, and if the item is damaged or no longer required. So make sure to check the item's original condition within the return and the reason for the order and returns - you might be eligible.


While you're at it, check out our article on the Amazon Account Level Reserve to keep your cash flow strong.


When You Can't Charge an Amazon Restocking Fee


Unable to charge an Amazon restocking fee? Let's explore when you may not have the option to apply this fee.


You cannot charge a restocking fee when:

  • The item received isn't the same as the one on the listing

  • The customer returned the item within the return window

  • You get back the item in its original packaging

  • The wrong item was sent to the customer

  • The buyer returns a book within the return window, but with obvious signs of use

  • The buyer returns a CD, DVD, VHS tape, cassette tape, or vinyl record within the return window, that's been opened or taken out of the plastic wrap

  • Was the item damaged during shipping? - you can only file a claim with the shipping company

It's important to be aware of these limitations and adjust your policies accordingly. In short, the item's condition within the return window is of paramount importance - and if, of course, the item was returned after the return window has lapsed.


Can Amazon Customers File an A-Z Claim for Charging Them a Restocking Fee?


Beware! Customers can file an A-Z claim if they feel unfairly charged a restocking fee, risking your reputation and potential losses.


It is crucial to handle restocking fee disputes carefully. Involve Amazon's customer service team and provide relevant paperwork and evidence to support your case.


Remember to clearly communicate the restocking fee policy to customers and ensure that it's reasonable and in compliance with Amazon's guidelines. As long as you work within full compliance with Amazon seller guidelines and follow the Amazon return policy as closely as you can, you're within your rights of charging a restocking fee.


How to Charge Restocking Fees on Amazon


To charge restocking fees on Amazon, you'll need to follow a few simple steps to make sure you're properly deducting the fee from the customer's refund and providing clear communication about the fee policy.


Start by navigating to the Manage Orders menu on Seller Central and select 'Issue a refund.' From there, you can select the refund amount if a restocking fee applies.


It's important to provide documentation and evidence in the event of restocking fee disputes. Following Amazon's restocking fee guidelines will help you avoid restocking fees altogether.


To collect a restocking fee from your customers, follow these steps in your seller account:


  1. Log in to Seller Central and navigate to the "Orders" tab.

  2. Select "Manage Orders" to find the specific order for which you want to issue a refund.

  3. Locate the order you wish to refund and click on the "Refund" option in the Action column. Alternatively, you can click on the "Order ID" tab on the Order Details page to initiate the refund.

  4. Click the "Refund" button to proceed with the refund process.

  5. Choose the appropriate return reason from the available options and enter the refund amount in the "Amount to refund" column.

  6. Optionally, you can include a note for the buyer.

  7. Click the "Submit" button to issue the refund or accept returns.

  8. After submitting the refund request, allow up to 15 minutes for the data to be updated. If needed, you can contact the buyer through the Orders menu. Additionally, the buyer has the option to open a new request for the remaining amount.


When to Skip the Restocking Fee


To avoid potential A-to-Z claims, sellers should carefully consider when to skip charging the fee. It's important to evaluate each return on a case-by-case basis to determine if providing a better customer experience outweighs the costs of charging a restocking fee.


This analytical approach can help protect the seller's rating and create goodwill. Additionally, handling restocking fee disputes by involving Amazon's customer service team and providing relevant paperwork and evidence can help sellers navigate these situations effectively.


How does Amazon handle restocking fee disputes?


Ensure a fair resolution for your restocking fee disputes with Amazon by actively involving their customer service team and providing the necessary paperwork and evidence to support your case.

When handling restocking fee disputes, it's crucial to gather all relevant documentation, such as photographs, videos, and any communication with the customer.


Clearly explain the reasons for charging the restocking fee and demonstrate that it aligns with Amazon's policies and guidelines.


By presenting a strong case and working closely with Amazon, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome.


Conclusion


In conclusion, understanding Amazon restocking fees is crucial for sellers to avoid unnecessary losses. By following the guidelines set by Amazon, sellers can charge restocking fees based on the product's original price, return reason, and condition.


However, it's important to note that restocking fees cannot be charged for canceled orders or if the refund is the seller's fault. Amazon Prime customers are subject to restocking fees unless the item is returned within the return window and in its original condition.


In case of disputes, sellers should involve Amazon's customer service team and provide relevant paperwork and evidence.


Furthermore, if you want to liquidate inventory on Amazon, check out our 2024 guide.


Or if you want to start a conversation about eCommerce fulfillment - contact us here.

Q: What are Amazon restocking fees?

A: Amazon restocking fees are charges that Amazon sellers may deduct from a customer's refund if the customer returns an item outside of the return window or in a condition that is no longer sellable.


Q: How long do customers have to return an item and qualify for a restocking fee?

A: Customers typically have 30 days to return an item to qualify for a restocking fee.


Q: Can Amazon charge sellers a restocking fee?

A: Yes, Amazon allows sellers to charge a restocking fee if a customer returns an item outside of the return window or in a condition that is no longer sellable. Besides, they charge sellers enough fees.


Q: What is the fee amount for Amazon restocking fees?

A: The fee amount for Amazon restocking fees varies from 20% to 50% of the item's price as a restocking fee. In certain cases, you can even charge up to 100% of the item fee, such as in the case of software or video games - like if the customer changes their mind about the purchase and returns the package after opening it.


Q: Can sellers charge customers an Amazon restocking fee?

A: Yes, sellers can charge customers an Amazon restocking fee if the customer returns an item outside of the return window or in a condition that is no longer sellable.


Q: What is one of the fees included in Amazon's return policy?

A: One of the fees included in Amazon's return policy is the restocking fee.


Q: Can sellers issue a full refund and waive the restocking fee?

A: Yes, sellers have the option to issue a full refund and waive the restocking fee if they choose to do so.


Q: What should sellers do if an item is returned damaged?

A: If an item is returned damaged, the seller can file a claim with the carrier and potentially receive a partial refund for the item.


Q: Do sellers need an Amazon business or FBA account to charge a restocking fee?

A: No, sellers do not need an Amazon business or FBA account to charge a restocking fee. This option is available to all Amazon sellers.


Q: How can sellers avoid Amazon restocking fees?

A: To avoid Amazon restocking fees, sellers should ensure that they clearly communicate their return policies to customers and clearly state the conditions under which a restocking fee may be charged.

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