'Not as Described' Complaints on Amazon.com
When you return a product as a customer on Amazon, there’s a list of selections for reasons for your return. Often customers will select not as described as the reason for returns. If you get enough of these returns, you would have a not as described complaint lodged against your account or listing.
Some of the issues obviously that we see are with the product description. So you might have product descriptions that are not exactly matching your product. For example, if you have a size description for your product for a specific fit, but the product comes in either smaller or bigger than what you have described, a lot of customers will report while they return the product that it’s not as described.
Other things we see often is with branding. Oftentimes with not as described complaints, Amazon will say that the product you are selling may be a generic version of the product – not the branded version of the product. We see this often with private label brands. So if you’re selling a product that’s not properly labeled, you might also encounter this issue.
Other issues include defects and quality issues, where your product might be of a lesser quality, and often customers will file not as described returns, causing complaints.
So with all this in mind, there’s a few things you could do to make sure you don’t receive these types of complaints:
First, make sure that all product descriptions are actually matching your product.
One of the ways to do that is to confirm with the manufacturer or confirm on your own that the actual product matches your product description. If listing on someone else’s listing, make sure of the same thing as well. And if it doesn’t, it’s best to change your listing, change your descriptions or list somewhere else.
Other things I want to mention include quality inspections.
Make sure you don’t have mixed in products with higher rate of defects. With these products, you’re more likely to get these complaints. Also for branded products, make sure the branding matches. And if you’re selling even a generic version under a private brand value, make sure that your products are labeled. This is very important because customers will often get a generic version, and when they want to report that, there’s really no option to report that they bought a generic version from a branded listing. So they will often select the ‘not as described’ reason for returns.
Many sellers want to be as descriptive as possible when selling their products.
You may describe your product as a “type” of product, while it’s not exactly that product brand. The best solution is to take immediate action. You need to clarify precisely that your product is not a certain brand, but rather is like this brand. This mistake could lead to multiple complaints for inauthentic items and not as described items.
In your Plan of Action, you need to show that you quickly corrected your mistake and that you will take preventative actions so that this never occurs again. It also may be in your best interest to look back at your listing and make sure the pictures match exactly to the product being sold and the descriptions perfectly describe the product you are selling.
We worked on an inauthentic case for a client who sold bluetooth & Alexa compatible aroma diffusers.
With this case, our client was mixing up their inventory between the bluetooth compatible and Alexa compatible diffusers. He was selling bluetooth compatible aroma diffusers and also diffusers which were compatible with Amazon Alexa apps (a person could request that Alexa play music while additionally enjoying fresh fragrances).
Customers who received the product were unsatisfied with their purchase because they had received a product that did not work as described. One thing to always remember when listing on Amazon is to be sure that your items match the listing description exactly.
Our law firm stepped in to draft an appeal (Plan of Action) on our client’s behalf.
A plan of action (POA) is basically an exercise in persuasive writing. It usually consists of 3 parts:
1) Root Cause: The root cause is the problem that Amazon wants you to address. To find the root cause of a suspension, the seller needs to do a deep dive into their business practices to identify the cause of the issue and take ownership of the problem. The sellers goal in this part of the POA is simply to identify the problem while maintaining a positive outlook.
2) Immediate Remedy: A seller should directly address the concerns or issues outlined in the root cause. The seller needs to show Amazon, not just tell them, what they have immediately done to remedy the problem. This is a necessary step in order to get an account back up and running. Remember, Amazon is all about customer satisfaction.
3) Long Term Systemic Changes to Your Business: The final part of a POA outlines what changes the seller is going to make to prevent future complaints. This is where a seller explains how they will improve their practices to be a better Amazon seller.
Our client followed the rules:
They sourced the diffusers directly from the manufacturer, had invoices to account for the quantity sold and even had a trade agreement with the manufacturer. These are all good steps to show Amazon that our client was sourcing products in authentic condition and therefore, should not be any question as to the authenticity of the product.
Plan of Action for an inauthentic suspension on Amazon:
Our plan of action for this inauthentic case included all of this information. We further explained to Amazon that our client was going to hire additional employees for quality control to verify that their inventory was organized and separated to ensure that customers would get the correct items.
Our client submitted the appeal and we are currently awaiting Amazon’s response..