This article applies to selling in: India

Return Consolidation

Programme Overview

Presently, when a customer returns a product ordered on Amazon.in, as part of the services subscribed by you on Amazon.in the product is shipped back to the originating Fulfillment Centre (FC) from where the order was shipped to the customer. Once the product is received, depending on the condition of the product and under the terms of the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement and the applicable programme/policy documents, we will either re-list the product for sale or if found unfit for customer use (as per the agreed damage standards) the product is stored in the FC until a removal is arranged.

Return Consolidation will now help in consolidating all the returns to the nearest consolidation Centre instead of the original FC. This will minimize interstate movements and is expected to reduce the damages caused due to long distance transportation of products.

Currently, we have enabled four FCs for return consolidations, which are BOM7 in the West, HYD8 in the East, BLR7 in the South, and DEL4 in the North. Customer returns and undelivered shipments will go to one of these four FCs, depending on which Return Centre is the closest to the customer location.

Benefits of the Return Consolidation programme

  • Since returns will go to the Return Centre (RC) that is closest to the customer, the lead time for transportation will be reduced. Besides reducing product damages associated with long distance transportation, the returns will also be processed relatively earlier at the RC resulting in faster reimbursement payouts without sellers having to incur any additional costs.
  • Recommerce capabilities (Light touch prep and Grading and Relisting) at these four Return Centres are enabled. Enrolling for the Return Consolidation programme will enable sellers to capitalize on these processes and improve the salvage value of the unsellable product returns.

programme Features

Intrastate consolidations is a default opt-in feature. Based on your returns rate and your APOB (Additional Place of Business) registrations, you will be enabled for the programme (you may have already received an email or will be receiving an email from in-fba-returnconsol@amazon.comon this information). However, interstate return consolidations are enabled only after receiving an approval from you.

Intrastate consolidations happen between cities within the same state. For example, if an order was fulfilled from the SPNA FC in Pune, Maharashtra, to a customer in Maharashtra and the customer then returns it to Amazon, this return will be consolidated in BOM7 (Maharashtra) based on your APOB registrations for the FC. The Stock Transfer Report (STR) will show that the return was processed in BOM7 and the inventory will correspondingly be added into your account.

Interstate consolidations happen between different states. For example, if an order was fulfilled from BOM3 (Maharashtra) to a customer in Punjab (in North India) and the customer returns the product to Amazon due to some reason (customer return or undeliverable/reject), with interstate consolidation enabled, the return will now be processed in the North Return Centre (DEL4, Haryana) and not in BOM3 (Based on your PPOB and APOB registrations for the state and FC). The Stock Transfer Report will show that the return was processed in DEL4 and the inventory will correspondingly be added into your account. Similarly, based on the return Centre, the return address printed on the RMA, SLAM label, and Invoice will change accordingly.

Note: There are no additional costs for returns that are consolidated in any of the four Return Centres.

Opting for the Return Consolidation programme

To opt for the Return Consolidation programme, fill in the following form: https://survey-az.tfaforms.net/1719 or share your consent by reverting to the introduction e-mail sent by us.

For further queries, you can write to: in-fba-returnconsol@amazon.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Return Centre (RC)

A Return Centre (RC) is a Fulfillment Centre which specializes in Return Processes and where all the returns of a seller will be routed, processed, and stored if he/she opts for the Return Consolidation programme. This will be irrespective of the FC that shipped the product to the customer. For example, if the product of a seller was shipped from DEL4 (North) to a customer in Maharashtra (in the West), when the customer returns the product it will be routed to BOM7 (West) and processed there because BOM7 is the RC nearest to the customer.

Will I be charged for this programme?

No, currently there is no additional charge for this programme. Any change in the terms of the programme will be communicated well in advance and sellers will have the option to withdraw their participation, if desired.

What benefit will the seller get if he/she opts for the Return Consolidation programme?

  • As returns will be sent to the Return Centre (RC) closest to the customer, it will reduce the damage and lead time caused due to long distance transportation hence facilitating faster processing at the RC which in turn will result in faster reimbursement payouts (if any) to the sellers, without the sellers having to incur any additional costs.
  • Due to focused and efficient returns processing at RCs, chances of sellable yield with the returned units will be more. On account of specialized and focused C-return processing at RCs, you will be able to get higher saleability yield on the returns. The improvement in the saleability yield at RCs is expected to be 6% higher than other FCs.

The value salvage impact to the seller is explained in the tables below:

Product Sale Value = INR 1000
Reimbursement Value = INR 300

At Non-RC FC - 50% saleability yield Units Value (INR)
A Total Monthly Returns 100 100*1000 =1,00,000
B Sellable Returns - (A*50%) 50 50*1000 = 50,000
C Reimbursed Unsellable Returns- (B-A) 50 50*(300) = 15,000
D Total value salvage - (B+C)

50,000+15,000 = 65,000

At RC- 60% saleability yield Units Value (INR)
A Total Monthly Returns 100 100*1000 = 1,00,000
B Sellable Returns - (A*60%) 56 56*1000 = 56,000
C Reimbursed Unsellable Returns - (B-A) 44 44*300 = 13200
D Net salvage (B+C)

56000+13200 = 69200
E Additional GMS opportunity from unsellable through relisting (if opted in) considering 25% of unsellable are relisted and sold at 65% realization

(25%*44%*1000*65%) = 7150

(Indicated numbers might vary based on products)

Recommerce capabilities (Light touch prep and Grading & Relisting) are enabled at these four RCs which are BOM7, DEL4, HYD8, and BLR7, and sellers can therefore also improve the salvage value of their unsellable product returns.

