Amazon's business was built on the customer service. The company believed that everything would fall in place if it made shopping convenient and easy. Customers can return free of charge millions of products they don't like.
This return policy can be very expensive. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2021, retailers received a record amount of merchandise worth $761 billion.
Amazon wants customers to reconsider sending back products. The Information reported that the e-commerce company has quietly introduced a policy whereby customers will be charged a $1 return fee if they choose to send items back to a UPS location instead of Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh.
Amazon has Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh and Kohl's as partners.
Amazon warns consumers of "frequently returned" products sold on its site. Recently, they introduced a badge to alert shoppers that items with high return rates are listed in the category.
Amazon cuts costs
Amazon has implemented a number of cost-cutting initiatives, including the new return fee. The company announced last month that it would be laying of 9,000 employees, following a previous round of layoffs in which more than 18,000 workers received pink slips.
Amazon's return charges are not new. Some retail chains, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Foot Locker and Urban Outfitters have also recently discontinued their free online returns policy.
The good news is that these policies have a positive effect on the environment. According to Optoro, returns cause 16 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year and as much as 5.8 billion pounds in landfill waste.
Even if you have to pay a dollar, fewer returns means less waste.