The SAFE-T Claim program is Amazon’s response to refund concerns, and it allows sellers to appeal unjustified Amazon-issued refunds to buyers.
We know that Amazon focuses on delivering great customer service and wants to delight customers as much as possible. Naturally, it expects third-party sellers to do the same.
Amazon’s customer-centric approach includes its Return and Refund Policy program.
This does not mean that all sellers are required to accept every refund claim submitted by a customer. It is a fact, however, that untrustworthy buyers can take advantage of refunds. Scammers can “earn” money before sellers know what they returned.
In this post, we’ll tell you how to use the SAFE-T Claims program in your favor. Let’s dive right in!
What is a SAFE-T Claim?
SAFE-T Claim stands for Seller Assurance for Ecommerce Transactions. This feature enables sellers to request reimbursement appeals from Amazon.
Brands can suffer losses due to issues related with the Easy Ship or Self Ship program. Items may arrive damaged to the warehouse, and sellers are unable to resell them.
In another scenario, brands received the wrong item or a damaged product. This could be due to a shipment confusion, or even due to a customer’s use of the product.
The problem is that, when customers return products to sellers, Amazon ensures they get an automated refund.
But what happens if brands receive a different item or a damaged product?
In this case, sellers can file a SAFE-T Claim to appeal the refund.
When a seller files a SAFE-T Claim, Amazon reviews the request and issues a verdict. If the brand proves that the return is not its fault, then the refund gets cancelled.
Note that you can submit a SAFE-T Claim only after the customer’s been refunded. But if the claim favors the seller, the marketplace will then reimburse the brand.
The restitution is equal to the product’s fair market value, and it will stand as the full, final settlement form Amazon for the specific SAFE-T claim.
How to File a SAFE-T Claim
Now, let’s look at how you can file and manage Amazon SAFE-T Claims.
The process is quite simple, here’s what you need to do:
- Log into Seller Central and go to the “Orders” tab.
- Click on “Manage SAFE-T Claims” and go to “File a New SAFE-T Claim.”
- Submit the specific product order ID and click on “Check Eligibility.”
Remember, you can only request a SAFE-T claim after the customer’s been refunded.
You have 7 days to file all SAFE-T Claims, from the moment the order appears as “returned/delivered to the seller”.
If Amazon deems the SAFE-T Claim as eligible for review, you must submit all the claim’s details as follows:
- Submit your reasons for filing the claim, along with the following data:
- images showing the 4 sides of the product out
- a photo of the packaging
- images of the tax invoice with the IMEI or serial number. You must file one on the customer’s invoice, and another on the invoice from your distributor/vendor.
- Describe a detailed claim in the description box.
SAFE-T Communication Center
In 2017, when the program was launched, sellers had to email Amazon back and forth to solve a SAFE-T claim.
Luckily, nowadays the process has become a lot smoother.
The marketplace launched the SAFE-T Communication Center on July 15, 2021. The new hub is available through Seller Central.
The SAFE-T Communication Center is the point of contact for all claim-related issues. Here, sellers can file and review the status of each SAFE-T Claim they submit to Amazon.
Sellers can access the SAFE-T Communication Center. through Seller Central. They just have to go to “Manage SAFE-T Claims,” and click on “View Messages.”
This is the place where you can check all invoices regarding specific claims. You can also upload relevant attachments and appeal resolved claims.
How to View the Status of a SAFE-T Claim
Once the SAFE-T Claim is filed, you can review all information related to the process in the SAFE-T Communication Center.
Use the SAFE-T Claim ID to check its status. You can also submit the Order ID, RMA ID or ASIN.
Claims and messages feature status-related tabs to ease navigation. For example:
- Awaiting Seller Response
- Under Investigation
How to Respond to a SAFE-T Claim
Amazon takes around 7 business days to respond to a claim. The marketplace may ask you to submit additional documents to review the SAFE-T Claim.
If that’s the case, you have 3 business days to upload the data. Remember to submit all information through the SAFE-T Communication Center.
SAFE-T Claim Appeals
Brands have the opportunity to appeal resolved SAFE-T claims. To do so, use the “reply” option for the specific claim, in the SAFE-T Communication Center.
You have 5 business days (from the last resolution date) to make an appeal.
SAFE-T Claim Reimbursements
If a SAFE-T Claim is approved by Amazon, you can check the reimbursement process in the “Payments” section of the “Reports” tab.
There are two main grounds where sellers can request reimbursements:
- Product is damaged by Amazon during onward or return transit
- The item is not returned in its original package
Amazon will then reimburse a product, in any of the following cases:
- The returned item is not delivered to the seller 1 month after the refund date.
- The product is deemed as “Damaged” or “Damaged-disposed-off” by Amazon/LSP. The reimbursement can amount to 40% of the item’s value, minus fees.
- Items are lost by amazon. In this case, the marketplace will reimburse 100% of the item value, minus applicable fees.
It’s not easy to plead against an Amazon-issued refund. But with SAFE-T Claim, sellers can appeal unjustified rebates, and protect their brands.
Unfortunately, Amazon scammers are a hazard of the marketplace, and you can’t always ensure that return items won’t get damaged during shipment.
However, sellers should not be held responsible for third-party issues.
The SAFE-T Claim program is a solid step from Amazon to protect sellers. The program may be a key asset for sellers in the near-future. Although it does not eliminate risk, it decreases them to a controllable degree.
Of course, the best practice for sellers is to avoid refunds altogether. Make sure to always deliver a stellar service to customers, and offer great products and fulfillment.
This is how you’ll cut down refunds to zero.
Esteban Muñoz is an SEO copywriter at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.