Reminder : Amazon want you to pay for returns

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Amazon-Returns
A quick reminder… from today Amazon say that “it is required that all sellers either provide a return address in the country of the Market Place Site or pay the shipping cost of returns. If you are selling, for example, at Amazon.de, you must either provide a return address in Germany or offer buyers the free return shipping”.

Amazon’s reasoning is that Customers who buy from Amazon, expect that they can return products easily. This doesn’t help sellers however who are facing increased cost of returns, although hopefully in the future companies like ZigZag Global will make this less painful.

Instructions to change return address

To update your return address in the Land of selected MarketPlace site, please go as follows:
1. Go to “Settings” to the “About the Seller Account”.
2. On the “About the Seller Account”, go to the “information return” and click right there on “Edit”.
3. Choose. An already registered address as the default return address or enter a new address as the default return address
4. Click on “Submit”.

Instructions to upload pre-paid return labels

To upload a pre-paid return label for the return request, please proceed as follows:
1. Go to “Manage Returns” in the “orders” to.
2. Select “Create I will be a pre-paid return shipping label for this application” option in the “Your Return Address Labels”.
3. Go to “Manage Returns” in the “orders” to.
4. Click on the back end applications that you want to select the checkbox.
5. From the drop-down menu on the page “authorize all returns selected” option above and click “Go”.
6. Load the shipping label up, select the carrier and type, if available, the shipment tracking number.
7. Set the cost of the return label to € 0.00, to ensure that the buyer is not burdened with the cost of return.

Options

Ignore it

This certainly isn’t something that we could suggest that you do, but we know of sellers who are taking this course of action. Simply carry on as you were and send out standard returns information and let buyers pick up the cost of returning goods to you in the UK. Sellers that we know of have taken the decision that if the buyer queries who pays the international return costs they’ll instantly pick up the tab, but if the buyer doesn’t mention it they’ll simply let them pay for the return.

Use FBA

If you put your products into Amazon FBA in the UK, you can simply let Amazon ship the products internationally and just pay the FBA charges.

You may well find that for products which frequently sell abroad Amazon will ship them to an EU FBA warehouse and fulfil European orders from there. However you’ll still pay shipping costs as if the products were fulfilled from the UK.

The downside with using FBA is that you’ll have to either fulfil eBay and website orders from Amazon or hold a larger inventory of stock. Obviously stock in FBA isn’t available in your warehouse to fulfil orders so it’s a balancing act between cost of inventory and costs of shipping internationally and paying for possible returns.

22 Responses

  1. I must have missed this before but just to clarify, if a customer wishes to return as they do not want the product then the seller has to provide a returns address in their country or refund them the postage back for returning to the UK or the country you are based in?

  2. Fusion, that is correct.
    Basically Amazon customers can now order the wrong thing or decide it’s not what they wanted and us sellers have to cover their stupidity.
    I see no problem with buyers paying the return costs if they made a mistake or don’t want the item after all. That seems like common sense to me. Of course it’s perhaps part of a sellers service if for example they sell clothes or high value items where there is plenty of margin to play with.

    I’m based in Ireland and sell low value items under perhaps around the £5 mark, I’d be lucky to get 25%. I am not in a position to have a return address is UK, Germany, Italy, France or Spain. I cannot cover the return costs so I will be ignoring this stupid new policy from Amazon. They should cover it out of their outrageous fees!
    And how am I meant to upload a pre-paid for return label? There is no such thing, all my stuff is sent via the Irish Post office. You would think, with Amazon leverage they could at the very lease provide us with a subsidised pre-paid shipping label using their own postal arrangements!

    In many ways I’ve been feeling sickly about selling my soul to get access to the Amazon marketplace. I stopped bothering with ebay sometime ago and this may well be the cause for me to cease selling on Amazon. Yes, I’ll be down on an important sales channel but my own website is my main focus. Amazon make a lot of money from me so it’s up to them if they don’t value my business. TBH, I don’t have much time for Amazon anymore, they are a juggernaut bully and have absolutely no respect for their selling partners. Jeff Bezos is a moron and a nasty man to be in bed with, selling on Amazon makes me feel dirty. Bollocks to him.

  3. Fusion only if your selling on an international marketplace so if your selling on amazon.de you need a German address or must provide free returns if your selling on amazon.co.uk and someone from Germany buys your item they are responsible for returning it to the UK.

