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Sat Aug 20 2022 09:52:33

Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon sellers may be forced to pay UPS rates for returns this holiday season. It's another example of how little control sellers have over policies they extend to customers when selling on online marketplaces.

Amazon is running a month-long "experiment" of the policy in order to understand buyer behavior. From September 5 through October 2, 2022, Amazon will provide buyers with the option to select UPS when they send their seller-fulfilled returns - it already provides the option of selecting USPS for returns.

The items that will be part of the test are returns made through the Prepaid Return Label program that are below 15 oz in weight and 130 inches in girth.

Amazon sold the new test as a way to boost sales: "Providing buyers with multiple shipping options will give buyers the convenience to drop off their return at the nearest UPS store, and encourage them to buy more from sellers," it wrote.

"This has to be so negligible that I feel like Amazon thinks we're stupid by just implying this will be good for us," responded a seller.

During the test, sellers can claim a refund for the difference between the UPS and USPS shipping costs. However, if Amazon makes it a permanent policy change, it's not clear it would continue to pick up the tab for difference when customers use a higher UPS rate. 

One seller wondered how they would know the difference between the UPS rate charged and what the cost would have been if returned via USPS. 

Another seller said Amazon should automate the process rather than expecting sellers to do the calculation and request a refund: "If Amazon knows this will be the case, why isn't it automated? Charge us the USPS rate for every return where we are actually responsible, and work out the internal accounting, Amazon."

Another seller pointed out that UPS charges steep surcharges and asked, "we use small mailers, and sometimes we receive the return item in large boxes...why should the seller pay for it?"

The seller also pointed out that shipping by UPS might cost more than the value of the product - "Is there a hidden agenda to promote refunds without returns," they asked. 

An additional concern the seller raised: UPS can tack on adjustments weeks later.

The August 19th announcement and response from sellers is on Amazon Seller Central.

Comments (9) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns   Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 20 13:54:24 2022

Another issue, that being a seller as well as a buyer, I run to the Post Office most days.  Going to my "nearest" UPS store is an inconvenience.

Perminate Link for Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns   Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

by: 1st Armored Div. 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 20 14:54:31 2022

Going to my local, which is not local, UPS store would be a real drag. USPS stops at my house Monday through Friday.

Perminate Link for Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns   Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

by: Gumball This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 22 00:46:47 2022

Selling on Amazon is SCARY!

Perminate Link for Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns   Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 22 03:05:50 2022

This is a win-win for the Seller because AMZ has somehow managed to get lower rates for postage than the USPS.  Whenever I mail a 1st class package or larger, the UPS rates on AMZ always cost less than the USPS.

Perminate Link for Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns   Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Aug 22 03:12:34 2022

I don't think they are waiting until the holiday season.  They forced me to do this on a Return I had last month.  Cost me triple what it cost me to ship via USPS.

Perminate Link for Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns   Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 22 03:16:16 2022

@Marie.  If the AMZ seller gets a discount on postage to send the order, why doesn't AMZ give discounted postage to the buyer for the return?  Makes no sense, and is anti-seller.  I'll ask in the forum.

Perminate Link for Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns   Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Aug 22 03:21:31 2022

@chicago48

AMZ has full access to know the method of shipping the seller uses to ship the package to the buyer.  They should ONLY use that method of shipment for the return shipment.  I think this is completely and unfair practice by Amz.

But they are so big they can pretty much do whatever they want.  Just like when they started the July USPS increase 2 weeks early and I was told by them that they did it on purpose to help buyers adjust to the new rates before Prime day.

They took it upon themselves to over ride the Federal Government.  That is simply so wrong on so many levels.  Oh and guess who likely keeps the extra money they collected in shipping fees for those two weeks.

Perminate Link for Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns   Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

by: Lalex This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 22 08:33:17 2022

As far as we know the UPS  rates will be Amazon's UPS rate not the retail UPS rate. Most of the time the UPS rate via Amazon's cost is less than USPS rate..  

Perminate Link for Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns   Amazon Forces UPS on Sellers for Holiday Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Aug 22 11:05:21 2022

@Latex

Maybe for you, but certainly not for me.  I was telling the truth when I said that the UPS rate was three times what I paid via USPS.  I suppose it would depend on the class of mail you are using with USPS and the similar class with UPS.



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