Does Amazon Check Returns? (All You Need to Know)

Thomas Joseph

With the influx of new, up-and-coming companies into the industry, it's not surprising that many people are concerned about returning items. Most consumers are wary of dealing with any company that needs to follow up on everything they order.

Returns are a big part of the buying process and will help determine whether a company offers great customer support. But there is a question that everyone wonders about when returning items from Amazon: What happens when I return an item? Read on for more information.

Table Of Contents

Does Amazon Check Returns?

Yes. Amazon checks return to its warehouses, but only some items are checked. Amazon has a system in place to check returned items. The company has several ways it checks returns, including manual and automated checks. When you return an item to Amazon, it will be picked up by its many delivery partners like UPS and FedEx and delivered back to an Amazon warehouse for inspection.

Factors That Determine Whether A Return Will Be Checked

A few factors determine which items are prioritized by Amazon when returned. A shockingly large percentage of items are rarely checked, even though certain things are almost always examined. These factors include:

Product Price

The more expensive the product, the less likely it will be returned. Customers assume they would have noticed a defect if they had received an expensive gift. However, they might not notice a defect in something they paid only a few dollars for.

For example, if someone buys you a $5 coffee mug and you find out later that it was broken when you received it, you can return it to the store. But if someone gives you an expensive watch and later finds out that it has been damaged or lost its value due to wear and tear, then it would be difficult for them to return this gift. The following are some things Amazon is looking for:

Customer Service Interactions

Suppose you've had pleasant interactions with customer service representatives in the past. In that case, they will probably be more willing to examine your return more closely than if they don't know you very well. If they have any reason to believe that you may have been trying to scam them out of something, they will need to check your return more carefully. Maintaining a friendly relationship with these people is important so that they'll treat your returns as seriously as possible!

Your Return History

The IRS doesn't pay random audit taxpayers. Instead, it uses a formula to calculate the likelihood that a return will be selected for an audit. The formula considers your income, deductions, and other factors. The more returns you file, the higher the risk of an audit. If this is your first time filing a return, your chances of being audited are minimal.

A person filing returns for many years has a much greater chance of being selected for an audit than someone who just started filing returns. Amazon struggles with return fraud, with people getting full refunds on products when they aren't entitled to them. If you return too many products (or you are returning fraudulent products in the past), you'll likely be investigated when your products arrive at Amazon's warehouses.

The Type Of Product 

Returns are more likely to be inspected if they involve higher-value items like furniture, appliances, or electronics. This is because there's more potential for fraud with these products.

For example, a customer could try to pass off an older model as new or a damaged item as new. If you sell high-value items, make sure you have processes for inspecting returns — especially if you have fewer staff than usual during peak periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The Time Since Purchase

If you've had an expensive item for several months before deciding to return it, something might have damaged or broken it during that time. If you bought something on December 1st and returned it on January 15th, then there's going to be some doubt about how long ago the item was used by the buyer – especially if they have been trying to sell it online! This means retailers will look into your purchase history and see if they can find any suspicious purchases before checking your returned items carefully enough.

How Detailed Are Amazon's Inspections?

It's not much, according to Amazon staff. The primary concern of Amazon is that the product is returned in the same condition as when it was sold. Aside from that, they are also determining whether to destroy, donate, or return the item to sellable inventory. It is possible to return units for repair or disposal to the original seller if third-party sellers use Fulfillment by Amazon. Note, however, that Amazon themselves are the ones to determine whether a full refund will be issued at this point.

What About Third-Party Sellers?

There is a slight difference in how third-party sellers handle returns. Even though third-party sellers are bound to Amazon's return policies, they can withhold restocking fees on returned goods if they are not returned in the original state. Due to the smaller size of third-party sellers (many are small operations with little or no staff), they inspect much more carefully, as they cannot afford to lose as much due to false returns, damaged goods, etc.

Bottom Line

Yes, Amazon checks returns, but only to a certain extent. Amazon has very sophisticated inventory and sales tracking software, so it's clear they don't depend on checking every returned item. Rather, returns are prioritized based on their price, category, and the customer's history. It is possible to ban buyers outright if they are found to have a history of lying about their return reasons.

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