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Amazon restocking fee?

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Showing 1-25 of 149 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 29, 2012 8:18:49 PM PDT
Dani says:
I've been a long-time amazon customer and have been (generally) quite happy with my purchases and with customer service. I recently bought several wii games (directly from amazon) and inadvertently purchased duplicates - I apparently had 2 each of two games instead of 1 each of two games in my cart when I checked out. I returned the "spares" of both games in the condition in which I received them (new and unopened). When I received my refund I discovered that I was charged for return shipping (which I expected as the order was due to my error) and a 50% "adjustment" fee on one of the games (unexpected). When I contacted customer service I was informed that it is amazon policy to charge a 50% restocking fee if the return is due to customer error. This does not seem to be consistent with stated amazon policy of only charging restocking fees in case of damaged or opened packaging. I eventually got a refund, but was informed that it was a one-time waiver due to my "unfamiliarity" with the policy.

More disturbingly, when I insisted the restocking fee was in direct opposition to the stated policy, I was informed that (upon further research) the customer service rep determined that I was charged a restocking fee due to damage to the returned game, but was refunded due to the fact that Amazon "trusts me" when I said the game was unopened.

Wow, really? Should this be a multiple choice process where reasons are offered until the customer just gives up? Anyone else run into this sort of thing? I appreciate the refund of fees this time, but if this is the new policy it will significantly decrease the business I do with Amazon in the future. Even Best Buy doesn't charge a 50% restock on a new and unopened game (and they get really crazy about that sort of thing sometimes)....

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 10:36:48 PM PDT

Partial refunds/Restocking Fees

+ Any unopened media item or non-media item in original condition that is returned more than 30 days after delivery: 80% of item's price.
+ Any book that has obvious signs of use: 50% of item's price.
Any CD, DVD, VHS tape, software, video game, cassette tape, or vinyl record that has been opened (taken out of its plastic wrap): 50% of item's price.
+ Any item that is not in its original condition, is damaged, or is missing parts for reasons not due to our error: up to 50% of item's price

Note that they can't tell whether you damaged the item, or whether the item was damaged in transit. Either way, they can't sell it again because you made a mistake.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2012 7:03:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 30, 2012 7:06:40 AM PDT
Dani says:
Thanks for the reply. I am familiar with the policy as written. My point was that I am being told that the policy is a restocking fee on new and undamaged items and that when challenged on this the agent "decided" that he meant to say I damaged the item. The item was new (sealed), unopened and undamaged when I sent it back (within the thirty day return period). So based on"posted" policies I should have not been charged a restocking fee. Amazon can resell the item as new (because it is) and is out no money as a result of my error because I paid shipping costs.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 10:49:56 AM PDT
I know it's not fair and I've not returned items I accidentally bought dupes of because of the policy. However, it sounds like you're not as familiar as you claim because the policy is upfront about this one thing: it is damage "for reasons not due to our error," meaning Amazon's error. If the item is damaged during shipping, it's still not Amazon's error. By all rights, the Amazon agent didn't have to do anything since it's not Amazon's fault and you didn't get insurance on the shipped item. It's not about you so much as them.

Sure, it's not fair because it's not your fault either, but really, most store's policies are only seemingly less lenient due to the fact that there's no gap between you and the store personnel. With Amazon, there's at least one middleman, if not a dozen.

Like I said, I often don't end up returning items bought from Amazon for that reason (with Prime, I've paid no shipping but would have to in order to return an item and then I risk a restocking fee).

