Will Amazon’s new return policy help or hurt its marketplace sellers?
Customers who have had a problem with an order placed on Amazon.com know that returns for products sold directly by the e-tailer are a no hassle affair. The policies of third-party marketplace sellers, however, can be decidedly different, often leading to frustrating experiences, as some do not accept returns. That, according to a CNBC report, will soon change as Amazon has informed third-party sellers that all orders placed through the site will automatically be eligible for return starting on Oct. 2.
While the new policy can be viewed as further evidence of Amazon’s commitment to its customers, some marketplace sellers see it as an arbitrary move that will hurt their businesses.
One seller, 4Thought Products, posting on an Amazon forum wrote, “This policy is stupid and costly to Amazon for FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), and now they want to expand it further so more buyers can fraudulently ‘game the system’ on third-party sellers as well. … This is nothing short of BS and another way to shift the cost of creating ‘great customer buying experience’ into sellers’ pockets. Like every other bad policy change by Amazon, if you don’t like it, too bad, they run the racket.”
Not all sellers were critical of Amazon’s move, with some suggesting that those voicing complaints hadn’t looked at the change closely enough to see its benefits.
One seller, Mav-Dak, who claimed to be involved in a beta test of the program for six months, wrote in response to the 4Thought Products post, “The fact the buyer gets an immediate approval and pre-paid label is a benefit to the buyer — and to us since I did not have to process it. If we are responsible for the return shipping costs, I pay less since Amazon’s labels are at a much lower cost point than I am able to get. If we are not responsible for the return shipping we get the reimbursement. … Our return rate and reasons have not changed on this new program either.”
- Amazon’s new refunds policy will ‘crush’ small businesses, outraged sellers say – CNBC
- Thread: 2017 Unfair Change to Returns Policy – Amazon Services Seller Forums
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Amazon’s new returns policy prove detrimental or beneficial for third-party sellers on its marketplace? Does Amazon need to work on its communications and, overall, its relationships with its marketplace sellers?