Private Label Branding Strategies – Back-Track to Customer BT2C

Amazon Private Label Branding Strategies

There are 2 schools of thought when it comes to branding a group of items. One method is to go the “Mega Brand” strategy where every item receives the same brand name. The other method is to have a major brand and then use a micro-branding strategy for each model or package. Watch my video and see what strategy I used and how it impacted my online sales and brand loyalty.

Back-Track to Customer BT2C

Back-Track sends a ton of replacement parts and renewed packages to customers everyday for our clients. We call this a BT2C (Back-Track to Customer) ticket. Great news is we’ve “SIMPLIFIED” the process dramatically and would like to show you the new way. Please watch the video for more details.

Truth – National Online Customer Returns Day is January 2, 2020

Why is January 2nd Nation Returns Day?

UPS is one of the largest shippers for online retailers and one of the largest carriers for shipping online customer returns back to the retailers.  In years past, UPS considered January 5th as Nation Returns Day with the largest single day for return shipments of 1.5 million packages on January 5th 2017.

However, according to UPS, things have changed including the date for National Returns Day.  In 2020, National Returns Day is January 2nd (today) with an estimated 1.9 million customer returns being delivered back to retailers on this single day.

While January 2nd may be the biggest single day of return shipments, it’s not the only day customers return packages.  The entire month of January is commonly known as “Returnary” for online retailers as the entire month is a big month for returns considering most retailers offer 30, 60 or 90 day return policies during the holiday season.

It’s estimated that a total of $90-95 Billion (with a capital B) worth of merchandise will be returned over the 2019 Christmas holiday season, including returns during the month of January 2020.  This is a 15-20% jump over the 2018 holiday season.  So as online returns get easier and easier, online retailers who don’t have a customer return loss recovery process in place keep losing more and more.  This “cost of doing business” continues to grow.

1.5 Million Packages Returned on December 19th

Wait, what’cha talking bout Willis? That’s right, on December 19th 2018 UPS returned 1.5 million customer return packages to online retailers.  But how, you ask?  Because of self-gifting during the December holiday season many people buy themselves gifts that eventually get returned.  Sometimes people buy multiple gifts and once they pick the final winner, they take advantage of free returns for the others.

UPS also states that approximately 1 million packages are returned to online retailers each day in December with December 19th being the largest day of the month of December.

When is National Returns Day?

National Returns Day is simply the largest single day for online customer return shipments being delivered back to the online retailer.  According to UPS, National Returns Day has moved over the years:

  • January 5, 2017 – 1.3 million packages
  • January 3, 2018 – 1.4 million packages
  • January 3, 2019 – 1.3 million packages
  • January 2, 2020 – 1.9 million packages (estimated)
  • January 2, 2021 – ?

Note: December 19, 2018 UPS saw 1.5 million online customer return shipments as customers returned self-gifting items or gifts they decided not to give.  In 2019, 1.6 million customer return packages were returned to retailers each day for the week of 12/16/19 – 12/21/19.  Yes, before Christmas.

It’s expected that these statistics will become harder to track in the future as Amazon manages more and more of the last mile delivery, they are also expected to begin picking up customer returns soon.  Also, Amazon has setup a partnership with Kohl’s to be their premier return drop off service allowing customers to drop off their customer return package in person at their local Kohl’s store rather than shipping it using UPS.  I expect Amazon’s blue delivery trucks to pickup at Kohl’s bringing the van’s back to the warehouse full instead of empty.  Sounds more efficient to me.

Why Does Back-Track Care About This?

Back-Track is on a mission to help Amazon sellers recover part of the $32 Billion in “Lost Value” in their Amazon customer returns.  Back-Track will reBOX, reNEW or rePAIR customer returns for Amazon sellers to help them resell the product once again as refurbished or through Amazon’s Renewed program.

We believe that re-purposing the product and extending its life is better economics for Amazon sellers and also better for our environment at the same time.  Having less Amazon customer returns destroyed is a good thing.

From our experience working with Amazon sellers, our data shows that about 80% of Amazon’s customer returns are “Not Defective”.  These are products that function as they were designed and can be resold again to someone else.

