Episode 24 - What a High Product Return Rate Means on Amazon




Although Amazon wants to simplify things for customers, this doesn't always translate in a similar way for sellers. Today's topic is about a point of frustration for newer sellers and vendors on Amazon, and a cause of concern for brands.

Merchants don't want a high product return rate because of the implied costs, but they have little control over what happens on Amazon. It can be useful for newer merchants on Amazon to get an idea of what kind of return rate they can expect on Amazon because they can consider it into their pricing model. Another reason is that Amazon has a big problem with brands that have a higher return rate than the norm for each category and usually they will investigate such cases.

Bobsled Project Manager Armin Alispahic is back on the show today, and since he’s an Amazon encyclopedia of knowledge, we asked him to break down product returns on Amazon and explain what a high product return rate could mean for your brand.

Join us! Armin has some great tips to help you mitigate return rate issues.

Armin joined Bobsled Marketing in July of 2016. About a month ago, he was promoted to a Project Manager position on the team. He started out as an Accounts Specialist, supporting the Project Managers in handling client accounts and everything related to operations and marketing on Amazon. This means that in the two-and-a-half years that Armin has been with Bobsled, he has gained a whole lot of knowledge and insights about Amazon.


Naturally, the return and the feedback are related, so whenever you return a product you're dissatisfied with, there will be a negative feedback associated with the return.




  • Armin explains what happens when Amazon thinks that your product return rate is too high.

  • The difference between the average product return rates for some of the categories on Amazon (These average return rates on Amazon come from other sellers and the author's personal experience):

    Typically, products with reasonable return rates have less than 10% returns.
    Products like books and media: 5-7%
    Home, kitchen, and garden, and sports and outdoors: 8-10%
    Consumer electronics: 25-35%
    Clothing and fine jewelry: up to 40%

  • You will receive a performance alert from Amazon to notify you if your product return rate is too high.

  • Amazon considers a 10% return rate to be normal.

  • Amazon will take down the product page of any product with a return dissatisfaction rate higher than 10%.

  • How to appeal, to get a product listing reinstated on Amazon.

  • The return and the feedback are related, so whenever you return a product you're dissatisfied with, there will be negative feedback associated with the return.

  • How to check your product return rate, and your product return dissatisfaction rate, in Seller Central.

  • The way that Amazon notifies vendors if there is an issue.

  • Some savvy Amazon customers have found a way to get their products returned to Amazon with no shipping costs. This results in negative buyer feedback on the return.

  • Amazon is not doing a very good job of educating customers about returning defective products.

  • Customers generally don't understand how much returns actually cost vendors and brands on Amazon.

  • What happens to a product when it gets too many return dissatisfaction ratings on Amazon.

  • Amazon has been giving a bit more leeway with these kinds of issues lately.

  • What sellers and brands can do to dispute dissatisfaction return claims from Amazon.

  • You can re-launch a product that got off on the wrong footing.


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