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Is a new UPS return fraud tactic being cooked by scammers?

Fair warning: today’s issue is like a box of chocolate—you’ll never know what bite-sized goodness you’ll get next. But you’ll definitely get sweet exposé from our lineup:

What a way to start the week, right?



Imagine receiving a return drop-off notification, but the tracking status shows zero movement. Sketchy, right? That’s what happened to a seller, who then turned to seller forums to warn others about a possible UPS scam! 🆘

Here are the deets:

  • A customer requested a return for a high-value item.
  • The system then generated a prepaid UPS label, indicating the item was already dropped off.
  • However, there has been NO UPDATE on the status of the return package afterward. It’s suspicious because UPS sends consistent updates. 🤔

ICYDK, there are UPS stations that use self-scan devices. Buyers can stroll in, scan their prepaid labels, and pop the package in the box—no checks, no questions.

So the big question is: What if the customer just scanned the goods and then walked out?

If so, what should you do?

In that case, OP suggested Amazon should rethink its auto-refund policy. For instance, the retailer should wait to issue a refund until the item is on its way, not when it's dropped off.

Here are some suggestions from other sellers: 

  • Call the UPS station to confirm the drop-off before assuming foul play. Like any carrier, UPS can misplace packages without it being a fraud signal.
  • For more expensive items, Amazon allows sellers to inspect returns before any refund is issued. Take advantage of this to make sure the package contains the correct item and not a brick placed by scammers.
  • In extreme cases, you can also tackle the supposed fraud head-on by alerting local authorities in the drop-off city, as one commenter in the thread did.

⚠️ Amazon’s reminder

While the retailer is all for battling fraud, it stepped in with a warning regarding issues like this. The company stressed the importance of keeping it professional in all communications, in line with the Seller Code of Conduct.


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Amazon is putting sellers’ disbursement funds on hold

Many sellers become increasingly worried because Amazon is keeping their money in reserve. A seller shared on Seller Central how all their funds under Amazon U.S. have been held since December 27, 2023!

What happened?

  • Some sellers got an email from Amazon saying they have unpaid VAT on another account.
  • To get their money, they must pay the VAT liability via wire transfer or the reserved funds. 💸 
  • But, according to the seller, they do not have outstanding VAT liabilities anywhere in the U.K. or the EU.

🕵️‍♂️ Why is this happening?

Effective January 1, 2021, the law in the U.K. regarding VAT on ecommerce requires Amazon to collect and pay VAT for sellers established outside the U.K.

If your company is established in the U.K. for VAT purposes, you must provide additional documentary evidence to Amazon. Otherwise, the retailer will conclude you’re not established in the U.K. and will start collecting and remitting VAT on your sales.

What should you do?

According to Amazon, they may require further information from sellers to confirm where their businesses are established. So, you need to be always ready with all your business details and documents.

Delayed disbursements are never good for business. So here’s to hoping that this issue gets resolved soon.


4 things to remember about Amazon Account Health Rating

As sellers, you know how important it is to maintain a good Account Health Rating (AHR) to dodge suspensions and deactivations. A lot of policy and regulation updates affect account health, so now is a great time to refresh your AHR knowledge with JumpFly’s short guide.

📍 Quick recap

  • AHR is used to measure your Amazon Account Health, which refers to how well your seller account complies with Amazon’s policies.
  • There are several policies to adhere to, the main one being for intellectual property (IP).
    • Fair warning: IP violations are sometimes exploited by blackhat competitors, who report legitimate brands so they can be suspended.
  • AHRis based on a scale of 1 to 1,000, with all accounts starting at 200 (0 to 99 are considered ‘unhealthy’ accounts).
  • Other factors that affect AHR include negative feedback, A-to-z Guarantee claims, late shipments, pre-fulfillment order cancellations, and invalid tracking information.

Pro tip: Monitor your account health

To do so, regularly check your Account Health Dashboard so you can promptly address concerns—urgent or not. And if you do get flagged, stay calm while looking for ways to recover and protect your account.

To know more about how to maintain a healthy account rating, read our spotlight issue on Account Health. 💡

Author : SellerBites
Faith began working on SellerBites in 2021, a weekly newsletter that provides sellers with the latest news and updates in FBA. With first-hand experience in managing various seller and vendor accounts, she understands what sellers face on this platform. Her background led to the conception of SellerBites, which main goal is to help people become better, more informed entrepreneurs in the Amazon marketplace.
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