Returning ebooks. What’s your take?


A discussion came up recently within a group I belong to about the returning of ebooks.

Amazon‘s policy is: Books you purchase from the Kindle Store are eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date of purchase. Once a refund is issued, you’ll no longer have access to the book. 

To me, seven days seems excessive. I think the only reason for a return should be if it was an accidental purchase or there was something technically wrong with the book: missing chapters,  pages out of order, etc.  I think the technical issues should be taken on an individual basis, without a time limit. As for an accidental purchase, I would think someone would notice within a day maybe two.

It has never occurred to me to return a book I didn’t enjoy. I don’t ask for my money back if I go to the movies and find I hate the show, so why would I return a book if I didn’t like the story? If I bought a CD and found I only liked two of the songs, I never thought to return it. In my opinion, it’s just a risk one takes when it comes to entertainment.  If I bought it and thought it really bad, then I’d probably leave a review saying so as to warn other folks. Isn’t that the point of reviews?

While I’m not *REALLY* against someone getting their money back for hating a book, I’m more worried about the unscrupulous people who think they can cheat the system by buying and reading the book and then asking for a refund even if they liked it. I get it times are tough and money is tight, but if that’s the case, don’t be spending money on such things. There are enough free deals daily to keep one’s Kindle full for months.

It was pointed out to me that sometimes it’s a matter of books not having samples and not having the most accurate synopsis listed. I can see that being an issue. I think it should be mandatory for all books to offer a sample (runs to go check and make sure her own does!) and maybe that will help keep the refunds/returns to a minimum.

What is your take on refunds? Have you gotten many for your books? Have you returned an ebook due to dislike? What do you think a fair policy should be?


7 responses »

    • That’s more my issue. 7 days? I can read 10 books in 7 days and return them all, ya know?

      Someone did mention keeping track of those who return to see if there’s a trend, but I’m not sure that’ll help either.

  1. With most authors providing samples and excerpts along with blurbs, a three day turn-around should be enough. The question might be–should a reader be able to return a book if he/she doesn’t like it when it’s finished? I think a book is a disposable item sort of like food. Once read, a reader has “used” the item.

    • I totally agree with that. You take a chance on things and if you don’t like it, sorry, you’re out a couple of bucks. That’s just how it goes. Just like I stated in the post, I’ve seen a whole hell of a lot of movies I didn’t like, but I never demanded a refund because i didn’t like the movie and we get commercials and trailers and reviews from other people, etc. so you have an idea of what you’re getting into.

  2. I agree that seven days does seem too long. You can read a book easily in seven days. I also wouldn’t return a book I hate. In fact, I had a book I started reading but stopped because I didn’t like it and I thought about seeing about returning it but it felt wrong, like I would be returning a used product when the expectations were the product be brand new. Returning a book because you hate it just seems wrong. Like you pointed out, it’s a risk you take. Plus, you’ve consumed the product and while ppl do try, in a restaurant, once you eat all the food on your plate, you pay for the meal. To me, it’s the same with books. You read it, then the money stays w/ the merchant you bought the book from.

    • Good point. I had seen a lot of people saying they were fine with refunds and it struck me as a little odd, especially since they were authors as well. I agree there are certain situations where it’s acceptable, but to return it just because you don’t like the story? I’m not cool with that.

  3. I’m of the opinion that if you dont like a book, you dont finish it. I dont think I have ever read a book all the way through that I didnt like. Same as films on TV.
    If you dont like it, you would have a good idea within 7 minutes, not wait 7 days. Much as I like the freedom that Amazon offers on refunds becasuse it gives buyers confidence, it should be cut to 24 hours Max.
    I had someone return a FREE book the other day. How sad is that? It has at least a ten 4 star reviews, too, and sells dozens of copies everyday!

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