How to Lower Your Amazon Return Rate: Expert Seller Tips

  • #Scale Insights Team
Lower Your Amazon Return Rate seseo
Lower Your Amazon Return Rate

Are you an Amazon seller watching your profits erode due to mounting returns? You're not alone—high return rates can be the bane of any online retailer's existence, especially on a massive marketplace like Amazon. With a direct impact on your bottom line and seller standing, it's crucial to take control and reduce your Amazon return rate effectively.

In this guide, we'll dive into actionable seller tactics that can help you turn the tide on returns. We'll explore the intricacies of Amazon's return policy, decode customer feedback, and provide you with a toolkit of strategies to enhance product satisfaction and buyer confidence. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge to not only address the root causes of returns but also to create an outstanding shopping experience that keeps returns to a minimum.

So, if you're ready to protect your profits and elevate your store's reputation, read on for proven methods to minimize your Amazon return rate and secure your success on one of the world's most competitive selling platforms.

Amazon Return Rate Explained

A pile of returned Amazon packages stacked in a warehouse, with workers processing and sorting them for resale or disposal

Definition and Significance

Amazon is a well-known e-commerce platform that enables customers to purchase a wide range of products. However, not all customers are satisfied with their purchases, and they may choose to return the products. Return rate refers to the percentage of products that are returned by customers after they have made a purchase.

For Amazon, high return rates can lead to increased costs associated with processing returns, restocking, and shipping. For customers, high return rates can indicate poor quality or inaccurate product descriptions, leading to a loss of trust in the platform.

How To Calculate Return Rate

Return rate is calculated by dividing the number of products returned by customers by the total number of products sold. For example, if a seller sold 100 products and received 10 returns, the return rate would be 10%.

Amazon calculates return rates for each seller and displays them on the seller's account dashboard. Sellers with high return rates may face consequences such as account suspension or removal from the platform.

Amazon's Return Policy

Amazon's return policy is one of the most customer-friendly policies in the e-commerce industry. The policy allows customers to return most items within 30 days of receipt of shipment for a full refund. However, some products have different return policies, such as electronics, which have a 15-day return window.

Policy Changes and Updates

Amazon's return policy has undergone several changes and updates over the years. In 2017, the company updated its policy to allow customers to return items purchased from third-party sellers, even if the seller did not offer a return policy. This change was a significant improvement for customers who were hesitant to purchase from third-party sellers due to their lack of return policies.

In 2019, Amazon updated its return policy to include a ban on returning products that are frequently abused or damaged by customers. This policy change was aimed at reducing the abuse of the return policy by customers who were returning products that were not defective.

Policy Effects on Return Rate

Amazon's customer-friendly return policy has contributed to a high return rate for the company. However, the company has taken steps to reduce the rate of returns by improving product descriptions, providing better images, and offering customer support to help customers make informed decisions before making a purchase.

In addition, Amazon has implemented a "returnless refund" policy for some products, which allows customers to receive a refund without returning the product. This policy is aimed at reducing the cost of returns for the company and improving the overall customer experience.

Impact on Amazon Sellers

As an Amazon seller, returns can have a significant impact on your business. Not only do they affect your bottom line, but they can also impact your seller performance metrics and customer satisfaction ratings.

Seller Performance Metrics

Amazon tracks several performance metrics for sellers, including the order defect rate (ODR), which is the percentage of orders with defects such as negative feedback, A-to-z Guarantee claims, and chargebacks. Returns can contribute to a higher ODR, which can lead to account suspension or even termination.

In addition, returns can also impact your late shipment rate and cancellation rate, which can also affect your seller performance metrics. It's important to keep track of your metrics and take steps to minimize returns to avoid negative impacts on your account.

Strategies for Minimizing Returns on Amazon

There are several strategies that Amazon sellers can use to minimize returns and improve customer satisfaction. Let’s explore these tactics in this section.

Understand Your Customers' Needs

The first line of defense against high returns is to ensure that your product listings are as clear and accurate as possible. Misunderstandings about product size, functionality, or compatibility are common reasons for customer dissatisfaction. To avoid these issues, provide detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and precise specifications. Create FAQs on your product pages to address common queries, and consider using videos to showcase your products in action.

