Practical Ecommerce

The dreaded Amazon A-Z claim

If you sell on Amazon, sooner or later you will get an A-Z claim. No matter what you do, and no matter what the justification, you will get one. Amazon considers a claim against you as a black mark — irrespective of its merits. If you have more than one claim per 100 orders, you are in trouble and your account may be reviewed, suspended, and even closed.

When you get one, you must not reply instantly. Your response must be carefully considered, to put your side in the best possible light. You only get one chance to reply. It is best if you do this after you fully investigate and you have calmed down. You will get nowhere with an angry response to a fraudulent claim.

First, consider what have you done wrong in the buyer’s eyes? What could you have done to avoid this? Learn from your mistakes. Put into place procedures to ensure that the mistakes are not repeated. Sometimes a claim is clearly fraudulent and you can see it coming. Scam artists know that they have a limited number of A-Z claims that they can make. They will try and get you to refund before they raise the claim. You must put feelings aside. This is a commercial decision. If you are virtually certain that the customer is lying, but it is only a few dollars, it might be worth giving in. Too many A-Z claims put your whole business at risk.

Regardless if you can afford to pay an A-Z claim, do not give in to overt blackmail. A polite but assertive “no” to the buyer’s messages may stop the process before it becomes a claim. If it does develop into a claim, the damage is done. All you can now do is mitigate the aftershocks.

There are two main types of claims: (a) the product never arrived, or (b) it is not as described.

If the buyer says it never arrived and if you did not track the shipment, then you will lose. There are only two ways to respond to this. Either bite the bullet and refund the customer in full, or, if you have something to say to better present your company to Amazon in the long run, fill in the response form. To ensure it is actually read, you must put something in the tracking number field. I tend to put in “none” or an actual value. Leaving it blank will result in no one at Amazon reading your reply, with the buyer getting the refund regardless.

I have found that if I politely state my position, and have a good case, Amazon will pay the refund. I still get the black mark, but at least I keep the money.

The same goes for the “not as described” claims. If the customer has a valid point, refund straight away. If the customer did not contact you first, you might respond and complain about it. But the end result is still the customer gets the refund and you get to pay it.

If, however, you think the claim is suspicious, or the customer is being unreasonable, then build your case. Refer to any email the customer sent. Demonstrate how you have done everything. Show how the customer is wrong. If you present your case properly, you might win. In rare instances, Amazon will deny the claim. More often Amazon will grant the claim and will pay for it, too. So you at least keep your money. Irrespective of the outcome, you get the black mark.

It is always worth taking the time to respond properly. In the last few months, as money grows tight, I have had a few A-Z claims. Two came from a buyer clearly abusing the system by ordering two items on separate orders, claiming no receipt the day after placing the order. (She had to use the “not as described” option but then the text said “not received.”) So I had two claims. I defended both. I “won” as Amazon said I was not at fault, but the claims were still granted and Amazon funded them — but my business still received two black marks. I could afford them as I do everything I can to offer good service and I have very few claims. By keeping honest customers happy, and minimizing genuine claims, you can better stand up to the scammers.

In the end, it is Amazon’s playing field. By selling on Amazon, accept that Amazon will always put the customer first. Accept the way in which Amazon judges sellers. No matter how unfair or unreasonable, it is Amazon’s playground and rules. It is better to accept this and find a way to play within these rules, or get out before you are forced.

See Richard Stubbings’ follow-up to this post, at “The dreaded Amazon A-Z claim, part 2.”


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  1. Elizabeth Ball May 7, 2013 Reply

    Hi Richard, I’d never heard of the A-Z claim.

    If online retailers don’t send items that can be tracked, you are definitely risking fraudulent claims so paying a little extra for shipping that can be tracked is really not-negotiable anymore.

    The other issue you mentioned were items "not as described". Providing extra information to describe the item and extra photos to show more angles etc is another solution. As I don’t sell on Amazon I am unfamiliar with their requirements: do they have maximum word lengths and maximum number of photos you can upload?

  2. Richard Stubbings May 8, 2013 Reply

    Using tracking costs an additional $10, which for a $20 item is too much. So the risk is there and has to be accepted.

    With Amazon you normally get to add your offer onto an existing cataloge entry. There is nothing to stop other sellers changing this entry and indeed changing the image. It is strictly forbidden to create a new cataloge entry if one already exists. When a seller changes an entry there is no indication to whether the changes are implimented or not, and no indication to other sellers listing on that offer that the entry has changed.

    So you could in theory be selling A, having added your offer to item A, only to find a week later that the item is now BBB. Or A+.

    Then you get the customer who did not realise that the A5 notebook was so small. Or the customer who did not realise that the 7 inch figure was not 18 inches. Amazon will protect them all.

  3. Elizabeth Ball May 9, 2013 Reply

    The third issue might be overcome by lifesize photos or comparisons. I was once extremely disappointed to order online a charm bracelet with the initials of the kids, parents etc on silver cubes for my sister-in-law’s birthday. I thought they’d be dice-size at least and they were the size of matchheads. But that is horrifying about Amazon and changing the catalogue entry.

  4. Richard Stubbings May 9, 2013 Reply

    It is always worth remembering that it is Amazon’s cataloge. They get to decide what changes are applied and what changes are not applied. What images are shown and which ones are not shown. Unfortunately they do not seem to apply any intelligence to this, so entries can get corrupted and customers confused. There is one german seller who repeatedly does a mass update of all the toys (and DVDs) he sells appending the text [German Version] on all the titles. Thus they all stop selling as the customer does not want a "German version". There actually is no such thing as a German version of the toys. To fix this you have to raise a customer support message for every one corrupted, and then a week latter the german seller has done it again.

    Then there is never any solution to a customer who simply cannot read.

    • joe February 1, 2017 Reply

      Then there is never any solution to a customer who simply cannot read.

      So true

  5. Marilyn Fowler Brownjohn May 9, 2013 Reply

    This line is incorrect "A scam artist knows that they only have a limited number of A-Z claims that they can make " — actually, Amazon raised it from 5 to 50 a couple years ago, and that’s online–buyers have an infinite number via phone calls to buyer support.

