According to the email sent by the company to its sellers, beginning October 2, every item that is on sale will be “automatically authorized” for return. So basically, sellers are now forced to refund any return request without having the opportunity to communicate with the customer.
1. You are required to have a return address on file. If you have not specified a return address by October 2, your business address will be used as the return address.
2. 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 request, Amazon may refund the customer on your behalf and charge the amount to your seller account.
3. You might be responsible for the cost of return shipping in accordance with Amazon’s policies.
On top of that, Amazon also introduced the “returnless refund,” a feature that enables sellers to offer refunds without taking back the item.
“We are also introducing ‘returnless refunds,’ a feature that is highly requested by sellers. If you so choose, you will now be able to set rules and automatically issue a refund without requiring an item to be shipped back to you. Sellers have requested this because, in many cases, it allows you to save on both return shipping and processing costs.”
Sure, Jeff Bezos is looking out for its customers. But how about its third-party sellers? Well, the email actually says that these changes will “reduce the effort required to manage returns and decrease customer Return Dissatisfaction Rate (RDR), thereby improving ratings.”
Not sure about that though. The New Amazon Return System thread on the site’s seller forums is now blowing up with comments from angry sellers.
“It proves that Amazon has no clue what the business issues are. Probably are result of the work of the same idiot who created the Return Dissatisfaction Rate (RDR) which provides better ratings for sellers with lots of returns than sellers who sell good products on well written catalog pages and provide excellent customer service, so they get few returns.”
“And Amazon is going to assume that a buyer would NEVER lie about the reason for the return so they don’t have to pay for it.”
“Wonder what the appeal process is on bogus return claims just so the buyer wouldn’t have to pay the return shipping? Or will a buyer saying “defective, doesn’t work” become the new norm when requesting a return?”
Amazon has been a place for entrepreneurs to sell and reach more customers since 2000. According to the site, “more than 40% of Amazon’s total unit sales come from third-party selection.”
But with all these new changes that come at the expense of third-party merchants, I’m pretty sure that most of them are now wondering if Amazon is still the best place for them to build their businesses.