Returns just got easier on Amazon… but not for you

Fast and easy returns is the name of the game on virtually
every selling platform these days. Extended returns, easy to print return
labels, return preapproval the seller is being pushed further and further to
offer more flexible returns policies. Now Amazon is taking it a step further
for its seller fulfilled shipments from select sellers starting in November
buyers will be able to return any purchase from a US based seller without
seller approval provided the return meets Amazons returns policy. What this
means to sellers is less control and more costs and headaches. Removing buyer
return approval means that a buyer can now potentially return a used,
distressed or incomplete item with little recourse for the seller. Additionally
the seller is also responsible for all return fees which in some cases can
exceed the cost of the item in many circumstances sellers would rather issue
the refund than deal with the expense of having to pay for the return shipping
this option is effectively eliminated. The upside is that pro sellers have some
exemptions to this new policy. Pro sellers are able to request sku specific
exceptions such as high valued items with special shipping such as additional
insurance and low value items that that the return shipping cost would exceed
the value of the item. This change in policy would also greatly effect drop
ship sellers the new return policy requires a default return address meaning
that sellers previously accustomed to having returns handled by their drop
shippers must now process these returns themselves. While this appears to be a
targeted change to select sellers at present do not be surprised if this
becomes policy for all seller fulfilled shipments in the near future. What is
the reasoning behind this move? For one this would create a more consistent
shopping experience for the buyer with no difference between how a return is
handled by Amazon compared to a third party seller. Another more likely reason
for the change is to push more sellers into the FBA program which nets Amazon more
profits. One of the most frustrating issues from the prospective of a seller
which Amazon simply seems to ignore or at least not understand Is that many
return requests can be resolved by an open line of communication between the
buyer and the seller. Even eBay who has a reputation for favoring the buyer
over the seller in cases of returns has a far more progressive policy
encouraging communication to resolve the return request and offering
alternatives to returns such as replacement or exchanges in short they
understand that opening a line of commutation can frequently be the difference
between a sale and a return which makes neither party money. 

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