Amazon updated their policy on Merchant or Seller Fulfilled returns on the 15th of September, in case you were not aware. The policy is official on the 30th of September, so you still have about a week to familiarize yourself with the changes. We have added the post from Seller Central in its entirety below, but you can also click on the link to read it in Seller Central:

Policy update: Updates to the seller-fulfilled returns refund workflow

“To deliver a better returns experience for customers, on September 30, 2020, we are making updates to the seller-fulfilled returns refund workflow. 

When customers do not receive a full reimbursement for their returned items, they want to understand why. These updates will make it easier for you to process refunds and provide customers with visibility into the restocking fees charged. You will also be able to grade the condition of your returned items.

Items returned within Amazon’s return policy and in original condition will no longer be eligible for restocking fees. Only items returned out of policy and/or are in used or damaged condition will be eligible for restocking fees.

Guidelines for charging restocking fees are based on the item condition and product type. In cases where you would like to charge a restocking fee due to a damaged, missing, or a materially different return, you will be required to grade the return item. Restocking fees greater than or equal to 20% will require you to upload a photo of the item. The new refund workflow provides you with the capability to calculate both the restocking and shipping fee directly in Seller Central.

As a reminder, you are still required to issue a refund within two business days of receipt of a return. If you do not take action, Amazon may default the grading to “Sellable as New” and auto-refund the customer.

To learn more, visit Guidelines for charging restocking fees in Seller Central. Additional details on the new refund workflow will be available in Seller Central at the end of September.”

What does this mean for you as a seller? After comparing the current policy with the new one, the two big changes are that the seller will have to grade the item if a restocking fee is charged for a damaged, missing, or a materially different return. Also, If you charge a restocking fee greater than 20% of the price of the item, the seller will also have to provide proof of condition with photos. There may be other changes to the policy, so it’s always a great idea to become familiar with these as they are updated. 

If you are still unsure about what has changed, post a message in the Ask the Community section of our Community Forum and ask your fellow sellers about the changes and what they mean for Merchant Fulfillment.