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Old 06-17-2010, 11:48 AM
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Amazon's return policy - how consumer friendly?

I recently purchased an expensive-ish electronic item from Amazon.com. Their return policy says 21 days to return, but I'm unsure if that means "totally unused" or "it can be used"

I want to play with the item for a few days to see if I want to keep it. I could not have tested the item in a store so this is the only feasible way to see if this is a product I want to keep.

So, can I use an item and return it from amazon? Or are they going to give me crap because it's not being returned in a perfect, was-just-taken-out-of-the-box-and-put-back-in-10-seconds-later condition?

Please, hold off on the moralizing - I'm just interested in knowing what experiences dopers have had with returning used items to Amazon.
Old 06-17-2010, 12:32 PM
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Mr. Athena has purchased several cameras from Amazon, and he often buys 2-3 at a time to compare. He gets them, plays with each of them, and sends back the ones he doesn't want. He's never had a hassle doing it.

He does take very good care of the cameras and the packaging while he's evaluating them, and when he's sending them back, he's very careful to re-do the packaging well. Never had a problem.

That said, I do recall him once saying that he'd searched the web for stories about Amazon returns, and apparently there have been cases where people abuse the policy and Amazon tells them "no more returns." But it seems like those were people who were really abusing the policy - getting many devices, keeping them the full 30 days, returning them, then re-ordering again and again and again. Even then, Amazon warned them before turning off the return policy.
Old 06-17-2010, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Mr. Athena...
thanks for the info!
Old 06-17-2010, 02:27 PM
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Amazon asks almost no questions, and returns hassle-free. If I recall correctly, in the two times I've ever wanted to send back orders (since 1999 or so, I believe), all I had to do was fill out some basic form for why I was returning the item, return said item, then receive a refund. Once I bought something through Amazon from a different seller, and there was a dispute of some kind (item not as described, lost in the mail, I can't remember what exactly) and Amazon gave me my money back. It was pretty sweet.
Old 06-17-2010, 02:32 PM
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I ordered some PC speakers - not sure whether they were faulty or just not suited to my soundcard, but Amazon took them back without a question. I did claim they were faulty rather than unwanted, but I doubt they actually checked them before refunding.

My wife just returned a camera case that was too small for her camera... again, no problems at all and money refunded straight away.
Old 06-17-2010, 02:42 PM
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Location: Alabama
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There was a story a year or two ago, where someone was banned from Amazon for returning too many items as defects. IIRC there was outrage on the internets about the fact that Amazon canceled his account completely, thus making his Kindle content unavailable.

That said, I believe the key point was that he was claiming the items were defective, which means Amazon was not only refunding the sales price, but also paying for shipping both ways. Perhaps Amazon suspected that he was intentionally damaging the items so he won't have to pay for shipping. If you just return because you "don't want the item anymore", you have to pay for shipping both ways (i.e. they refund the amount minus what it cost them to ship, even if you qualified for "free shipping"). But at least you're less likely to get Amazon upset at you. I've returned a number of items myself, in the "used for a few days and then put back in original packaging" condition, and never had any problems.
Old 06-18-2010, 12:45 PM
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I brought a waterproof camera from Amazon that turned out not to be so waterproof, and they gave me a refund without the slightest quibble (and paid for return postage).

Though that is Amazon itself, not the people on Amazon marketplace. My customer service experience with them has not been so good.
Old 06-18-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin1977 View Post
I brought a waterproof camera from Amazon that turned out not to be so waterproof, and they gave me a refund without the slightest quibble (and paid for return postage).

Though that is Amazon itself, not the people on Amazon marketplace. My customer service experience with them has not been so good.
What's the difference between Amazon and Amazon Marketplace? Never heard of AM.
Old 06-18-2010, 01:58 PM
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Location: Miskatonic University
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Amazon Marketplace is where you go to when you click on the "67 New and Used from $1.27" link on any product page. It is where third-party sellers list their items.
Old 06-19-2010, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorpal Blade
What's the difference between Amazon and Amazon Marketplace? Never heard of AM.
It's only slightly less chaotic and risky than eBay. You can list an item for sale on Marketplace and Amazon takes care of all of the indexing and whatnot so people can see that you're selling left-handed hammers or whatever, and if someone decides to buy yours, Amazon manages the sale and payment, then sends you a note to ship the dingus to the buyer.