For every item that Back-Track reNEWS or rePAIRS that’s one less item going into a landfill prematurely.  That’s one less item draining profits away from Amazon sellers.  That’s one more item in the hands of a consumer like it was originally designed for.

Let’s Get Busy!

Ready to have Back-Track reNEW your Amazon customer returns?

Simply send us your contact information and our friendly staff will tell you more details about pricing, products and how to get started.  NO FEE TO START!

[contact-form-7 id=”875″ title=”New Client Form 1″]

Online Scam Targeting Facebook Users – When it’s Too Good to Be True

$179 Electric Car

Did you see the $179 electric car ad on Facebook?

When It’s Too Good to Be True…

Something caught my attention and I wish to bring it to your attention too.  I was scrolling through Facebook like usual when an ad crossed my feed that stopped me in my tracks.  An electric vehicle for only $199.

online scam Facebook electric car scoot fake website

Because I have an interest in electronic vehicles, I stopped to take a look.  I’m thinking “No way can you buy a small electronic vehicle like this one for only $199”.  So, I clicked on the Shop Now button and I was taken to their online website.

online scam Facebook electric car scoot fake website

Right away, the warning signs started flashing, WARNING WARNING, DON’T DO IT!

I’d like to say I’m smart enough to see online scams like this one but unfortunately, I’ve fallen for a similar scam only a few months  ago as I was searching for a new pool vacuum and found a deal that seemed too good to be true from a Google ad and went to the website and attempted to purchase it.  My credit card company stopped the transaction right away, but was it too late?  Did the fake company get my credit card number already?

Warning Signs of an Online Scam

As a seasoned eCommerce seller, and having already been scammed like this before, I noticed things that quickly suggest this was not a legitimate online merchant with a legitimate product.

  • The account name is a jumbled mess of random letters
  • The store URL is a Shopify sub-domain
  • The About Us page has no identifying statements about the actual seller
  • The online store is using a very basic startup template
  • The products offered are few and not related
  • Most of all, the prices are extremely low and unrealistic

Interesting, as time passes, one website has even lowered the price of the electronic vehicle from $199 to $179.  They’re probably feeling the pressure from other online scam websites poaching their “customers”.  Oh my.

Do People Fall for these Online Scams?

Yes they do.  Many of them.

  • We’ve become conditioned to believe the Internet is the place to go for “Deals and Steals”.
  • We’ve been conditioned to believe if we don’t like what we purchased for any reason, we can simply return it.
  • We’ve been conditioned to believe if we give out our credit card to the wrong people, we’re protected by the credit card companies.

Additionally, if you click on one of these ads and are taken to the website, Facebook will show you MORE and MORE of these type of “Sponsored Ads”.  Facebook showed me an ad for a scooter, an ad for a camper, a ad for a bike.  I guess after clicking on one ad, I’m labeled as a “Sucker”.

online scam Facebook electric car scoot fake website

online scam Facebook electric car scoot fake website

 

online scam Facebook electric car scoot fake website

online scam Facebook electric scooter fake website

online scam Facebook electric scooter fake website

online scam Facebook camper fake website

online scam Facebook camper fake website

online scam Facebook bike fake website

online scam Facebook bike fake website

Look at all the Comments

If you scan through the comments on the Facebook posts, some people are asking normal questions about the product or shipping…and the scammers are answering the questions quickly and with respect.  While other comments are from people who see this scam for what it is, a scam and attempt to warn people not to fall for it.

What about Facebook and Shopify?

In some cases, Facebook and Shopify are benefiting from scams such as this.  Someone is paying Facebook for the “Sponsored Ads”.  Are they using a stolen credit card to pay Facebook?  I’m sure they are.  Shopify may be making a commission on the credit card transactions or for hosting the website.

Until websites such as Facebook or Shopify or the credit card merchants are held to a higher standard of safety and security, these type of scams will be hard to stop.

If it’s Too Good To Be True?

Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probable is.  Stay away from scams like this.  Warn your friends.  Hide your credit cards.  Report the posts to Facebook.  Until people stop believing in scams such as this, the scammers will continue to scam people.

