How to return an item on Amazon, whether you purchased it yourself or received it as a gift

  • You can return Amazon items you’ve ordered or been gifted, as long as your return meets certain qualifications.
  • Amazon lets you process returns from the “Your Orders” section of the website or mobile app, or from the Online Returns Center. 
  • In most cases, you need to process your Amazon return within 30 days. 
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Amazon makes it easy to buy any kind of item with just a couple clicks. But, if you’ve ever ordered or received an Amazon item that didn’t work out, you can just as easily return it. 

You can return items you’ve ordered on Amazon from the “Your Orders” page on the website or mobile app. To return a gift you’ve received from Amazon, you’ll need to go to the Online Returns Center and enter the order number from your gift receipt. 

Note: If you return too many items too often, Amazon may ban you from shopping with them. It’s rare, but it happens, and the usual cause of an Amazon ban is serial purchase returns.

Amazon return qualifications 

Free Amazon returns have to meet certain qualifications.Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images

  • Must be sold directly by Amazon. Only orders fulfilled by Amazon are eligible for all return benefits the company offers. Many Amazon products are listed, processed, and sold by third parties.
  • Must say free returns on the product page. Only products with free returns explicitly specified enjoy free returns with no questions asked. Other products may be subject to shipping and restocking fees. 
  • Must be in original condition. Items must be returned in the condition they arrived in, and with all accessories, certificates of authenticity, and other such collateral included.
  • Must be within 30 days. Damaged, defective, or inaccurately described products should usually be available for full refunds after return, but within a 30-day time window.

How to return Amazon items

If your item is eligible for a return, start the return process by signing into your account on the Amazon website, or opening the Amazon Shopping mobile app. You can navigate directly to the Returns Center, or start from the Amazon homepage.

1. On the Amazon website homepage, click “Returns & Orders” in the top-right corner. On the Amazon Shopping mobile app, click the three horizontal lines. 

2. You’ll be taken to a page that displays all your past orders. On a computer, click the “Return or replace items” button to the right of the order. On the mobile app, tap the arrow “>” button, then tap “Return or replace items.”

3. On the next screen, check the box next to the item(s) you want to return. Choose a response in the drop-down under “Why are you returning this?” Depending which return reason you choose, you may be required to enter additional information in a text box that appears. 

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. 

4. Hit the yellow “Continue” button. On the next screen, you may be given the option to exchange your item for another, or the option to have the cash refunded directly to you.

5. Make your choice, then hit the yellow “Continue” button. You’ll be prompted to print a return label. You’ll also need to choose whether you want to drop your re-packaged return at a UPS location or schedule a pickup. Note that UPS pickups are free if the error was Amazon’s, but these will have an added cost if the error was yours.

How to return a gift on Amazon

Don’t worry, this process is discreet and easy, as long as your gift giver thought to include a gift receipt. 

1. Go to the Amazon Online Returns Center and find the “Gift Returns” section near the center of the page.

2. Enter the “Order number” from your gift receipt and click “Search.” 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.

3. Click the checkbox next to the item(s) you wish to return from the gift, choose a return reason, then hit “Continue.”

4. Choose the return method you wish to use: UPS pickup, drop off, or Amazon Locker.

5. Select how you wish to receive your refund: cash directed to a card you have on file or credit to future Amazon purchases.

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