The question is, how many is too many?

Cailey Rizzo
May 23, 2018

Think twice before you order that thing you might change your mind about. Amazon is banning customers who return too many products.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the online retailer doesn’t have as generous a return policy as many believe. Customers who report “an unusual number of problems” with their orders may find themselves banned from shopping on Amazon.

Behaviors that could trigger the ban include returning the wrong item or items that look used, returning technology like TVs or computers, or posting product reviews in exchange for compensation.

“We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended period of time,” an Amazon spokesperson told the newspaper. “We never take these decisions lightly, but with over 300 million customers around the world, we take action when appropriate to protect the experience for all our customers.”

The online retailer added that customers who believe they have been wrongfully banned can appeal for the company to review the case.

There is no set figure for what percentage of returned items is too high. But back in 2016, The Guardian published a piece about a man who was banned from Amazon after returning 37 of his 343 purchased items. Another man on Twitter said that his account was blocked after he returned 43 of 550 items.

An algorithm flags customers with an unusual number of returns, at which point an Amazon employee will further review the account before banning. Amazon did not comment on how many customers have been banned for excessive returns.

Monitoring returns is standard policy at many brick-and-mortar retailers, used to cut back on fraud. Retailers like Best Buy, Sephora and Home Depot track how much and how often their customers return.