Amazon is taking a proactive step in reducing customer dissatisfaction and unnecessary returns by introducing warning labels on "frequently returned" products. These labels, encouraging customers to scrutinize item details and reviews before purchasing, aim to help them avoid misleading or low-quality products that often clutter the platform.
Under Amazon's current return policy, customers can return new and unused items within 30 days of purchase, generally for free. However, returns can be a hassle for both customers and the company, especially when dealing with counterfeits, cheaply produced goods, or deceptive marketing supported by fake reviews. By visibly identifying items that are habitually returned, Amazon hopes to deter consumers from purchasing them while also motivating retailers to be more transparent in their listings or address issues that contribute to high return rates.
The returns warning has started to appear on a few third-party listings fulfilled by Amazon. For example, The Information spotted the label on the Pro-Ject Automat A1 record player and two dresses. Although these items have a reasonably high star rating, customer reviews reveal that they may not be true to size or could arrive damaged.
Moreover, frequent returns have environmental consequences, as they occupy warehouse space before being resold or sent to landfills. With return rates increasing during the Covid-19 pandemic and remaining above pre-pandemic levels, implementing the warning labels could lead to significant cost savings for sellers dealing with storage and disposal.
Amazon spokesperson Betsy Harden confirmed to The Information that return rate information is being displayed on some product detail pages to assist customers in making more informed purchasing decisions. The "frequently returned item" label is the latest move by Amazon, which also recently introduced a tag displaying approximate sales figures for products. However, the company has yet to reveal when the new label will be widely available or in which regions outside the US.
As Amazon strives to improve the customer experience and reduce returns, the new warning labels could prove a valuable tool in the battle against counterfeits and low-quality products.