Posted on Apr 4, 2012 1:07:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2012 1:11:50 PM PDT
Becki F. says:
I feel your pain. I had the same problem with a Bible that I just returned. I returned it because it was not not what I expected, too small and it was poorly made (pages were thin, not bound straight, and print from other side showed through). All I did was opened the box - it was not shrinked wrapped or anything like that. Amazon told me that my reason for the return did not qualify for a complete refund. But since I am a loyal customer, they would refund the whole amount. I'm glad I am getting my money, but I worry about future purchases and possible returns. Amazon's return policy has changed and not for the good (my opinion). I did return it the next day and purchased a different Bible a couple days later from Amazon, which I am happy with, but at that time I did not know I was getting only 50% of my money back.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 7:17:07 PM PDT
Dani says:
Hi, P. Nguyen.
Thanks so much for the reply. I have read over the policy (and read over the policy and read over the policy) and although it is upfront about payment of return shipping if the return is not due to Amazon's error, it says nothing about a restocking fee on a new and unopened item. Only on an item missing parts or damaged (in other words not in original condition) when not due to Amazon's error. The item was returned to Amazon in it's original condition - the "oh, hey... it was damaged (probably)" response was only given after I asked 3 different customer service reps why I had the restocking fee (and was told by all of them it was because I clicked "ordered by mistake"). Only when I asked the 3rd person where the "we charge a restock on an undamaged item" policy was listed (for the 4th or 5th time - no hyperbole here) did they give me the (inaccurate) damage excuse - which is why it was clear to me this was only offered as a reason when I would not accept the other policy as "clearly listed". I'm just curious if I had bad luck this time, or if this is now common practice for Amazon. If I find that it is now common practice it will have an effect on my buying practices.......

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 7:25:52 PM PDT
Dani says:
Hi beckilf,
Thanks so much for the info. Your experience is particularly disturbing to me as "item was not what I expected" used to be a completely "legitimate" reason in Amazon's eyes for a full refund return. I hope this is not a new direction Amazon is moving into - I purchase a lot of items from the company (and have been happy with the customer service for years), but will not continue to do so if this is the new mode of operation. Charging fees inconsistent with stated policy then acting like they are doing me a favor by returning money that rightfully belongs to me (while explaining that I'm "misreading" the clearly stated policy) is not good business in my opinion. My longtime Amazon Prime membership might not be worth renewing next year.....

Posted on Apr 5, 2012 5:12:33 PM PDT
Dani - I feel your pain. I actually do not buy that much from Amazon in terms of items I think I might return. I buy books, CDs, DVDs, etc. - basically, items I know I'll keep. Granted, I've never taken as in-depth a look at the policy as you, but "restocking fee" is par for the course for .com stores so I've always assumed Amazon had it in place. I have an Amazon [Chase] card now and still haven't changed my buying habits. I'd rather spend slightly more at a Macy's/Dilliards/Target/whatever if it's an item I might return, even if it's just a $5 DVD. I still think Amazon's customer service is the best, but policy isn't written by the poor folks at the CSC, and unless a company states upfront that it has no restocking fees, I've always just assumed the worst. (Honestly, the one and only time I've returned an item - a messenger bag that I ordered but wouldn't be in stock for a month but came early right after I bought another one locally - I was charged a shipping fee [possibly a restocking fee but don't remember]. Thought it's [vaguely] reasonable, I was annoyed that my Prime didn't include return shipping. I know that I would've gotten a refund if I had contacted Amazon, but I chalked it up to a live-and-learn fee and just never bought anything else where I might need to return something. The majority of my spending is in the area of books/CDs/mp3s/etc. so Amazon's not hurting for my money anyway.)

On a related note, I do agree that "item not as expected" should be a legitimate reason when we're talking about buying something unseen, untouched, and unexplored, but as a former business school student, I can see where Amazon's policy comes into play. If you call the CSC and the CS rep can see you're a loyal customer, it makes it easy for refunding, whereas having no policy means being taken advantage of hugely. It's that nasty slipper slope thing. Of course, this is all easy for me to say when we consider my buying habits and that I am almost always in a position to get the items I want locally [at least where Amazon items are concerned]. I'm sure that for folks who aren't so lucky in locale, they really feel the pain more acutely.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 1:44:37 PM PDT
G. Leicht says:
Hmmm...does Amazon give YOU 50% of the items cost if THEY make the mistake ?...the people in that warehouse dont get paid extra to put something back do they?...if I'm ever charged ANY amount for returning an item it will be the last sale Amazon recieves from me...: )

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 8:35:19 AM PDT
the people in that warehouse dont get paid extra to put something back do they?