  6. Marilyn Fowler Brownjohn May 9, 2013 Reply

    Also…when a customer opens an AtoZ, they have a limited number of choices as to why in the drop down list. One that really needs to be added is "clueless new seller refused to refund so I am forced to open an AtoZ to get my refund". BTDT. And yes, I am a very long time (10+ years) Amazon seller. And I’ve had exactly 2 AtoZs — one a buyer opened against the wrong seller and they withdrew it. The other was an int’l customer who had not hit the end of the delivery timeframe–I won and Amazon funded.

  7. Richard Stubbings May 10, 2013 Reply

    Amazon certainly does review buyers and their claim behaviour. I am certain that they do not publish their limits. I would be amazed if they let a buyer raise 50 A-Z claims without comment. Also remember that I trade on Amazon UK, Amzon DE, Amazon ES, Amazon IT, Amazon FR as well as They all use different metrics. I too have been selling on Amazon for many years, but in the area in which I sell, there are numerous problems outside the control of an individual seller which do not help. For example one manufacturer uses the same EAN for a range of items, causing untold cataloge problems when different sellers all use the one EAN to list the different items.

    Some customers simply raise claims before contacting the seller. Thus making it impossible to fix problems before a claim arises. It is not difficult to get Amazon to Fund a claim, just be honest and put your point forward and be blameless usually gets them on your side. Nevertheless, regardless of whether a claim is granted or not, or who funded the claim, the claim is still counted against your account.

    • paul costello February 27, 2014 Reply

      hi richard im hoping you can help me?
      im a new seller to amazon so im not totaly clued up on how it works.
      but i have a buyer who bought a games console of me that has returned it twice now
      1st he said that it wouldnt read his games when it was returned there was nothing wrong with it
      2nd time he opened a a-z claim claim as defective this time he was saying that it didnt charge up.
      it was again returned and the claim was closed in our favour when it was returned back to the customer even tho there was again nothing wrong with it
      now the buyer wants to return it again saying that the screen is broken.
      everytime we returned it back to the customer we done nothing to it but they think its been repaired or replaced.
      can this buyer open another a-z claim as they are costing us a fortune sending it back and fourth

  8. Das Reviewman June 8, 2013 Reply

    I’ve been talking with many small online business owners about this issue in particular. Those without actual sites are at the employment of Amazon and not their own hard work. We are just SERPS to their royalty. Amazon recently contacted us at to sell online via there venue because they want some of our unique products and though we did decide to sell on their site we definitely don’t give them the higher ticket items just for this reason.

    There are a ton of scammers that shop on this site, and really they brag about taking advantage of the system. Amazon doesn’t care about their sellers, just their numbers and their stockholders. Refunding a $300+ item to them on your wallet is nothing to them, because they will just find someone else to sell it for them. It’s a dirty game selling on Amazon, but you can definitely stay clean if you play it right!

  9. k wright December 7, 2013 Reply

    Making a claim for goods recieved seem to be the norm now, Now I invite the buyer to send item back, and point out its got an infer red pen mark on it (It has) and I offer a full refund, strange not all the items are returned. Cover yourself, do the same

    • Richard Stubbings December 9, 2013 Reply

      Nice idea, thanks.

  10. Amazon Seller December 9, 2013 Reply

    As a seller we are getting slammed by Amazon scammer’s and the worst part about it is that Amazon is supporting the scammer. We are getting requests for return of items that are over 90 days old. When we decline the request based on Amazon return policy we are immediately hit with an A to Z claim. We are currently fighting one such claim where the customer kept the item for almost two months then submitted an A to Z claim. This claim was initially declined by Amazon, the customer appealed, and now we are being bullied in to accepting the return even though it is outside the Amazon return policy. Be aware as a seller that what is right is not part of the Amazon policy for sellers. Customers can keep items for as long as they want, request a return, then file an A to Z claim when their request is denied by some person who is not even located in the continental US. Good luck….. you will need it.

  11. rick December 18, 2013 Reply

    COST OF DOING BUSINESS = TAKING IT IN THE OLE POOP SHOOT! Fraud never rests. Last year a buyer opened a A-Z claim (my 1st) without even emailing me and informing me of any issues. I personally changed the 72 pin connector in the NES & tested the item moments before packaging the item so I knew it worked fine. Buyer claims it doesn’t work. I denied the claim. Amazon refunded him & he never had to send my item back. I lost my item, the money & the cost of shipping to the bastard!! I know amazon has to protect their customers but come on, screwing the sellers is just not right!

    • jason May 23, 2015 Reply

      Had a buyer claim the package arrived sealed but completely empty. How do you fight that? Good luck with Amazon, even if you pay for return shipping customer isn’t required to.

      • bobby August 25, 2015 Reply

        Shipping weight should show in the package tracking. This is why people will claim to receive bricks, as a defence for why the shipping weight would be more than a normal empty package.

  12. Johan de Wal March 9, 2014 Reply

    Hi Richard,

    I’m glad I came across your article. Thanks. Spot on!
    As a first time seller on Amazon, with no experience at all, a buyer immediately fleeced me.
    This happened in Aug 2013 when I sold my Asus Transformer TF700 Tablet with Keyboard Dock Gold on Amazon. The buyer wanted an Asus Transformer TF700 Tablet with Keyboard Dock Grey.

    Amazon applied a Refund because of my late response to the buyer’s request to have the item returned to me. This is true; I was late with my response, because and I still am completely new to selling on Amazon.
    Apologies were sent to buyer and to Amazon.
    I apologized to the buyer about the issue in 3 emails sent on 10.09.2013. Return was authorized and money already had been refunded. No answer.
    All I requested was: When can I expect to have my Asus Transformer TF700 Tablet with Keyboard Dock Gold returned to me?
    I queried Amazon about the issue but got nowhere. Eventually I gave up until your article reminded me of the injustice. I find it strange or rather extremely unjustified that after the buyer has been refunded he or she can just keep your item. Or is it somewhere kept in one of Amazon’s warehouses for resale? Can I still do something about this issue?
    I am certainly not going sell anything on Amazon again!

