Amazon expand free return option in US to millions of items

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Amazon have announced that, in the US, they will be offering customers at least one free return option on millions of items sold on Amazon.com. Free returns are now available for electronics, household items, pet supplies, kitchen appliances and more, in addition to shoes and apparel, no matter the reason for the return.

Third party sellers might not be happy with the return of a used dog bed, but if as a buyer your pooch isn’t comfy in the plush bed you unwrapped for them on Christmas morning, send it back as a free return and get your money back.

“At Amazon, we’re constantly innovating on the customer experience – not only when purchasing an item, but also making a return. With free returns on millions of items, customers don’t need to worry if the keyboard they ordered doesn’t feel quite right or if their dog likes his new bed – they can buy with confidence, knowing they’ll be able to return it for free with just a few easy clicks.”
– Libby Johnson McKee, Director, Amazon WW Returns and ReCommerce

As Amazon’s logistics network continues to grow, they are enabling delivery and returns at even faster speeds, and to the most convenient locations. Previously only clothing, shoes and bedding were eligible for at least one free return, and now through Amazon’s network of locations, expanding partnerships with other retailers, and the back-end technology that Amazon has worked on for years, customers can return millions of items for free.

At 5,800 locations you don’t even have to package or label your free return – simply present a QR code on the Amazon app and hand over the product for a label free and box free returnAmazon’s label free and box free return option is one of many sustainability initiatives across Amazon, including goals such as The Climate Pledge, the company’s commitment to net zero carbon by 2040 and 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Amazon.com free return locations

Amazon now offers more than 18,000 no-cost return drop-off locations for customers, including Amazon Books stores, Amazon 4-Star stores, Amazon Hub locations, select Whole Foods Markets and third party locations like Kohl’s, and UPS.

  • Amazon Physical Stores

    Easily return eligible products at Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star stores. Customers simply walk into one of Amazon’s convenient locations staffed with helpful associates, show the QR code received after starting a return online, and hand over the item in the original manufacturer’s packaging.

  • vAmazon Hub locations

    Including Locker and Locker+ locations: To return to a Locker, customers bring their eligible items in a box or shipping envelope and use the barcode or six-digit code sent after starting a return to place the item in the slot. For staffed Locker+ locations, customers either pre-package their item or use the free packing materials available onsite. Amazon Hub locations are in more than 900 cities and towns across the country.

  • Whole Foods Market

    Select Whole Foods Market locations have free no-box and no-label return drop off for eligible items with more locations being added all the time. Certain Whole Foods Market locations also offer Amazon Locker and Amazon Locker+ return options.

  • Kohl’s

    Return eligible items at more than 1,000 Kohl’s locations across 48 U.S. states. When customers arrive, they will visit the Amazon Returns desk to make to make their return by showing the QR code to a store associate. No box or label is needed.

  • UPS

    Customers can choose to drop-off eligible items using a pre-paid mailing label at more than 10,000 The UPS Store and UPS Access Point locations nationwide. At The UPS Store locations, Amazon customers can also take advantage of a label-free and box-free return option or they can arrange a no cost pick-up from their home or office via a UPS driver.

Items eligible for free returns are indicated on the product’s detail page. All return-eligible items, weighing under 50 lbs. and sold and fulfilled by Amazon, have at least one free return option within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. Customers can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition. During the holidays, items shipped and fulfilled by Amazon between November 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 can be returned until January 31, 2020.

2 Responses

  1. We have plans in place to move all of our business from Amazon, a completely morally corrupt business, who would do well to look at working with their sellers, not abusing them.

    Sellers are at a disadvantage when they use Amazon and the buyer, who incidentally, contributes very little directly to Amazon (sellers pay all the fees) use us as a buy and try system. We’re sick of getting returns from Amazon and them not actually being the original product we sent out (we security sticker everything) and Amazon finding in their favour.

    Basicalyy, we have had enough of Amazon treating us unfairly, and this is a step too far.

  2. At least customers will no longer have to lie and say a product is faulty, which will hopefully result in more products being returned to Amazon as sell-able, or sold as Amazon warehouse deals.

    Amazon has its faults, many of them, but you are not likely to beat them, so finding some ways it works for you is probably the best strategy whilst still trying to carve out your own independent online offering.

    We get a number of “faulty” returns come back completely untouched and brand new and this is simply because Amazon does not offer free returns unless the product is faulty on many categories.

    Yes we also get customers send back the wrong product etc, but seens as we have no power over this, free returns would reduce the amount of stock that is returned back to our warehouse only to be resold as new and cost us more in return to seller costs. It should save us money if new stock gets resold from the Amazon warehouse. Getting the real return reason also helps monitor product quality etc.

    I think that this is generally going to be positive overall, and the fraudulent returns side of things will just have to be managed as part of normal retail skrinkage, charge more to everyone to cover losses.

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