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Amazon’s return process is deciphering: Return your things quickly, easily and (usually) free of charge


Don’t spend a penny to return your unwanted Amazon parcel if you don’t have to – not even on gasoline.

Angela Lang / CNET

Amazon has earned its reputation (and $ 5.2 billion so far this year) through quick and easy online shopping, but the same cannot always be said about the return process. Although Amazon’s variety of return options means more choices when it comes to returning purchases, Amazon often only offers the standard return method so you are looking for cheaper or more convenient ways to return your items.

Amazon’s preferred return service may be the most convenient for you if, for example, you live near a cabbage. All are now accepting Amazon returns (and have been known for handing out Kohl’s coupons while you’re there). If it doesn’t, accidentally clicking this option can add an unnecessary job to your list.

If you’d rather return items to Amazon the same way you ordered them – without ever having to go outside your own front door – this is the quick, easy, and (often) free way to return items to Amazon.

Kohl's exterior

If you’re already a Kohl’s shopper, it may be convenient to return Amazon purchases there.


Give a reason, not an excuse

The first thing Amazon asks after starting the return process is the reason for your return. It’s important to be as honest and precise as possible here. Both Amazon and Amazon’s third party sellers want to resell goods in perfect condition (like Amazon does) Amazon warehouse offers) so that your items are checked against the reason for your return.

Not only can misclassifying a return have a negative impact on your Amazon account (the company is known to ban buyers who abuse the return process), but you can also pay for the return if you don’t need it.

For example, if you select “no longer needed” by default, you may be charged for the return shipping. If your reason for returning is indeed more specific, you may not be able to do so.

Here are the various return reasons Amazon can choose from, as well as a description of what they exactly mean:

  • No longer needed: You have changed your mind and no longer want the item.
  • Accidentally bought: You accidentally hit Buy It Now or forget to delete an item from your shopping cart before checking it out.
  • Better price available: You can find the same thing at Walmart, for example, for less than what you paid for it on Amazon.
  • Inaccurate website description: Example: The photo shows a deep royal blue, but the subject is a light sky blue. Similar to but different from “Wrong article was sent” (see below).
  • Item defective or not working: Could be that it is broken or just not doing what it was designed to do (for example a can opener that rotates but doesn’t cut the lid).
  • Product damaged, but shipping box OK: The box is not dented, cut, or scratched, but the item inside has cosmetic or mechanical damage.
  • Item arrived late: The item was delivered after guaranteed delivery and, for example, missed a birthday.
  • Missing or defective parts: Similar to “Article was defective or does not work”, but does not apply to the article itself, but to the associated attachments, etc.
  • Product and shipping box are damaged: Somewhere between the packing and the arrival at your door, the package was handled incorrectly and the product arrives broken.
  • Wrong article was sent: If you received a completely different item, it was not just the size, shape or color that you selected (see “Inaccurate website description”).
  • I received an additional item that I did not purchase: Something special was packaged with your order and you are committed to return it.
  • Purchase not approved: Someone in your family (child, spouse) or friend (such as someone whose computer you signed in to Amazon and forgot to sign out) ordered something and you were charged.

Free UPS pickup is our preferred option for Amazon returns.

Angela Lang / CNET

Let Amazon know where to send your refund

Next, you need to choose how you want your money back. The fastest way to get a credit to your Amazon account, which Amazon issues as soon as UPS scans your return into its system. But then you get stuck and spend the money on Amazon.

You can also have the money returned to your debit or credit card. Although Amazon will issue the refund as soon as UPS takes possession of your return package, it may take three to five business days for it to appear in your account.

Regardless of which route you take, you still need to decide exactly how you want to return the item.

Don’t just accept the standard return method

When Amazon asks you to select a return method, Kohl’s dropoff will almost always be the default option, but it’s not always the one you want (unless you have to go to Kohl’s anyway).

Get there UPS collection Option which is the only way to return items without leaving home will have to scroll down and possibly even click a link that reads something like 2 other return options.

When you finally see the option for UPS collectionit should also display the cost as $ 0.00 (Unless you’re returning for one of the few reasons Amazon charges a fee for, in which case Amazon will deduct approximately $ 6 from your refund.) Tap or click UPS collection then choose Confirm your return.

Fun fact: Goods ordered through Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, are returned for free regardless of the reason.

Look at that:

Amazon Prime Day 2020: Everything You Need To Know


All that’s left is to pack it all up and put it down

Follow Amazon’s instructions. You probably just need to print out a packing slip and put it in the package when you return the item.

Tape the box tightly and securely – and even tape it over the return label to avoid damaging it. Then put the package near your door so you don’t forget to drop it off the next working day.

You might even want to set up a reminder on your phone or with Alexa or Google Assistant so you don’t forget.

If you happen to forget to leave your return shipment outside for UPS, then in the best case scenario UPS will leave a note and try twice more to collect it. In the worst case, the UPS driver leaves a prepaid shipping label that you have to apply to the package yourself. You must then transport the item to the nearest UPS store or UPS drop-off location.

Good luck and many happy returns.

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