    • Nadeem June 16, 2014 Reply

      Hi Johan,

      As the money has been refunded by Amazon, you still need to get your item back and by law the customer is bound to send the item back. In other words, some polite requests can be sent to the buyer for return or a prepaid return label can be sent as well. Also, keep record of all the communication and the emails with the buyer.
      If the buyer does not provide any help, you should go to small claim courts by paying nominal fees and proceed.
      I hope this should help.

      • Valetta December 23, 2015 Reply

        Do you have to file in the customers state or can you file locally?

  13. Doug July 13, 2014 Reply

    Richard you are wrong friend. I recently shipped an Ipod that arrived to the buyer two weeks before the set date. It had tracking and insurance. The buyer immediately files an A to Z claim saying that the plastic bubble mailer was empty. How original. The buyer would not respond to my emails and Amazon promptly refunded him completely. Amazon by the way still keeps their portion, they make you refund the entire amount. I was a 5 star seller and now I am am totally through. Seller/India support was awful. And to boot, the thief also filed the insurance claim. Indiazon simply said their decision was final and I would have to make my case with the post office. I would highly discourage small volume sellers to stay away. I am busy ordering my 25 Kindles that are going to mysteriously arrive in an empty box.

  14. JDM John July 31, 2014 Reply

    There was a time I could have considered myself a customer of Amazon. Not anymore!
    After getting the short end of the stick as both buyer and seller I said to hell with that. I’m what some call rogue now.
    I used the same practices and policies to my advantage and scored a descent amount back (5k+ thus far). I just pressed back with the same force amazon used on me.

  15. David October 1, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the article! I’m hurting big time…My partner and I were averaging around 10K in sales on Amazon each month. We were suddenly hit with a multitude of A-Z claims. Most of them were claiming that they had not received their package even though our tracking showed otherwise. We won the first 4 cases but when the claim amount was significant then Amazon sided with the buyer and took our money. Tracking numbers aren’t enough anymore and Amazon wants you to add signature confirmation. At the moment we have so many A-Z claims we are on the verge of being shutdown. We noticed something similar about claims. All the buyers did not enter a last name just the last initial. They even notified us about never getting the package in the same way like it was some scammer template. All notified us around 45-60 days after we shipped. We even Google Mapped the addresses and most of them went to LALA land or some 10 story office building. We presented our facts to Amazon but they were not interested in investigating the matter.

    I will only sell limited inventory on Amazon and will always provide a signature confirmation. I’m also going to try AFS.

    • Richard Stubbings October 26, 2014 Reply

      I wonder if the address was a forwarding service. See “Beware parcel forwarding services?,” my latest blog post.

    • Joseph Mercaldi December 6, 2016 Reply

      I lost because I did not have a signature required on package just Tracking.

  16. Justyna Gromadzka November 13, 2014 Reply

    a-z claims the only option because no return option was available; now our account has been closed. 3 out of the 4 A-Z Claims were done by the Amazon Agents! because there was no return option. Can someone help; if this is happening to anyone please let us know. We are trying to appeal this decision. We have many case logs showing this and we were even told we would not be penalized but our seller privilages were removed today!

  17. Joe November 15, 2014 Reply

    I just got suspended by Amazon, after three A-Z claims this year. After none in five years. Either the Post Office has suddenly gone derelict with deliveries, which I doubt, or scammers are increasingly rapidly. This could be a real thorn in future Amazon sales, their Achilles tendon, so to speak, as word gets out that it’s easy to order products and claim they were never delivered. So, I’m done with Amazon and will seek other methods of selling my books.

  18. peter November 22, 2014 Reply

    Ahhh yeah. Going through same thing. Buyer name and shipping name different? Check. Item delivered? Check. Past window? Check. Buyer misusing A-Z terms to file claim anyways (claiming not received, but was. Twice. They didn’t pick up first time and to re-ship).

    Amazon A-Z is a joke. You can’t contact them. They answer to no one. As a seller, you are completely at the whim of their terrible, outsourced, automated emails, which makes all the great scams possible. Selling on Amazon is very risky for the seller.

  19. JC December 3, 2014 Reply

    FYI shipping it with tracking won’t help. Amazon DOES NOT consider delivery confirmation as proof of ‘getting item in the hands of the buyer’. Had a buyer complaint about not receiving an iPhone 2 WEEKS after item shown delivered. Despite delivery confirmation and confirmation of delivery by the local USPS office Amazon refunded the money for me. Easy to do when it’s not their $$$. When it’s not the seller’s fault, it’s still the seller’s fault is their policy.

  20. s December 15, 2014 Reply

    Recent issue with a return that I approved in Nov, customer filed a-z claiming the refund was not applied to their credit card. I have tried to no avail to appeal to Amazon and have decided that the appeal is just simply not read by an actual human. Their response was to refund the shipping, which I had denied, and was not the reason the customer complained.

  21. conquest December 31, 2014 Reply

    According to Amazon (has printed email proof and recorded conversations) I was told this is how Amazon really works.
    If an item is third party vender then up to third party vender to handle issue, if item is from a third party vender but backed by amazon with a a-z claim that the only thing amazon can do is contact the third party and try to resolve the issue, third if a item is sold by amazon LLC then amazon takes care of the issue.
    After speaking to a third party vender (email proof) the third party vender states that any item backed by amazon a-z is amazons issue, that the venders product is retained and stocked in amazon warehouse by amazon; and all issues are to be handled by amazon not them.
    My reply was but according to amazon website next to the product purchased if states the sellers business name therefore your business name is what people will remember. They stated They can not help with issues even though their name is next to product seller because they have to go by whatever terms and conditions amazon has placed over their heads.
    So if amazon is in control basically over all products and venders then amazon is to blame for any issues that arise.
    As far as their a-z claim, they will return funds of product to your free amazon account, where one would apply a gift card forcing the customer to purchase more items from amazon.
    The sadist part of Amazons horrific poor business ethics is all emails and calls are redirected to a foreign country. Who can not really help in any fashion but endure irate customers complaints. Kind of feels sorry for them because they have families to feed but it is a poor move on Amazon, an American business to pull such tricks. They know Americans will not sit and listen to customers attitudes and you can not lie in American business with out becoming sued. So being in a foreign country they can lie through their teeth and not worry about consequences.
    Shame on you Amazon for making American businesses look bad.

