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Consumers exploit Amazon returns trick

16 May 2017 - 10:35 by Mike Price

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Reports emerged this week that online retail giant Amazon has an unofficial policy of refunding customers who want to return items costing less than £10 without actually asking them to send the products back, according to the Independent.

This means that low value products which are unwanted or suffering from some other issue can be kept by customers and Amazon will even refund the initial payment made for them.

Some observers and consumer rights campaigners are calling this a convenient loophole for people who love safe shopping online, but one which shows just how powerful Amazon is in comparison with its smaller, independent competitors.

The argument is that this policy puts the US firm in a powerful position, enabling it to outdo up and coming online outlets through the sheer force of its size and available resources.

People who have attempted to return items worth under £10 to Amazon have found that they have been issued a refund and told not to bother sending the items back. From Amazon’s perspective, this no doubt avoids a lot of additional administration, but could surely become a costlier policy now that it has been widely publicised in the media.

There are now fears that people will flock to use Amazon’s site to shop online with a view to spend under £10 on items they need, then claim for a refund and expect to get their cash back and be allowed to keep the products anyway.

Whether this loophole will remain open indefinitely or will be closed in the near future is uncertain, but the fact that Amazon has even been able to offer this to its customers in the first place is certainly a good indication of the power it wields in the e-commerce sector.