How to return Amazon items

It's easier than you think!

How to return items on Amazon

by Lorna White |
Updated on

It's easier than you think!

We've all ordered things online that we've wanted to return for one reason or another. Whether it's a plant pot that was a lot smaller than it looked, or a gift from a loved one that you already have, returning unwanted items is often a chore that none of us look forward to.

These days, however, returning goods online is a lot easier than you might think, especially if you're returning something on Amazon. Here's how to return Amazon items, whether it's gifts you've received or something you've bought yourself.

How to Amazon items that you've received as gifts

If someone has sent you a gift via Amazon and you either don't want it or already have it, returning it couldn't be simpler. Firstly sign into your Amazon account or set one up if you don't have one, then follow these steps:

Go to Amazon's gift return centre on your browser

Type in the order number - The order number or Order ID is a 17-digit code found on the packing slip that came with your item(s). It can also be found on the email gift receipt that was sent to your email address with your item. If you're struggling to find it, contact Amazon here.

Select the items you want to return - Enter the total number of items, and select your reason for wanting to return from the dropdown menu. If your item came from a third-party seller, you will need to submit a return request as in some cases, the seller wants to review your reason for the return before accepting it.

©Getty Images / Oscar Wong

Select a shipping option - Next you'll need to choose how you want to return your gift. This will provide you with a returns label for your package. You'll need separate returns labels for different gifts/orders.

At this point, you might be asked to print out your returns label and a returns authorisation if required. If you don't have a printer on hand, Amazon can email you a link to your label for you to print later. Alternatively, you can send this to someone who has a printer.

Package up your item - Once you've got your returns label, package up the item you're returning, making sure the parcel contains the item you're wanting to return in its original condition (plus the returns authorisation if needed), then secure the returns label to the front of the parcel.

Once Amazon receives the item, you'll be sent a refund in the form of an Amazon gift card, added onto your Amazon account, ready to spend on something else.

Will the sender know if I return a gift?

The best thing about returning a gift to Amazon this way is that the sender won't be notified that you've returned their gift so you won't have to worry about any embarrassment the next time you see them!

How long do I have to return an item?

Usually, you get 30 days to return your item from the date it was shipped. Over the Christmas period, any items shipped between October 1 and December 31, can be returned until 31 January.

How to return Amazon items you've bought

If you're looking to return items you've bought yourself, sign into your Amazon account and follow these steps below:

Head to 'My orders' - select the item you wish to return and a reason for return from the drop down menu.

Select which refund you want - You will be given a choice of having the funds returned to your Amazon account (to use against future orders) or to the bank card linked to your account. Having it returned to your Amazon account is significantly quicker.

Amazon warehouse
©Getty Images / Yuichiro Chino

Choose how to return your item - You will be given options according to your location and most (taking to a post office, Evri drop-off, or Royal Mail Drop-off) require no packaging or label for your product. You might also have the option of having the item picked up from your house via Royal Mail, but you will need to package the item and print the label. There is also a charge for this service.

Take the item to its drop-off point - Assuming you've chosen one of the free options, take the product to the location you've selected, such as your local post office. Hand it to the cashier, show them the QR code Amazon will email to you, an they'll do the rest.

It really couldn't be easier! They will package the item, print the label and the refund will be back in your amazon account within a few hours.

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