  4. I have been struggling with this for days and have had VERY contradictory advise from Amazon,

    I am trying to upload the freepost label that ROyal Mail have provided – but cannot find anywhere to upload as per below – I simply don’t get the box to upload my own image as default only if I do them manually one at a time..

    Can someone please screenshot this for me, as it is driving me mad,

    5. From the drop-down menu on the page “authorize all returns selected” option above and click “Go”.
    6. Load the shipping label up, select the carrier and type, if available, the shipment tracking number.
    7. Set the cost of the return label to € 0.00, to ensure that the buyer is not burdened with the cost of return

  5. I have spoken to my Royal Mail Account Manager and apparently you can purchase a licence for the Royal Mail International Returns Services (Not sure if that is the right name) This allows you to create the returns label. The licence is £150.00 plus VAT pa. You also pay the return postage costs, which seem high.

    I only sell tiny amounts on the Amazon European sites, so I have closed those listings as the the costs do not stack up

  6. The worst part about Amazon is that their buy box policy.

    Amazon are well known for stealing 3rd party seller information (letting 3rd parties take the risk) and then selling the goods themselves.

    If that wasn’t bad enough they then give themselves preference over the buy box and search rankings even if their prices are more expensive. They have an abusive relationship with their 3rd party sellers – which is what you get with monopoly’s.

    On top of that Chinese sellers are allowed to get away with poor feedback ratings and quite often Chinese sellers will win the buy box with lower ratings, lower feedback and the same price as UK sellers – and it is amusing to see their feedbacks littered with reports about how the buyer didn’t realise the goods were being shipped from China and take 20+ days. How is this a good buying experience?

    We have eBay on the one hand who treat their sellers like absolute dirt and Amazon who use their 3rd party sellers as market research. Sad that in the UK we are left with a duopoly of two such abusive companies.

  7. Amazon, what a joke. Sell for 0 profits and put up with that crap. Ebay any day of the week for me

  8. I just received clarification from Amazon on this. Hope it helps:

    By law, customers located in the European Union have the right to withdraw from the purchase of an item within 14 working days of the day after the date the item is delivered. Where a buyer is withdrawing from their purchase within the 14 working day cooling-off period, the seller must refund the cost of the item and the cost of sending the item to the buyer.

    The cost incurred by the buyer in returning the item to you is not automatically refundable unless they return the item to you because of an error, or because it is defective or not as advertised. Where a buyer returns and item between 7 and 30 days after delivery (or between 7 and 14 days in the case of large electrical items), and there’s been no fault with the item, the seller is only obliged to refund the cost of the item.

    However, this is a business decision that needs to be made by the seller, and it is their own decision if they want to refund the return postage or otherwise.

    I hope that this helps to clarify the issue and wish you every success with your selling on Amazon.

  9. Are their practices in anyway illegal.
    To both be the seller of goods
    and services while at the same time contract writer /
    policy maker / fee collector of those they allow to sell
    on their sight. Wouldn’t it be a huge conflict
    of interest.
    Have any sellers been able to sue them successfully.

  10. To use the words Amazon and Marketplace is an oxymoron. This will be one of those things that gets redacted at some future point as Amazon is “Cutting off their nose to spite their face”.

    Why would Amazon spend all their time encouraging sellers to sell internationally and build their global selection then take it all back and say, oh, but now you have to pay for returns which really in near all cases means you have to refund without return … ???

    Simple. Bricks n’ Mortar. Amazon has now built a contradictory business model where on one hand has the ability to deliver goods to customers in hours and certainly next day and on the other, offers BILLIONS (millions of sellers selling millions of products) of products with completely diverse conditions.

    TRANSPARENCY

    Amazon chose to not offer even a glimpse of transparency about sellers names, company info and/or shipping location. Why? If they did, customers would be better informed instead of constantly complaining that it’s the sellers fault they are from X, Y or Z country ….

    But remember what I said first? Amazon is NOT a marketplace!

    Now you do have the ability to charge restocking fees and this is generally capped at about 20%. But, you also then have to handle the negative feedback on that action as your return policies are so buried, you might find this difficult to find them just to email the link to a customer.

    Amazons incessant need to add and grow warehouse space across the globe will further forge the gap between US “the sellers” and THEM. It is an inevitable conclusion friends … we’d all better start figuring out viable alternatives to D2C business models. Because soon, restocking fees will be pulled and ultimately, even selling in a country where you don’t preside will be. It’s an inevitability to the current situation as customers will continue to complain and Amazon will soon withdraw from sellers once IT has the selection themselves and we will all find we’ve been duped into the largest R&D scam of the 21st century.

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