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Thread: Amazon E-book Returns

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Amazon E-book Returns

    Does Amazon place a time limit on how long a person may return an e-book after purchasing it?


  2. #2
    permaflounced
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    Quote Originally Posted by E.L. Lynch View Post
    Does Amazon place a time limit on how long a person may return an e-book after purchasing it?
    It's supposed to be seven days, however, I think it there is a significant problem, say with formatting or something, a reader could probably get a refund even later if they made a case for it.

  3. #3
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It is meant to be 7 days, and there does seem to be a number of read-and-returners.

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Read and returners. Yeah. Particularly with shorter works there are a ton of folks who use the Kindle as a lending library.

    There are others who are proud that they never buy an e-book. If they see one they want, "I just wait 'til it's free and download it then." (I don't think that Amazon Select does any favors to anyone but Amazon.)

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    It is meant to be 7 days, and there does seem to be a number of read-and-returners.
    I was recently on the KDP forum and read that a lot of authors are seeing increasingly high return rates these days.

    I find that quite pathetic, considering the books are already nearly free.


  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW TroyJackson's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's a sad sad practice, but what can you do? Maybe allow the author to dictate how long you get before time expires? Or will that make us the "bad guy"? Maybe let the publisher?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by E.L. Lynch View Post
    I was recently on the KDP forum and read that a lot of authors are seeing increasingly high return rates these days.

    I find that quite pathetic, considering the books are already nearly free.
    I try to give the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes someone meant to get the sample but they one clicked instead. If they are using a cellphone, that could be pretty easy to do if you just bump the screen in the wrong spot. Also, if your book is in Select, some people don't know how to borrow it and click thinking that's how to borrow, then they return and later you see a borrow show up. Others see the 0.00 for Prime members and mistakenly think the book is free for everyone.

  8. #8
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    And sometimes they are returned because the book is just so, well, you decide...
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  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
    And sometimes they are returned because the book is just so, well, you decide...
    I may be in the minority for this opinion, but I've always thought the book return policy was insulting. Sure, other physical items can be returned to stores if they are defective, the consumer changes his mind, or even if the product didn't perform the way expected.

    But books are subjective, like movies, theater, ballet and concerts. When was the last time someone received a refund for one of the many crappy movies Hollywood spits out?

    The allowing of books to be returned, whether electronic or print, is simply another indication of how writers are so devalued in this society.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by E.L. Lynch View Post
    I may be in the minority for this opinion, but I've always thought the book return policy was insulting. Sure, other physical items can be returned to stores if they are defective, the consumer changes his mind, or even if the product didn't perform the way expected.

    But books are subjective, like movies, theater, ballet and concerts. When was the last time someone received a refund for one of the many crappy movies Hollywood spits out?

    The allowing of books to be returned, whether electronic or print, is simply another indication of how writers are so devalued in this society.
    I returned a book once. I had bought one of the Warrior Cats books for my daughter for her Kindle, but it turned out that she had already read the book and had it in paperback from a school book sale. I'm not made of money, so I returned the book and bought the next one that she didn't have.

  11. #11
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    I've never had any of my ebooks returned. From both Samhain and Carina Press. At least from what my records show.

    Just a note.

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcDonald64 View Post
    I returned a book once. I had bought one of the Warrior Cats books for my daughter for her Kindle, but it turned out that she had already read the book and had it in paperback from a school book sale. I'm not made of money, so I returned the book and bought the next one that she didn't have.
    Completely understandable.


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    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheryl Nantus View Post
    I've never had any of my ebooks returned. From both Samhain and Carina Press. At least from what my records show.

    Just a note.
    IMHO it may be because those copies are already removed before the report is generated.

  14. #14
    Wicked Safari release date March 17 gingerwoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    IMHO it may be because those copies are already removed before the report is generated.
    If you use the feature where you can look at your overall sales on Samhain I can see it has a "returns" column. I think that's only for sales on the Samhain site though and maybe that is for print. I haven't seen any returns on that anyway, but I've only been published with them since Dec 4th.
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  15. #15
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I would greatly doubt that publisher's ebooks have zero returns via Amazon. But only the publisher would have access to that information.

    Self-publishers are certainly seeing plenty of it, including those with quality standards equal to that of publishers (and no, I am not talking of myself here--I don't have any self-pub on Amazon).

  16. #16
    Purple hair, not prose. VanessaNorth's Avatar
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    Confession: the touch screen on the ipad and one click ordering make accidental purchases very easy. I've returned books i bought by accident. J

  17. #17
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    People are just like that, and always have been. E-Books just make it 'one-touch-button' easy.
    Most stores that sell knitting and needlework patterns have 'No returns' policies, because otherwise a certain percentage of the dear customers would take the book as far as the nearest photo-copier, copy what they want, and bring the book back.

  18. #18
    Purple hair, not prose. VanessaNorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I would greatly doubt that publisher's ebooks have zero returns via Amazon. But only the publisher would have access to that information.

    Self-publishers are certainly seeing plenty of it, including those with quality standards equal to that of publishers (and no, I am not talking of myself here--I don't have any self-pub on Amazon).
    One of my publishers discloses returns to its authors... For my books, they are, percentage wise, consistant across books.

    I've never self pubbed, so i just don't know about that.

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW Mark Moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E.L. Lynch View Post
    When was the last time someone received a refund for one of the many crappy movies Hollywood spits out?
    I read that George Clooney personally refunded people's "Batman and Robin" movie tickets.

    I self-pub, and I have yet to see anyone return one of my ebooks. I guess that's a good thing.
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  20. #20
    permaflounced
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    Another very common reason for a return is right after a book has been reduced in price or free, and then is returned to the regular price. People see it on an old blog post and one-click without looking to see if it is still at the price listed on the blog. That happens to me every time I have a book free or on sale. I just figure it's a good thing as those people didn't really want the book anyway.

  21. #21
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    For anyone who uses the non DRM option on KDP this could be concerning. People could just copy the book to keep it then ask for a refund.
    If you think Amazon vs Giants is bad, do you think that Amazon vs Self-publishers would be better?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arpeggio View Post
    For anyone who uses the non DRM option on KDP this could be concerning. People could just copy the book to keep it then ask for a refund.
    People are doing that regardless. It's trivial to strip DRM.

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW benluby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanessaNorth View Post
    Confession: the touch screen on the ipad and one click ordering make accidental purchases very easy. I've returned books i bought by accident. J
    That I would have no issue with. It's those that 'buy' the book, then three or so days later, after they finish reading it, they return it before the seventh day.
    I rank those people about as high as I do those that pirate movies and music off torrent sites. It's the same thing.

  24. #24
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    There's no way to find out why a book is returned. Someone may have read it or they may have had a problem downloading the book after purchasing it, changed their mind when they took a peek at their bank account or accidentally bought it with one click. Amazon gives the reader a list of reasons to check when returning an e-book, but that information isn't shared with publishers.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by benluby View Post
    That I would have no issue with. It's those that 'buy' the book, then three or so days later, after they finish reading it, they return it before the seventh day.
    I rank those people about as high as I do those that pirate movies and music off torrent sites. It's the same thing.
    I try not to think about people doing that because I have no control over it, but when I do think about it, it pisses me off. Unfortunately, there is no way for us as authors to know if that is the case. Even if it's your only book sale that month and it's returned seven days later, for all we know, the person just looked at the book for the first time, discovered they meant to get the sample, not the whole book, and returned it.

    While we may not know, Amazon does, if they looked. They would know how far someone went in the book and how long it took them to reach that point. (Ie, sliding the location bar all the way in one swoop, or page by page.). They just don't pay that much attention to an individual book return.

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