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Junk returns cost the retail industry $101 billion

You’ve probably heard how personalization is now a main driver of ecommerce purchases. But recently, there have been talks about the trend shifting toward individualization. Apparently, consumers are craving human interaction, just like in the old times.

Amid the rapid changes in the ecommerce scene, we shall be the one to provide you with consistency: consistency in delivering hot, relevant ecommerce updates.

BLACK MARKET

Sellers are no strangers to returns—it's part of the business that eventually happens to all who gamble in the ecommerce game. Some even use easy returns to entice shoppers.

But what many find unacceptable is when lenient return policies are exploited by fraudsters.

An exposé from The Sun reveals how sellers are being targeted by “SCAM-AZON,” a fraudulent tactic where shoppers send back junk via returns. Toy planes masquerading as coffee presses, mismatched flip-flops doubling as branded sneakers—here’s more to the horror story faced by merchants due to this unscrupulous act:

😈 The fraud frontier

The National Retail Federation reported that nearly 14% of returns in 2023 were from fraud. This deception isn’t just a headache—it’s a financial gut punch that costs companies a staggering $101 billion in total!

Barbara Boschen, a soap bar seller who once encountered a batch of returned grimy soap bars, sheds light on the frustration experienced by many sellers. She stresses that sellers shouldn't bear the weight of buyers' schemes, mistakenly assuming they only impact large corporations like Amazon. 

In reality, small businesses often bear the brunt of such actions.

📦 Return realities

Unfortunately, combating fraud returns is easier said than done. Amazon's commitment to easy returns makes it challenging for sellers to intervene. It’s a tough battle when the house rules favor the players.

However, that doesn't imply it's impossible to achieve. You can proactively prevent this fraudulent act from happening by providing accurate product descriptions and implementing rigorous quality control.

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BITES OF THE WEEK

ECOMMERCE NEWS

Shein and Temu’s questionable business practices exposed

Shein and Temu’s questionable business practices exposed

Online retail giants Shein and Temu continue to capture the hearts and wallets of consumers with their enticingly low prices. As both platforms’ popularity surges, it’s no wonder many sellers eye them as potential channels to grow their business.

⚠️ However, MyBroadBand pointed out several concerns about these platforms that you should consider before diving in:

📝 The bottom line

Exploring new markets is indeed thrilling. But you must also consider the ethical practices of the platform you’re eyeing to ensure you make money legally AND fairly. At the end of the day, integrity is worth far more than any amount of profit.

SELLER REFRESHER

Why deleting and relisting is the best way to solve listing errors

Deleting and relisting is the best way to solve listing errors

To err is human. But whether you admit it or not, it’s still frustrating when there’s a listing error to edit—especially if editing a listing means deleting it first and then relisting after 48 hours.

Do you really have to go through all the fuss?

According to Amazon, yes, you do. ✅

Why?

Listings are made by creating listing “contributions” to attributes. Then, the Add Products Tool builds a submission of contributions. (Remember: multiple authorized resellers can sell your product.) Submissions are additive and DON’T get deleted.

  • To better explain, consider this sample scenario:

Two contributions to the same ASIN conflict with each other because they’re from two separate SKUs.

  • In this case, listing edits may not be enough to clear old, redundant contributions.
  • That’s why Seller Support generally requires you to delete and relist to resolve issues involving listing errors. This way, older contributions are cleared to prevent conflicting information.

📍 During the 48 hours when the listing is deleted:

  • If the listing uses the same ASIN, product reviews and history are retained.
  • Regarding products’ rankings, the deletion may affect the Sales Rank due to the unavailability of the products.

Amazon’s recommendation

The retail giant says the best way to delete and relist is by uploading a template. This ensures contributions are stored in your flat file and allows you to make changes in bulk.

⚖️ Deleting and relisting can be frustrating and time-consuming, with many sellers unwilling to risk the 2-day sales lost. But Amazon reps stand by it being the lesser of two evils.

Author : SellerBites
Faith began working on SellerBites in 2021, a weekly newsletter that provides sellers with the latest news and updates in FBA. With first-hand experience in managing various seller and vendor accounts, she understands what sellers face on this platform. Her background led to the conception of SellerBites, which main goal is to help people become better, more informed entrepreneurs in the Amazon marketplace.
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