Earth’s most consumer-centric company, Amazon is all set to improve its buyer-friendly quotient even further. The etailer, which is buyers’ favourite ecommerce company, introduced a new returns policy for Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) customers on 16 June 2016.
Amazon India sent an email to its sellers informing,
“FBA customers can now exchange their Apparel and Shoes which they had purchased when they return such FBA product for size and colour issues. Amazon will facilitate such exchange of Apparel and Shoes for FBA customers by the sellers.”
The etailer went to explain that earlier, buyers were asked to place a new order to get the replacement item for a different size or colour in case of orders fulfilled by Amazon. But now buyers can request for an exchange free of cost, assuming that the returned original product meets all eligibility criteria.
May result in more returns
The returns rate in ecommerce is already very high thanks to easy returns policy. With Amazon’s new changes, there is a high possibility that the percentage of returns will spike up even more.
Not to forget that the burden of these returns will fall directly on sellers. Why you ask? Read below.
“You hereby instruct and authorize Amazon to facilitate the above exchange of products for and on your behalf. The price of the exchanged product of a different size or colour can be different from original. The exchange functionality gives the same price to customer as the original order. In the event the exchanged product is of a higher value than the original product, you hereby acknowledge and agree to bear the additional cost of such price difference. In the event that the exchange product is of a lower value than the original product, it will not be clawed back from you,” wrote Amazon in its mail.
In simple words, if a buyer exchanges the original ordered product with a one that costs more, he/she won’t have to pay the extra price, instead the seller will have to pay for it.
At this rate, the American etailer will lose the most preferred marketplace for sellers tag.
Will sellers switch to fulfilment from FBA service?
Based on the conditions laid out for ‘free exchange on Amazon-Fulfilled orders’, it won’t surprise us if FBA sellers switch to self-fulfillment for good. Sellers feel weighed down by the countless marketplace fees, no-questions asked return policies, incorrect shipping charges, and reverse logistics fees. On top of it, being asked to pay price difference for exchanged goods is taking it too far.
Marketplaces urge and in few cases bully sellers to sign up for their fulfilment service. But if Amazon and others continue to introduce seller-unfriendly policies, then vendors have no option but to choose fulfilment over fulfilment.