How Will Amazon’s Newly Announced Changes Affect Small Business?

Date: November 30, 2016

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Amazon is rolling out policies that could have consequences for small business owners.

If you work with Amazon, prepare for several changes. 

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First up is an updated returns policy that takes some control away from those who sell through Amazon, according to CNBC. Sellers received an email stating that beginning Nov. 1, “U.S. seller fulfilled returns that are within Amazon’s returns policy will be automatically authorized, and Amazon will provide customers with prepaid return labels on your behalf.” 

The good news is sellers might be able to spend less time and energy on returns of products they sold through Amazon. The bad news: They might have less ability to reject refunds when products are damaged by the buyer, CNBC wrote. Now, if a small business owner believes the customer used or damaged the product they’re returning, the small business will have to file an appeal to Amazon.

Small business owners are worried, especially considering Amazon has been suspending more seller accounts and recently imposed a fee for new sellers of certain top brands. 

Also new is a cap on product reviews, in which frequent site reviewers can “no longer post an unlimited number of reviews for items they didn’t buy from Amazon,” according to The Digital Reader

Users can submit five reviews a week for products not purchased on Amazon, the company said on its site

The cherry on top is a new Institute for Local Self-Reliance report that finds Amazon is hindering job creation, saying that in almost every state, “Amazon is destroying more jobs than it’s creating, undercutting the wages of warehouse workers, and experimenting with ways to shed its responsibility for its workforce altogether.” The report also calls out Amazon for negotiating “lucrative public subsidies for more than half of the 77 fulfillment centers and other large warehouses it built between 2005 and 2014.” 

Related: 

Should Your Small Business Sell on Amazon? 

4 Lessons Your Small Business Can Learn from Amazon 

Selling Merchandise On Ebay And Amazon For Fun And Profit

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