There's a lot of less-than-honest and less-than-speedy dealers out there. I do my absolute best to avoid Marketplace sellers. To be frank, I don't know why Amazon has this program - when the Marketplace seller takes three weeks to ship, or they won't accept a return or provide any assistance in opening or resolving a shipping damage claim, the customers think "Amazon screwed me" rather than "I got ripped off by Joe's Furnace Filters and Wii Games Emporium."

Back to the OP - like everyone else here that's had to return anything bought from Amazon, no problems at all. In fact, on one order, they let me keep the item (a piece of Fiestaware that was green in a box that said red, and I'd ordered red) rather than mess with taking it back. They just refunded the sale price.

More recently, I bought a digital camera to give as a Christmas gift last year. Wanting to give the recipient a nice out-of-box experience, I opened it when it arrived, charged the battery and put in an SD card so it was ready to use. Someone else already gave them a camera, so what to do with this one? Amazon provided a return label, took it back and gave a full refund on the same day they received the package without the slightest quibble.
Old 06-19-2010, 02:24 PM
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I bought a camera from one of Amazon's sellers. The battery charger wasn't in the box. I called Amazon and they told me to find a battery charger on their website that would work with my camera. So I did, and they bought it for me.

I've liked Amazon ever since that day.
Old 06-20-2010, 08:12 PM
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Marketplace sellers should give you no more problems than amazon - just don't jump through any stupid hoops they try to give you. Unlike Ebay if you are unsatisfied just file an A-Z complaint and Amazon will give you your money back from marketplace transactions - it isn't like ebay where you are screwed and they take no responsibility.
Old 09-29-2015, 09:55 PM
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Amazon.com return policy

Hello - does anyone else have this problem with Amazon. I was informed via email that my Amazon account was closed due to a high # of returns. After sending emails to customer service explaining that as a customer I am not going to pay for a product that is damaged, broken, does not fit, etc, etc.

I contacted my credit card company regarding this since I received authorization from Amazon and their vendors to return these items. The credit card company provided me with an 800# for Amazon. I called only to have the customer service rep. read the email that was sent to me. That just pissed me off more than I already am. I asked to be transferred to a manager and explained the situation. I clearly stated that Amazon does not have a written policy which states that a customer can only return X # of items. I also clearly stated that they approved my returns so I returned. I am not going to keep an item that is broken, does not fit (clothing), is not described correctly online, etc, etc. I was told by that I am correct in stating there is no policy. No kidding - of course I'm right. You approved the return and so did your vendors.
Old 09-29-2015, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samreed485 View Post
Hello - does anyone else have this problem with Amazon. I was informed via email that my Amazon account was closed due to a high # of returns. After sending emails to customer service explaining that as a customer I am not going to pay for a product that is damaged, broken, does not fit, etc, etc.
How many returns out of how many orders?
Old 09-29-2015, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samreed485 View Post
I contacted my credit card company regarding this since I received authorization from Amazon and their vendors to return these items. The credit card company provided me with an 800# for Amazon. I called only to have the customer service rep. read the email that was sent to me. That just pissed me off more than I already am. I asked to be transferred to a manager and explained the situation. I clearly stated that Amazon does not have a written policy which states that a customer can only return X # of items. I also clearly stated that they approved my returns so I returned. I am not going to keep an item that is broken, does not fit (clothing), is not described correctly online, etc, etc. I was told by that I am correct in stating there is no policy. No kidding - of course I'm right. You approved the return and so did your vendors.
You appear to think that Amazon is required to do business with you unless they prove to some standard that you broke a written rule. They are not. They can choose not to do business with you for all but a very small number of reasons, or for no reason at all. You had a right to return the items, and they had a right to decide that your high number of returns meant that maintaining a relationship with you was no longer to their advantage.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 09-29-2015 at 11:47 PM.
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