Oh how the tables have turned…almost!
When we talk about suspensions on Amazon, we usually refer to suspensions of seller accounts. But on rare occasions, buyer accounts can also get “suspended” on Amazon’s platform, often without much explanation! The reason for each case lies in Amazon’s return policy. If you have an Amazon account, we recommend you read this blog regardless of being a seller or a buyer.
In this article, we are going to go in-depth about a specific scenario which can get both seller and shopper accounts suspended on Amazon’s platform.
Let’s start with the customer for a change:
Violate Amazon’s Return Policy = Get Banned
Ironic how Amazon will go as far as banning shopper accounts while boasting its top-notch customer service to more than 300 million customers around the world, isn’t it? Well, it happens. It does not happen as frequently as seller accounts get shot down, but it happens nevertheless. People buy and sell products all the time, and returns of purchases are quite natural. However, returning to many items on Amazon can be problematic.
And here’s why:
Recently, Amazon forums have been filled with reports from customers who complained that their accounts had been banned because of too many returns on the products which they ordered. And these are customers who claim that they use Amazon quite a lot for making purchases. They say that after returning items to the platform after receiving them damaged during shipping, or not as described, they were not only deprived of Amazon’s famous customer service, but had their shopper accounts banned!
But how many returns are too many items?
No one can say for sure, because each case is different. Let’s take a look at three examples of customers who were banned from Amazon (without being allowed to open new accounts) for returning too many items:
Well, in one case, a lifelong Prime Amazon customer returned more than 30 items out of 340+ items, which is honestly not that much. However, he received an email from Amazon which notified him that the e commerce giant had in fact banned his buyer account without even offering a clear-cut reason. He claimed that he would never return even one product if it were not defective. All of the items which he ended up returning, he says, were faulty. He did eventually manage to get his account back when he managed to take action when appropriate.
A return is a return…
One Prime customer claimed that Amazon closed his account and banned him from the platform after he returned several items. At first, he got a warning message from Amazon. However, they ended up closing his account down after he ordered 18 of the 104 items he had ordered. We can say that he returned almost 18% of his purchases. He himself said that the total value of the items he returned are not even higher than 10% of the total items he purchased. Amazon shut down his customer account anyway.
Your account could go away at any time…
Another Prime seller got even a worse end of the stick, when Amazon banned him again for returning items over an extended period of time. They even went as far as telling him that he could no longer open a new account and could not even use another account to spend money on Amazon in the future. Not the best move from a business that claims to take measures that it believes are appropriate to protect the experience of its customers. However, according to the platform itself, it vows to never take these decisions lightly and in fact, bans customer accounts which return multiple items to protect the experience of its existing customers on the platform.
Amazon’s Return Policy Suspended for Returning Items Too Often
This is a topic which is is a riddle for buyers and sellers alike. The standard return policy that Amazon has, allows customers to return items within a 30-day time-frame after shipping. If you check out the Returns Center page on Amazon, this policy clearly dictates that new and unopened items which have been fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days can be returned in exchange of full refunds. However, some customers return more items than usual, and get banned from Amazon as a result. Customers around the world have been complaining over this issue.
That being said, there is no set dollar amount on how many items you can return to Amazon before your account is closed and you are not allowed to make purchases on the platform. It’s pretty much a case-by-case basis.
How do too many returns affect sellers?
We talked a lot about how returning too many items can get customers banned from Amazon, which are rare occasions on their own. But let’s take a look at how returns affect sellers:
It’s all about ODR:
Every Amazon seller knows about the ODR, the order defect rate, and how it could potentially ruin carriers on Amazon. If you are new to Amazon and are not familiar with ODR, then buckle up! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!
Here’s the thing, Amazon does really care about its 300 million customers around the world, even though it sometimes bans some of them when it feels like it’s appropriate to protect other customers.
But did you know what happens to sellers when they get their products returned?
It affects their ODR rate, which is a metric on Amazon that helps Amazon’s algorithm with keeping track of its sellers to make sure they abide by every policy and do not make too many mistakes. Every time a customer returns a product to a seller, the ODR increases. If it passes a certain amount, the seller account will be banned, because, well, Amazon deems it appropriate to protect the experience of its customers!
To return or not to return…
Looks like returns are problematic enough to get any account suspended, regardless of it being a customer or a seller account. Getting in back, while not impossible, could take a significant amount of time and may even be impossible without professional help like our company!
And guess what? Neither buyers nor sellers can open a new account or use another different account after Amazon bans them. So, if you’ve one day received an email from Amazon warning you about getting your account banned, make sure you pay attention!
Not much we can do for buyers…
We wish we could say that there are ways to get banned buyer accounts back and that our company be helpful to the 300 million customers around the world, but Amazon does not really have a clear-cut way of doing so. It’s just a matter contacting them via email and to take action when appropriate. At this point, all we can say is that as customers, you may want to avoid ordering too many of the items you buy.
Sellers have an easier time…comparably!
The situation is different with sellers, however. And that’s because of Amazon’s appeal feature. Whenever an account gets shot down, in this case after customers returning their purchases, the best way to take care of the issue is to appeal the suspension, which is what our company is very good at!
If you are a seller and you get banned on Amazon for one too many returns, just give hour company a call and we will help you out of the situation. Our service has seen many sellers get banned unfairly for orders that customers have returned, and we want to help get you out of these situations. Just contact us, and we assure you that you will get your money’s worth, and will no longer be banned on Amazon’s platform as a seller!