Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
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by Ina Steiner, Editor of
Thu Nov 9 2017 17:13:51

Amazon Sellers Panic over Change to Order Defect Rate

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon changed the way it calculates claims against sellers, called the Order Defect Rate (ODR), putting seller accounts in jeopardy just as they are gearing up for the holiday shopping season.

Sellers say Amazon has retroactively started counting A to Z claims that were decided in seller's favor and started counting A to Z claims that had been withdrawn by the buyer. "Some people's ODR rates have doubled or tripled overnight," a reader told us. 

There's been no announcement by Amazon, they say. "It appears they sneakily changed their policy page,'s not looking to be a technical issue," the reader told us.

You can read more on this thread on the Amazon discussion boards - and there are many more, with sellers speculating on whether it's a policy change or a glitch. Amazon has yet to respond to our inquiry about the change.

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Readers Comments

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by: bbishop This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 18 23:25:55 2017

Here's one for you. Fake Returns.

We have several hot selling products that we manufacture and hold the patents on and we started getting Amazon messages saying they wanted to verify our products were authentic - but only the hottest selling sku's were inquired upon by amazon? Strange.

The mediocre sales volume items, no inquiry, and they wanted to know a multitude of information, where we purchase, how much we pay, what our profit margins are, etc. etc. Now this happened after we refused ABA-advertised by amazon, FBA - filled by amazon and SBA - shipped by amazon, all of which were services they messaged/solicited us about at least 40 times for over a year.

Then amazon took away the buy box on our top selling product and blocked our #2 #3 top sellers saying our products couldn't be verified, when we replied we manufacturer, sell and ship the product ourselves, why are you punishing us we have excellent ratings across the board? They responded that's just the way it is! Certain products have to qualify for the buy box. ''Woof'' - I recorded the conversations with the reps of course. Now keep in mind we had the buy box for over a year on this top selling item, needed no help advertising, filling or shipping, and had excellent seller ratings.

Now we have amazons automatically authorized returns hitting us for various reasons, don't need anymore, changed my mind, ordered by mistake, dog chewed etc. and half of these are returned in used condition completely unsellable. And now we're getting returned products we didn't even sell the customer - so they kept our product and mailed us a fake return some other sellers product or something from their house. ''Woof''

Now it gets good, amazon charges us for the return shipping without our authorization, doesn't tell us how much they are deducting from our account by messaging us. Nor do they ask us if we want to use our own shipping services, etc. Looks like we are shipping by amazon after all, whether we like it or not. ''Woof''

Then when we go into the returns menu to see the returns and select all returns by date range none of them show up! As if there are no returns - but upon a closer look amazon makes you put the order number of each return in the search block to find them individually.

Now we have to make an appeal on each return we find to be fraudulent. Over the last year we've had 3 returns but since the auto-return policy we've had almost a dozen in less then 5 months.''Woof''

Looks like getting free stuff on amazon is easier than ever now since you and me pay for the product, employee time to fulfill, original shipping, packaging, oh, and amazons return shipping cost and lets not forget amazons seller fee on the fake return! ''WOOF''

And amazon makes money on us going and coming. Can you say ANTI-TRUST.

Now is somebody over there at amazon trying to tell me something?

Maybe they are saying;

Let us stock, sell, ship, advertise and return your products and we will pay you whatever we feel is right after all our fees are deducted for, fulfillment fees, shipping fees, advertising fees, selling fees, and I almost forgot, return fees.

Or possibly;

You have something we want to sell, you better do what we say or we will make you pay in many, many ways.

Or could it be;

If you had advertised with us we wouldn't have hassled you.

If you had given us the info we requested you'd still have the buy box.

If you had let us process your orders with filled by amazon we wouldn't have blocked your top sellers.

If you had shipped with us like we offered we wouldn't have forced you to accept fake returns and made you pay us anyway for the return shipping.

Whats next?

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