Amazon's working to improve the shopping experience for customers, and with their latest set of changes, it's going to be easier than ever for buyers (like you!) to return items. The online giant has updated its return policy, and the new rules will take effect on Oct. 2. Once the new rules are in place, the shopping experience will change for the better for customers, but many independent sellers seem to have issues with the latest set of regulations. Find out everything you need to know about the updates and how they will affect you.
The New Return Policy
Amazon sent out an email to customers announcing these upcoming changes. Starting Oct. 2, all products sold by private sellers will be eligible for the same return policy as items shipped directly by Amazon. This means if you buy something from Amazon, you have 30 days to return it for any reason, free of charge. You'll be able to print out a pre-paid shipping label and return the item. Simple as that. The retailer is also introducing what they call "returnless refunds," which means a buyer may receive a refund for an item without having to return it. So, say, if something is too large to ship back and forth, the seller can choose to refund a buyer without having the item shipped back. Or if an item breaks in transit, there's no need to have the buyer send it back—so this new "returnless refunds" thing could also come in handy in that case.
What Does This Mean For Customers?
This is great news for customers because it means the process of shopping online at Amazon is going to be even easier. No arguing about returning an item or negotiating a refund. It's as simple as print and ship back. And you've got to love convenience like that, right?
What Does This Mean For Sellers?
For sellers, this isn't necessarily great news. It gives little option for sellers to negotiate and leaves room for dishonesty on the buyer's end to affect business for the seller. But, supposedly, Amazon monitors customers with a high rate of returnless refunds, and returning too many items can lead to a lifetime ban from Amazon, so the retailer does seem to have some safeguards in place for sellers.
CNBC points out that sellers have taken to online forums to discuss the new policy have strong issues with certain aspects, especially the "returnless refund" option. "Is this a joke," one person wrote. "Another way for customers to abuse sellers. Of course they will learn very quickly to lie so that they get free returns. This happened on ebay as well," another chimed in. So, sellers definitely don't seem too happy about these changes. Customers, on the other hand, are going to love this even easier method of returning items, especially since Amazon's return policy is already such a major plus for shoppers. https://twitter.com/debrdtrip/status/892817035645693952
Amazon Sets The Record Straight
Although, it doesn't seem to be as bad as sellers think. According to CNBC, Amazon released a statement setting the record straight on some of the issues sellers are having. Apparently, sellers can "receive exemptions to have specific inventory excluded," so not every single item has to be available for the "return for any reason within 30 days" policy. Also, the retailer said the returnless service is optional. "These new features allow sellers to reduce time and costs associated with returns while providing customers with an easy and efficient return experience," the company said in an e-mail, CNBC reports. So, maybe it's not all bad for sellers, after all. Amazon will likely ruffle some feathers as they work to take over the shopping market. Major stores such as JCPenney and more have been forced to close stores due to lack of competition for Amazon and with services such as Amazon Prime Wardrobe and Amazon Meal Kit in the works, there will be plenty more changes to look out for in the future.