Amazon advised sellers to use seals on products in its Consumables product group, but sellers said the real problem stems from warehouse workers.
In a recent post, Amazon said that an analysis of complaints found that buyers perceived products as “used” when they arrived (or were manufactured) without seals.
But sellers who use Amazon’s FBA fulfillment service pushed back, saying workers in Amazon fulfillment centers sometimes put customer-returns back on the shelves when they shouldn’t.
Seller summer.glau suggested, “How about preventing FBA returns from automatically being returned to sellable inventory under ‘New’ condition? Make them all ‘unfulfillable’ so that we can recall and decide for ourselves, or at least, automatically change the condition to ‘used’ so that the expectation is set lower for the customers.
“We have a few complaints about ‘missing accessories’ and 1 complaint about old sold as new. ALL of them came from FBA returns that were just put in the ‘new’ inventory pool.”
Seller Belle_Chemical_Compa said, “We are the manufacturer of our products and have seen images of our products with the seal removed, product replaced with something else, and then regular tape over the opening and the lid put back on. The customer complained we were selling a used item as new and posted it on a product review (which sellers are no longer able to respond to), and yet I know for a fact the product does not go into a box to be shipped to Amazon in this condition.
“The only viable explanation is it was returned to Amazon in this condition and then resold to another customer. You can see the image under our vegetable glycerine product reviews.”
Another seller, OmarS, said they would love it if Amazon allowed them to select SKUs that should never be placed back into sellable inventory. The seller also offered an interesting solution: “Rather than asking sellers to use a random seal, Amazon should design a universal that can be used on any product. This way, FC workers can easily detect used items.”
Amazon created a video that offers advice to sellers on preventing product condition issues.