• Craig Gedey

What Amazon Takeback Monday is and everything you need to know about Amazon Returns

We’re now just days away from what is labelled Amazon Takeback Monday - the biggest day of the year for returns on the site.



Reports have suggested that almost half of consumers returned an item at some point in 2021, and the holiday season sees the usual percentage rise as people return unwanted gifts. That usually hits an annual high on what this year is Monday January 3rd, 2022.


There is the unwanted additional worry that if returns pile up for certain products, it can trigger an account suspension, especially if the item’s authenticity is in doubt. If that happens to you, don’t hesitate to contact Thompson and Holt as quickly as possible to deal with the issue.


But there are other factors to consider at this time of year, which Thompson and Holt senior case manager Laura Monk analyses here.


“There is some good news to start with,” Monk explained. “This year’s extended return policy on Amazon is stricter. The return window is still open until Monday January 31st, but only for items that have been bought between November 1st and December 31st. Last year that date stretched back into October.


“Amazon will cover shipping costs for defective and cancelled items, as well as return costs for items that are defective, damaged, incorrect, or cancelled. Amazon will also cover return costs for items in the Shoes, Clothing, Jewellery and Watches, and Handbags categories.


“What is important for all Sellers is to clearly outline return policies on your storefront, reminding customers that not all items are eligible for free returns. Some cannot be returned at all - if they deteriorate or expire for example. Others include items that lose a hygienic seal or drop in value if they are unsealed, like computer software. Familiarising yourself with Amazon’s exact terms is a major benefit here.


“But there is no getting away from the fact that returns are costly. Sellers can cover the refund cost for the item, the shopping costs, referral fees and refund commission in certain cases.


“One further point here. Don’t take returns too personally - some Sellers even see them as an opportunity to grow. If an item is being returned regularly it could point to an unnecessarily high risk product that might not be the best fit for your business. Keep a close eye on exactly what is being returned and why. And the way you handle returns as a customer service outlet will be crucial in determining whether those customers return in future.”


Below are some key facts to consider on Amazon Returns - being familiar with exactly how they work will be a significant benefit to your business. The full list of rules can be found at https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=GKM69DUUYKQWKWX7.


Amazon Refund Rules


• Return costs are deducted for voluntary returns.

• Shipping fees are not reimbursed for voluntary returns with requests made after 14 days.

• Returns are free for shoes, clothing, jewellery, and watches.

• The buyer’s return costs are reimbursed if the item is damaged, defective, or incorrect.

• Some items are eligible for instant refunds, with or without a return.

• Gift givers receive refunds, while gift recipients get gift cards.

• Gift recipients can’t ask for exchanges or instant refunds.


Seller Refund Rules


• Two day deadline for return request authorisation.

• Two day deadline for issuing refunds after the item is received back.

• You are not at fault if untracked items worth over £50/€50 are not received.

• You are not at fault if uninsured items worth over £100/€100 are not received.

• There is no refund for gift wrapping.

• You refund cheapest shipping only.

• Deduct shipping for personalised pre-paid label.


Amazon Free Replacement Rule


• Buyers have seven days to return an item from the moment they asked for a replacement.

• The first return scan must take place up to 10 days from the replacement request.

• Sellers can cancel the replacement, but it counts against them. If sellers enable the Returnless Refund option, Amazon offers the buyer the option to choose between a refund and a free replacement.

• When buyers choose a replacement, sellers are spared the cost of refund administration fees and they can also file SAFE-T claims.


Amazon Restocking Fee Guidelines


• Refund up to 100% of the price of a video game or open software, if the buyer simply changed their mind.

• Up to 50% restocking fee if sent back within the return window, as long as it’s a book that has been used by the buyer, or a media item that’s been taken out of its wrapper.


If you have found yourself suspended while selling on Amazon, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Seller business back online as quickly as possible.

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