Quality Control is Key

Nothing triggers returns like a product that fails to meet customer expectations in terms of quality. Implement rigorous quality control processes to catch defects before items are shipped. Encourage reviews and monitor feedback for recurring complaints that point to specific quality issues, and act swiftly to address these problems with your supplier.

Streamline the Purchasing Process

A complex or confusing purchasing process can lead to incorrect orders, which may result in returns. Simplify the buying process with clear, easy-to-follow steps and provide size guides or product comparisons where helpful. Additionally, ensure your shopping cart is optimized for accuracy, allowing customers to review and modify their orders before finalizing.

Foster Customer Engagement

Building a relationship with your customers can lead to better understanding and consequently, lower return rates. Engage with customers through follow-up emails, asking them about their product experience, and offer support. Quick and helpful customer service can often mitigate an issue before a return is initiated.

Anticipate and Address Logistical Complications

Late shipments and damaged goods are another common cause for returns. Choose reliable shipping partners and consider investing in sturdy packaging to protect items in transit. Providing customers with accurate tracking information can also help manage their expectations regarding delivery times.

Analyze Data for Continuous Improvement

Lastly, leverage data analytics tools to track and analyze returns. Look for patterns in return reasons, and use this data to make informed changes to your product offerings, descriptions, or quality control procedures. Constant improvement based on tangible insights can lead to a significant decrease in your Amazon return rate over time.

By following these strategies, Amazon sellers can create a more reliable and satisfying shopping experience, reducing the likelihood of returns and maintaining a healthy seller reputation on the platform.

Data Analysis and Reporting

Tools for Tracking Return Rates

Measuring and tracking return rates is crucial for any e-commerce business, including Amazon. Amazon uses several tools to track return rates, including the Return Dissatisfaction Rate (RDR) and the Customer Return Rate (CRR).

The RDR measures the percentage of customer returns due to dissatisfaction with the product, while the CRR measures the percentage of total orders that are returned by customers. Amazon uses these metrics to identify trends and patterns in customer behavior, as well as to identify areas for improvement in their products and services.

In addition to these metrics, Amazon also uses data analysis tools such as Excel and Tableau to visualize and analyze return data. These tools help Amazon to identify patterns and trends in customer behavior, as well as to identify areas for improvement in their products and services.

Interpreting Return Data

Interpreting return data is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of customer behavior and product performance. Amazon uses several methods to interpret return data, including statistical analysis, customer surveys, and focus groups.

Statistical analysis involves analyzing large sets of data to identify patterns and trends in customer behavior. Meanwhile, customer surveys and focus groups provide Amazon with direct feedback from customers, allowing them to identify specific issues and areas for improvement.

Interpreting return data is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and analysis. By tracking return rates and interpreting return data, Amazon is able to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to improve their products and services.


Managing your return rate is not just about preserving profits—it's about building trust and ensuring longevity in a competitive market. By taking steps to understand and serve your customers better, enforcing stringent quality control, simplifying the purchasing process, engaging with shoppers, addressing logistical challenges, and analyzing data to refine your approach, you can substantially decrease the likelihood of returns.

Every return is an opportunity to learn and improve. Use the feedback to enhance not just your products, but the entire customer experience. With the right tactics in place, you'll not only lower your Amazon return rate but also foster positive customer relationships, garner loyalty, and drive repeat business.

Also, remember that reducing your Amazon return rate is just the beginning. To amplify your success, consider optimizing your advertising strategies with specialized tools. At Scale Insights, we offer a 30-day free trial for our Amazon PPC software, which can help you refine your ad campaigns and boost your sales. Take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your visibility on Amazon and drive better results for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the return rate on Amazon?

Return rate on Amazon refers to the percentage of items purchased by customers that are returned to the seller. This rate is calculated by dividing the number of returns by the number of items sold.

Does Amazon track return rate?

Yes, Amazon tracks the return rate of its sellers. The company uses this data to monitor the performance of its sellers and to ensure that customers are receiving quality products.

How do you track the rate of return on Amazon?

To track your rate of return on Amazon, you can access the "Returns" section of your seller account. This section provides you with information on the number of returns you have received, the reasons for the returns, and the percentage of returns compared to your total sales.

Do Amazon sellers lose money on returns?

Amazon sellers may lose money on returns, depending on the condition of the returned item and the seller's return policy. If the returned item is damaged or used, the seller may not be able to resell it and may lose money on the sale. However, a strict return policy can help sellers minimize their losses.