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Fri Sept 16 2022 09:34:28

How Much Proof of Delivery Do Sellers Need to Win a Claim?

By: Ina Steiner

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Can photographic evidence of delivery help a seller win an INR claim?

An Amazon seller posted on the seller discussion boards that FedEx is now taking photos when they leave a package at people's front doors. The seller said it helps tremendously with claims of FBM orders (Fulfilled by Merchant, as opposed to FBA where Amazon ships the order).

"This is absolutely game changing! If you list products FBM and ship with FedEx, they are in the midst of rolling out delivery photos! I have already used this 3 times for customers who claim ONR and it has made each of them go away! 

"I currently attach a screen shot of the tracking with the photo since until this rolls out broadly, you have to be a FedEx Delivery Manager user as a customer or log in to your shipper account to see the photos. They are also not taken on 100% of deliveries. But by the holidays, they plan to have this rolled out so that it is showing on all tracking regardless of login status. 

"It's a beautiful thing and should help greatly to reduce doing proactive refunds on ONR claims or dealing with A to z claims for ONR. I don't know if Amazon will accept the photo as proof of delivery in an A to z claim, but I'm sure it will help. Anyway, if you ship FedEx, be sure to log into your account when you are tracking and see if there is a delivery photo."

Item not received claims can be damaging to sellers beyond the cost of possibly having to refund the customer - marketplaces track such claims and dish out consequences for those who accumulate "too many" claims.

But not everyone participating in the discussion was convinced that delivery photos would be enough to win a claim, such as the seller who wrote:

"Unfortunately, this is still not proof that the buyer received the package. This is simply proof enough for Fedex to keep you from being able to file any kind of a claim with them.

"Kind of like the Ring videos I've seen with food delivery drivers taking a snap of the food on the doorstep and then picking it up and taking off with it. Customer never received the order, reimbursement would still be necessary.

"...AND finally, don't forget that Amazon still makes the rules for what is considered delivered and not delivered."

You can find the full discussion on the Amazon seller discussion boards.

Have you ever used the photos that delivery drivers upload to try and fight a claim of non-delivery? Has it been successful on any of the platforms on which you sell? What other challenges do you face when dealing with Item Not Received claims?

Comments (20) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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by: Jeff Smith This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 16 09:41:32 2022

As a seller on Amazon, you have a 2% chance of winning. 98% gets always in favor of the buyer. That is why fraud is very high on Amazon. There are even Facebook groups who show you how to fraud sellers on Amazon to get free items.

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by: GetAGrip This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 16 12:32:32 2022

In 23 years of selling on ebay and amazon I've never lost and inr claim when I had tracking scanned as delivered.

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by: AddyUp This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 16 14:33:48 2022

Most of the couriers this side of the pond have been taking photo's.for years. It's either a picture of the parcel on the doorstep, if no ones at home, or with the door open with the buyers feet in the picture. Even the countries Royal Mail give GPS co-ordinates of where their parcel was delivered.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 16 17:32:50 2022

Amazon has always used DC as a way to screw sellers. ANYONE (men, women, children, martians) can make an INR claim with DC on Amazon and win.

You could have the President (which ever party you choose) be your witness, you could get a fireman/woman, a police women, a priest or a rabbi or an imam - doesnt matter - you will loose.

Signature Confirmation (and its %500 over priced for collecting a signature) is the only way to protect yourself from the thieves that prowl Amazon.

Even then theres still a percentage where you could loose - thats when the customer goes to their cc co and does a chargeback stating it wasnt THEIR signature - they were in another state! .... then you loose.

It certainly couldnt hurt - but it would seem to fall somewhere between DC and SC and if you know Amazon like everyone one else does - they will still deny your claim.

eBay isnt the only rigged/fixed game in town.

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by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 18 07:19:43 2022

Unfortunately, we have seen this for years and many sellers don't need more proof than what has been mentioned before. (tracking, pictures, signatures.)

As stated before the game IS Rigged. Heavily!
And the executives that run rampant with theft, aiding in theft, and vandalism with no accountability is also a Major contribution to our current inflation.

Been the same crap for years.

Another problem is the lack of support from the couriers.  USPS is top of that list with very little to no backing for lost parcels.
Their website is JUNK!  Designed to get nowhere for your lost goods or money.

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by: Jeff12671 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 18 16:30:07 2022

What about "Lost after Delivery" claims that Walmart enforces as policy. That means Walmart doesn't dispute the sellers' merchandise was delivered to the customer but after receiving their merchandise the customer subsequently "loses" the merchandise they received and they automatically get refunded out of the sellers funds and sellers have no recourse. Yes, pathetically Walmart has this policy for its sellers and it is insane as it sounds.

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by: 1st Armored Div. 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 19 00:30:57 2022

I have never lost a claim if tracking said delivered to right location. I personally like having a photo which removes doubt on the buyers part it showed up at their location but it is the tracking which is important on ebay.

I have had ebay take funds from me and refund one buyer when item tracking showed the item was delivered but, when I made a complaint they put the funds back into my account and let the buyer keep the refund. I was OK with that as long as they did not dip their hands into my account.