 

$370,000 Dirty Amazon Customer Return Scam

Two men are arrested in Palma De Mallorca, Spain for scamming Amazon out of an estimated $370,000 by abusing their easy no questions asked customer return policy and one simple trick.

How Did They Abuse Amazon’s Customer Return Policy?

The two men James Gilbert Kwarteng (22 years old) and his partner only identified as Juan allegedly purchased expensive items from Amazon and then used their easy no questions asked “Customer Friendly” return process to initiate a return for the purchased item.  However, instead of returning the original item purchased they filled the box with dirt.

The trick that helped James and Juan get away with this scam for multiple years was they would fill the box with the exact weight of dirt in the box as the original item.  Once Amazon received the return back and weighed it, the system would automatically approve the refund.

amazon customer return fraud box of dirt

Amazon customer return fraud box of dirt

What Did They do with the Product?

The next stage of the scam, James and Juan setup their online business to resell the newly acquired goods at a deep discount.

This deeply discounted product hurts other legitimate Amazon sellers from being able to sell their products at a reasonable and profitable price.

The estimated loss is $370,000.

What Happens Next?

James and Juan were both arrested and the two appeared in court.  They were released for 3,000 Euros (approximately $3,338) and await their final court dates.  They both face up to 20 years in prison for customer return fraud against Amazon.

Amazon has closed their accounts.

The real question is: How did it take Amazon years to discover this fraud?

Why Does Back-Track Care About This?

Back-Track is on a mission to help Amazon sellers recover part of the $32 Billion in “Lost Value” in their Amazon customer returns.  Back-Track will reBOX, reNEW or rePAIR customer returns for Amazon sellers to help them resell the product once again as refurbished or through Amazon’s Renewed program.

We believe that re-purposing the product and extending its life is better economics for Amazon sellers and also better for our environment at the same time.  Having less Amazon customer returns destroyed is a good thing.

From our experience working with Amazon sellers, our data shows that about 80% of Amazon’s customer returns are “Not Defective”.  These are products that function as they were designed and can be resold again to someone else.

For every item that Back-Track reNEWS or rePAIRS that’s one less item going into a landfill prematurely.  That’s one less item draining profits away from Amazon sellers.  That’s one more item in the hands of a consumer like it was originally designed for.

Let’s Get Busy!

Ready to have Back-Track reNEW your Amazon customer returns?

Simply send us your contact information and our friendly staff will tell you more details about pricing, products and how to get started.  NO FEE TO START!

[contact-form-7 id=”875″ title=”New Client Form 1″]

Is this called “Dirty Money”?

Amazon FBA Customer Return Rules

Amazon 3rd party sellers should be fully aware of Amazon’s customer return rules.  As a seller on the Amazon marketplace you agree to follow these rules.  Amazon will change/update the return policy from time to time.  The following information was last updated on 7/21/19.

How Much Product Gets Returned to Amazon?

We estimate that $32 Billion of product get returned to Amazon 3rd party sellers as a customer return each year.  This estimate is calculated as 20% of the $160 Billion sold on Amazon by 3rd party sellers per year.  The return rate will vary greatly from product category to product category.

If Amazon customer returns are killing your profits, allow Back-Track to help you reNEW or rePAIR your returns and reCOVER your profits.

Amazon Customer Return Rules

Amazon’s standard return policy allows products to be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment in most cases.  This includes items shipped from Amazon warehouses and from Amazon 3rd party seller warehouses.  This policy also covers both Amazon Prime and non-Amazon Prime orders.

There are many exceptions to Amazon’s return policy for the following items: Baby Items, Clothing and Accessories, Collectibles, Collectible Coins, Computers and Electronics, Digital Products, Fine Art, Gift Cards, Handmade at Amazon and Customizable Products, Hazardous Materials, Jewelry and Watches, Live Plants or Insects, Pet Food, Pre-Paid Phone or Game Cards, Software and Video Games, Televisions, Tickets.  Please refer to Amazon return exception page for more details on these items.