They don't work for free, do they?

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 5:07:09 PM PDT
Ok, same thing just happened to me right now. I bought something from the marketplace, not amazon directly (huge mistake) they "shipped" my parcel, it never arrived, when I contact the seller they said that the parcel had been refused and returned to sender and now they want to charge me a restocking fee. I never received a tracking number or anything and nobody saw the parcel. When I contacted the seller they gave me a tracking number, after the parcel had already been refused... wow how useful...

Seriously... is this the new direction Amazon is taking?.... I am now making ebay my first choice, I've never had a problem with them... at least I know Paypal has me covered. I don't care what is written anywhere, or whose fault it was, they just lost me. Unless this whole thing gets resolved, I've wasted enough time already...

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 1:03:33 PM PDT
David says:
I just got charged a 50% restocking fee. I started a chat session, and the agent told me that they charge a restocking fee for items returned due to "customer's choice". Obviously I said this was unacceptable and directed him to the refunds page of, which makes no mention of a restocking fee for that reason--only for damaged, incomplete, etc. items. Eventually he agreed to refund the remaining 50% as a "one-time exception". I thought about strongly reiterating that the fee should never have been charged in the first place, but what good would it have done? I'm just glad I'm getting my money back without putting up a huge fight.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 2:11:52 PM PDT
Scroll down on this page to Customer decides to Return. I doubt if anyone should charge more than 20% for restocking fee, and there are conditions.

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 10:33:38 AM PDT
Spider says:
I don't understand. I have made returns before of unused textbooks (due to professor not using or change in schedule) and I was only charged for return postage - I just returned a
$54 book (still in shrink wrap) that professor decided not to use for the class. Upon returning to Amazon, within 30 days, I was charged $27 restocking fee. Nowhere on website on return policy does it state that if item is not needed you will be charged 50% of the cost as a penalty. Who would continue doing business with Amazon if you only receive half back of what you paid for the item? Makes you think twice about doing business with them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 4:33:26 PM PDT
So what did customer service say when you contacted them about what appears to be an error? Did they fix the error, or give an explanation for why it wasn't an error?

Or did you just take what you got, and not ask any questions?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 9:44:45 PM PDT
Spider says:
Customer Service advised me that they sometimes charge a restocking fee (although Amazon's website states full refund within 30 days / item was still in shrink wrap when I retuned to Amazon) and that they would refund the fee as a one-time courtesy. Website should really clarify that if item is not damaged (fault of Amazon) when received by buyer - and item is returned by buyer - they will only receive 50% refund.

Posted on Jun 28, 2012 3:25:12 PM PDT
Bat says:
Same thing here. Been a loyal customer for years, never had a problem with returns and I don't return often at all.
Bought a pair of jeans and returned them due to size not fitting. Got hit with a 50% restocking fee plus shipping. I did wash them
but had all original tags and packaging.Not gonna fight them because I did wash them however I will think twice before
buying from Amazon again. If I'm treated right I am a loyal customer , but if I have to fight to be treated right, I'm gone.
Also, if I knew up front about the restocking fee, I would have kept them. Lesson learned.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 6:00:37 PM PDT
If you washed them, they are no longer new.

Why would you wash them if all you did was try them on to see if they fit? And how did you wash them with the tags still attached?