  22. Jack January 6, 2015 Reply

    Amazon is not allowing real reviews to be posted. This review is from: Men’s Winter Thicken Warm Stand Collar Down Jacket Coat Outwear Parka Overcoat Black (Apparel)
    We paid extra MONEY for expedited shipping. The order placed on December 11 should be delivered on December 15. On December 19 we ask “where is our order?” Only than the Chinese seller ( as we realized) decided to ship the item from CHINA. It is clear that seller By shipping it on December 19 had no intention to deliver it December 15. We received it finally on December 23. The Jacket is too small regardless of the fact that we check the dimension twice and seeing reviews about too small sizes received we placed order for LARGER SIZE than we should normally require. Since Jacket is too small The Chinese seller is offering 20% discount from the initial $23.00 price and of course want to keep the shipping charge. Jacket cost was $23 – expedited shipping $59.98.
    Judging the size of the package in our experience the actual cost of shipping from China is about $20 So offering to us the $4.6 refund from the $81.57 total the sellers ends up with around $50 profit on $23 jacket. No question that this is a FRAUD. Whatever they send they are going end up with profit even on “RETURNED” item.

  23. Kmac May 6, 2015 Reply

    I sold a Television recently on Amazon.

    The Television was in perfect condition, not a blemish on it. I delivered it to the buyer myself, powered it up, shook hands, and signed the invoice accepting delivery.

    Two days later, I receive an A-Z claim from the buyer claiming the TV was broken and damaged in shipping, which is almost impossible since it was not shipped. I immediately appealed the claim requesting proof of damage and explained how the TV was delivered, not shipped. The picture I received was a completely demolished TV along with parts and pieces from the TV in the background. It had clearly been tampered with.

    Fast forward 2 weeks, I’m still waiting on Amazon to provide some insight on what to do with this Claim. I am receiving non-stop emails from Amazon and the buyer requesting a return shipping address and to refund the buyer upon receiving the return. I explained over and over to Amazon that I would not be doing this considering the proof I supplied of the delivery and the photos which clearly showed tampering of the TV.

    Another week goes by and I receive another email stating it’s my last and final chance to provide a refund / return authorization to the buyer. Meanwhile, the A-Z claim is finally updated and states “The claim was resolved. Buyer claim denied.” When I called Amazon, they told me it was not resolved and that it was still under review. The following day, the claim is updated again showing that it is now waiting on the seller to refund the buyer, yet it still says that the buyers claim was denied. How does this happen?

    I have called Amazon several times. I have emailed the seller support email address several times. No one seems to know what is going on and no one from Amazon responds. The Amazon website says something totally different from what the rep says when I call in and they are dumbfounded, unable to provide any information or help whatsoever. There is no way to talk to anyone in the claims department and there is no way to stop the emails demanding the refund.

    Please Amazon, get this figured out! I am not about to lose out on a $2000 TV that I sold because you guys can’t get your systems and personnel working together. There are scammers and frauds out there most likely because they know of this vulnerability and can get away with it.

    So unbelievably frustrated.

  24. David Winn May 13, 2015 Reply

    So much to explain or type to you. Bottomline..
    I bought halogen interior bulbs for my KIA. They were a seller thru Amazon. My car lost all ectricity after working to install them . No electric at all. INCLUDING Ignition, etc (keyless). After towing (my road side paid) the Dealership had to figure out what happened and a diagnostic. All in all, $ 150 repair bill. Dealership TOLD ME THE BULBS caused this. Now the seller or Amazon will do anything to help me out. Sure, refund the $ 19 on the bulbs but several conversation they ignored my question as to who and what will take care of this. After several conversations the Seller says their Tech (someone they pay, I assume) says this could not happen. I re-explained what KIA would stand by. Nothing. Then Amazon, after 4 different people I went thru, I chatted with a Supervisor. I am many years and Prime Member customer. With no questionable return history, explained all of this to Supervisor to. Amazon will not do anything to stand by me, the loyal customer. They would rather loose my business (along with anyone on Facebook or speak to). Over a $ 150 dispute ?! I could not believe this. Prime membership for 1 yr is $ 100 bucks, let alone all the purchases I make. Including their New Echo device. They ARE STANDING BY THE SELLER !!!!!! Not a customer, or customers. I am in shock. I have entire chat and emails saved. The seller and amazon was their hands of what happened to me by purchasing the bulbs they sell.

    • Chris January 2, 2017 Reply

      That’s because that is ridiculous. If the bulbs caused the problem, then you need to go to the manufacturer of the bulbs for some kind of warranty support. Don’t even expect the seller to have to cover you for a possible manufacturer issue. What a load of crap. It’s buyers like you that make my head spin. You either purchased the wrong bulbs, which is not up to the seller or Amazon to know what type of bulbs you need, or you bought the right bulbs and there was a defect that caused collateral damage. At best the seller is responsible for just the value of the bulbs, not collateral damage. So either take it up with the bulb manufacturer or suck it up.

