Will Amazon cancel your account for too many returns?

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The Best Retail Return Policies

British newspaper The Guardian reports that some Amazon.com customers have learned the hard way that there is more to the company's return policy than meets the eye.

The recent article details the cases of several Amazon customers who have had their accounts closed by Amazon because it said they returned too many purchases — despite the fact that Amazon's policies don't appear to define what constitutes an excessive number of returns.

As a result, some of those customers also lost the value of gift cards or Amazon Prime memberships that were attached to their accounts.

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Shoppers who have experienced such consequences may be surprised, especially if they've read the return policy on the Amazon website.

In regard to an excessive-returns policy, The Guardian says:

According to the Guardian, Amazon has been canceling customer accounts since at least 2008, although the practice is "relatively rare."

The cases identified by the newspaper last week include those of:

  • A self-confessed Amazon addict whose account was blocked after he returned — with good reason, he says — 37 items out of 343 he had purchased.
  • A self-confessed electronics junkie who had spent thousands of dollars with Amazon since becoming a customer in 2006 — buying 246 items in 2015 alone — before his account was canceled. He says the items he returned were high-value electronic items that had failed, and he opted to cancel the purchases rather than wait for Amazon to send replacements.
  • A woman whose account was canceled after she returned 30 out of 112 items bought. As a result, she lost her Amazon Prime membership (which costs $99 per year) and the balance on an Amazon gift card (170 British pounds).

Have you had any issues returning purchases to Amazon? Let us know what happened in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

RELATED: 8 money-saving online shopping hacks

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Will Amazon cancel your account for too many returns?

1. Clear your browser history

Some retailers might sneakily increase prices based on your browsing patterns and demand - so make sure to always clear your history and cookies before shopping! 

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2. Use an alternate email address

When you log in to a retailer's site with a new email address, retailers will often welcome you as a new customer with exciting new promotions and discounts. 

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3. Note price changes throughout the week

Another pro tip: Prices and deals can fluctuate based on the day of the week. For instance, if you're purchasing a flight, monitor prices for around a week to see if they take a dip on any particular day before purchasing. 

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4. Let items linger in your cart

Here's a hack: Add items to your cart, but let them sit for 24 hours before purchasing. The retailer might attempt to lure you back with additional discounts.

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5. Check out multiple sites

Do some research! Don't settle for the first price you see - poke around on a search engine and find the best deal. 

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6. Bargain with customer service

Use customer service to your advantage. If you ask (politely!) about an expired coupon, you'll often find yourself pleasantly surprised by an extension or new code! 

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7. Don't purchase impulsively

Try this shopping hack - don't buy that shiny, new toy right away. Step away for a few hours, and if you find yourself itching to go back and click 'purchase', then you know you won't regret your investment!

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8. Avoid shipping fees

Take advantage of free shipping! If you are a few dollars below the free shipping price point, add a low-cost filler item you need anyway (like socks!) and make the math work out in your favor. 

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