As an Amazon buyer, there is a good chance that you’re going to return an item at some point. The reason you do so would normally have a big impact on the outcome. Have buyer’s remorse and no longer want the item? Well, you would likely be required to pay return shipping. On June 15, 2020, Amazon announced it would be enrolling all Professional 3rd party sellers into its automatically authorized returns program.
With little notice and no input from 3rd party sellers, the changes were announced on Seller Central Forums in the middle of the night. How will this change impact 3rd party sellers? Unfortunately, it will likely create an even more volatile relationship between buyer and seller. When a buyer decides to return something they’ve bought from a 3rd party seller, they’ll be able to do so no matter what. And, Amazon will provide that customer with a “prepaid return shipping labels on your behalf”.
How about those buyer’s remorse cases when the buyer no longer wants the item? What if they put together the puzzle, finished the book, beat the video game and just want to return it to get their money back? That’s right! The 3rd party seller will be footing the bill for shipping.
This will make it increasingly difficult for sellers to work out problems with buyers as well. The return label is created and the buyer is eager to get the item to the post office. When that happens, the seller will be charged for the label.
When the seller receives the item to find it opened and/or damaged, they’ll have the right to charge the buyer a restocking fee and recuperate their shipping expenses. Obviously, many buyers are going to be expecting a “free return” and a “full refund”. How will they react when this does not happen?
Once they receive a partial refund, they’re likely going to leave the 3rd party seller negative feedback putting their account at risk. Many Amazon 3rd party sellers were angry and took to the Seller Central Forums to lash out at the ecommerce giant calling the policy “total BS”.
Another went on to say, “If it wasn’t forced, no one would sign up for it.” They also made a good point. Many buyers receive returns without having to return the item. When they receive a shipping label, they’re going to feel obligated to return the item and that will create a new layer of stress and anxiety for the consumer.
Unfortunately, Amazon is always right and seller voices are almost always ignore.
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