This is why we can’t have nice things: a stupid TikTok trend telling others to abuse Amazon’s return policy for Kindle books resulted in changes to the platform’s rules that will affect all of us.
While previously you buy a Kindle book and return it for 7 days after the purchase if it didn’t grab your attention, TikTok users started advising everyone to simpy rush into reading a book, then returning it to get full price back.
The tactic might look like a victimless crime but, the way Amazon’s Kindle store was set up and royalties paid up, it could actually cost authors money. For months, the Tiktok’s book lovers community (BookTok) was divided on the subject though, eventually, the #dontreturnbooks hashtag started trending.
Author K. Kromberg took to Twitter to explain that a Kindle book return was more than an author was initially paid, so the TikToks telling people to abuse the returns system could actually hurt people who barely support themselves from their writing as is.
Another author, Lisa Kessler, shared her own experience saying she actually owes Amazon money because people read her books, then abused the return policy.
Authors affected by this put out a Change.org petition to convince Amazon to change their system and The Authors Guild was happy to announce Amazon listened.
Now, you can return a Kindle book only if you read a maximum of 10% of it. Otherwise, your request would be flagged and sent to an actual Amazon employee who would review the refund request to see if it was valid.