The current Booktok trend that’s been making waves in the bookish community for all the wrong reasons is the returning of Kindle Ebooks after reading them. Yes, you heard it right! This is currently trending and has gotten the discussion moving on all of the social media platforms. The Bookish community is speaking up on it.
So the first time I came to know about this is when I read an Instagram story about it. I haven’t seen it or heard about it before that. Apparently, on Booktob some of the readers were flexing about returning the Kindle Ebooks after reading them completely regardless of the enjoyment to get a full refund. Talk about an abuse of the feature!! I was completely gobsmacked when I became aware of this new phenomenon. A lot of self-published authors have also talked about this by raising their concerns. The fact that it’s being taken up by others is even more concerning. Why would anyone with their right mind would hop onto this trend is baffling to me!
So Amazon offers this feature of returning an ebook after purchasing within 7- 14 days depending on the location. The policy states that readers can get a full refund for a book if it’s returned within the timeframe specified even if they have read the book completely. This feature is only to be used for accidental purchases or if you have genuine complaints regarding the book like formatting errors or a book being unreadable. However, with the surge in returns of the books, I feel like Amazon needs to put in place a system to weed out false returns or scammers( because that’s what people who do this are!). If you bought an ebook, read it, and enjoyed it then you shouldn’t be returning it as it is not only unethical, it’s also harmful to authors. If you are someone who does this regularly you might want to stop because Amazon will block your access to the self-refund feature and books you bought. Abusing a feature by creating a system is not the HOT TREND you think it is!
The abuse of the refund policy has caused Authors to lose their royalties, sometimes going in the negative. I also read an article mentioning that the authors end up having to pay a downloader fee for each book a customer purchases as well. This is not being reimbursed when books are getting returned. There are so many new upcoming authors and self-published authors relying on Amazon to sell their books. The misuse of this feature has ended up hurting them quite badly. I have seen the screenshots of authors who have been affected by this toxic trend on Twitter. The damage to authors who have fewer sales(because they are new or only getting to be known) is even more tragic.
The problem is not exclusive to Amazon, Audible has an even worse policy. They offer you returns up to a year of your purchase even after fully listening to the book! These companies need to bring in stricter rules to curb such misuse and make sure the rights of authors are also being protected. It is one thing to return when you have valid reasons but it’s completely unethical and inappropriate to return the product after you have used it.
Calling attention to this issue is important. It is simply unacceptable and this trend needs to die a quick death. For those of you who are doing this – Have you heard about a Library service? If you really want to return a book after reading it, please do all of us a favor and avail yourself of the amazing benefits of library service. This way you are not only supporting local libraries, but you also are supporting the authors. If not then you can always check out the sample of the book before buying the book or even try Kindle Unlimited to get books for free.
So should you return Kindle ebooks/audiobooks after reading them to get the full refund?? My answer is a vehement NO!!! STOP THIS TREND!!
Have you heard of this trend? If so what are your thoughts on it?
Also, what are some of the other toxic trends you know of that needs to be addressed?? Let me know in the comments..