How Long Does a Buyer Have to Return an Item?

The standard time a buyer has to return an item is 30 days from the time they receive the item.  3rd party sellers must offer a minimum of 30 day returns for their items as well.  3rd party sellers have the option to offer a longer period of time if they wish.

Amazon uses an extended return policy rule during the holiday shopping season.  This is to allow for early “gift buying” and time for the recipient of the gift to inspect the item before decided if they wish to return it.  Read more about Amazon’s holiday return policy here.

Amazon Renewed

Amazon Renewed items are backed by Amazon Renewed Guarantee policy and are eligible for a replacement or refund within 90 days of receiving the product if the product does not work as advertised.  Renewed items can be returned within 90 days and qualify for free return shipping.  Find out more about the Amazon Renewed Program here.

Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Warehouse is a program for used or open box items sold across the Amazon marketplace.  Standard Amazon Warehouse items come with the standard 30 day return policy.  Certified Refurbished items sold through Amazon Warehouse come with a 90 day return policy.  Find out more about the Amazon Warehouse Program here.

Amazon 3rd Party Seller Return Policy

Amazon 3rd party sellers must offer a minimum of 30 days to return items purchased on the Amazon marketplace.  Amazon encourages sellers to consider extending this return window longer when possible.

Amazon 3rd party sellers must provide one of the following:

  1. A return address within the United States
  2. A prepaid return label
  3. A full refund without requesting the item be returned

Products that are eligible for Amazon Prime and sold by 3rd party sellers, will follow the same Amazon Prime return rules.

From our experience inspecting and reNEWing Amazon customer returns, we estimate that 80% of Amazon customer returns are not “defective”.

Does Amazon Pay for Return Shipping?

In many cases the return shipping will be pre-paid by Amazon for the customer return.  During the request to return process the customer will select a reason for their return and the reason they choose will determine if the return shipping is free (free to them) or not.

In general, if the reason for the customer return is due to an Amazon error, seller error, a defective product or misadvertised, the return shipping will be prepaid and Amazon or the 3rd party seller will pay the return shipping cost.

If the reason for the customer return is due to the customer changing their mind or ordering by mistake, then Amazon may require the customer to pay the return shipping cost.

Amazon has over 70 customer return reason codes and these codes determine who is at “fault” and therefore who will pay the return shipping label cost.  You can see the long list of Amazon return reason codes here.

How Quick Does the Customer Get a Refund?

Amazon has a very customer friendly return policy.  In many cases the customer will get a “Rapid Refund” the moment they ship the item.  Amazon receives notification once the shipping label they provided the customer is scanned as received and their system will refund the customer immediately.

Amazon deducts the money from the seller account even faster.  Amazon deducts the money from the seller account moments after the customer submits a request for refund.  Before the item is shipped, before the item is returned and before the item is inspected.

For most items, the customer will have 30 days to ship the item once they begin a request for return and the item must be received by Amazon within 45 days.

Sometimes a customer requests a return but never sends the item.  In this case Amazon will recharge the customer for the original purchase and reimburse the seller for the sale.  This will happen automatically after 45 days if the item is not returned.

Can a Customer Return Opened Items to Amazon?

Yes, items that are opened can be returned to Amazon.  There are a few exceptions where the item must not be opened to receive approval to return the item.

Do you Need Original Packaging to Return to Amazon?

Most items don’t require the original packaging to be returned to Amazon for customer returns.  However, there are some exceptions such as: fine art, customizable products, coins, jewelry and watches and sports collectibles are some examples where the original packaging is required.

Does Amazon Have a Limit on Customer Returns?

Amazon does not have a specific limit on the number of returns a customer can do.  However, in recent years Amazon has begun to better track customer behavior and has banned some customers viewed as “abusing the customer return policy” from buying or returning items on Amazon.

Amazon Holiday Return Policy

To help protect customers who order gifts during the holiday season but will not open the package until the gift is received, Amazon offers an extended holiday return policy.

Amazon’s standard return policy is 30 days.  During the holiday shopping period, items shipped between November 1 and December 31 will have until January 31 to return the item.  This allows for the 30 day return window to start after the gift has been received.

