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Amazon.com to auto-authorise returns for seller fulfilled products

By Chris Dawson August 1, 2017 - 5:02 pm

Amazon.com have announced that from the 2nd of October they will automatically authorise returns for seller fulfilled items. The aim is to simplify the returns process and enable customer to print out a pre-paid shipping label without the seller being involved at this stage.

There are some exemptions you can apply to certain products. Those that are large or heavy and would incur exorbitant postage costs or for items where the merchant’s product cost is less than the return shipping would cost. In the second instance many sellers have requested the ability to simply refund without incurring the cost of having the product returned. Refunds without returns may also make a lot more sense for UK and EU sellers trading on Amazon.com through a fulfilment house depending what your fulfilment partner charges to handle returns.

If the return is the fault of the seller then the seller will be expected to foot the return shipping costs. However if it’s buyer remorse (they ordered accidentally or simply changed their mind) then the seller can knock the return shipping cost off the amount that they refund.

As this is Amazon.com, regulations on distance selling are different and restocking fees can also be charged to cover any damaged packaging or missing parts on returned items. This is something that wouldn’t be allowed in the UK (you have to pursue such costs after fully refunding which means that no one ever does!).

If you are a UK or EU seller trading on Amazon.com it will be worth exploring their restocking fee policy which allows for charges of up to 20% when a buyer changes their mind but the product is pristine and up to 50% if the product is returned used or otherwise damaged.

  • Tim
    4 months ago

    You can deduct from a refund under Consumer Contract Regulations in UK/EU – “A deduction can be made if the value of the goods has been reduced as a result of you handling the goods more than was necessary.”

    • Toby
      4 months ago

      In the law yes… on ebay and amazon… no. They simply don’t allow you to do that

    • Tim
      4 months ago

      Never had an issue with doing it on Amazon – it may result in an A to Z but once you explain yourself you are fine they close it.

      eBay on the other hand wont entertain the idea. “We did not see the condition you sent the item out in so we can not make a decision” … “but we will make a decision in favour of the buyer”

  • Toby
    4 months ago

    Another gift to those who wish to return for free when they simply change their mind. We have seen a huge increase this year in people stating not as described, faulty etc etc when in fack that wasnt the case, just so they dont pay return costs… It wont increase sales for sellers… but it’s another plus for buyers, especially less than honest ones.

    • james
      4 months ago

      it increases costs for sellers, theres only one place to pass that on – increased costs to buyers. the decent people foot the price of the shoplifters as always.

  • 4 months ago

    So i dont quite get this… So do Amazon provide the prepaid label and then charge us for it ?

  • 4 months ago

    And the customers will try all of the return reasons until they find one for which they don’t have to pay return postage.

  • Rushin Optimist
    4 months ago

    To all the points above mentioned referring to “less than honest ones” – don’t you think that Amazon would be smart enough to quickly catch on to those who do “less than honest” things on Amazon.com?

    Netflix did when they sent out DVDs… Amazon? I have no doubt they already have their algorithms in place to catch on to “shady” activities…

    Case in point. Ordered accessories for a car that I was going to purchase from a dealer – bulky plastic parts. Changed my mind and bought a different car than planned. The parts arrived from Marketplace seller. Total price paid – $32 dollars for each item (2 items purchased, 2 separate shipments). Had to return it. Contacted seller – seller “approved” my return at my own expense to ship it back. Came to ship it out to a mail place – cheapest rate was $24 per shipment at slowest pace.

    So, let’s do some math… Paid $64 for the purchase. Paid for shipment back to seller -$48. What was I left with??? $16… RIDICULOUS!!! If you ask me.

    What about the seller? Well, they got their product back that was unopened and in the same state/shape as it was sent my way. ZERO loss.

    So, either except the fact that at current policy and guidelines even “honest” folks such as myself get “nailed” with this ridiculousness that is currently taking place at Marketplace. If seller does not like it – they can ship their product to Amazon Warehouse and fulfill their orders with ZERO loss and hassle to them.

    What is so difficult to comprehend in this move to make customer experience flawless across all Amazon.com?

    • Common Sense
      4 months ago

      it was your mistake, why should anyone else pay for it.

    • james
      4 months ago

      it cost you $24 dollars to send it back, but for the exact same items, making the inverse trip (to you) which the seller refunded, would have been completely free?
      how does paying for shipping, then refunding the shipping, result in ZERO loss for the seller?

      you got your purchase price back, he didnt get his shipping back, that equals a loss.
      add on top the wear & tear / potential transit damage, he’s making a big risk/loss for no gain, from a customer ordering parts for a car he doesnt own.

      so really you think the seller should charge $32 for an item, then refund you the $32 you paid, plus an extra $24 for your shipping (plus the $12-$24 he paid to ship it to you) resulting in a net loss of $48 on a $32 item, because you ordered the wrong thing?

      screw your head on boy.

  • Jonah
    4 months ago

    Bravo
    Common sense indeed.

  • Rushin Optimist
    4 months ago

    How sad that one cannot even have a dialog with this type of troll… No reply option available because this type of “discussion” is a comment vs. dialog.

    To you, James, just to clarify – in case you do come back to re-read your “brilliant” post again out of your pride.

    Commercial shipping for bulk (and you should know it) would be $12 for such item (and it is – already confirmed). The loss assumed only by seller because it is sold via Marketplace. So, you entirely missed my point.

    The point is – if this seller would have chosen to store their items in Amazon Warehouse and FBA – there is ZERO loss to either of the parties (seller and buyer).

    So, you might as well reconsider your point. Especially when you speak to someone who is, most likely, much older than you and has a lot more education under the “belt” than you do.

    “Ignorance is a bliss,” isn’t it James?..

    james 4 hours ago
    it cost you $24 dollars to send it back, but for the exact same items, making the inverse trip (to you) which the seller refunded, would have been completely free?
    how does paying for shipping, then refunding the shipping, result in ZERO loss for the seller?

    you got your purchase price back, he didnt get his shipping back, that equals a loss.
    add on top the wear & tear / potential transit damage, he’s making a big risk/loss for no gain, from a customer ordering parts for a car he doesnt own.

    so really you think the seller should charge $32 for an item, then refund you the $32 you paid, plus an extra $24 for your shipping (plus the $12-$24 he paid to ship it to you) resulting in a net loss of $48 on a $32 item, because you ordered the wrong thing?

    screw your head on boy.

  • Mike
    4 months ago

    Im small fry compared to many sellers but selling phone cases people do not know what model phone they own. I always say post it back and i will send a replacement no extra charge.

    Now items come back, i get billed a daft amount for a tracked service which costs as much as the phone case.

    Great. I am thinking about swapping teams to the dishonest buyer team and making a living doing that.

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