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What Happens To Amazon Returns?

One of Amazon’s USPs is its easy-to-use return policy. Amazon has done the hard work to ensure that returns are just as easy as buying something on the website. With just a few clicks, you can return any product that does not meet your criteria.

But have you ever wondered what happens to products that you return back to Amazon? Well, from Amazon’s perspective, returned products are a tough thing to handle and the process can be expensive as well. Here are a few things you need to know to better understand what happens to Amazon returns.

Undelivered products – This can happen in cases where the customer’s house may be locked. Amazon usually makes multiple attempts to deliver a product. However, if it’s still undelivered, it is returned back to seller. Such products are usually in their original packaging and unopened condition. Such products are added back to the inventory, ready for sale to another customer.

Opened products – These types of returns are the most common with Amazon. Such returns can be due to various reasons such as broken product delivered, wrong item delivered, wrong size/color delivered, defective product delivered, etc. The way Amazon treats these returns is different in each case. For example, if the seller has made a mistake, they are asked to bear the cost of return and replacement. Similarly, if the return is due to courier negligence, the courier company is penalized.

Returned products in open form can be categorized in different categories. For example, if a returned product is in good condition, it can be resold to other customers.

Sold to refurbishing firms – This method is used for electronic items such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. The seller or Amazon sells opened products to refurbishing firms, which in turn sell it to end customers as ‘certified refurbished’. These refurbished products may have some parts replaced to make them as good as new.

Recycled – Returned products that may be too damaged are sold to recycling firms. The recycling company can take out individual parts and sell it to its dealer partners.

Sold to employees at heavily discounted rates – For some returned products in working condition, they may be sold by the seller to their employees at very cheap rates.

Landfill – In case of some returned products, they may end up in a landfill. This happens when the cost of recovery and repackaging may be higher than the potential profit that could be earned by selling it to another customer.

Amazon returns are a smooth, seamless process. It’s quite advantageous for genuine customers. However, there have been several cases where people have misused Amazon’s hassle-free returns. For example, some people end up breaking something and then rush to Amazon to say that they received it in broken condition. Things like these put additional burden on Amazon’s return process. As explained in above paragraphs, disposing Amazon returns is not so easy. So, it’s better to value Amazon returns instead of trying to exploit the process in a wrong way.

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