Amazon announced that on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, all seller-fulfilled fashion listings will feature a free return message and sellers will no longer be able to deduct the return shipping fee for Fashion items appearing in Apparel, Shoes, Jewelry, and Watches in the US.
The company said that it is responding to customers feedback with actions that focus on improving their buying experience every time they shop or return an item in on Amazon.
Amazon fashion customers are not fully satisfied with the current return experience of seller-fulfilled orders, the company added.
For Amazon-fulfilled orders of Fashion items, Amazon already offer free returns and customers expect the same return experience for seller-fulfilled orders.
Therefore, Amazon will now institute this new policy later in October ahead of the busy holiday season so that Amazon buyers will receive the same experience regardless on how the order was fulfilled.
Return policies by selling partners not using Amazon FBA to sell their items on the marketplace must already offer return policies that are at least as favorable as the Amazon return policies.
How Will This New Process Work?
All customer-initiated return requests through the Online Return Center (ORC) that are within the scope of the Amazon return policy will be automatically authorized by the company.
Customers will receive a tracked Prepaid Return Label (domestic only) issued through Amazon’s Buy Shipping Services on the seller’s behalf.
As soon as the buyer ships the product, Amazon will charge the seller’s account for the cost of the return shipping label.
The current shipping costs for the return labels can be found here. A full FAQ about the change is available here (Amazon seller account required), that also includes information for international sellers with no US address.
How are Amazon Sellers Impacted?
With the busy holiday season already underway, this change will certainly upset sellers who must now account for the cost of returns in their pricing, a service that was previously free.
In effect, this is a selling fee increase for sellers on the backend of the sale and forces sellers to re-evaluate their listings on Amazon now to ensure that all information is as correct as possible.
Amazon wants the same experience for all buyers and returns are becoming an increasingly crucial factor by shopper before making purchase decisions. The company may also be trying to crackdown on bad listings with inaccurate information that leads to more returns.
But it is unfortunate that Amazon chose to implement this new policy going into the holiday season with only about two weeks of notice. That will not sit well with many sellers who now must scramble to consider this new policy and potentially recheck many listings.
Some sellers on the Amazon Seller Forums already believe this may just the beginning of more such policies to come for Amazon seller fulfilled orders.
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