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Amazon Shifts Some Return-Shipping Costs to Sellers

Amazon Shifts Some Return-Shipping Costs to Sellers

Amazon will no longer absorb certain costs involved with returns, it informed sellers on Wednesday. “Starting January 14, sellers will be responsible for any carrier shipping correction charges on customer returns of seller-fulfilled orders caused by incorrect return label information.”

Amazon said it had previously absorbed those charges, “but in line with industry standards, sellers will soon be responsible for shipping corrections for seller-fulfilled returns.”

Sellers expressed concern over the new policy since they had no control over how buyers packaged their returns. “Customers often return products in different packaging,” wrote one seller. “I have never received a return in packaging anywhere as good as what I used. Just wait for the charges to start rolling in.”

Another seller asked why Amazon was implementing the change in the middle of the holiday-return season. “Why not February 1st? After the Returns Sweepstakes have concluded,” the seller asked.

Another questioned how Amazon could implement the policy retroactively. “Amazon can rightfully say orders after a specific date have this new rule, but not all open orders up until that date.”

Amazon will inform sellers of the new charges through a monthly email notification containing a detailed report. You can read the announcement and seller reaction on Amazon Seller Central.

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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/.