Sell on Amazon Sign In
This article applies to selling in: Germany

Prepaid returns for seller-fulfilled orders

Amazon automatically authorizes returns that fall within Amazon’s returns policy.

Starting September 30, 2022, Amazon Prepaid Return Label (APRL) feature will be enabled for all sellers with a default return address in Germany. This means that all customer initiated returns requested via the Online Return Center (ORC) that fall within the scope of the Amazon Return policy will be automatically authorized and will have a tracked prepaid return label, provided that there is coverage by any of the third-party shipping service providers that support returns for seller-fulfilled orders. Currently, DPD and DHL Paket are the only integrated third-party carriers that support APRL returns in Germany.

APRL is a free of charge feature which provides our sellers an option to use their own DHL Paket contracted return rates along with the option to use Amazon negotiated return rates contracted with DPD and DHL Paket.

The carrier rates for customer returns are pre-negotiated for this service by Amazon and are available on Shipping costs for seller-fulfilled returns.

Note: We only send return requests that are outside of Amazon’s policy or exempt from this requirement for manual review. You are required to issue a refund within two business days of receipt of a return. If you do not take action regarding the refund, Amazon might refund the customer on your behalf and charge the amount to your seller account.

Review the following sections to familiarize yourself with the specific details of prepaid returns.

Table 1. Prepaid return details
Item Policy or requirements
Maintain account requirements Keep your Amazon seller account details up to date, including your VAT information:
  1. Set up a default return address for your account. A German default domestic address is required for APRL feature. When ARPL is enabled for your selling account, we will use this default return address for all prepaid returns. To learn how to update your return address, go to Set your return preferences.
  2. Maintain and update accurate weight and size information for products you sell. We calculate return shipping costs based on this information. Amazon will charge your seller account for the cost of the return shipping once the buyer-shipped product is received by the carrier and is identified by the first scan. Costs for return shipments are detailed on Shipping costs for seller-fulfilled returns.
  3. Explain the reason for deducting return shipping fees from the refund. Go to Set your return preferences to learn how to add a message for the customer.
The return process You receive an email notification each time a customer requests a return and receives a prepaid return shipping label through Amazon’s Online Return Center. For more details on all returns, go to Manage returns.
Multiple return addresses You can configure multiple return addresses for each of the stores where you offer listings. For details, go to Multiple return addresses.
Returnless resolutions You can offer returnless resolutions, where it makes better economic sense for you to offer a refund (for example, low ASP items) and let the customer keep the product. If a customer requests a return that is eligible for a returnless refund, they will receive a full refund as soon as they submit a return request. Even though you will not need to do anything to complete the request, you can still find these return requests in Manage Returns. You will no longer have to process refunds for these returns manually. To find out more, go to Returnless resolutions and Customer returns for international sales.
Return shipping A prepaid return label will only be issued if there is coverage by the third-party integrated carrier. Currently, DPD or DHL Paket provide return shipping for seller-fulfilled orders. For more information, go to Prepaid return shipping carriers and Shipping costs for seller-fulfilled returns.
Important: We will charge your seller account for the cost of the return label only when the customer shipped package is received by the carrier and scanned.
Refunds and cost of shipping All returns with a prepaid return shipping label issued by Amazon, are automatically eligible for Refund at First Scan (RFS), see Refund Orders. Items refunded with RFS will be marked with “Prior refund: Applied” badge in the return request and “Resolution: Refund at First Scan” after clicking on “View more details.” For items not refunded by RFS, you will continue to handle those refunds manually. To learn more about handling refunds and cost of shipping, go to Refunding shipping cost.
Note: For items not refunded by Refund at First Scan, you are still required to issue a refund within two business days of receipt of the return. If you do not take action, Amazon may still refund the customer on your behalf and charge the amount to your seller account.
Reimbursements of refunds issued by Amazon In the event a prepaid return label was issued, but a customer returns a damaged, incomplete or materially different item to you, you may file a SAFE-T claim to request reimbursement of the refund that was issued by Amazon on your behalf.