I think you should be joyous that you got anything back for sending them a pair of used jeans.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 8:27:56 PM PDT
Apparently, the jeans were "worn" hence the need to wash them.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 8:41:39 AM PDT
Bat says:
Yes, I agree they are no longer new. No, they were not worn. We always wash new clothes prior to wearing them and keep all tags
just in case they don't fit. That's like the mentality that the "box has been opened".How do you know an item doesn't work if you don't
open the box?
My point was a 50% + fee which is not stated on the item page. I never expected a full refund , although if I bought it in any other physical
store, as we all have, they give full refunds on returns.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 9:17:51 AM PDT
We always wash new clothes prior to wearing them and keep all tags
just in case they don't fit.

So when you go out to B&M stores, you don't bother with the fitting rooms, instead taking the clothes you're interested home, stripping them of their tags, which you save, wash them, and then try them on?

No, sorry, but that's not how it's supposed to work.

If you're worried about fit, you try them on BEFORE you take the tags off, and wash them. once you remove the tags, even if you save them, the clothes are no longer new clothes, and you are lucky anyone will ever take them back.

If you're one of those people who is so afraid of germs that you simply can't just try the clothes on without washing them, then one of the costs of your disorder is going to be spending more money on clothing costs.

Bottom line: If you wash them, before you try them on to see if they fit, you're darn lucky anyone takes them back at all.

You're right in that you shouldn't have been charged a 50% restocking fee. You should not have gotten anything at all.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 9:33:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 9:34:12 AM PDT
Amazon will base some restocking fees with up to 50%.

You rendered the jeans to USED. They are NOT new anymore. How do you expect Amazon to sell jeans as new, when you washed them. They could have shrunk from original size. Yes. You were charged accordingly. Learn from this!

I don't know of anybody who tries on clothes after they wash them. How are reattaching the tags? When online shopping, try the clothes on immediately. Then, if you decide they fit, you can wash them till your heart's content.

Partial refunds/Restocking Fees

Any unopened media item or non-media item in original condition that is returned more than 30 days after delivery: 80% of item's price.
Any book that has obvious signs of use: 50% of item's price.
Any CD, DVD, VHS tape, software, video game, cassette tape, or vinyl record that has been opened (taken out of its plastic wrap): 50% of item's price.

Any item that is not in its original condition, is damaged, or is missing parts for reasons not due to our error: up to 50% of item's price

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 9:24:30 PM PDT
i JUST GOt his with this, and I returned unopened software (as soon as I recevied it, I read the package carefully and realized it was not the correct version of Windows 7).
I think AMazon is engaging in a systematic deception - hitting customers with the 50% restocking fee and seeing who squeals . . . .

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 1:01:41 PM PDT
ACJ says:
This makes me sad. I've not returned something for a long time (I tend to stick with stuff I know I won't return), and the last time I did, they charged no extra shipping or a restocking fee (fyi: item was a duplicate, didn't realize it and contacted customer service as it was being shipped over). It will definitely make me more gun shy about buying something from Amazon untested (i.e. without checking the product out at a store, and if you have to go out to a store, then it becomes more likely they will get my business rather than Amazon).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 3:18:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2012 3:19:50 PM PDT
Bat says:
@Warren Holzem

Apparently you may have a comprehension disorder as you keep missing the point of the discussion.

Of course we try them on first. That doesn't mean that if poorly manufactured they will still fit after you wash them! I'll cut you off and save you the pessimistic trouble of typing something along the lines of "Why don't you buy them 2 or 3 sizes bigger in case they shrink in a cold water, line dry wash"?
I don't know about Oregon, but in most of the rest of the country anyone can return clothes that have been washed once accompanied by a receipt from most major retailers. I'll be happy to supply you a list if needed.

It seems to me the point being made that needs to be addressed is that the policy is NOT clearly stated on the item's page, but stated in a separate link, for obvious reasons. Not many would buy clothing which clearly states 50% plus freight restocking fee unless unopened.

I'm sure in your store you have policies clearly stated. That was my point.

I'm not debating the fact that they should charged a restocking fee, I agree, they are now used however I do feel a 50%+ is a bit excessive. In fact the highest I have ever seen in my lifetime.

Now flame away Big Guy.
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