Amazon is once again rolling out a more generous return policy during the holiday season with which all of its sellers must comply. For the 3rd consecutive year, Amazon is giving shoppers until the end of January to return goods purchased in October.
In previous years, the holiday policy kicked in on November 1st, but in 2020 and 2021, the Amazon Extended Returns policy kicked in on October 1st.
This year, Amazon rolled the date forward by one week to October 7.
In years past, sellers have expressed concern that buyers would be able to use their goods for 4 months and then return them for a full refund. Merchants who sell Halloween-themed goods have expressed particular concern since they feel some customers "rent" items like costumes and decor at no charge, leaving sellers out-of-pocket with goods that can't reasonably be resold until the following Halloween season - if ever, if the items are returned in used condition.
However, Amazon's holiday return policy has the potential to boost sales by giving early shoppers confidence they can return items that recipients don't like for whatever reason. And by encouraging early holiday shopping, it can ease the inevitable delivery problems that develop close to the Christmas holiday.
Amazon's 2022 Extended Holiday Returns policy requires most items purchased between October 7, 2022, and December 31, 2022, to be returnable through January 31, 2023. The policy applies to orders shipped by Amazon and by third-party sellers.
"Although the returns window for most orders is extended, the returns eligibility for all orders remains the same," Amazon said. You can read the full post on Amazon Seller Central
along with sellers' reaction.
Some merchants pointed out that the generous returns policy will impact sellers differently depending on what types of goods they sell.
A seller using the handle DavidReflect asked, "What if the extended holiday returns was presented an option?" with different conditions applying to items purchased outside the normal Amazon return policy - such as restocking fees, or a requirement the buyer pay for return shipping in such cases. "The extended returns make sense for holiday shoppers, but there does need to be a line of responsibility when you’re giving people 120 days, 1/3 of the year, to return any Amazon purchase."
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