Some customers will have to pay a $1 fee to return orders at a UPS store if they have other options closer to home.

Amazon recently rolled out new policies around returns. The ecommerce giant will now charge for some orders that are returned to UPS stores. It also added the label “frequently returned” to some listings.

Amazon ranks No. 1 in the Top 1000 list of ecommerce retailers in North America, and No. 3 in the Online Marketplaces database

Amazon returns at UPS will no longer be free

Customers who drop returns off at UPS locations could be charged $1 per order going forward, The Information first reported. The fee will only apply if there is a Whole Foods, Kohl’s, or Amazon Fresh location closer to the order’s address than the UPS store. 

“We offer convenient, easy returns to Amazon customers, with one or more options for label-free, box-free returns at no cost,” a spokesperson told USA Today. “We always offer a free option for customers to return their item. If a customer would prefer to return their item at a UPS Store when there is a free option closer to their delivery address, a very small amount of customers may incur a $1 fee.”

Amazon will list some products as “frequently returned”

The online retailer also added a badge to some items warning customers that they are “frequently returned.” The Information first noticed the label on a record player and two dresses.


“We’re currently showing return rate information on some product detail pages to help our customers make more informed purchase decisions,” a spokesperson told The Information.

Amazon did not return Digital Commerce 360’s request for comment. 

Returns matter to customers, but they’re not the most important factor

A Digital Commerce 360 survey of over 1,000 consumers in August 2022 found shoppers regularly consider a potential return before they purchase. 54% take free returns into consideration, and 39% also look at the cost of a return. One-quarter of consumers said the timeframe is important.

It’s too soon to tell if Amazon customers will react negatively to the new policy, according to Michael Levin, co-founder and partner at research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. 


“We expect it’s not a huge deal, though, and a very small percentage of marginal customers would react negatively,” he said. “Consumers decide first on cost and convenience of buying something, and think later, if at all, about how easy (or not) it is to return that thing.”

Some customers have already taken to social media to complain about the change, Business Insider reported.

The new policy keeps Amazon on par with the competition, Levin said.

“Many, many retailers charge customers for return shipping, although as far as we know, the major ones (Walmart, Target, etc.) don’t do it aggressively,” he said.


These changes around returns are a more transparent way for Amazon to be upfront about costs with customers, Josh Lowitz, also of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, said.

“This move is similar to Amazon offering a dollar or two for accepting slightly slower shipping, or combining deliveries into a single delivery day. Amazon is letting shoppers know that they will share the savings, if a customer allows Amazon to operate more efficiently,” he said, by keeping prices lower for less expensive types of returns. Lowitz also pointed to Amazon’s policy of offering returned items for sale at reduced prices.

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