  25. Bruce Conrad May 19, 2015 Reply

    Thanks, That was helpful. My claim should never have gotten to claim status but I was Angry and fairly certain I was being hosed by a professional. As you said, its their playing field

  26. Bruce Conrad May 19, 2015 Reply

    Richard, Thanks again. What about alternative routes for ecommerce (besides Amazon and Ebay)

  27. Aangel June 4, 2015 Reply

    I’m sick of Amazon. Sold a £60 item that had been out of the box and I celotasped it back in said box tatty (tatty inside) customer said she was disgusted. Then made up damage part. She paid £19.99 for it??? I paid £5 Amazon fees £6 to post now I can’t get the item back unless I pay another £6 for customer to return total of £77. Never selling on Amazon again. Customer probably put a second hand item back in the box and keep my new one. Shame on Amazon

  28. Angela June 9, 2015 Reply

    Hi Richard,

    My question is a lititle different from the above article. I am a seller on amazon, and do everything by the book. I have 100 % seller rating with over 1500 feedback on this. All of my products are high 4 percents. About 6 months ago a new company came onto amazon, added a product just like mine, used my product description almost word for word. They bought fake reviews, and have even copied my follow up email to my customers, and now use one almost identical . With all of their effort, they have still remained behind us in ranking and sales. Today, out of no where our product is under review. No email from amazon, just out of no where. We have never had an A-Z filed against us. Our customers rave about our follow up with them and our 45 day money back on any product. My concern is that this new company has gotten people to complain to amazon about our product, to knock us out of first, so they an move in.

    Again, our account has been flawless, and we can see no issues anywhere. Do you have any insight on how I should handle this.

    I should state that I tracked this new companies reviews in the begining, and found a pattern. Anyone leaving reviews for them, also left reviews for 3 other products on amazon, the exact same 3. I went through 100 of my customers and found not one of them had left reviews for the same product. When I gave this file of information to amazon 5 months ago, they did nothing.

    I have worked hard to make and produce a product, which has gained strength through honest reviews, and my hardnwork.

    Any insight would be greatly appriciated, on how I should proceed with this.

    Thank you,

  29. etailer September 1, 2015 Reply


    Amazon is fastidious about following items (by ASIN and by seller) over a long period of time. As soon as they identify an opportunity which to them appears as monopolistic, they do the following:

    1. First will attempt to contact the seller to convert the item into FBA

    2. If the seller declines to offer the inventory as FBA and is not the manufacturer of that item, Amazon will contact the manufacturer directly and try to get an account as a retailer and become your direct competitor.

    Their size and scale usually humbles most manufacturers into submission even if you were at one time one of the manufacturer’s favorite retailers. In such an event, Amazon will most likely receive more favorable terms from the manufacturer – this enables Amazon to annihilate the small seller like you – thus starting a price war – a war in which there is only one winner – Amazon.

    3. If you are the manufacturer and own the design and the UPC, and decline to be coerced by them, Amazon is known to approach one of their preferred mega-sellers (these are giant wholesalers with deep pockets but those that are prepared to dance to Amazon’s tunes because of the immense profit Amazon allows them to make – also these sellers are exempt from all the nonsensical metrics about feedback or A2Z Claims) and have the product reverse engineered in a low cost country like China and offer it as generic brand on Amazon as your competition.

    4. Feedback on Amazon is one of the biggest fraudulent operations on Amazon – done by an army of professional reviewers – more about it can be learned here or Google for “Amazon Vine”.

    Since the complete marketplace is their sandbox, they can have fictitious reviews posted any time.

    Amazon’s simple rule is that if anyone is making money in this world on Amazon, they want a greater slice of that pie – if you decline to cooperate, consequences can be devastating. To learn more, Google “Amazon, suspended, account”

    There are only two possible outcomes
    – Heads: Amazon wins
    – Tails: 3rd Party Seller/ Manufacturer loses

  30. Alice Oberfoell September 14, 2015 Reply

    I feel absolutely no sympathy for the sellers. As a buyer I find the a-z guarantee completely bogus. I purchased a software package from Wooden Horse, which turned out to be an upgrade product rather than the promised stand-alone. Worthless to me. After taking screen shots, returning the product, etc, a month later I am still trying to get my refund. Wooden Horse has been stalling from the beginning. I will never buy 3rd party products again as I don’t feel that Amazon actually backs this guarantee to me at all.

  31. Veronica ndungu October 10, 2015 Reply

    I wasn’t happy the way amazon handled my case and it was very unfair. I’ll never buy anything else from them.

  32. Jake Fantom October 24, 2015 Reply

    The best thing a vendor can do to avoid the dreaded A to Z Guarantee claim is to act ethically and responsively in every transaction. For instance, I recently ordered an expensive Panasonic lens from a third party seller. The lens arrived promptly, but despite the fact that it was advertised as coming with a US warranty, the actual product arrived in a plain white box, no manufacturer packaging, no serial number, no US warranty, no lens cover, no user guide, etc. I returned it, but the vendor stalled me for two weeks over the refund. That’s when I filed the A to Z Guarantee claim. My money was refunded by the end of the day. That’s why people file those claims — to get their hard-earned money back from unscrupulous dealers.

    • Satish December 9, 2015 Reply

      I agree with you. Am dealing with a vendor who advertised an item like new, but when I got it, it was damaged with moving & loose parts within.

      Contacted seller who was hesitant to refund initially and asked me to bear the shipping costs (to and back). He tried few more excuses before begrudgingly agreed to refund the money but only if I ship the item back at my cost.

      I shipped the item back very next day, emailed tracking number to vendor and informed him when item was delivered. After couple of reminder emails, vendor responds that he never got the item. I could easily sense that vendor was not acting ethically and was trying to avoid refunding my hard earned money.

      I had no option but to file a claim which is still in process am hoping I get my money back.

  33. Julie December 6, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for your post. I had my very first a-z claim filed against me today and have been a 100% customer feedback so far with 150 sales. I have a low 2% return rate. Customer returned a brand new item as used and I only offered to refund the item at the like new price. They demanded a full refund. I was cordial as you suggested and didn’t let them push me around as this item is very valuable. The item was bought for their father and I don’t think seller ever saw the item before it was returned. She claimed only the manual was opened but entire player had been used and all accessories removed from plastic wrap. I agree that sometimes it’s best to refund to avoid conflict but other times you should stand your ground and not allow scammers to lie.

