Amazon returns now even easier for customers


Customers consider many elements when making their purchases; product, price, reviews, delivery and of course returns. Online orders have a higher return rate than physical shopping, so when looking on Amazon, shoppers lean towards the products with easier return options. Amazon have been looking at how they can make the whole process more convenient.

To try and create a hassle-free experience, Amazon now offers free, no-box returns, both in the US and UK, on millions of items. Customers simply need to fill in the returns info in their Amazon account to receive a QR code, which they can then show on their phone, and select an eligible drop-off point. They then hand the item in and hey presto, it’ll be packed and shipped for them. They no longer need to package or print anything themselves. No box, no tape, no labels.

Of course, customers who prefer to stick with the security of packaging can still select that option, but that can come with additional fees. The no-box Amazon returns option makes the whole shopping journey much smoother, more cost-effective for the customer, plus it’s more environmentally friendly, falling in line with Amazon’s sustainability goals. They’re often under scrutiny for their environmental impact, so this helps towards alleviating some of that.


In the US in 2021, the average retailer incurred 16.6% in merchandise returns out of their total sales. That’s a lot of money lost for retailers. Does offering this no box return option open up this idea that buying and returning should be the norm? Looking at the data from 2021, 82.93% of sellers did not currently offer the no box return and had no immediate plans to implement it.


Whilst it’s in no doubt convenient for customers, we’re certain that some of you are probably thinking the same as us. Surely this opens up more opportunities for theft?

People can see exactly what you’re returning. As Amazon weighs everything, they’d only need to replace your product with something of the same weight before packaging it. This gentleman purchased an iPhone in December 2022 only to have a packet of dog food delivered. It happens!

When the seller receives the return to find it’s not the product, they won’t refund the customer. Then you’re into a whole cycle of back and forth trying to find a lost product. In the end, it’s the seller that will have lost out. Fraudulent returns is one of the biggest challenges retailers face and it feels like this is an even easier opportunity for those things to happen. Return fraud means sellers lose out on revenue, potentially refunding items that they’ve never received so they don’t get negative shop feedback, and means they have to increase prices for other customers to make up the loss.

The total amount of fraudulent returns retailers experienced in 2021 was 10.3% of their total sales. That’s a huge number! So the no box return? For sustainability it’s an excellent choice. For convenience it’s ideal. Security? We’re not so sure.

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