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by: Fried Chicken Addiction This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 19 01:36:06 2022

I have found this method works best:

Send your large cousin Rocko to said customers house. Take photo of said customer duct-taped to a chair with broken knee caps holding the package.
Send this photo to Ebay.
Let Ebay know Rocko has all the addresses to all the people working at Ebay plus all their family members.
This method has never failed. I highly recommend it.
If you would like my cousin Rocko's contact info, just let me know, he's very affordable.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Sep 19 02:43:32 2022

As some others have mentioned, I have not lost an INR or Ebay or Amazon if the tracking shows delivered.  Not even on Ebay when it was filed for as a Chargeback instead of a claim on Ebay.  It is the only Seller Protection policy on Ebay that works well.  

When Ebay does this, protect the seller, then the claim becomes between the Chargeback and Ebay.  So if a refund is forced, Ebay covers it.  But again you have to have proof of delivery.

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by: NYSteve This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 19 11:42:05 2022

""...AND finally, don't forget that Amazon still makes the rules for what is considered delivered and not delivered."

exactly!  as soon as the PO scans they picked up the package from the sender, the onus is now on them....in the real world that is....the one based on constitutional law.

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by: WhatsUp2656 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 19 13:27:13 2022

I go a step further. When buyer claims INR, I contact their local post office. In most cases they have proof with a drop pin proving where they left it. Unfortunately when selling on Amazon they refund them regardless of my proof but works with all other platforms. I’m a seller who takes great care of my buyers but I don’t play games. When I’m selling a $40 or so product it is not feasible to have them sign for it spending the extra money.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Mon Sep 19 15:11:58 2022

Not Fed-ex but USPS story. In the same week I had two buyers on Amazon claim almost the exact same non-delivery reason. These people did not have a common name and lived in States over 2000 miles apart. What they claimed was that the USPS left the package on the sidewalk (the other said lawn) and the package was stolen! Since these came in on the same day, I decided to do a search on the internet and Youtube and found a video explaining how to claim non-delivery through USPS by saying a package was left on the street/road/ground/curb. I replied to both of them with a question... ''if you know the package was left on the grass/sidewalk, then you must have seen it there, why didn't you go and get it?''... I also explained the the USPS does not leave packages on the grass or sidewalk and then told them that I saw the video on Youtube about this type of scam as well. I then explained that, since you claim the package was stolen, I will file a mail theft report so the USPS can go to your house and investigate the theft.  That was 4-months ago... I never herd from either of them again.... I am so tired of people scamming for items (these were low-dollar $25 items).

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 19 16:00:05 2022

Obviously none of you people actually sell on Amazon. If you did, you know the easiest way to fool-proof yourself is to buy the shipping label through Amazon and then Amazon covers you for shipment issues....regardless of when, where, how, etc. it was delivered.

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 19 16:01:05 2022

@NY Steve

Did you really bring up "constitutional law" regarding shipments being delivered? Huge facepalm.

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by: NYSteve This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 19 18:18:07 2022

@mjr- sorry , would it be better if i said elementary school basics, you responsible until someone else signs for it

@mjr- you may ship on Amazon, you may even BE Amazon, but did you get any buyers claim a package wasnt delivered?

@Whatsup2656- you can even go further than that, you can contact their deliveryman, and oft times they will remember delivering it and some added details (esp in a smaller town)

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Sep 19 18:23:15 2022

@Fried Chicken - Your method is the best I've heard! I've only had two claims for non-delivery, and when I received proof from the USPS that they were, in fact, delivered, I won both cases. And in both cases the customer never contacted me to advise me there was a problem. If it was a legit case of non-receipt, I'd think the first thing the customer would do would be to contact the merchant.

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by: NYSteve This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 19 18:29:11 2022

@iheartjacksparrow ....sounds about right, otoh the first thing i would do is look in a bush or ask my housemates if they saw it

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 20 02:04:17 2022

@NYSteve.....no, you don't have to use elementary school basics with me (I have a law degree).....my point was your statement of law is way off. Keep your day job, bud.

Also....pretty sure the framers of this "Constitutional Law" you spoke of didn't mention anything about e-commerce when they wrote it a few hundred years ago.

Perminate Link for How Much Proof of Delivery Do Sellers Need to Win a Claim?   How Much Proof of Delivery Do Sellers Need to Win a Claim?

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 20 02:08:36 2022

Also, to your other point NYSteve....yes, we occasionally get buyers emailing us saying they didn't receive a package even though it was scanned delivered. Again, since we are covered by Amazon because we used Amazon postage....I tell them to contact their post office and then contact Amazon if they still can't find it (which is what Amazon tells sellers to do). I then don't think about it again.

Bottom line.....Amazon wants you to use their shipping labels. Even if you have video evidence, photographic evidence, a bird that confirms delivery....Amazon will not cover you if you didn't use Amazon shipping unless you got signature confirmation.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 26 13:09:49 2022

great idea



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