  34. Valetta December 23, 2015 Reply

    A customer filed an A to Z Claim against me. It was a false claim and they stated the item was damaged, fake but yet they wanted to keep it. I called within minutes if receiving the email and stated I am disputing the claim. Amazon refunded the customers money from my account stating that I never emailed them with my response.
    I copied their rules stating my obligation was to CONTACT them, it never stated I had to contact via email.
    If I want to file a small claims where do I file?

  35. Nancy January 26, 2016 Reply

    I wound up reading this because of a bad experience with a third party seller. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to try to scam an A to Z claim, because it’s such a pain to make one! I got involved with an unscrupulous seller, and thank goodness it wasn’t for a TV. I ordered a set of 11 books and he sent one book from the set — after the EDD.Then he offered a 50% refund! I read through his feedback and am wondering how somebody maintains a 98% positive rating when there is a one star review with a bad experience like mine every five or ten reviews. Is it possible to fake enough positive feedback to bury the bad reviews? I am certainly wary of third party sellers now because of this guy. A to Z claim pending.

  36. Wayne February 15, 2016 Reply

    Amazon spins you around like your playing wack the piñata send emails to you that accomplish nothing and you stil get to pay the shipping cost twice even if it’s included in the cost of your purchase will never use there service if you can call it that

  37. Zak February 21, 2016 Reply

    Buyers know how to extract refund by claiming ‘not as described’ or ‘faulty” even ”fake”. You get brazen scammers openly lying and refusing to return the product but demanding refund as its seller’s fault and time consuming for them to send the merchandise back. Majority of claims I refused to refund but Amazon refunded the scammers and eventually closed my account. You cannot win.

  38. Erik February 25, 2016 Reply

    As an Amazon buyer I find some of the comments from sellers unreasonable. I just got scammed from a seller from China for a part advertised as new, 100% etc, the usual description was all there. The part arrived in Canada late because the seller shipped it a month later than the Amazon confirmation, Chinese tracking is proof of that, the part is used, not even refurbished, scratched and defective, probably a leftover from a previous repair. Now the seller asks me to pay shipping to return it to get a refund. The part cost me 90$ and I would have to spend another 50$ to return junk with the promise of a refund from a seller that already scammed me? no way. If not refunded I will file this scary AZ claim, I don’t see why I should not, and i will not return the item once I had my money back unless the seller sends me a prepaid return slip. The problem being that shipping from China costs pennies while shipping from Canada with tracking and delivery confirmation is expensive. And if I return the item will be only for my own peace not for the seller, as i know he will just turn it onto someone else. Truth is I would never buy online unless I was sure I would get my money back if something was wrong. Amazon gives me a bit of that assurance, and even with this, just the hassle of getting the refund is not worth it and I wont buy from sellers in the marketplace anymore. Many of the sellers are selling on Amazon because of the extreme protection buyers are supposed to have, that’s one thing that attracts buyers. Scammers instead will be always there as there are way too many ways to run a scam, that they are buyers or sellers.

  39. Craig Allen June 19, 2016 Reply

    I recently had an A-Z Claim against me. It is going to cost me over $300. I recently sold a brand new Xbox One, sealed. The buyer had the Xbox in their possession and it was being used for 3 weeks before he reported a problem. The Xbox was received in perfect working condition, but now that the buyer has broken the system, I am somehow responsible to pay for it. I stated my case, and Amazon ruled in the buyers favor. Now I’m out $325, with an opened and broken Xbox One. How is this right?

  40. SeeWhy23 July 20, 2016 Reply

    If you are looking for a fast, reliable and efficient service for appeals. YoungLanes is a company that provided me reliable and efficient service through the appeal process, Their service helped me get back on my feet in a timely manner. It is low cost and they guarantee you a full refund if they are not able to help you reinstate your account.

    Contact info: (574)292-7099

    Website info:

    • Bonnie Tanaka July 24, 2016 Reply

      I looked at their site and they charge 200.00 and up.. This does not seem very low to me.
      I am just in shock over this practice of Amazon to suspend a very “small time” player selling a few books for being a day late on delivery. I never got paid for the book which was delivered. I am dumfounded.

  41. Karen July 21, 2016 Reply

    I purchased a hammock from Mohamed Chiheb Boukadida from Rlma, NY. for $75 via Amazon. The package was badly damaged, the hammock was scratched, and missing pieces. I have photos of the damaged items. As directed by the seller, I shipped it back to him and the cost to ship it back via UPS was $113. The seller stated in his email that I would be refunded what I paid for the hammock plus my shipping costs. I have the emails stating this. In total, I paid $188. The seller sent me an email saying he was refunding me $42 for the hammock and $33 for shipping. IF I get the $75, I will have paid $113 for absolutely nothing. I sent this information to Amazon via their required process but I don’t think I will see my money or hammock.

  42. Bonnie Tanaka July 24, 2016 Reply

    Several years ago I sold a few books online via amazon. A customer said they did not get the book on time.
    I sent the book. I never got paid for said book and Amazon cancelled my selling rights..I am not kidding.
    I was in shock. I tried to communicate with them but to no avail. I am really a very small potatoes selling account. How can they do this/ any advice going forward?

  43. Divyang Desai August 23, 2016 Reply


    I have received a a 2 z claim from a buyer who has sent the item back after 35 days. Now amazon states that the return policy is of 30 days. I represented the case and i have received mail from payments guarantee team that i have to do a full refund. Amazon is actually violating there own policies. Requesting help regarding this matter as this is clearly a case of fraud which is encouraged by amazon. Is there a legal action i can take against amazon UK.? Many thanks for your help.

    • Damien August 28, 2016 Reply

      The return policy applies to when the person recieved your item not the date the item was purchased. Also due to chargeback laws don’t they have 60 days or something? ive had people complain 3 months down the line but that was using paypal.

      I believe the 30 day limit is products you bought direct through amazon alone. Not as a private seller.

  44. Damien August 28, 2016 Reply

    I have ran an amazon business for a fair few years and never received one of these. I always deal with my customer direct and send out replacements if the item cannot be tracked or has been damaged “proof”. But some of you amazon sellers bring it on yourself really.

