Opt-Out of Amazon's FBA Return Inspections with New Setting

If you’ve happened to toggle with the FBA Settings in your Seller Central Account lately, you might have noticed the New FBA Return Evaluation Settings. Historically, there hasn’t been options for Sellers in regard to what Amazon does with returned units. Now, select accounts are getting the option to Opt-Out of the Return Evaluation. But is there a benefit?  


What is a Return Inspection? 

When customers return FBA orders, the items get sent back to Amazon Fulfillment Centers, rather than directly to the Seller’s location. Amazon then inspects each return, checking if they’re in new condition, and whether they can be put back on the shelf to be re-sold, or if the item is considered used — making it Unsellable.

Unsellable Units cannot be moved back to sellable, which means Sellers must place a Removal Order to get them back. Often, Amazon will consider an item to be Unsellable, when in reality, it can be re-sold as new. This is why we typically recommend Sellers to never dispose of unsellable units, and to instead inspect all “Unsellable” units yourself before disposing them. 

Why Would Sellers Opt-Out of Return Inspections? 

Select Sellers now have the option to Opt-Out of the Return Evaluation all-together. To do this, in Seller Central, go to Settings > Fulfillment by Amazon > FBA Inventory Evaluation Settings > Edit. If you don’t see the setting quite yet, don’t sound the alarms — not every account has the update currently. 

Skipping the Return Evaluation eliminates the possibility of returned items being placed back on the shelf for sale. This means all returned units go straight to Unsellable, meaning even more FBA returns getting sent back to your facility (or disposed of by Amazon, depending on your settings). Read more about Unsellable Unit Settings here! 

In our opinion, it doesn’t make sense to Opt-Out of the Return Evaluation because many customers return their order without even opening the package — and Amazon’s Return Evaluation is by no means fool-proof. If an item is completely brand new, untouched and still in its original condition, there’s no reason for the Seller not to send it back into FBA to be resold (or at least sell it via FBM). Opting out of Return Inspections will correlate with a skyrocketing Unsellable unit rate, creating a ton more work for Seller. 

If you are a client looking for more information, contact your Account Team. Or if you are interested in learning more about how Blue Wheel + Retail Bloom can aid in your brand efforts in online marketplaces, schedule a consultation with our team! 

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