Amazon is Banning Shoppers For Too Many Returns

One of Amazon’s selling points is free and easy returns for many items. Customers can purchase and then return, for free, many items within a certain period. That sure makes shopping easy, especially online shopping, since one of the things that worries online shoppers is not seeing the actual product before buying it. Obviously there’s the other side to this, where sellers often get stuck with opened or used products that they can no longer sell as new. I have personally had some of these issues as a seller. About two years ago I sold an iPad and the customer returned it with a similarly sized box, but with a digital thermometer inside. Amazon had to foot the bill on that instance after a few weeks of going back and forth.

amazon ban too many returns

One, two or a few returns are understandable for each customer. But what happens when you return many items within a short period, or you just try to game the system? Amazon is now cracking down on that behavior. They are now banning shoppers for violations, which include returning items too often, according to The Wall Street Journal. Some users aren’t even told what they did wrong, which is usually the case with Amazon or eBay. They often give a vague reason.

Many people have started complaining on social media about recent account closures. Paul Fidalgo writes about his ban here. Claire received the note below requiring explanation after returning six items within the last 12 months.

There’s no real limit on how many items you can return, or what percentage of purchases can be safely returned without risking a shutdown. Amazon’s return policy doesn’t say at all that returning too many items can get you kicked out. But it does say the company reserves the right to terminate accounts at its discretion.

Guru’s Wrap-Up

I suspect that Amazon is mostly going after those who abuse the system, but surely there will be people with legitimate returns being caught up in this as well. It’s bad news if you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, as you’d also be more likely to return more items that the average customer. On the other side it could be good news for seller that use Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) fulfillment services, as it should cut down on their returns.

How do you feel about this? Let me know!

4 thoughts on “Amazon is Banning Shoppers For Too Many Returns

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  3. Thanks for the article. I’m an FBA seller who does Amazon flips. I return a lot of items from 3rd party sellers, FBM and FBA. The old saying “too good to be true” describes a lot of purchases where the price is low but the item doesn’t turn out to be new as advertised or it may be a counterfeit item. I document everything returned with pictures and messages to the seller. I buy a lot and about half are great legitimate deals or price mistakes but the other half I get are returned. So yes, I do return a LOT and have not had my buyer account shut down. That being said, if Amazon wants to do it, all the documentation may not make a difference as it’s the bots who will make the call based on the numbers. I also am honest and pay return shipping if it’s my error which is rare. Sad to say but buyers of my products on the other hand lie almost universally to Amazon to save a few bucks on return shipping but that’s another story.

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