Amazon returns don’t apply to marketplace sellers (do they?)
Amazon have announced that they’ve specially extended returns period for the whole of the Christmas period. Instead of their normal 30 day returns window, items dispatched by Amazon between the 1st of November and 31st of December may be returned at any time before midnight on the 31st of January 2014.
Amazon specifically say that the extended returns arrangements don’t include items sold and fulfilled by Sellers on Amazon Marketplace. However we’ve heard from sellers that paperwork from Amazon sent with recent returns to 3rd party sellers had a latest return date of the 31st January 2014.
Apparently this is a technical issue across the board for sellers and Amazon are still looking into it but by the time they get round to fixing the error thousands of items will have sold potentially showing the incorrect returns date to buyers.
We’re not quite sure how this may affect sellers who decline returns after their normal returns window, or how Amazon will support sellers without upsetting customers. Let us know if it’s been or becomes an issue for you and we’ll monitor the situation.
We sold a pattress box on 30th November last year via Amazon and was amazed when the customer requested a return in the middle of January 2013 via Amazon under the extended returns policy, (which we did not want to offer – only the usual 14 days) we declined the return and the customer then opened an A-Z claim, stating item ‘not as described’. I had to state my case to Amazon as to why i was going to decline the return and then an Amazon customer service representative told me i should accept the return ‘as a gesture of goodwill’ I asked them several times, why Amazon’s extended returns policy was being enforced onto Marketplace sellers and they said that it was recommended that we should follow Amazon’s lead in accepting extended returns over the festive period, as customers could then return unwanted or duplicate gifts they no longer required, although we did not have to!?! I argued that i thought in our circumstance, a pattress box would not be given as a christmas gift, therefore the extended policy did not apply. After 3 days of bouncing back e-mails to and from the customer via a customer service representative, (the customer still wanted us to pay for the return postage!!) we accepted the return and the customer got their money back. So it does not surprise me that it is happening again this year.
I noticed the return date on a return label the other week and nearly had a fit. I contacted Amazon who said I had to honour to 31st Jan if purchased between 1 November to end of December. I advised this contradicted what was on their site and they advised that they had been told otherwise. After speaking to them on the phone and sending them a scan of the paperwork they looked into it and said it was a seller wide technical issue. After over a week of holding mails they’ve just come back to me today saying that the returns label will no longer display the extended return date for the Christmas period and I am not obliged to offer any extended return date to my buyers – so we shall see 🙂