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Amazon Refunds Made Easy and Hassle-Free, a Complete Guide

 Online purchases are often a gamble, and wrong or ill-fitting items are, sadly, a staple of online shopping. When the questionable item turns up at your doorstep, it’s essential to be ready and know how to return said item.

In this article, we chose one of the largest online retailers, Amazon, and decided to teach you all the ins and outs of Amazon’s return policy. Do you want to know how much time you have to return an item? Will you have to pay any shipping costs? How are returns processed? All of these questions will be answered below.

Amazon returns guide amazon box

A Short Overview of Amazon’s Return Policy

It’s quite easy to return an item on Amazon, no matter if you are dissatisfied with your purchase, or you received a gift that you don't need or want. Since you want to learn how to return an item on Amazon, we take it that you already have an Amazon account and you are familiar with the general layout of the website.
Generally, Amazon will fully refund any returns made during 30 days after the purchase, no questions asked. Usually, a refund payment will arrive 2-3 weeks after you filed the refund on Amazon.
Now onto some key facts and tips about Amazon returns:
  • Before making a purchase, it is important to take note if it offers free returns. This will be specified in the item description above the price (see picture below). Otherwise, you may have to pay a shipping fee.
Amazon returns guide free returns
  • Amazon accepts used and opened items as returns.
  • Make sure to include everything that came in the box when sending off your return: accessories, instructions and certificates of authenticity should all be included. You will also be asked to repackage the item.
  • Returns do NOT apply to international orders.
  • Though it rarely happens, Amazon can ban you from shopping on their website if you return a lot of items in a short time. How much is a lot? It depends, there is actually a whole research team at Amazon that tries to prevent return abuse.

       No need to panic, though, as Amazon will send you an email warning before they consider banning you.

  • Though most purchases are eligible for a refund for 30 days, there is a Holiday period exception to this rule. Any purchases made between November, 1 and December, 31 have an extended return time until January, 31, so a maximum of 2 months.

How to Return a Purchase on Amazon Step-by-Step

In this section of the article, we will guide you through the return process on Amazon. It’s easy, but you will have to keep in mind several aspects to avoid paying added fees and getting a full refund.

Step 1. Start by signing into your Amazon account. In the top right corner of the computer screen or by clicking the 3 parallel lines on the top left-hand side of the screen on a mobile device, find the "Orders" button.

Step 2. Upon clicking on the “Orders” button, you will find a page with all of your purchases.

Step 3. Find your way to the Return Center.

If you’re using a computer, you will see a list of options next to the item, one of which is "Return or replace items" (see picture below).

If you’re using a mobile device, click on this symbol “>”, and a screen with the same options will appear.

Amazon returns guide return field

Step 4. Once you clicked on the "Return or replace items" button, a screen with all the items eligible for a return will appear. You will also find a field that says "Why are you returning this?" with a drop down menu that requires you to select a reason for your return, such a "Missing or broken parts".

Tip: If the reason you chose was the retailer’s fault, such as "Wrong item was sent," Amazon will cover your return shipping costs. If it’s your responsibility, you'll have to pay the return shipping costs.

Step 5. Once the reason was selected, push the "Continue" button. After you did that, a screen offering the following options will appear:

  • The option of an exchange for a different item.
  • The option of the money refunded to you directly.

Decide which one you prefer and click on the yellow "Continue" button once more. 

Step 5. On the final screen, Amazon will request you to print a return label and to decide if you want to drop off your packaged return at a UPS branch or want the postal service to schedule a pickup of the package. 

Tip: Pickups are free of charge if the return is Amazon's responsibility. If it is yours, however, you will have to pay an extra fee for this service.

How to Return a Gift on Amazon Step-by-Step

Now let’s look at how to return a gift made on Amazon. This is an easy and discreet task, but make sure your gift came with a receipt and was marked as a gift by the purchaser, otherwise you won’t be able to return the item.

Step 1. As before, go to the Amazon website and navigate to their Online Returns Center (click on the Returns & Replacements button on the bottom right side of the website in the "Let Us Help You" section). 

Step 2. In the middle of the page, you will find a "Return a gift" option (see picture below). Press on that button, and fill in the field titled "Order number" from the receipt that came with your gift.

Amazon returns guide refund a gift

Step 3. If there were a few items in the gift and you want to return only some, select those items you’d like to return and press the "Continue" button.

Step 4. Similarly to the purchase return, choose your preferred return method and select in which form you wish the refund payment to be made (either card transaction or as in-store credit).

That's it! We hope you found this article helpful. If you'd like to become an even savvier online shopper, we recommend you to read our article about 5 Online Shopping Tips Everyone Should Follow as well.

H/T and image source: business insider, rather be shopping

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