To learn more about which cases are eligible for reimbursement via SAFE-T, what restrictions apply, and how to file a successful claim, go to Reimbursement policy for seller-fulfilled orders with Amazon Prepaid Return Labels.

Reports for prepaid returns All prepaid returns are recorded in your Settlement and Payments report and the Returns report.
  • Settlement and Payments report: Each return shipping charge will be displayed in your Settlement and Payments reports, as shipping services purchased through Amazon. These charges will be separate from the order charges.
  • Return report: You will receive an email notification each time a customer requests a return and receives a prepaid shipping label. Additionally, you can download a report of all return requests you have received, including the status of each return, using Return Reports in Seller Central. Email and the report will include the Order ID, Tracking ID, Reason code, Shipping cost, Date requested, RMA and comments.
Ineligible items Prepaid return shipping labels are not always provided for automatically authorized returns. For more information, go to Ineligible items for prepaid returns.
Customer returns exemptions voluntary Several categories and subcategories are automatically exempt from prepaid returns. You don't have to request exemptions for these categories.

The following programs and categories are automatically exempt from prepaid returns:

  • Handmade
  • Amazon custom
  • Items classified as ‘hazardous goods’ by Amazon
  • Product subcategories Professional Medical Supplies and Professional Dental Supplies
  • Product categories Grocery and Wine
  • Product categories Video, Video Games, Software and DVD
  • Product subcategories Flowers & Bouquets and Fresh Cut Flowers
    • Items classified as ‘hygienic’ by Amazon from product categories Baby, Beauty, Health & Personal Care, Personal Care Appliances

You can request exemptions from prepaid return labels only for SKUs that fall under the following categories:

  • HIGH_PRICE: High-valued items where the price exceeds EUR 500 that need special shipping (for example, items that require special shipping insurance)

The exempted SKU will be validated against the ASIN price and item condition across Amazon and the exemption reason code HIGH_PRICE (where item price is greater than EUR 500) to ensure it is rightly used. In addition, only active SKUs will be eligible for exemptions from APRL.

  • REQUIRES_SPECIAL_SHIPPING: If the item can’t be shipped with a standard shipping label (for example, dangerous goods) offered by 3P carriers integrated in the Amazon Prepaid Returns Label feature.

We do not support the exceptions below:

  • TOO_LARGE_HEAVY: Heavy and bulky items where the shipping weight of the item exceeds carrier agreed weight and dimension guidelines, as these items will be automatically exempt.
  • RETURNLESS RESOLUTIONS: You can still continue to use this feature through the Returnless resolutions option available under Settings > Return Settings > Resolutions.

Additional exemptions include items returned where there is no carrier coverage, such as out of country.

For more details, go to Request exemption from prepaid returns for seller-fulfilled orders.

Note: Product exemption is based on the information you provide to Amazon when listing your product. Ensure that your product information is accurate and complete at all times, in particular information on dangerous goods (see for example Hazardous and Dangerous Items).
Note: A response is required within 24 hours for all pending return requests irrespective of whether or not an exemption applies. For more information on how to manually review and process such requests, go to Process Return Requests.

What happens if the return is lost or damaged in transit?

You will be responsible for filing a claim directly with the carrier if a return is lost or damaged in transit. If this happens, and the item was not refunded through Refund at First Scan, process a full refund to the customer and file a claim directly with the carrier to receive a reimbursement.

Exception: You may file a SAFE-T claim for an order that was lost or damaged in return transit if the return was shipped with DHL via Amazon’s negotiated rates. In this case, a SAFE-T claim can be filed regardless of whether the refund was issued by you or Amazon. If the return was shipped with DHL via your own negotiated rates, reach out directly to the carrier to request a reimbursement. For lost in transit orders, you may only file a SAFE-T claim if no delivery scan is visible in the shipment’s tracking details after 20 calendar days of the first scan. If you file a SAFE-T claim before the 20 calendar days have passed, your claim will be rejected.

Where does the shipping weight used to calculate the price of return shipping come from?

The shipping weight used to calculate the price of return shipping is the listed weight displayed on the Product Detail page. However, if you have purchased a label through Amazon’s Buy Shipping services for fulfilling your orders, we will use that weight instead.

