New Amazon Return Policy Guidlines For Sellers 2024

Are you looking to make a return on Amazon, but feeling overwhelmed by their return policy? You’re not alone. Amazon return policy can be confusing, and there are a few key things you need to know in order to ensure a smooth and stress-free return process. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Amazon’s return policy, including how it works, what items are eligible for returns, and how to initiate a return.

Now, that raises the question of what happens to the products that get returned. Most importantly, who pays for returning the product? 

If these questions are making rounds inside your head, let us not keep you waiting any longer, and tell you everything you need to know about the Amazon Return Policy. 

Why Do People Return Items?

why people return items?

No two persons who bought items online will have similar reasons for returning them. Let us look at some of the most common reasons causing online shoppers to return their items within 30 days of purchasing them:

  • Not Meeting Expectations

Shopping online is a wildly different experience than shopping in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. The customers do not get to experience the products they are buying physically, and this causes them to create an image of that product in their imagination. Most of the time, the shoppers consider the final product appropriate, but sometimes, they do not like what they receive. 

The reason for that, in most cases, is that the customers didn’t get to touch, smell or see the product in person and therefore felt that the delivered product was different from the one they bought. This causes those customers to feel dissatisfied with the product and return it.

  • Broken Products

The highest number of product returns happen when consumers receive (or believe they received) a broken, defective, or damaged item. This problem also gets amplified when the product in question is necessary for the buyer’s completion of critical objectives in life.

  • Late Arrival Of Product

Thanks to increasing competition among sellers to sell their products to consumers, and fast lifestyles, consumers can quickly change their minds about the necessity of a product in their lives if they think that the product delivery timeline is too late or they have found a better product elsewhere. Either way, consumers can take advantage of the 30 days return window to return the item. 

  • Shipping Of The Wrong Item

Product fulfillment is a sprawling and complicated process where a single wrong step can change everything. It is entirely possible for a seller to mistakenly ship the wrong item to a consumer who had purchased something else entirely. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) strictly forbids merchants from charging consumers for something they did not purchase. The customer is under no legal obligation to return the product to the seller and can keep it for themselves without any problem. So, if a consumer still returns a product they had yet to order in the first place, the seller should send them a ‘thank you’ note.  

  • Fraud

Now, let’s cover the dark side as well. Not every consumer returning a product has noble reasons behind it. There are various types of fraudulent practices employed by customers concerning product returns, the most common being something known as ‘Wardrobing.’

In wardrobing, the consumer receives and uses the product to achieve their objectives while ensuring its condition remains undamaged. Then, the product returns within a month to get its money back. 

Wardrobing is common among people buying clothing items (hence the term ‘wardrobing’). These people buy a dress for special occasions, tuck the tags inside the dresses, and then return the product after that occasion has been attended to. 

However, this practice is not limited to clothing items, as virtually every product category has witnessed some fraud. Most people doing these things are very good at it and, therefore, very hard to catch in the act.

Types Of Amazon Return Policy

types of amazon return policy

For people wondering how do I return something to Amazon, Amazon offers three types of returns for products:

  • Self-Return

If customers dislike a product they have just received and cannot wait to return where it came from, they can take matters into their own hands by generating a simple Amazon return label. Follow these steps:

  • Login to your Amazon.com account.
  • Go to Your Orders and select the order for the product you want to return.
  • Click ‘Return or Replace Items.’
  • Select the item that you wish to return.
  • In the ‘Reason for Return’ menu, select an option describing why you want to return the product. 
  • Now choose whether you want Amazon refund policy on the product or have it replaced.
  • Now choose the ‘Submit return request’ option.

Once you generate a product return label on Amazon, you can pack your product and ship it back to Amazon. However, this product return method will cause the customer to pay the shipping fee to Amazon. 

  • Drop-off

Amazon has partnerships with many retailers across the United States, where the shoppers looking for how to return Amazon items can ‘drop off’ the products they wish to return. They must initiate the product return process in the Your Orders section of their Amazon accounts and generate a QR return code.

Amazon accounts and generate a QR return code

That QR code will have to be provided to the retailer where the product is being dropped off, who will scan it to confirm the identity and then take over the product to be returned to Amazon.

Consumers will receive a drop-off email to confirm that they have successfully managed to drop their product at the eligible destination. 

  • Pick-up

If you’d instead return your product while staying home, you must choose the pick-up option. Amazon has partnered with various carrier services (such as UPS) inside the USA, which will pick up the product you want to return right from your doorstep and return it to Amazon. 

However, this policy has some restrictions, as it only applies to more significant, bulkier items that are harder for an ordinary person to transport. Also, pick-up returns aren’t free, as you will have to pay the fee to the carrier picking up your product for return. 

Who Pays For Amazon Returns?

who pays for amazon returns?

Nothing is free in the world. Last, the product return costs a lot of money during the transportation or shipping phase.

Amazon would charge the customers for return shipping and restocking if they bought and returned the item using a payment method. Customers who’d instead return the product themselves have to pay the chosen carrier for transporting the product back to Amazon.

For the sellers, Amazon charges a fee for the fulfillment of an individual item, including shipping and other fees regarding product fulfillment through FBA.

