What Is a Returnless Refund on Amazon—Pros, Cons, and Considerations

Updated · Apr 28, 2022

What is an Amazon returnless refund? If you sell any products on Amazon, it's important to know.

The option can be helpful in certain situations and disadvantageous in others.  

Our detailed guide will discuss the pros, cons, and considerations of using this type of refund on your seller account.

What Is a Returnless Refund on Amazon

Amazon's returnless refund policy allows customers to request a refund for defective or incorrect items.

If a seller agrees to a returnless refund, they will send the customer a refund without the customer having to return the item. 

This policy can be beneficial for both buyers and sellers, saving time and money. However, it can also have some downsides, the biggest of which is the potential for the system to be exploited. 

Let’s take a closer look.

Pros of Returnless Refunds

Returnless refunds are a new Amazon return policy implemented in 2017 that allows sellers to automatically issue refunds for items without the buyers having to return them.

Admittedly, the positives are weighted in favor of buyers.

Buyers can save time and money because they won’t have to send the item back, and incur any possible costs, such as shipping or restocking fees. 

It can also save sellers time because they won’t have to restock the item, or possibly be saddled with something they can’t resell. However, the main benefit to sellers is being able to offer a better customer experience. 

Customers will appreciate the feature, increasing the likelihood of them buying again in the future.

Cons of the Amazon Returnless Refund Option

Amazon's returnless refund policy may be convenient for buyers and offer some benefits to sellers, but can also be a real headache too.

Under this policy, as stated, buyers can receive a full refund for an item without actually returning it to the seller. The seller has to accept the possibility that the buyer may be trying to con them, in which case the seller has lost a unit while the buyer has gained an item at no cost.

Hopefully, buyers are candid about their requests, but sadly fraud is common. Amazon will ban a buyer if they repeatedly abuse the Amazon returnless refund policy.

Amazon will look out for constant returnless refund requests because that’s suspicious, but that doesn’t mean some won’t slip through the cracks.

During our research, we discovered forums where people discussed ways to exploit returnless refunds on multiple platforms without getting caught. “How to get returnless refund Amazon” guides were a common feature. 

We also discovered Amazon third-party sellers complaining about the feature. When the policy was first implemented, many sellers weren’t aware of it, and so to their surprise, Amazon was approving returnless refunds on their behalf. 

Luckily as a seller on Amazon, you do have some say on whether you accept returnless refunds. 

How to Decide if Amazon Returnless Refund Is Right for You

Returnless refunds are normally a good idea if the item in question is damaged. It’s also a wise move for perishable items/consumables, seasonal items, and items that are no longer in production. 

Amazon returnless refund items can be found on this list, which shows what Amazon doesn’t accept returns on. You could use it as a basis for your own policy.

Amazon promotes returnless refunds as convenient for both sellers and buyers, but as you can see, it’s more nuanced than that.

Consider the option carefully.

Tips for Using a Returnless Refund on Amazon 

Now you know what a returnless refund on Amazon is, so here’s a brief word about implementing one.

Amazon allows you to offer returnless refunds automatically or on a case-by-case basis. 

If you’re selling a small number of items, opting for a case-by-case setup is best. With this, you’ll speak to customers directly and be able to choose whether they should return the item or just be refunded.

For a larger store, however, it’s better to set “rules” by which a returnless refund will be offered. You can either set products in certain price categories to receive returnless refunds or select specific SKUs (barcodes attached to particular items). 

Using SKUs is more granular and will allow you finer control of exactly what items will be automatically refunded, and set something of an Amazon returnless refund limit.

When you’ve set items, Amazon will take care of everything.

A Note For European Sellers

If you’re selling from Amazon’s European domains, you are required to provide a physical return address within the particular domain’s associated country.

For example, if you sell items on Amazon.fr (France), you need a return address in France.

If you don’t provide one, Amazon will automatically issue returnless refunds for products under €25 or £20. f you are outside the country you’re selling to, you can get assistance with a return address through Amazon’s service provider network.

Conclusion

Now you know what is a returnless Amazon refund.

It’s quite straightforward and can save you some hassle, but it is vulnerable to exploitation.

As such, the best course of action is to keep a close eye on your operation, keep a watch on what you offer it for, and only offer it as need be. 

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Garan VR
Garan VR

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.