There are a lot of questions regarding amazon returns, and it makes sense since there are quite a lot of rules and policies involved.
One of those questions is related to the serial numbers of Amazon returned products and the process behind it all.
Does Amazon Check Serial Numbers on Returns?
Yes, after you purchase an item, Amazon claims the seller scans the serial number and the barcode so that if you return the item, Amazon can verify that it is the same item when they scan it.
This may seem like a bit much but considering that some people went through the trouble of buying a new item and returning an old one to get their money back, then it makes sense they check them.
That is the short answer, if you wish to get the long answer by reading the rest of the article, go ahead, you might learn something new…
Does Amazon Track Serial Numbers Of items?
No, Amazon does not track serial numbers, at least not all of them. The fulfillment center associates will receive and deliver products by scanning the barcode, after that the sellers are the ones responsible for anything related to their serial numbers, of course, including tracking.
There is, however, something called virtual tracking.
What Is Virtual Tracking?
What virtual tracking does is enable Amazon to make orders using the same products from different sellers, so they process a customer order in a more efficient way and make a delivery from the fulfillment center that’s closer to the person buying the product.
According to Amazon:
Virtual tracking traces the source of eligible products throughout the fulfillment process. Identical items from different sellers are not physically stored together in a fulfillment center.
What If Someone Returns An Item WithA Different Serial Number?
This can be a serious problem for the buyer, and it’s recommended that if this were to happen to you by mistake, you try to be as cooperative and honest as possible to avoid any further investigation.
This is because many scams operate this way and Amazon is fully aware by now.
What will happen is that the seller, whether it is a third party seller or amazon themselves, will immediately reject the request for a refund and notify the buyer that the serial number is not the same as the item that was purchased.
Does Amazon Ever Deny Returns?
Amazon technically has to accept any returns as long as the product is eligible for issuing that return, that said there are some cases in which Amazon may not accept a return or take action if the customer has already made too many returns.
Which Items Can’t Be Returned?
Here’s a list of items that no matter how much you want to return, you won’t be able to:
- Devices such as laptops, desktops, and Kindles (after a month of delivery)
- Some health, hygiene products, and items with damage protection seals, however, these items may be eligible for a refund without returns.
- Customized, modified, or handmade products (There may be a few exceptions if there is damage or errors with the product)
- Digital music purchasable from the Amazon Digital Music store
- Flowers and plants cannot be returned but can be refundable if there is a valid reason.
- Amazon gift cards
- Prepaid game cards with codes for purchasing content in videogame platforms such as Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo.
- Prepaid phone cards
- Products without the serial code or universal product code
- Any sort of digital purchases such as software and game downloads.
- Theme park tickets
- Videos purchased from the Amazon Video store
- Groceries and liquor (can be replaced or refunded if there is spoiled food or any trouble during delivery)
- Dangerous materials such as flammable liquids or gases
- It may seem weird for some but another “product” that can’t be returned is a live insect
What Happens If A Customer Asks For Too Many Returns?
This is an interesting question, it’s not a very likely situation for the average Amazon customer but still, it might be a question that pops up in our minds when thinking about returning an item for the third or fourth time.
Well, there was a case back in 2018 where a customer had her account closed by Amazon due to an “excessive” amount of returns in 12 months.
If you are interested in the full story click here
An Amazon spokesman said:
We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended time
The customer involved requested 7 returns over 12 months, so it doesn’t take that many for Amazon to take action.
We never take these decisions lightly, but with over 300 million customers around the world, we take action when appropriate to protect the experience for all our customers
Returning an item must be a last resort kind of thing, but if you do find yourself in a situation where you’ve had to return more than a few items, keep these tips in mind:
- Keep track of any emails and contact with Amazon, since a clear line of communication will maintain a safe customer-seller relationship.
- Try to maintain your return rate lower than 10% (if you rarely use Amazon it’s probably ok to have more than that).
- Always give clear reasons with evidence to support the need for a return.
- Don’t buy items carelessly, always double-check your purchases before making the decision.
Amazon has to check the serial number of any returned items to verify if it’s eligible for a refund or not, and if they don’t match they will deny that refund and ask the customer for details as to why the numbers don’t match.
Both the customer and the seller need to keep track of their product serial numbers to avoid any issues with purchases, that is the whole reason they are ther