|Amazon.com Sets New Disclosure Standards and New Returns Policy|
SEATTLE, February 9--/PRNewswire/--Leading online retailer Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that beginning March 1 it will list for customers which feature placements on its site are paid for and which are not.
At the same time, effective immediately, the company is implementing a new book-return policy to underscore that it stands behind all of its recommendations.
The company stressed that its recommendations are not and have never been for sale to anyone. Only books selected by Amazon.com editors qualify for publisher-supported placement.
"We have the largest staff of book editors online or off, and for a book that doesn't meet our standards, there is no amount of money that would cause us to feature it," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. Bezos added that "as a Web-based store with a real community of book lovers, we're being held to a higher standard than physical stores. And you know what? That's the way it should be."
So the company will now make it possible for shoppers to know which placements have been purchased by publishers and which have not. Beginning March 1st, Amazon.com will list every paid-for placement in its store, breaking with standard industry practice. "We believe we're the first retailer to list this information for customers, and we hope it will start a trend," Bezos added.
The company is also widening its book-return policy to reinforce its belief in the quality of its editors' recommendations by allowing customers to return any book Amazon.com has recommended, even after it has been read. "It doesn't matter how dog-eared or worn it is," Bezos said. "Even if you ripped out the pages because you thought the book was so bad, you can still return the pieces to us for a full refund."
Previously, the company's returns policy required books to be in unread and new condition.
About Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk in the U.K. and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, competition, risks associated with system development and operation, management of potential growth, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1997, as amended by the Form 8-K filed September 11, 1998, and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1998, June 30, 1998, and September 30, 1998.
Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Bookstore, and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.