From today, the 1st of October, merchants on Amazon must accept returns for any products sold right up to the 31st of January 2021. The Amazon 2020 Extended Christmas Returns Policy means that a buyer purchasing a product today can have up to four full months to decide they wish to return it. This applies to products purchased up until the 31st of December.
Amazon say that this is in anticipation of customers shopping early for Christmas. It is a temporary extension to the returns window of the normal Amazon returns policy. There are a few variations by category.
“The Amazon Extended Christmas Returns Policy for 2020 requires that most orders delivered between October 1 and December 31 (inclusive) be returnable until January 31, 2021. This policy includes orders that are shipped by you and orders that are shipped by Amazon.
Although the return window for most orders is extended, it can vary by category. You can see the return deadline in each category on our Returns Help page.
Please update the Returns, warranties and refunds section of your Detailed Seller Information page to advise customers of the extended Christmas returns policy.”
In reality the Amazon 2020 Extended Christmas Returns Policy won’t necessarily mean an increase in returns and there is no real expectation that you will be deluged with returns in January – certainly no more than normal. The consumer behaviour we see from extended returns is more confidence to buy rather than a greater inclination to return products.
What the Amazon 2020 Extended Christmas Returns Policy really is is both an acknowledgement and an encouragement to consumers to start their Christmas shopping early this year. Couriers have already been operating at maximum capacity for the past six months due to the increased online shopping activity caused by the global pandemic. By encouraging consumers to shop early it should relieve some of the pressures associated with Q4 logistics.