How Do You Return A Gift To Amazon?

How Do You Return A Gift To Amazon?

To return a gift to Amazon, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Amazon website and sign in to your account.
  2. Click on the “Returns & Orders” tab in the top right corner of the page.
  3. Find the gift you want to return and click on the “Return or Replace Items” button.
  4. Follow the prompts to select the reason for the return, choose the shipping method and print the return label.
  5. Pack the gift in its original packaging along with the packing slip.
  6. Attach the return label to the package and ship it back to Amazon using the shipping method of your choice.
  7. Once Amazon receives the gift and processes the return, the refund will be credited back to the original payment method or as an Amazon gift card.

Note: If you don’t have the gift order number or the gift was not purchased through your Amazon account, you can still return the gift by contacting Amazon customer service for assistance.

How To Avoid Items Getting Returned?

Retailers go through many hardships to come up with the financial and technical resources necessary to start their Amazon business. And customers only arrive after extensive brand-building and advertising (PPC). With that in the background, no seller enjoys having their products returned by customers. To add insult to injury, Amazon also charges fulfillment fees to the seller for every product returned. 

Every Amazon seller would like to know how to avoid having their products returned in the first place. While there is no established way of stopping customers from returning their products, there are some steps sellers can take to increase the probability that their product will be able to satisfy the clients, or at least that they won’t be able to use fraudulent means to return their products:

  • Identifiers

Identifiers are used on various products to reinforce the brand which manufactured or sold them. These identifiers can often determine whether the customer has used a product after purchase. A typical example is that of tags on clothing items. Some people even find ways of circumventing that by tucking the tags inside the clothes, using them once on a specific occasion, and returning them in good condition, claiming they haven’t used them at all, all within the space of 30 days to exploit Amazon Prime return policy cut-off. Manufacturers should therefore make sure to put their identifiers in places where it is only possible for customers to use the product if they look peculiar. 

  • Use RMA 

Every customer looking to return a product to Amazon must submit a request to the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) system, which acts as a bridge between the seller and the buyer during the return process. Under this system, sellers can request the customers to send photos of the product since they received it before accepting the returned product. Those photos should help the sellers determine whether or not the product has been used. 

  • Product Tracking

Many customers return products saying they received them too late and that it no longer serves the purpose for which they bought them. The only way to stop this from happening is to provide a definitive and realistic shipping delivery timeline to the customer before they complete their purchase and then provide them with live shipping information in real-time so that they are always aware of when the product will arrive, and cannot use that as an excuse to return the product. 

  • Provide A Detailed Product Description.

Provide every possible information about the product to a consumer before buying it. Accurate dimensions, size, color, manufacturing materials, warranty, and place of manufacture go a long way in letting the client know what they are ordering. Detailed images and videos of the product in the product listing should also be included to provide further details and clarity to the consumer to ensure they cannot later claim that they did not buy the product that arrived on their doorstep. 

What Is Amazon Prime Return Policy

Amazon Prime is a membership program offered by Amazon that provides customers with a range of benefits, including free two-day shipping, access to streaming of movies, TV shows, and music, and other perks. If you’re a Prime member and need to make a return, you might be wondering what Amazon Prime return policy is.

The good news is that Amazon offers Prime members the same return policy as non-Prime members. However, Prime members do have a few additional perks when it comes to returns. Let’s take a closer look at How long is Amazon prime return policy.

How Long Is Amazon Prime Return Policy?

The Amazon Prime return policy allows for returns within 30 days of receipt of shipment for most items, but it’s important to check the return policy for each item before making a purchase. As a Prime member, you have access to free return shipping on millions of items sold by Amazon, making the return process quick and stress-free.

FAQs:

What are the exceptions to Amazon return policy?

Some of the most common non-returnable products are mentioned below. People looking to know whether specific items can be returned should contact Amazon Customer Service for returns.

  1. PCs, laptops, kindle devices
  2. Downloadable applications
  3. Open software
  4. Subscriptions
  5. Gift cards
  6. Prepaid game cards
  7. Hazardous items

Can you return Amazon order items after 30 days?

Amazon allows sellers to return most kinds of products if they are returned within 30 days of purchase and are not in a broken or defective condition.

Can I return to Amazon 6 months later?

Amazon’s return policy strictly stipulates that products should be returned within 30 days, and late returns will not be accepted. However, if someone still needs to reach the return deadline of 30 days, they can contact Amazon Customer Service Email and present their case. Amazon might make exceptions for special occasions if it deems the reasons for missing the return deadline genuine and beyond the buyer’s control. 

Conclusion

Amazon offers excellent product return options to consumers, which merchants hate, but are forced to abide by. While a retailer can’t refuse product returns to customers and still sell on Amazon afterward, they can take some concrete steps to ensure that the product returns are stopped before they happen, or at least are minimized to a great extent.

In case if you have any queries regarding Amazon selling, fulfillment process, business strategy, choosing the best management and analytics application for your E-Commerce business, FBA vs FBM, or really anything related to the world of Amazon, feel free to post your queries on Amazon Seller Forum, and let our community of E-Commerce experts help you out. 

February 26, 2024

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