This is why Amazon sellers have re-coined January as “Returnuary“.

 

Let’s Get Busy!

Ready to have Back-Track reNEW your Amazon customer returns?

Simply send us your contact information and our friendly staff will tell you more details about pricing, products and how to get started.  NO FEE TO START!

[contact-form-7 id=”875″ title=”New Client Form 1″]

Amazon Customer Return Reason Codes

Amazon has over 70 customer return reason codes to help Amazon customer service personnel determine who will pay the return shipping label cost for seller fulfilled orders.  This process is mostly automated and determined automatically during the return request process by the customer.

If the return reason chosen is the customer fault, the customer will most likely pay the return shipping cost.  If the return reason code is Seller, the seller will most likely pay the return shipping cost.

Over time, customers have learned if they select certain return reasons they will get a free return label even if the reason selected is not the actual reason they wish to return the item.

This “Gaming” of Amazon’s automated customer return system has encouraged abuse of the system at the seller’s expense and why customer returns is one of the biggest complaints for Amazon 3rd party sellers.

Return Reason Fault
1 Other reason Customer
2 Accidental order Customer
3 Better price available Customer
4 No reason given Customer
5 Incompatible or not useful for intended purpose Customer
6 Damaged due to poor packaging Seller
7 Arrived too late Seller
8 Missing parts or accessories Seller
9 Damaged during shipping Seller
10 Different from what was ordered Seller
11 Defective/Does not work properly Seller
12 Arrived in addition to what was ordered Seller
13 I don’t want it anymore Customer
14 Defect emerged after use Seller
15 Unauthorized purchase Seller
16 I haven’t received this item yet Seller
17 Item was defective Seller
18 Item description was inaccurate Seller
19 Not satisfied with the quality Seller
20 Fabric not as expected Seller
21 No longer needed/wanted Customer
22 Item is too large Customer
23 Item is too small Customer
24 Item is too long Customer
25 Item is too short Customer
26 Arrived too late Seller
27 Other reason Customer
28 Wrong item sent Seller
29 Better price is available Customer
30 Product is not fully compatible with my existing system Seller
31 Part is missing Seller
32 Damaged upon arrival Seller
33 Arrived in addition to what was ordered Seller
34 Item is too small Customer
35 Item is too large Customer
36 Ordered wrong style/size/color Customer
37 Different from website description Seller
38 Didn’t like fabric Customer
39 Did not like the color Customer
40 Wrong size: too small/short Customer
41 Wrong size: too large/long Customer
42 Dead battery/does not work Seller
43 Missing paperwork/manual/warranty Seller
44 Broken or malfunctioning clasp Seller
45 Missing or loose stone Seller
46 Missing promised certification Seller
47 Tarnished/unacceptable condition Seller
48 Activation failure Seller
49 Poor service coverage Seller
50 Service package not as needed Seller
51 Number porting issues Seller
52 Not compatible with my phone Customer
53 Not compatible with my service Customer
54 Rebate eligibility issue Seller
55 Carrier bill not as expected Seller
56 Current carrier switching cost (termination fee) Customer
57 Item is the wrong color Customer
58 Shoe is a half size too large Customer
59 Shoe is a half size too small Customer
60 Shoe is a full size too large Customer
61 Shoe is a full size too small Customer
62 Shoe is too wide Customer
63 Shoe is too narrow Customer
64 Boot shaft does not fit Customer
65 Shoe arch does not fit Customer
66 Item is of the wrong material Seller
67 Shoe is uncomfortable Customer
68 Part not compatible with existing system Seller
69 Excessive installation/Did not install Seller
70 Recycle old item Seller
71 Product or Manual is not in Italian Customer
72 Product or Manual is not in Spanish Customer

Let’s Get Busy!

Ready to have Back-Track reNEW your Amazon customer returns?

Simply send us your contact information and our friendly staff will tell you more details about pricing, products and how to get started.  NO FEE TO START!

[contact-form-7 id=”875″ title=”New Client Form 1″]