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Sat Sept 14 2019 23:21:49

Amazon FBA Repackaging Service No Longer Optional?

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon offers a "repackaging" service for sellers who use its FBA fulfillment service. "The FBA Repackaging Service allows Amazon to repackage your eligible customer returns so they can be sold as new." It may sound good in theory and may be good for some types of products, but given Amazon's low tolerance for buyer complaints, sellers worry about leaving repackaging in the hands of warehouse workers. 

Sellers had been able to opt out of repackaging. However, a seller noticed a change in the program this weekend - they wrote, "FBA repackaging service is gone when you go into your Fulfillment by Amazon setting in Seller Central and Settings (top right) and can no longer be "disabled". Per the "Learn more" help page - "Repackaging is automatic for eligible items, while refurbishment is an optional service.""

The seller posted the following excerpt from Amazon:

Repackaging services
FBA repackages your eligible customer returns so that they can be sold as new.

Refurbishment services
Additional packaging services are available through optional refurbishment. Depending on the item, FBA can re-tape, re-glue, and re-staple boxes; remove excessive tape, non-product labels, and stickers; and re-box branded and unbranded corrugated boxes. Shoes and apparel refurbishment can include steaming and removing stains and odors.

It's interesting to note that back in 2015, FBA sellers were similarly concerned when the repackaging service went from opt-in to opt-out, due to the risk of getting a "Used as new" suspension caused by unhappy customers in events where Amazon messed up.

Today's thread is still fresh, you can monitor it here - and FBA sellers may find it worth their while to keep an eye on their settings as this plays out.



Comments (6) | Permalink

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by: Vigilant Eye On eBay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 15 13:52:46 2019

''The FBA Repackaging Service allows Amazon to repackage your eligible customer returns so they can be sold as new.''

Given that many retailers sell customer returned items as ''open box'' rather than new, this policy would certainly be a valid reason not to shop at Amazon, which I never do.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 16 00:37:19 2019

Wow! So customers won't have any idea that they're actually receiving a used item that they thought was new? There has to be something illegal about that. At least in a B&M, you can see that a package has been opened before and can make your own decision about whether or not to buy it. I sure hope they plan on being specific about it not actually being new.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 16 00:39:37 2019

P.S. -- I don't think they can call it refurbished, either, because that entails actually making a used product like new by replacing parts and what-not.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 16 06:46:35 2019

It's not new if it's repackaged.  

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by: topdog This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 16 10:12:08 2019

A couple of things.
1. Most of these items will not be repackaged, there will be many like shoes, where someone tries one on, it doesn't fit, and they put it back in the box (exactly like what occurs at a shoe store).
2. When there IS repackaging involved, they are now offering an option for them to refurbish the items and sell them at a lower price for you. So that would address the most obvious "used as new" issue.
That said, this will still cause many problems, for both buyers and sellers. As a seller, we had been using this (now mandatory) service until we were hit by a number of used-as-new and counterfeit complaints which arose from this. Once we opted out, these complaints stopped. Not surprisingly, it seems that Billy in receiving is not familiar with the products, and does not know if parts are missing, or if someone switched out products, or was under a rush to meet his quota and simply passed items through without more than a cursory glance. In any event, this WILL cause more problems, and sellers will be on the hook when buyers complain. I am NOT happy, and will be writing a long complaint to Jeff's team (not that it will help, but just want to be on the record when the complaints come).
What were they thinking?!?!

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by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 16 21:00:51 2019

I no longer buy electronics on Amazon. After receiving a VCR ( long ago!) that wasn’t right and getting replacement with same problem that looked repackaged (should have made note of serial numbers) I never buy electronics on Amazon. I go to Best Buy- they price match (or better) and I can really check box in store for repacking. These companies have really gotten very good on making repacks look like unopened boxes (staples and tape). Usually the sealed instructions and accessories are the tip off if it has been repacked.      



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