Aiming to simplify the return process, Amazon just sent out the following email to all its marketplace sellers.
The highlights are instant returns for customers and returnless refunds, which allow sellers to create rules to automatically issue refunds without requiring the item to be shipped back.
Amazon is simplifying the returns process on items fulfilled by sellers. Starting October 2, 2017, returns of items that you fulfill and that fall within the Amazon returns policy will be automatically authorized. Customers will be able to print a prepaid return shipping label via the Online Return Center instantly.
We are also introducing ‘returnless refunds,’ a feature that is highly requested by sellers. If you so choose, you will now be able to set rules and automatically issue a refund without requiring an item to be shipped back to you. Sellers have requested this because, in many cases, it allows you to save on both return shipping and processing costs.
We hope these changes will reduce the effort required to manage your returns and decrease your customer Return Dissatisfaction Rate (RDR), thereby improving your ratings. Additionally, you will have full visibility into the end-to-end return process through shipment tracking information located on the Manage Returns page in Seller Central.
Below are a few key details:
1. You are required to have a return address on file. If you want to specify a separate return address, please update your information in Seller Central (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/on-board/configuration/global-return-address/index.html). If you have not specified a return address by October 2, your business address will be used as the return address.
2. You are required to issue a refund within two business days of receipt of a return. If you do not take action regarding the refund request, Amazon may refund the customer on your behalf and charge the amount to your seller account.
3. You might be responsible for the cost of return shipping in accordance with Amazon’s policies.
4. Certain items are not eligible for prepaid return shipping. You can request exemptions for specific items in your inventory after August 31.
5. You can appeal return disputes directly to Amazon.
To learn more, visit the Prepaid returns for seller fulfilled orders help page: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/202072200
Early participants have seen RDR go down by an average of three times after offering prepaid return shipping. If you would like to begin offering automatically authorized prepaid returns to customers before October 2, please respond to the survey below by August 11 to on-board by August 25.
Thank you for selling on Amazon.
The Amazon Selling Team
Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.