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New Amazon Returns Policy: A Biohazard in the Making?

New Amazon Returns Policy: A Biohazard in the Making?

Amazon announced Monday it would begin automatically authorizing customer requests to return certain types of goods on August 31st, including sexual wellness products and professional medical supplies. Amazon noted it would treat dangerous goods and items non-returnable by law differently.

“Caution: Biohazard,” wrote one seller in response. “Zoltar sees a huge increase in eBay listings for lightly used personal massagers, syringes, and dental floss soon,” wrote another.

The announcement stated:

Effective August 31, 2022, Amazon will automatically authorize US return requests and provide buyers with a prepaid return shipping label for items belonging to the following categories:

  • Sexual wellness
  • Business, industrial & scientific supplies > Professional medical supplies
  • Business, industrial & scientific supplies > Professional dental supplies

Returns for the following product categories will continue to be sent for manual authorization:

  • Handmade
  • Amazon custom
  • Certified preowned watches
  • Non-physical items (for example, warranties, digital software, or digital coupons)
  • Items that are non-returnable by law and dangerous goods

For more information, go to Manage seller-fulfilled returns.

A seller who said they wished Amazon would provide an opportunity for sellers to make things right rather than allowing an automatic return wrote in part, “I am tired of the lame excuses for returns such as wrong item shipped or the item is damaged when in fact neither is correct. If the item was defective or the wrong item was sent, give me the opportunity to fix it.”

“Amazon Warehouse is about to get weird,” wrote another seller, and one pondered whether Amazon workers handling returns should be eligible for hazard pay.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.