Amazon Refund Policy: A Guide on How to Refund on Amazon

April 9, 2021
Written by Nicasio Co III
how to refund on amazon

Being the largest and most popular eCommerce website globally, Amazon has been the best place for buyers to shop for their needs without leaving the safety of their home or office. With over $233 billion in revenue and 288 million square feet of stores and warehouses, Amazon, like any other business, has had their ups and downs. One of the most famous disadvantages is order refunds. Moreover, the big question you need to ask is: how to refund on Amazon?

Refunds are unavoidable when it comes to selling products online. Sellers receive as much returns as physical stores due to the imprecise nature of online shopping. Numerous cases were recorded of customers being dissatisfied with their orders. Hence, they file Amazon reimbursement claims. Other reasons can be due to lost parcels, broken parts of the product, or wrong receipt of order. 

Despite Amazon's hardworking fulfillment team, they experience the same problems as any other business with fulfilling orders. It's a good thing that they have an Amazon Refund Policy to protect both sellers and buyers. 

If you're an Amazon seller, you must probably know how to receive reimbursements from Amazon. But what if you're a buyer, you may be left scratching your head thinking about how to get a refund on Amazon. 

How do you return a refund? Do you need a tracking number or insurance? What are the steps that you need to make?

There are so many questions running through your mind, and we bet that you got confused with the amount of information on the Amazon official page. Don't worry, because we have put up this guide on how to utilize the Amazon Refund Policy. 

What is the Amazon Refund Policy?

As the name suggests, the Amazon Refund Policy is a policy to help customers refund the cost of their purchases. The plan specifies the number of days and the percentage of refunds for the item. Also, the policy discusses the methods of issuing refunds.

However, before you can ask for a refund, you have to return the item first to Amazon or create a lost parcel report. 

How Do Customers Receive a Refund?

If you're an avid online shopper, chances are you have received an item that you didn't like. It didn't meet your expectations; hence, you decided to return it to the seller and ask for a refund. To get an Amazon refund, you must follow three steps:

  1. Shipping
  2. Amazon processing
  3. Payment processing

How Do I Return An Item On Amazon?

Based on Amazon's Return and Refund page, you can return an item by following these steps: 

  1. Sign in to your Amazon Account
  2. Click the "Return & Orders" button
  3. Pick the item you wish to return
  4. Click  "Return or Replace Items"
  5. Choose the reason for returning the items.
  6. Select the option on how to receive your refund
  7. Pick the method of returning the item
  8. Return the item using the method you chose

The return methods that you can use can be a drop-off service, pick up locations, heavy-bulky return option, Amazon Hub Counter locations, or scanned QR code at Amazon designated return offices. 

Below are two methods that you can easily use:

Return an Item by Amazon Drop-Off Service

Once you have completed the steps above, Amazon will give you a return label. Before dropping off your item, you have the responsibility to pack it securely and attach a shipping label. Afterward, you may choose to drop off the item at an Amazon location or Amazon partner stores. 

Some of these partner stores are Koh's, UPS Store, and Amazon locker. However, these options may depend on your location and item. Sometimes you can get lucky if they have a box-free return! 

Simply bring your item, show them the QR code that Amazon gave you, and they'll pack your item. No more boxes and packaging tape needed!

Return an Item through Mail 

  1. Once Amazon gives you the return label, you will need to print the materials and prepare the documents. There may be instances that you have to do additional work. 
  2. Prepare the item by putting it inside the box it arrived in or replacing the old one. Be sure to attach the new shipping label on the package and use padding materials like bubble wrap and newspaper. 
  3. Lastly, follow the steps provided by Amazon on shipping the document through the mail. 

Once you have chosen a shipping method for your item, the return fees are calculated. You'll receive no cost in returning the item if your address is in the United States. If you choose a paid method to return the item, Amazon will deduct the restocking fees and return shipping from the total amount. If there is an error on Amazon's part for the return, they'd refund the shipping cost.

Reasons for Returned Items


Nothing is wrong with the product. You may just not like it at all. 

Perhaps you found a better deal or design on another store, or another person bought you the same product. Regardless of your reason, Amazon can refund your money. The downside to this is they may not pay you back for the shipping cost. 

However, they will pay you back within two business days upon the receipt of your item. 

Item Different from the Image

Do you get that giddy feeling of unwrapping the packaging of your order? We probably all do, too! Imagine waiting for so long for your order to be received only to find out that it was different from the photos. This will genuinely disappoint anyone!

If your item is materially different from the listing, description, images, or notes, Amazon can classify it as "materially different." Sellers have to immediately accept the return and provide a full refund. 

Lost Parcel

As a buyer, you may have experienced parcels being lost during shipment. Despite the continuous tracking of orders, there are instances where your packages are shipped elsewhere, received by an unknown person, or lost among all the parcels sent by a courier. If your orders are shipped internationally, there's a higher risk that it can be lost while in transit. 

The best solution to this is to ask for a refund from Amazon. They will usually investigate to verify the details of the package. Once the box was confirmed to be lost, buyers will receive a full refund. 

