Customer demands refund of shipping costs!


I have a customer in Dubai.

Before they purchased the order the specifically asked if I would waive the shipping costs as it was very expensive for them.

This is an expensive item circa £200.

I replied that ‘Unfortunately customs import duties, taxes and admin fees are not in my control. These need to be paid to UPS before the package is released from customs’

‘This cost is out of my control I’m afraid.’

The reply was

I meant the shipping costs not the import duties.

I replied that I could not adjust the shipping costs as it is very expensive to ship to the UAE.

Anyhow they place the order and it has arrived next day in the UAE.

So far I’ve received 3 requests to refund the shipping costs as the customer has had to pay 50 euros extra costs. WTF!

You know when you just know the customer is going to be a problem.

So far I have replied politely that I did make them aware there would be extra cost incurred to import goods of this value into the UAE but I keep getting requests from amazon to resolve this with the customer.

How would you handle this ?

I obviously don’t want to refund anything as I have been upfront and professional from the start.

I know the next step I will now probably get hit with a negative feedback.

I almost want them to open an A-Z as I’m sure they would find in my favour as it’s all there in the message thread.



Don’t worry, you are not required to refund anything without a return.

Since the buyer contacted you to demand a refund, just provide him your return address and state that you will refund upon receiving the item back.

Any potential A-Z claim will be very easy to win.


It doesn’t help you now but I always refuse orders where the buyer has tried it on even before ordering.


This post is not longer …


We’d log the issue with SS and SP in case of an A-Z, stating the buyer is demanding a part refund out of policy. In your situation we’d prep for a negative FB comment. They clearly want the item, but simply don’t like the cost of dispatch/import. Hope they mention FB, as then it would be FB extortion. Bet you they’ve done exactly the same thing with other sellers.


Technically you are not allowed to charge a restocking fee - it’s against policy although SS will still tell you to. It’s a depreciation fee for new goods that have been returned used and cannot therefore be sold as new.
You should have explained to the customer why they are not receiving a full PP refund (which you did) and issued that part refund (do so if you haven’t already).
Then defend the case a as per Kika’s pro-forma responses available on these boards. You have acted according to policy accepted a return, the buyer has returned the item in materially different condition, your re-credit should reflect this materially different condition.


The customer accepted the price upon the placement of the order. Ask the customer to contact Amazon customer services because shipping costs are non refundable if the order is not returned.


Here is the A-Z claim guide for the OP to use in a case it’s necessary:


It’s not against Amazon policy as they allow it in the US (and Seller Support advise EU sellers to deduct money as a restocking fee!). It is against the law in the UK and I believe throughout all the EU.


It doesn’t help you now but I always refuse orders where the buyer has tried it on even before ordering.

This is good advice. I tend to find if they are unhappy or unsure about some aspect of the purchase even before they have ordered, then there is trouble in store. I have learned (sometimes the hard way and with no protection from Amazon of course) not to encourage buyers who seem problematic. Absolutely do not refund anything to this one!


It wasn’t for years, but they did have an announcement about how you are absolutely positively not allowed to a couple of years ago on - probably to coincide with the change in distance selling consumer law. No one thought to tell SS though. The difference is that if a new item is sent and a new item is returned, no fee, opened for inspection = depreciation charged. We always avoid any charge unless unavoidable, they really nark a customer off.


This may assist you:

Also for Amazon own selling:

If you are VAT registered, and on the Vat Business Buyer scheme with Amazon, then VAT will not have been charged. If you charged VAT, then you are not supposed to have done, so that can be asked to be refunded, often pays for part or all of Customs Duty Fees. Amazon do not usually make you refund the Buyer, but it is 0% VAT to pay, so need to alter your VAT records.

Shipping should still be charged. Don’t refund, report the Buyer.


If the return was received within the 30 days mandatory return period, then you can’t call it a “Restocking fee”, but cost of loss of value.



Predictably the buyer has now put in a return request!!

After accepting the import duties that would have been payable to the courier.

They will have used it a couple of times and decided for whatever reason it is not for them and then filed a return request under ’ Performance or quality not adequate’

I have so far had over 30 emails bouncing back and forth for one transaction!

The thing is they have paid over 85 euros in shipping and import duties just to get the item in the first place.

It is not faulty but basically the buyer has changed her mind and has deemed it not suitable.


Just issue a returns authority. They then have to pay to send it back. Unlikely they will even bother as it will cost them more than it is worth to do.

If not as new you can deduct up to 50% fee. Only refund when received back, as per Amazon terms (and the law).


If it was bought from an Amazon EU website you can deduct the full value if it’s effectively worthless. In other markets Amazon often limits the maximum deduction to 50%.


Yes, I agree with your answer. This is correct and confirmed by sellers who have actual experience with handing A-Z claims.

Failing to refund at least 50% following an A-Z claim over a customer return will get you back a response demanding a further refund.


The problem is buyers just expect a full refund as Amazon routinely just refund almost no questions asked on FBA orders regardless of the condition of the return. ( especially with cosmetics )

Buyers know they have the fall back if leaving negative feedback if they don’t get a 100% refund.

How many negs have you received as a result of deducting for a tatty return. ?


So I have a real live one here. !!!

Demanding I refund any return postage costs.

They baulked at the cost of shipping and the import costs then on realising the product maybe isn’t for them, demand I pay for a return because the product hasn’t met expectations.

I actual fact they have simply bought tried and it’s not suited them. It’s not faulty.

Now I receive an image of a scalp with no explanation.

Next it will be the buyer has damaged their hair using the item.

It goes on!!!

I’m just going to politely keep re iterating that a return is welcome and a refund will be applied accordingly once we receive the item back.


I agree, this is how I would handle it as well.

Definitely stand your ground. In case of a potential A-Z claim, it will be easy to have it denied with a good representation.