Why can I not change or upload my own prepaid return label?

Through the enrollment of your account into APRL, all customer initiated returns requested via Online Return Center (ORC) that fall within the scope of the Amazon return policy are automatically authorized, and a prepaid return label is issued to the customer on your behalf. You can include your own tracked prepaid return label in the outbound shipment, which the customer can choose to use or for returns where a pre-paid return label was not issued by Amazon. The customer can also choose to buy an unpaid label any time.

Who pays for the label and who is ultimately responsible to cover the return shipping cost?

With APRL, the return label will be issued through Buy Shipping services on your behalf, and the applicable rate will be deducted from your selling account when the shipping service provider scans the return package. The cost of return shipping is sometimes the seller's responsibility and at times the customer’s responsibility. For items not refunded through Refund at First Scan, you must determine whether you or the customer bears the cost of the return shipping based on the reason for the return. To view the full list of return reasons, go to Return Reason codes for Prepaid Returns

Some examples when the return cost is the customer’s responsibility are the following:

  • When an item is returned due to better price available elsewhere
  • If the customer accidentally ordered the item
  • If they no longer needed or wanted the item

If the return reason is the customer’s responsibility, how can I deduct the cost of the return shipping label from the amount refunded to the customer?

If the return reason is determined as the customer’s responsibility, then the cost of the return label can be deducted from the value refunded to the customer when you process the refund. To earn customer trust, we recommend that you inform the customer of this deduction and clearly state the reason for taking that action. If the return reason is determined as the seller's responsibility, then the cost of the return shipping is also your responsibility. This process remains unchanged.

Which items are exempted from APRL?

All items that fall outside the scope of the Amazon Return policy are exempted from APRL and will be sent to you for manual review and return authorization. Such products include Handmade, Amazon custom, Items classified as ‘hazardous goods’ by Amazon, Product subcategories Professional Medical Supplies and Professional Dental Supplies, Product categories Grocery and Wine, Product categories Video, Video Games, Software and DVD, Product subcategories Flowers & Bouquets and Fresh Cut Flowers, items classified as ‘hygienic’ by Amazon from product categories Baby, Beauty, Health & Personal Care, Personal Care Appliances, items that are non-returnable by law, heavy/bulky items that exceed carrier agreed weight and dimension guidelines. Additional exemptions include items returned where there is no carrier coverage, such as out of country. See Customer returns exemptions mentioned above.

You can also file exemptions from APRL for high valued items (price exceeds EUR 500) that require special shipping and insurance. You can also review exclusions listed under Our Voluntary Returns Policy. A customer’s statutory right remains unaffected by this policy change.

What should I do if the customer cannot print the return label

You can consider the following options:

  • The customer can return the product on their own. Go to Return reason codes for prepaid returns for seller-fulfilled orders to understand the return reason. If you are accountable for the return, you must add the cost of return shipping to the refund.
  • The customer can go to an internet café, public library, or local print shop to print the return label.

What if I want to opt-out from the APRL feature?

All APRL enrolled sellers who would like to opt-out from the APRL feature must contact Selling Partner Support. Once unenrolled, the change will reflect in your account in 14 days.

Should I pay for international returns?

If you do not have a German default return address, you either:

  • Provide customers with a seller pre-paid return label. If you choose this option, you will be responsible for the return shipping cost. This cannot be deducted from the customer's refund.
  • Offer a refund to the customer, without requesting a return. To reduce manual effort, you can automate Returnless Resolutions.
  • Provide your customers with a German return address. If you want to provide a German return address but are located outside Germany, an international returns provider on the Returns Provider program can help. If you chose this option, the APRL feature is enabled for you and you will only be responsible for the return shipping costs as explained in “Who pays the label and who is ultimately responsible to cover the return shipping cost?” above.

For additional questions, contact Selling Partner Support.

Sign in to use the tool and get personalized help (desktop browser required). Sign In


Reach hundreds of millions of customers

Start selling on Amazon


© 1999-2022, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates