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Wed May 27 2015 15:10:02

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am writing this email today regarding the Amazon return policy requirement for third party sellers that require sellers to accept returns on any item including swimwear, intimate apparel, panties, shapewear and any item worn against the body below the waist up to 30 days from the order date.

We have had major issues accepting returns on these garments. 

I know that Amazon has policies requiring sellers to accept returns for 30 days from the order date, regardless of what type of item it is. 

Most stores are placing new policies on try-ons of swimwear and panties and anything worn on the below the waist for health reasons.

We have health code laws that do not allow returns on swimwear or intimate apparel after 7 days and they must be returned in the original package.

While we realize that Amazon is trying to keep an open network with freedoms for buyers to buy and try-on and return any type of clothing item, in the times we are living in, there need to be changes made with exceptions to this 30-day policy for returns. 

I have sent several emails to Amazon and I have requested that my emails along with the Central New York Video that speaks of Swimwear try-ons voicing health concerns of having to accept returns for up to 30 days on this type of apparel.

Although Amazon stated to us that they would forward our email and concerns to those who make these types of decisions, they were also very firm in their response that Amazon does and will continue to require us to accept returns on any order, regardless of what the apparel item is,  up to 30 days from the order date.

Recently Central New York website published a video on what types of health hazards that can be found in the returns of such garments after having been tried on.  

I have included in my email to you the video offered by central New York.com regarding the health issues with accepting any returns on swimwear or intimate apparel worn below the waist at all. This would also include returns on shapewear and underwear panties.

While we do not intend to stop selling this type of merchandise because this is our business, we are concerned because of the lack of concern from the Amazon support for the protection of the sellers who sell this type of merchandise. 

I may add that as an eBay seller since 1999, one of the first strict policies made on the eBay site in the very early days of selling was no sales on panties that have been worn or taken from the package. This dates back to around the year 2000, keeping in mind that we were not required then nor are we required now to accept returns on any order if we do not want to accept returns.   

While eBay was concerned with this type of apparel that had been tried on as early as the year 2000, Amazon still continues 15 years later with no concerns or plans for special policies on returns of this type of merchandise.
L.




Comments (31) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 27 15:43:24 2015

If pushed Amazon will probably ban the sales of those items anyways....

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed May 27 19:58:53 2015

I thought it was a law that you could not return undergarments, but apparently that is not the case. According to what I read online, it's up to the individually retailers to set return policies. Since Amazon's headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington, perhaps the OP could contact the Washington State Attorney General's Office to see if there is a state-wide law on returns of that sort. If there is, that might convince Amazon to change their policy.

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 27 22:54:47 2015

I have a neighbor who recently purchased an undergarment on Ebay.  She filed a SNAD claim with Ebay.

The seller told her she couldn't accept it because it was an undergarment ( below waist ) as it was an Ebay policy and a law.

Well guess what after all was said and done even with all the sellers claims she was forced to take the return back and refund the money.  So hence I doubt that there is a policy on Ebay about returns for intimate apparel.

And no Ebay didn't do the refund as the money was taken out of the sellers paypal account and she wasn't to happy about it when she contacted my neighbor.

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 00:18:16 2015

IT IS THE LAW!!!
So, eBay is breaking the law?!  What's new about that?!
They think they are a law unto themselves and have proved time and again that sellers are just here to be jerked around.  Play And Pay or get out is their moto!

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 00:22:01 2015

PayPal & eBay convinced me to quit working and go on full time Disability.  Their rules are totally unfair & I won't be jerked around!  Now Amazon has joined the "Shoot The Seller" campaign....no surprize there as one thief copies other theives once they see they can get away with it!

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu May 28 00:27:37 2015

Interesting post.

I'm surprised all they found was E. coli. Surely, there are more pathogens lurking on intimate garments that came in contact with bodily fluids.

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 02:11:52 2015

Well I won't be buying any underwear or swim suit from Amazon. I don't like the idea of private cooties or hair on my clothing.  

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu May 28 07:01:04 2015

I can only hope that this is a law suit waiting to happen.  Both of these companies (Amazon and eBay) think that they are above the law.

It is quite disgusting to think that someone is allowed to put their private parts into an undergarment and then return it to a seller.

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: cosqueen This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 07:05:19 2015

A word to the wise for what it is worth.  I have been reading constant, incessant Ebay bashings on this site for years.  I sell on 3 venues and have for 10, 5 and 2 years in that order.  No seller should put their eggs into one basket ever.  Of those 3 venues, and having had sufficient experince with all 3, Ebay is NOT THE WORST.  I repeat NOT the worst.  I pedict Amazon will give all third-party sellers the heeve-ho at some point in time.  I agree totally with the OP.  And what about using cosmetics, skincare and personal fragrances and then requesting returns.  Happens all the time.  Reasons:  I don't like the scent, I don't like the color, the color is ''not as described,'' ''defective or does not work properly.''  There is rampant ABUSE among sellers everywhere, Amazon just makes it easier for anyone, anytime, and for any reason to return.  Most third-party selllers are not in a position of a big box store to take the kind of losses expected of Amazon.  Return underwear and swimwear????? That is just wrong.  Go to a store and try it on -- don't expect the poor third-party seller to take the loss.  As a seller, I could never accept a return and then resell cosmetics or undergarments yet buyers are allowed to return items at a complete loss to the seller.  When will Amazon and Ebay start to see the seller's side?  Like the majority of 3rd party sellers, I am honest and hard working and ALWAYS accept responsibility for an error on my part. The buyers will use any excuse or dishonest, fraudulent reason to return AND make it look like it was seller's fault for ''defective'' merchandise so their return shipping is covered.  These same buyers know how to work the system and get exactly what they want, sometimes for free.  It is theft without walking into a B&M store AND AMAZON AND EBAY are encouraging this behavior.  The OP is right, make personal items NONRETUNABLE period.  Thanks for listening.  

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu May 28 07:43:42 2015

Ick! I won't even return UN-OPENED underwear on Amazon. Not long ago I accidentally purchased the wrong size for a 4-pack package of men's briefs.

Obviously too small for my husband (without needing to open the package) I could have returned them... but I gave them to my son instead. (Had he not wanted them, I'd have simply donated them to the Purple Heart Thrift Store.)

I'd only want a refund/exchange if the seller had made a mistake and shipped the wrong item, or if it was clearly defective in some way.

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu May 28 08:09:41 2015

I've always been mystified how cosmetics sellers make it on eBay.  

Stores like Walmart & Target have done away with testers - you are just expected to return a shade that does not work for you. Big box cosmetic and department stores also allow returns for cosmetic items that don't work for whatever reason. Online sites like Sephora, Ulta, and Neiman Marcus etc.. allow cosmetic returns, although you pay for return shipping.

That is pretty hefty competition that DOES accept returns.


If an eBay seller can't accept returns, how do you compete with the big guys that do? Price? Volume?  I've noticed some sellers' prices are not that much lower than retail. Are they just big guys doing business under an assumed username?    

Logically, most who sell cosmetics on eBay don't accept returns. Not large enough to eat the cost of not being able to re-sell the return item.  
Of course a ''no returns'' policy is not a guarantee against a SNAD, and will only head off a percent of returns.  

In the past I've bought cosmetic items on eBay where the color did not work and I ended up throwing it away.  Do that enough and you learn not to buy items where shade matters at a place you cannot return it.


Same goes with undies. Again, you can return undies that don't fit to a walmart or target and they will damage them out or trash them.  VS takes returns - all those wrong size gifts 'n all.  But, on venues like eBay - same predicament as cosmetic items.

Like others, I think eBay & Amazon - who work as a conglomeration of small sellers - should have a hard and fast NO Returns rule for cosmetics, undies, swim pants, etc...
Bots can be programmed to reject the return for an ''all sales final'' item.  


Caveat emptor. The masses could learn to shop for bargains and accept the ''final sale'' or avoid that category completely and hit a mart or dept. store.

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 08:38:53 2015

it is my understanding while not against the law to accept returns it is against health regulations , same thing for jewelry pierced earrings, body jewelry because of commutable diseases or anything that can come into contact with body fluids , we as a manufacture auto clave all jewelry before selling to the public in addition any returns we accept are melted down for metal content. this has been a long time battle with online sales, amazon, ebay and paypal. everything is sealed before sold, with a bright orange sticker warning against opening , once open no return or exchanges our state governs these returns op may wish to check state health department regulations and forward a copy to amazon

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 09:12:12 2015

IANAL but no laws covering these kinds of returns that I've ever heard of but there may be a local health issue. I would think it would be up to the individual seller to know and comply with his local laws and not offer no-return items on a venue that requires 30 day returns.
 

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu May 28 09:34:10 2015

While Amazon may have it's return policies, if the buyer is returning something due to not paying attention to listing or sizes or whatever, you can make it difficult for the buyer to insist on a return. One is telling them (assuming that the need for the return isn't your fault) that they will have to return the item at their own expense and you will not refund the original shipping. Depending on the cost of the item originally, this could stop many buyers in their tracks. I've had return requests for reasons as silly as the item having been purchased on the wrong credit card! This is not something that I will eat shipping on going and coming since the choice of cc that they used, for sure isn't my fault. Any time I get a refund request, I reread everything I can find at Amazon to be sure I am within my rights to do what I am doing.

One of the nice things about ecrater is that they don't force refunds on any of us. That is all between the buyer and seller.  

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 09:36:28 2015

... Im gonna stick my nose in where it doesnt belong (ie I dont sell in either category).

BOTH companies are bad when it comes to returns. Both Amazon and eBay stick it to sellers when it comes to returns .... but there is a difference.

When you join Amazon as a 3p seller, you are expected to adhere to THEIR returns condition policies as a condition of being able to sell there.

NOT so with eBay. eBay doesnt sell anything. They have ZERO understanding on how commerce and ecommerce works. NONE of their top brass even have a background in retail!

My understanding (asking manufacturers sales reps) about how these things work is that in both the cosmetics and personal apparel cases, direct dealers are allowed a percentage for returns due to unsaleable merchandise.

Amazon, and its big sellers are direct, therefore they can eat returns with no issues. As long as they are within the cap set by the brand itself (for those returns) all is ok. Trouble beings if you are NOT direct and you have to eat returns.

As for eBay ....... they simply dont care a all about anything. The MBG "protects" buyers and screws sellers - in EVERY situation.

In electronics where I sell, manufactorers have a STRICT return policies - including total returns taken, some items repair only, time controls for those returns and other things - NONE Of which eBay or Amazon care about.

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: Mimi This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 09:54:39 2015

I use Amazon a lot and my family knows that a gift card is a welcome gift instead of some knick-knack that I have to dust. However, I've contacted them a couple of times about at least two items they allow that are addictive and potentially dangerous - Kratom, an opiate substitute and Phenibut, which has landed people in the hospital. They just didn't care.

The undergarment policy doesn't surprise me at all. As much as I like Amazon - especially as a Prime member - this is WAY over the top (or bottom). Shame on them!

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 11:07:12 2015

Huge market for used panties on craigslist ? yuck

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 11:09:19 2015

Never wash clothes again, just wear-em-and return-em !!!! it seems like Amazon and Ebay have become an online laundrymat!

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 11:26:46 2015

Just wait till a purchase of intimate apparel creates a major health (or minor) to the buyer. Get a fancy lawyer to sue the pants off Amazon and also have it reported to many media outlets as possible.
Amazon will change the policy. It would take maybe a hour to make the change. Butttt they have to to be sued first.

Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel   Amazon Should Rethink Returns on Intimate Apparel

by: wallflower This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 12:14:27 2015

I once got a fungal infection on my waist from trying on jeans at T J Max. Fungal infections can be easily spread on clothing.  

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