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Amazon Giving Customers More Time to Make Returns

By Daniel B. Kline – Apr 13, 2020 at 10:13AM

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The retailer has other areas to focus its personnel.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced Amazon.com (AMZN -1.57%) to make major operating adjustments on the fly. It has prioritized some items over others, asked vendors to hold off on non-essential deliveries, and has stopped taking new memberships for its grocery delivery service.

Now, the online retailer has done something that's good for the company and its customers. It's extending the window within which people can return items.

A man works in an Amazon warehouse.

Amazon has been adjusting policies on the fly. Image source: Amazon.

What is Amazon doing?

While the online leader works to make sure people have the food and household items they need to make it through the pandemic, it has shifted workers to its warehouses. It makes sense to try to slow down the flow of returns because processing the items coming back requires labor.

Many consumers also don't want to leave their homes to go to the post office or any other place that ships returns. To allow for that, and to relieve some pressure, Amazon has temporarily changed its return policy:

Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our customers, employees, and the communities we serve. To that end, we're temporarily extending the return window to give you more time to get items back to us. Most items ordered from Amazon or our Seller partners between March 1 and April 30, 2020 can now be returned until May 31, 2020.
This allows consumers to wait and hold onto things they want to send back until a time when it's (hopefully) easier to do so.

These are smart changes

No retailer, even Amazon, had a plan for a situation like this one. It requires adjusting as the conditions dictate, and Amazon has done that very well.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel B. Kline has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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