    I just had to take one out on a user. They stated that an item would be shipped on a set date and be delivered by the end of the week great. Turned out it as being sent over seas and would be deliver within 5 – 30 days (Wtf) i ship worldwide from time to time and obtain global tracking to ensure i know where the item is and i know full well it takes more than 7 days to get from my adress to the items location no matter how much you pay for the postage.

    I complained and asked why when it didn’t state anywhere it comes coming from overseas, heck even their own company has my countrys abbreviation in their name. They never got back to me. I emailed a few times even got amazon to send them an email… still no reply. 30 days later i get to open a a-z case. Item still not shown up. I had to do all the manual work to find out where the parcel was to find out the company delivering the parcel hand it over to my “native” parcel company here. Whom have no idea where the parcel is.

    The most annoying part about this is not just the user being a poor seller but the fact amazon said “there is nothing we can do about this issue because it was placed on the marketplace” really? So i had to wait 30 days to wait for a paracel that i was told would take around 5 – 7 days. Then the funny thing about it is they say you can get a gift card from us. Ill wait it out for the full refund.

    I know customers can be a royal pain in the butt sometimes but some sellers, seriously.

  45. Cathy M August 30, 2016 Reply

    We posted the exp date and customer said she did not see. However I have complained to them that in the way Amazon does business that it is NOT apparent for buyers to always see the expire dates. Unless you put it in the title. And even then they can make any remarks. The customer got their money and the goods and oh boy I do not like that. I think I have a good case with the prior complaint and screen shot. I will see..

  46. zion 56 October 18, 2016 Reply

    I guess for you guys that a store on Amazon it might be part of selling on Amazon, but for people like me who might sell an item once or twice a year, I cannot afford the loss. I have sold maybe five used items on Amazon in the past five years. Recently I sold an oxygen analyzer on Amazon for $230.00, and it sold within a week. The item was described as used in good working condition. I sent it out the same day, and the buyer received in within three days, three days later he started writing me that it was not working, and I replied right away and went over a few trouble shooting tips with him, on the fifth day he said it was working sporadic and he wanted to return for a refund, he said that he had another one exactly like it and that it did not take as long to analyze, right away a red flag went up, as soon as he said he had one just like it. Unfortunately I did not write down the serial number of the unit I sent him, so I realized that if I took it back, it might not be the one I sent him. I wrote back and told him that I could not take it back, that I had tested the unit before I sent it to him which I had done, and it was working. I immediately wrote to Amazon and explained the situation. They wrote back that as per their policy I would have to refund him. I was very upset, and told them that I had no intentions of refunding the buyer. About a few days later they wrote me to tell me that they were refunding the customer and it would be taken from my account, but i had already transferred the money into my checking account. A couple of days later they said that they would be charging that card I had on file for $275, and of course I freaked out, and determined not to let them debit my account I closed my bank account, I know a little drastic, but they could not debit my account, they sent me an email saying that hey had tried to charge my account but the bank declined it, and they would continue to try to charge the account in different amount until the balance was paid, well thats not happening. I dont know what they will do now, but I am done with selling on Amazon, they can close my account, but they are not getting my money back

  47. jeni January 4, 2017 Reply

    I sold an item on amazon 45 days ago. The buyer contacted amazon saying he was missing parts of the product claiming it was supposed to come with more than was advertised. The ad was correct and not misleading, he received everything as advertised. this buyer never contacted me but only amazon. i received an email from amazon saying such, and i responded not once, not twice, but 3 times. i didnt hear anything about it for a week so i figured they got it straightened out. i then receive an email from a company called A to Z saying they were going to refund the buyer. the email said because i didn’t respond to their previous email within 3 days, they were siding with the buyer. the problem is, they never sent me an email. how could i respond to something i never received? i immediatly emailed both amazon and a to z, telling them this buyer was a fraud and i had never had any communication from a to z. i then get another email from a to z saying they are still siding with the buyer, and get THIS, the buyer DOES NOT have to return the item. this was a $400 item. over the next 45 days i have spoken to supervisor after supervisor, calling once a week and being on the phone for over an hour every time with someone that couldn’t bother to read the previous notes on the account, explaining, screaming, pleading my case to a robot that just says ‘im sorry’ ‘i understand how you feel’ and that it will be ‘escalated’. it had been escalated 4 times now. my final call with them, i got tired of hearing the same lame sentences and asked to speak to a supervisor for the 100th time now. i finally asked the supervisor if they had the ability to either credit my amazon account or refund money. she said customer service can. not ONE person previously in my 7 phone calls to amazon had bothered to mention that to me. she transfered me to customer service where i gave my story – again, and i told her i had a lawyer ready who had reviewed the actions of amazon and found this deeply disturbing and we were ready to file paperwork. (amazon claims there is no phone number for a to z, only an email address to contact them, i find it fascinating a billion dollar company does business with another company that doesn’t even have a phone numer) I don’t know if i just finally caught the right person at the right time, but within 5 minutes she credited my amazon account. It just so happens i need to purchase something from amazon that is the same amount as my refund, that’s why i gave them the option of either a credit to the account or cash back. a credit to the amazon account probably looks better to them then cash. this is a warning that ANY buyer on amazon can file these claims for any reason what so ever and they do not have to return the produt. i have read of a ton of other people getting scammed so i am posting this to let people know to contact customer service, NOT the seller center for a refund. and maybe threaten to sue them.

    ****I am reposting this on as many forums as I can find to educate people to call customer service and NOT the seller center!!****

  48. Mary R Anto January 12, 2017 Reply

    Originally, I was entering information on the application to sell my books on Amazon. When I got to the State of CT. sales tax number I stopped because I did not have this information so
    I never completed the application. In the meantime, I found out that it required me to go
    to the Connecticut Tax office and Pay $100 which I didn’t have. Meanwhile I was immediately charged Amazon seller repay fee of $39.99 on 04/02/16 and 04/30/16. I made at least 5 calls, received emails stating the refund was being processed but nothing ever materialized. Now when I call, I speak to customers service people who can barely speak English and evenually just hang up. I have no recourse and meanwhile I am out $79.98. What a ripoff!

