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Amazon shortens return periods for certain products

Amazon shortens return periods for certain products
Returns are expensive for Amazon.
Image: (APA/HANS KLAUS TECHT)

Amazon confirmed this on Monday. The new regulation should apply from April 25th. The product groups affected are electronics, cameras, office supplies, music, films and video games. The online magazines Inside Digital and t3n had previously reported on it.

Excluded from the shorter return period are, among other things, Amazon devices and renewed products. Most items from other product groups should also still be able to be returned within 30 days. “The return policy and return date will continue to be clearly marked below the product price,” a spokesperson said. The company now only allows the legally required return period of two weeks. Company sources said the change was in line with what is common at many retailers.

High costs for retailers

It is an advantage for customers to be able to return products easily and free of charge. This is associated with high costs for online retailers. According to a study published in December by the retail research institute EHI, retailers have to spend an average of between five and ten euros for each returned item. The biggest cost driver is checking the returned items and checking their quality.

There are great efforts in the industry to reduce return rates in order to save costs – but with limited success. The return rates are stagnating. According to EHI, they are on average between six and ten percent, and for fashion products even 26 to 50 percent. 14 percent of retailers leave the shipping costs for returns to the buyers.

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