Damaged Order

Have you tried ordering a beautiful vase or a light bulb on Amazon but ended up receiving it in an unorganized state? We have, too! We all have our own stories of ordering fragile items on Amazon, only to arrive in our doorsteps broken and in pieces. Others  receive  items with missing pieces or crushed parts. 

If this is so, buyers can ask for a full refund on the item. 

When Can A Buyer Return an Item?

Customers can return their items within 30 days from the receipt of the order. If you placed an order during a holiday, Amazon allows you to return it more than 30 days. For example, if you order from Nov.1 to Dec. 31, you can return the package until Jan. 31 of the next year. 

If you plan on returning an item and asking for a refund, mark the item as unsatisfactory within the two weeks upon receiving the item, then send the item back to Amazon and wait for them to give you a refund. 

How to ask Amazon for a Refund

We've already tackled the Amazon return policy, and now we'll talk about how the Amazon Refund Policy Works. Once you ship your item, you will wait for Amazon to receive your item. Amazon will then inspect to know if you will receive a full or partial refund. 

The situations below indicate the amount of refund you will receive based on the time of receipt and item's condition.

Item Returned on Time and As Received

The Amazon refund policy for items returned within 30 days and received in its original form is 100% percent. You may, however, shoulder the cost of returning the item, restocking fees, and taxes. 

Item Returned Late and As Received

There may be instances that you failed to return the item within 30 days. Fret not because you may still receive 80% of the total purchase price.

Damaged/Used Item Returned on Time 

Based on Amazon's return policy, they will give you a full refund if they are at fault for any damage. If proven that it was your fault, you will get a 50% refund. The same rules apply for used items or lost parts. 

Item was Lost in Transit

If you still haven't received your item after more than a month, you can ask for Amazon to help track your order. Usually, they will check if your item was shipped elsewhere, was received by someone else, or was lost in transit. After they conduct their investigation and prove that they were at fault, you can receive a full refund. 

Returning Opened Items

Before you start returning items, there are a few things that cannot be refunded. Opened software and video games boxes will receive 0 refund. Once you've opened boxes and used them, you will not receive a refund. 

You can receive a 50% refund for the physical copies of movies and music. However, shipping, restocking, and tax can reduce the amount you will receive.

The key takeaway is to check Amazon's policy on opened items, first. 

Refund from a Third-Party Seller

If the item you bought didn't come from Amazon, but a third-party seller, you could contact your seller to request for a refund. They can give you a full refund without the need to return the item. Don't worry if you fear not receiving a refund because customers of third-party sellers are protected by Amazon's A-to-z Guarantee

The Amazon A-to-z Guarantee protects buyers who purchased items sold by third-party sellers. The guarantee covers the delivery and receipt of the item. If there are any problems with the shipment and delivery, you can report your concerns. 

Under the A-to-z guarantee, you are eligible for a refund if:

  1. The buyer received a materially different order
  2. The buyer did not receive any package and three days have passed since the maximum estimated delivery or tracking showed delivery confirmation
  3. Returned the item with trackable shipping information but the seller has not issued a refund

Take note of the following before asking for a refund:

  1. You have up to 90 days after the maximum delivery date to request a refund
  2. The guarantee does not cover digital items, stored value instruments, or services
  3. The guarantee only applies to purchases made on Amazon

How long does it take for Amazon to refund?

Usually, it takes 35 days.

This lengthy refund processing is because Amazon wouldn't process your refund until they have received your item. First, you must ship your item back to Amazon. Then, they will prepare your returned item upon receipt and process the payment. 

It will take two weeks after shipping the item for Amazon to receive your item. COVID-19 is causing a lot of shipping delays and is straining Amazon's systems

Afterward, it will take 3 to 5 business days to process your refund. And another additional time before your funds can be made available in your account.

How will you get your money back? 

You can choose your preferred refund method. It might take 3 to 5 business days to process your refund upon receipt of the item and before it can be made readily available in your account. 

Below are the different Refund Methods and their corresponding refund time after Amazon has processed the refund. 

  1. Credit Card - 3 to 5 business days
  2. Gift Card - 2 to 5 business days
  3. Debit Card - up to 10 business days
  4. Checking account - up to 10 business days
  5. SNAP EBT Card - within 24 hours
  6. Gift card balance - 2 to 3 hours
  7. Prepaid credit card - up to 30 days
  8. Shop with reward points - up to 5 business days

Key Takeaway

Understanding and taking note of all the rules of the Amazon Refund Policy and the Return Policy can be a bit confusing due to the amount of information provided. However, the key takeaway is you can return almost anything you purchased and refund the money through whichever payment method you prefer.

If you're an Amazon seller and you wish to tame all the madness of inventory checking, refunding your customers, and checking reimbursements from Amazon, you can seek the assistance of a dedicated and expert team to do the hard work for you. 

We at Seller Interactive can help you out! Just send a message to Jenette at [email protected] today to get you started.

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