  49. Bob January 18, 2017 Reply

    Buyer beware!!! Sellwrs dont care about your product or its condition.. only money matters. Very sad.

  50. Beth January 18, 2017 Reply

    I had a customer claim a package was not delivered and was sent back to me. I never received it, it had tracking and said it was “undeliverable”. As soon as I was told it was not received (was contacted by the buyer immediately), we sent out another package, with tracking.
    I get an A-Z thing from Amazon 2 days telling me he never recieved the package back in November. I looked up the tracking and it says it was delivered. I responded with all the tracking showing delivery. They contact me today, January 18 and say that since they didn’t hear back from me within 3 days, they refunded the buyer. Their first email to me was January 16. There are 5 emails between us within the 2 days. I’m at a loss for where to go at this point. They told me to ask the buyer to let them recharge, I told them this is their fault.

  51. S.. January 21, 2017 Reply

    Absolutely disagree, If Amazon wants to please its buyers that’s fine. But obligating sellers to take losses meanwhile making billions of dollars it’s illegal. It’s a predatory practice. No store will refund your money without having merchandise back. Amazon should be sued for that. It is Amazing that there was no class action law suit brought against Amazon until now for that exact reason.

    • Dj mcclung March 6, 2017 Reply

      Sellers have stolen my money so it’s a two way street! The a-Z plan just is a fraud to protect sellers scams! For this reason I will only purchase new items! Many sellers are just scamming you! The last one cost me $70.

      • A Day April 14, 2017 Reply

        Me too. Lately Amazon 3rd party seller shave been extremely unscrupulous. Sending wrong item twice, sending counterfeit items, sending broken items, sending items that are obsolete, etc has reached extremes. Read my post below for more on the latest scam.

  52. Mark Enterkin February 6, 2017 Reply

    One thing to remember is that you cannot control what some people say. We had one person file a defective product and they ordered the wrong size. Instead of contacting us for an exchange now we have a negative remark for their inability to think. Another customer complained about the price and shipping and it was posted in front of them at checkout another negative feedback occurred. As Amazon is a consumer purchase company I understand why they side with the buyers but when you contact the buyers and offer them a solution that is satisfactory to them they still don’t remove their negative comment nor will Amazon. We asked every buyer that has complained for whatever reason a solution even thought it is only a few we get no response or anything from them, yet they wont send the items back for a refund or swap for the correct size. No they just seem to complain and let it go not realizing how it affects a seller.

  53. R Terra April 6, 2017 Reply

    Yes, far better to get out and run your own site, as long as you’re using their platform you’re on shaky ground, they can throw you off at their discretion any time they want, and what do you have? Nothing, no record of your sales for a resume even. You don’t really own anything when you sell on there, it’s like self service consignment sales where the consignee doesn’t even assume any risk.

    Far better to run your own site and deal with chargebacks, I find the credit card companies to be a less desirable path for scammers to exploit especially for small ticket items.

    It’s very easy as a buyer to get free stuff on Amazon and eBay these days. Just say the magic words uhmm, “item not as described” then yay free stuff.

    • A Day April 14, 2017 Reply

      Have you tried it yourself? I did. After one year of increasing sales the people who control domain names stole my url (domain name) then offered to sell it back to me for $10,000.00. There are just as many scams there as anywhere else. People are somewhat dishonest in any setting.

  54. A Day April 14, 2017 Reply

    A return label without pickup is the same as no return label for me. I am disable, live remote to drop off locations and order online to get things I cannot get any other way due to my infirmety. While I pay extra to do this (for convenience) a problem with a product from a 3rd party seller on Amazon will invariably produce a label with no pick up included. This is a non-starter for me. And forces me to either eat the product of file and A to Z for resolution. So NO, A to Z claims are necessary for this reason as sellers are pig-headed in not doing the right thing up front. Bash me all you want, but if I was able to drop off, I probably would buy it local in the first place.

    • MachineGhost April 15, 2017 Reply

      You can request pickup during normal mail delivery from UPS online; I don’t know about USPS or FedEx. Maybe for a fee.

  55. Maggie Delanor April 20, 2017 Reply

    I got a claim on my Amazon account which was a fraudulent one by the buyer. I provided all evidence, but Amazon disapproved of it and sided with them. I get a hit on my ratings and they closed my account without appeal.

    Amazon nearly makes up more than 40% of my income and am desperate to get back on.

    I came across the idea of stealth on various websites such as the Aspkin forums and Auction Essistance. But I am wondering, is it a safe route to go with?

  56. Jim Martin October 20, 2017 Reply

    Why can’t a buyer, who is disputing, a claim denial speak to a person at Amazon. I was erroneously denied a partial refund for half the price of a pair of Daum champagne flutes, by an Amazon agent, who obviously didn’t read my claim properly. On 7/25/17, I received a package with the two flutes, but one of the flutes was broken because the seller didn’t properly separate the two flutes. After an email to the seller, who requested photos, which I took, but couldn’t attach to the Amazon email, I priority mailed, via USPS, the damaged flute to the seller on 08/25/2017 with a receipt for that date on it and a tracking # 9505 5133 5798 7237 1479 40. The Amazon agent denied my claim because I didn’t return the item w/in 45 days, but my receipt proves I returned it w/in 30 days. Using a system denial, the agent suggested I contact the manufacturer for a possible defect, which is, of course, ridiculous. I have, now, twice emailed Amazon with no responses and no way, that I can determine, to speak to an Amazon agent! I have been an excellent Amazon customer and even purchased a 55″ flat screen TV through Amazon; I have NEVER returned any other purchases! Why is Amazon so buyer un-friendly? Does a class action exist against Amazon for this type of mistreatment

  57. Jonas December 19, 2017 Reply

    In France, Amazon is being fined 10M euros for its abusive policies towards sellers! I congratulate this action by the French government.