January 29, 2023

You order something from Amazon, and it arrives a few days later. You open the package excitedly, but then you realize there is a problem. Maybe the product is incorrect or broken, or maybe you are not happy with it. Whatever the reason, now is the time to do a return or exchange – which is not easy (or free).

Read more: Amazon Prime Day: Best Deals on Technology, Home & More

In this story, we’ll show you everything you need to know to return Amazon without having to pay a dime, including giving good reasons to return, returning products purchased through Alexa, getting UPS to pick up your package from your home for free, and more.

Also, learn more about The perks that come with an Amazon Prime membershipThe The best credit cards For use on Amazon and How to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day.

Sarah Teo / CNET

Give a reason, not an excuse

It is important that you are as honest and accurate as possible about why you are returning the product. If possible, Amazon and third-party sellers want to resell merchandise (such as through Amazon warehouse deals), so that they check your items against your reason once they receive the package.

Some reasons qualify for free shipping and others don’t: For example, if you select “No longer needed”, you may be charged for returns.

Not only can a misclassification of your return have negative repercussions on your account – Amazon has been known to ban shoppers who abuse the returns process – but it could also mean that you’ll have to raise shipping costs later anyway.

Here are all the different return reasons Amazon gives you to choose from:

  • No longer needed: You’ve changed your mind and don’t want the item anymore.
  • Inaccurate description of the siteFor example, the image shows a deep royal blue, but the item is a light cyan. Similar to but different from “wrong item sent” (see below).
  • Item is defective or not working: can be broken or simply not do what it was designed for (eg a file charging tool with a broken USB-C port).
  • Bought by mistake: accidentally bumped into Buy now Or you forgot to delete an item from your cart before paying.
  • best available price: I found the same thing at Walmart, for example, for less than I paid at Amazon.
  • The product is damaged, but the shipping box is ok: The box is not dented, chipped, or scratched, but the item inside has cosmetic or mechanical damage.
  • Item arrived too late: The item was delivered after guaranteed delivery and lost, for example, a birthday or holiday.
  • Missing or broken parts: Similar to “Item was defective or not working” but applies specifically to attachments or other items that come with a purchase.
  • The product and shipping box are both damaged: Somewhere between being cornered and arriving at your door, the parcel was poorly handled, and the product arrived broken.
  • Wrong item sent: If you receive a completely different item.
  • I received an additional item that I did not purchase (no refund required): Something extra was filled with your order, and you feel compelled to return it.
  • You did not agree to buy: Someone, perhaps a child or friend, has requested something on your account without asking and you have been charged for it.
Amazon Echo

Products ordered through Amazon’s digital assistant always come with free returns, no matter the reason.


Items ordered via Alexa always come with a free return, no matter the reason

If you’re considering a purchase but are really worried that it won’t qualify for free return shipping if it doesn’t work, order it through Alexa. Physical merchandise ordered through voice shopping with Amazon’s digital assistant It always comes with a free return, no matter the reason. The only exception is Amazon Pharmacy purchases.

To return a product purchased with Alexa, process your return as normal at the Return Center and Amazon will automatically refund any applicable shipping charges. You should see your refund within seven days of Amazon returning the merchandise.

UPS-Delivery -3624

Picking up from UPS is the only way to get free shipping without leaving home.

Angela Lang / CNET

Don’t just accept the default recharge method

When Amazon asks you to select a return shipping method, Kohl’s . take down It might be the default pre-selected option, but it’s not necessarily the one you want.

to reach UPS Pickup option, the only way to return items without leaving home, you will have to scroll down and possibly click on a link that reads something like “See more return options. ”

When you finally see a choice UPS Pickupthe cost should also appear as $0.00 (Unless you choose one of the few reasons Amazon charges for returns, in which case Amazon will deduct about $6 from your refund.)

Tap or click UPS Pickup and choose Confirm your return.

Tell Amazon where to send your refund

You’ll have to choose how you want your refund: the quickest way is to request a credit to your Amazon account, which the company will issue once UPS checks you back into their system. However, you are limited to spending money on Amazon.

You can also return the money to your debit or credit card. But although Amazon will issue the refund once UPS has taken possession of your return package, it may take another three to five business days for it to appear in your account.

Whether you choose a credit or a refund, you will still need to decide how you want to send the item back.

All that remains is to pack everything and send it

Follow the instructions provided by Amazon, which is probably just to print the packing slip and put it in the package with your return.

Stick the box well and tight – even over the return label so it doesn’t get damaged – and put the package near your door so you don’t forget to put it on the next business day.

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

If you schedule a pickup but forget to leave your return abroad, UPS will hopefully leave a note and try to pick up two more times. Worst case scenario, the UPS driver will leave a prepaid postage label that you have to apply to the package yourself, after which you will have to take the thing to the nearest UPS store or UPS delivery location.

Good luck, and happy return.

For more, here’s how you can do it Protection against balcony piratesand some Great Gifts on Amazon for Under $50.

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