Amazon recently, in an attempt to help third-party FBA sellers avoid customer condition complaints, gave some gratuitous advice that sellers find to be incomplete and, indeed, irresponsible. Condition complaints, which often spill over into inauthentic complaints, due to customers receiving items that were not in the condition they expected, can often be solved by implementing programs to quality control inventory intake, order fulfillment, and packing your FBA inventory to send to fulfillment centers. However, there is a lot of mishandling within Amazon warehouses that these new guidelines do not account for.
This new guidelines, which can be found at: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/t/new-guidance-to-help-you-prevent-product-condition-issues/730127 provide, in part:
While following these guidelines are a good practice, and we have written them into many of our plans of action, according to Ina Steiner at Ecommerce Bytes, following the announcement, sellers complained that FBA itself was to blame for many of the condition complaints. While a seller used to be able to have products returned directly to them to decide whether they were resellable, now FBA decides this themselves, and often put products that have been opened and returned back on the shelves, which may be damaged or scratched.
What was also not mentioned in the article was the fact that FBA packaging procedures are not adequately quality controlled. Anyone who has ordered anything from Amazon has received, from time to time, a poorly packaged item with a flimsy outer-box that is poorly wrapped with tape. One can have the impression that the Amazon employee who dispatched the order was either drunk or did it in haste because of time constraints, or simply did not care.
Sellers have suggested having more control over the return process and not allowing FBA employees to make the determination of whether an item is saleable or not and this is an excellent suggestion. More supervision over Amazon warehouse employees and possibly higher pay to increase worker morale is another.