Amazon can be pretty picky with what they let slide when it comes to their sellers. However, if you pay attention to the seller policies and stick to them, you could easily avoid a slap on the wrist from Amazon. They do not often reject partnered-carrier shipments, although it can happen. One way to stay on top of shipment policies and make sure you adhere to them is by using apps for Amazon FBA, which automate order fulfillment and best guide you along the logistics process. Additionally, we’re going to discuss the three most common reasons why a shipment gets refused by Amazon:
- A package is delivered from overseas and has unpaid duties or fees
- It doesn’t meet the delivery standards, for example: damaged goods
- The seller cancels or deletes the shipment
Overseas Deliveries With Unpaid Duties or Fees
For US shipments below the de minimis value, which stands around $800 at time of publication, there are no duties or brokerage fees owed upon delivery. This is a much more generous minimum than what is offered in many other countries where the minimum value of an overseas package is much lower and therefore incurs taxes upon arrival. Take Spain for instance, where just about any product, commercial or between two individuals, shipped from outside the EU that is over €20 will require the receiver to pay 21% VAT.
As a seller, if your package meets the de minimis amount set in the US for both value and weight, you can avoid a rejection by Amazon because of unpaid fees if you ship Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) via UPS or FedEx; this means that you as the sender will cover the cost of duties instead of charging them to the receiver–in this case Amazon–saving you the hassle of a rejected shipment.
Amazon has a zero tolerance policy for sending shipments with non-partnered carriers. They will simply refuse your shipment and turn the delivery away if you attempt to deliver goods with a different carrier, which means that you would almost certainly pay a hefty sum in order to rework those pallets and resend them.
Amazon’s Reasons For Disallowing Non-Partnered Carrier Shipments
Amazon has guides and checklists that outline what kind of shipments are allowed and which ones they will reject. As such, a rejection indicates that something within this agreement has been breached. If an issue arises at a fulfillment center, like labor shortages or capacity issues, these standards become even more important to maintain control of inventory levels.
Common Reasons For Refusing Shipments:
- Overflowing pallets
- Mis-sized pallets (for ex: too tall)
- Mixed pallets
- Faulty pallets
- Over-stacked pallets
- Containers with insufficient room for personnel and forklifts
Judging from past experiences, we see that shipments with pallets are a major cause for Amazon rejecting a shipment. This is because Amazon Fulfillment Centers try to operate as efficiently as possible, meaning they don’t have the ability to store overhanging or excessively tall pallets without reassembling them, and obviously they do not want to do this as it takes up more time and manpower.
With this in mind, it may be better to deliver your shipment floor-loaded rather than by pallets, as Amazon will accept delivery of a floor-loaded container.
How To Handle Refused Amazon Shipments
You may have experienced the frustration of having your shipment refused at Amazon. The first thing to do is to ask your carrier for a detailed explanation of why they were not willing or able to deliver it, and you’ll probably have to deal with more than one person before receiving an answer. Unfortunately, the process can be lengthy and tedious when dealing with road deliveries that may often arrive later than the scheduled time.
The next step would be informing Amazon so that someone there can contact UPS or FedEx about the situation, as this isn’t something handled in-house. When contacting them, make sure all relevant information, such as order number, is included, as without these numbers they might not understand who exactly needs assistance from where.
Try and find out why your shipment was denied by contacting the department that handles rejected shipments. You’ll need to provide your FBA shipment ID along with your reference number for tracing. This can go one of two ways: either your issue could be addressed directly, or you’ll be directed to their FAQ page if your issue has already been covered.
Generally, from here, Amazon will go on to provide concrete reasons for the rejection, with the expectation that the issue is something that can be easily sorted out and the freight re-delivered. A useful tip here is to try and avoid sending your shipments during peak busy times with high traffic (meaning holidays or Prime Day). Choosing a more relaxed time of year or ‘off weeks’ could increase the chances of your shipment being accepted and warehouse personnel being more relaxed in their inspections.
Refused Shipments Due To Cancellations
Lately, Amazon has been cancelling many of their FBA deliveries after 90 days, rejecting shipments for businesses that have not picked up and delivered within this timeframe. This is an unfortunate situation because it can lead companies back to square one, having to create a new shipment all over again just so they may be able to get something shipped out on-time.
Imagine this scenario: when a shipment doesn’t have the right labels on it, pickup and delivery is not possible. The Amazon seller must recreate their order which means an additional label fee for both themselves and the manufacturer, as well as more time spent on shipping to the destination once the new order is completed, with increased costs per item overall.
If your shipment has been cancelled, you may still get it with a little luck: by contacting freight refusals rather than opening a case with Seller Central, you might convince them to re-open the order so that they will schedule for delivery on time. This way even if Seller Central says no, the carrier should be able to bring in your items without any problems. To avoid cancelling and non-delivery, do the following:
- Guarantee that your shipment can be arrive to the fulfillment center within 90 days
- Setting up an appointment with your carrier – this way your shipment won’t get cancelled
As an Amazon seller’s worst nightmare, battling shipment issues and refused freight can be one of the most frustrating things you deal with as a seller on the Amazon platform. To help streamline your operations and keep your shipping and logistics data centralized, you need to be using an Amazon supplier management tool like SellerMobile where you can easily create Purchase Orders, check inventory in warehouses, and restock with suppliers, all to help you avoid any delays or failures in your shipments.
Because Amazon isn’t always 100% transparent on their policies, so with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can learn to play to the system and make it work for you. With proper Amazon inventory forecasting and some tips we’ve shared here, you should be able to navigate shipment challenges so you can continue delivering products on time and keep growing your business.