Would I need to register for all RCs where the returns are being consolidated to be eligible for the Returns Consolidation programme?

No, your returns will be consolidated at the nearest RC to where you are registered. However, we encourage you to register at all four RCs for better conversion of sellable yield from returned units. Note: In the absence of APOB, the shipment will be routed to the shipping FC (original FC).

What will happen to my product after it is processed and categorized (as sellable/unsellable) at the RC?

The returns processed to the RCs will follow the exact same process that is followed in FCs.

What will be the reimbursement policy?

There will be no change in the reimbursement policy and it will continue to be the same.

How will the reports be generated and how and where will sellers get reports for consolidated returns?

When your customer returns a product, the initial sale transaction will get reversed and the physical product will be returned to the RC along with an e-way bill, if applicable. A Stock Transfer Report (STR) for the branch transfer of the product along with tax calculations will be created and will be available on a monthly basis in your Seller Central account. This report will be published in the first week of every month (Date: 6th) for the previous month’s transactions. To download the report, go to Seller Central > Reports > Tax Document Library > Merchant Tax Report > Stock Transfer Report. For downloading the branch transfer invoices, you need to raise a request to Seller Support along with the transaction IDs from the STR. The details of reporting workflow is explained in the table below.

SN Customer Return
Existing New
1 DEL2 ships the product. Invoice gets generated in Seller Central account from DEL2 to customer DEL2 ships the product. Invoice gets generated in Seller Central account from DEL2 to customer
2 Shipment delivered to the customer in Telangana. Shipment delivered to the customer in Telangana.
3 Customer creates a return request Customer creates a return request
4 Initial sales transaction gets reversed. Initial sale transaction gets reversed and virtual stock transfer from DEL2 to HYD8 gets generated (goods physically move from original shipping FC to RC). STR and invoice are generated for stock transfer, seller gets IGST credit at HYD8
5 Shipment is carried back to DEL2 Shipment is carried back to HYD8
6 Return processed in DEL2 <end of process> Return processed in HYD8 <end of process>

What will be the value considered by the system for branch transfer invoice? Will sellers get IGST credit for inter-state movement of their goods?

Branch transfer invoice will be raised from the Seller Central account with the value of the ordered item which is being returned to RCs. Sellers will be able to claim IGST credit at their transferee branch, i.e. in the RC state. In the above example, the seller will get IGST credit at HYD8 after branch transfer from DEL2 to HYD8 is completed, subject to applicable tax reporting requirements.

Note: Sellers are requested to review and acknowledge the implications of this programme on their reporting obligations under applicable laws (including reporting of both dispatch and arrivals of the shipment to and from FCs based on the relevant reports made available in Seller Central Account). Sellers can reach out to their tax advisor/CA to review the programme implications on their reporting compliance and take their independent view.

How do I differentiate between Returns Consolidation transaction and trans-shipment/transfer transactions in the report?

The Stock Transfer Reports give you the information below:

Snapshot date Transaction ID ASIN Shipped from Shipped to Quantity
12/12/2019 22179462xxxxxx-b0xxxxxxxxca-CONRET BOxxx BLR7 HYD8 1

As shown in the report above, in the second column Transaction ID you will find a string starting with the shipment ID and ending with keyword “CONRET”. Shipment ID is the ID for which the return was processed and the CONRET keyword indicates that it is a Returns Consolidation transaction. For example, “22179462xxx06-3342f8d94cee6bfa25af926db7024804-CONRET” where “22179462xxx06” is the shipment ID and “CONRET” at the end specifies that it is a Returns Consolidation transaction.

When and how can the sellers opt in/opt out of the Returns Consolidation programme?

To opt in to the programme, you should have a valid GST, APOB registrations in the RCs i.e., BOM3, BLR7, DEL4, and HYD8, or depending on the location of your products at any one of the RCs (Please refer to Q4 in the FAQ section above for more details).

You can opt in to this programme by replying to the programme introduction email sent by Amazon and confirm your participation or you can also fill in and submit the following form https://survey-az.tfaforms.net/1719.

You can request withdrawal from the programme by sharing your concerns toin-fba-returnconsol@amazon.com. We will reach out to you to address your concerns. In case the concerns are still not resolved, you can confirm your withdrawal from the programme over an email to in-fba-returnconsol@amazon.com. Please note that if you withdraw from the programme, the changes in routing may take up to 30 to 40 days from your withdrawal confirmation date.

Still have concerns/queries? You can write to in-fba-returnconsol@amazon.com, and we will arrange a call back within 3 business days.

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