‘Frequently Returned’ Label Warns Amazon Shoppers About Shoddy Products

One persistent complaint about Amazon is that the site can sometimes offer low-quality or knock-off items, but it looks like the e-commerce giant is trying to address the problem with a new label that’ll say if a product experiences frequent returns.

As first reported(Opens in a new window) by The Information, Amazon quietly added a “frequently returned item” label on select products that have received an inordinate number of returns. So far, the label has been found on a $499 turntable(Opens in a new window), and two summer(Opens in a new window) dresses(Opens in a new window) from relatively unknown brands. It appears Amazon is experimenting with the labels, though, because they didn’t appear all the time.

The label advises any would-be consumer to “Check the product details and customer reviews to learn more about this item” before buying. 

How the label appears

The label is at the bottom, under the ‘About this item’ box.
(Credit: Amazon)

Amazon tells PCMag it began adding the labels several months ago to products sold through Amazon’s own shipping network, and those from third-party suppliers, that have seen a substantially higher return rate for their product categories.

“At Amazon, we’re always innovating on behalf of customers to improve the shopping experience,” a company spokesperson says. “We’re currently showing return rate information on some product detail pages to help our customers make more informed purchase decisions.”

Still, the label is easy to miss amid all the text on a product page. Specifically, Amazon is placing the “Frequently Returned Item” warning as a small box under the introductory text, using similar font and coloring as the rest of the page. 

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Amazon didn’t respond when asked why it won’t simply remove products with a high return rate. In addition, the label does nothing to address fake reviews popping up on a product.

However, The Information notes that Amazon deployed the Frequently Returned Item label amid inflation and rising fuel costs for its shipping network. So reducing the flow of returned items could help the e-commerce giant further cut costs during turbulent economic times. Amazon’s refund policy allows returns on most items within 30 days of delivery.

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