- As Amazon is an online retailer, all returns to the company must be conducted using the post office or shipping companies.
- Within 30 days of a purchase or receipt of a gift, Amazon will accept returns without hassle; after that period, many items are still eligible for return or replacement if they prove defective.
- Here’s how to return an item to Amazon, whether you bought it, got it as a gift, or received it by mistake.
Before we talk about how to return things to Amazon, I feel I should give you a quick heads up: if you return too many things in too short of a time, Amazon may well ban you from shopping with them. It’s rare, but it happens, and the usual cause of an Amazon ban is serial purchase returns.
So even though this online retail powerhouse makes it almost painfully easy to click and order this, that, and the other thing (anything, e.g.), you still need to think before you buy. If you thought a good ongoing plan was going to order things, use or wear them once, then send them back, think again.
That said, Amazon makes it painlessly easy to return purchases with which you are legitimately dissatisfied, gifts you don’t want or need, or the occasional package that shows up at the wrong address. But a few quick qualifiers!
- Only orders fulfilled by Amazon are eligible for all return benefits the company offers – remember that many Amazon products are listed, processed, and sold by third parties.
- Only products with free returns explicitly specified enjoy free returns with no questions asked; other orders may be subject to shipping and restocking fees if they are returned simply because you don’t want them
- Damaged, defective, or inaccurately described products should usually be available for full refunds after return, but within a 30-day time window.
- Items must be returned in their original condition, and with all accessories, certificates of authenticity, and other such collateral included.
How to return Amazon purchases
Assuming you have purchased an item that is eligible for return to Amazon and you want to send it back, start the return process by signing into your Amazon account. You can navigate directly to the Returns Center, or go to the Amazon homepage.
- At the top right corner of the home screen on a computer or when you click the three parallel lines at the top left screen on mobile, hit the “Orders” button.
- You will be taken to a screen that displays all of your orders, usually initially showing the past six months worth of products purchased.
- On a computer, you will see next to each item a list of options with linked buttons including one reading “Return or replace items.” On mobile, you will see this symbol > which you can tap to be brought to a screen with the same options.
- After hitting the “Return” button, you will be brought to a screen with all other eligible items (those within the 30-day return window, e.g.). There will also be a tab reading “Why are you returning this” and a dropdown menu, “Choose a response,” with options like “No longer needed” and “Missing or broken parts” to name a few.
Note: If you choose an option that puts the onus for return on Amazon, like “Wrong item was sent,” your return will be free of charge. If the error was yours, you’ll pay return shipping. But be honest – remember the ban thing!
- Once you have selected a reason, hit the yellow “Continue” button; you will be brought to a screen offering you the option of an exchange, wherein you can apply the refund to another purchase, or to have the cash refunded directly to you.
- Make your choice, then hit the yellow “Continue” button. You will be prompted to print a return label and to choose whether you will drop your re-packaged return at a UPS location or wish to schedule a pickup. Note that UPS pickups are free if the error was Amazon’s, but these will have an added cost if the issue was yours.
How to return a gift from Amazon
Don’t worry, this process is discreet and easy. (As long as your gift giver thought to include a gift receipt, anyway!)
- Go to the Amazon Online Returns Center and find the “Return a gift” button near the center of the page.
- Enter the “Order number” from your gift receipt (note that if the item was not marked as a gift by the sender, you may be out of luck, but you can reach out to customer service for help).
- Select the item or items you wish to return from the gift, then hit “Continue.”
- Choose the return method you wish to use, UPS pickup, drop off, or Amazon Locker.
- Select how you wish to receive the credit for the gift, which you can do in cash directed to a card you have on file or credit to future Amazon purchases.
So is it easy to return an Amazon order? Absolutely. Just don’t overdo it.