Amazon Update: Sellers Now Need to Cover Shipping Costs for International Returns

March 31, 2015

Marketplaces Tina Kruss By Tina Kruss

Amazon is known for putting the online shopper first and making sure that the buying process is as smooth as possible. Amazon’s latest update of its returns policy for international sellers reflects this approach.

Sellers are now required to either provide a returns address in the country of the local Amazon marketplace site, or pay returns shipping costs to send the items back to the seller’s home country. This is a significant change UK sellers shouldn’t ignore.

As a UK seller using the European Seller account on Amazon, it’s relatively easy to sell internationally. You can list your products with very little effort not only on, but also on the German, French, Italian and Spanish Amazon marketplaces. If you sell products on, let’s say, you now either need to provide a German returns address or cover the shipping costs back to your UK facilities.

Tips for Amazon Sellers

  • Consider a third party. Given this update, we recommend evaluating whether it would pay off to collaborate with a third-party fulfillment partner that handles your returns locally. If you use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) for your international shipping, Amazon would also take care of your international returns.
  • Re-evaluate product and returns costs. Analyze your international returns and identify products that cause high returns costs and might not be suitable for selling on international marketplaces anymore. If you’re selling low-price products, you might consider waiving product returns completely and just refunding buyers their money.

If you don’t comply with the updated policy, you jeopardize your selling privileges and risk substantial loss of revenue. So don’t take these changes lightly — and get active, if you haven’t done so yet.