The Great Return Debate

Today is a topic with a big question I’d love for our readers to answer…

How long do you think a customer should have to return an eBook?

Apparently, Amazon has a seven day return policy on eBooks. Some thoughts I have heard while surfing around the ‘net include:

1. Is seven days too long? Someone can easily read a book in that time and the return means the Author has to give the money from that sale back.

2. Since customers can usually preview the first 10% of the book, should there be a return policy at all? They get the opportunity to know if they’ll like it before they buy it.

3. Can we really compare it to an actual store with a paperback? The customer returns it – either for cash or store credit – and the store has the product back to sell. The eBooks do not work that way, as it directly impacts the Author per #1.

Here is my personal opinion:

You shouldn’t be able to return an eBook under certain conditions. With Amazon, you get to preview the book most of the time. I have come across a few times I’ve not been able to look, but that’s very rare.

In the cases of books you can’t preview, I think it should be allowed for 24 to 48 hours. Otherwise? No – unless the book is so riddled with errors that you cannot possibly read it or the description was misleading and/or the book was in the wrong category. Again, 24 to 48 hours. Seven days is, in my opinion, entirely too long.

I read pretty fast. At nearly 600 words a minute, way faster than most people I know. I can read a 400 page romance novel in one hour if I am uninterrupted. The actual timing is not exact but that is to give you an idea. For me, I could buy books, return them and basically use Amazon as a library service.

Is this right? No. It’s not nice, either. It allows blatant abuse of the eBook system and while I wouldn’t dare do such a thing, being an Author myself…some people are not so scrupulous.

There has even been a petition started in hopes of sending to Amazon and convincing them to change their policy.

So tell me – what do you think the limit should be? Do you think Amazon should have one at all – such as in cases of the inability to preview a book?

Have you had people return your eBooks – two, three, four, seven days later?

I look forward to reading your thoughts below.
*Please note that this is my opinion and in no way is the opinion of Novelnook. But since this is an eBook site where you sell your books (or read the books of others) I figured it was the perfect audience to pitch such a question to. Thank you!*



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5 thoughts on “The Great Return Debate

  1. Pingback: Publishing & Social Media | novelnook

  2. Pingback: What Can WE Do For YOU? | novelnook

    • Yes! Hahaha. I know, it seems insane but I’ve tested it and been tested for it. When I was younger it was just shy of 400 wpm (that was in 10th grade!) with a 98% comprehension rate. I guess technically you can call it skimming, except I know exactly what’s going on. Pretty cool huh? :D

  3. When I saw the returns adding up (39 in all) in the first month of release of Twisted, I instantly had to look into the return policy. And that’s just on Ridiculous. That’s my opinion.
    I agree with you. There’s a preview for you to decide whether or not you want to buy a book. I think 48 hours is a reasonable amount of time for readers to make an honest return. Obviously people are abusing the policy. I’m interested to hear what other writers think about this. :/

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