How Do You Return Something to Amazon: A Hassle-Free Guide

July 20, 2022
Written by Mark Salvania
how to return something on amazon

Shoppers and sellers don’t want to deal with returns. Even though buyers can do a quick “how do you return something to Amazon” search, the process remains a hassle. For sellers, it’s one of the last things they want to receive from their customers, and coupled  that with negative feedback then,you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Unfortunately, returns are unavoidable in a huge marketplace like Amazon. In 2021, the National Retail Federation estimated that the e-commerce giant’s online sales return rate nearly averaged 21%—2% from 2020’s average of 18%. And because they are inevitable, sellers have no choice but to confront them when they arise. 

The best thing sellers can do is learn the processes to manage them better. Allow this guide to give you an orientation.

Here are the 5 Steps in Returning your Items to Amazon:

Put yourself in customers’ shoes for a moment for this section and imagine being clueless about Amazon's return process. Then, follow these steps to start you on the right foot:

  1. Go to's Returns & Orders section. For Amazon Shopping app users, look for the three horizontal lines on the screen.
  2. The next page should show you all your previous orders. Once the list appears, spot and click the Return or Replace Items button. Amazon Shopping app users should look for the arrow “>” button. Once spotted, tap the Return or Replace segment.
  3. Check the boxes on the items you want to return. Choose an appropriate reply from the “Why are you returning this item?” drop-down list. Depending on the reason, you may have to use the text box ​​to explain your case further. Once you’re done stating your reason, click the Continue button to proceed to the next step.
  4. The next page should be a screen that shows you two options. One allows you to exchange your purchased item for another. The other one lets you get a direct refund instead. Click the Continue button after selecting your preferred option.
  5. Print a return label as instructed by Amazon. Once done, choose your desired return option (scheduled pick-up date or UPS drop-off). 

Note: Before you get started on the steps above, please make sure you’re logged in to your Amazon accounts first to speed up the process.

What Can’t You Return to Amazon?

One of the best things about Amazon is that almost everything is available there. Convenient, right? It’s like you won’t have to worry about store hopping when you can shop for anything on the platform. However, there’s a catch, though: what if you need to return something you bought? 

The good news is that you can send most items back to Amazon. Unfortunately for us, not everything is up for return on Amazon. No matter how much we appeal to a store, some items aren’t up for discussion. So before you add anything to your virtual carts, remember to keep these non-returnable items in mind while you’re shopping:

• Gift cards

Only shoppers residing in states with cashback laws on gift cards are allowed to return them.

• Downloaded software

Any form of software that requires downloading is unreturnable.

• Groceries 

This includes AmazonFresh and grocery items. However, replacements and refunds can be made due to spoilage or spills.

• Prepaid game cards

Shoppers can’t return prepaid game cards bought in games. Gaming currencies are also applicable here.

• Some personal care and health items

You can send most health and personal care products back to Amazon. However, some items are deemed hazardous to health and pose concerns to safety due to their ingredients; products under this distinction can’t be returned.

• Computers (past 30 days)

Customers can’t return computers after 30 days of receiving their purchase. Items falling under this category include laptops, Kindles, and desktop PCs. This aligns with Amazon's returns policy, which should answer the “how long do you have to return something on amazon” question.

• Products without tracking numbers 

If your purchased items didn’t come with a UPC (universal product code) or serial number, Amazon wouldn't let you return them.

• Open software

Software that has been used can’t be returned.

• Items with hazardous materials

Amazon doesn’t allow shoppers to return products classified as hazardous, including items containing flammable liquids or gasses.  

Amazon Return FAQs

Sellers and shoppers alike have questions when encountering Amazon returns, especially for the first time. Since the previous section already mentioned the “how long do you have to return something on Amazon” question, we’ll feature other frequently asked ones to give sellers some insight on dealing with customers’ returns inquiries.

• Can opened items be returned to Amazon?

Yes, you can send opened items back to the platform. However, cases like this should meet two conditions: one, you must return your opened items within 30 days of receipt, per Amazon policy. Two, the item should come from Amazon rather than a third-party seller.

• Can I return items for free?

Yes, you can avail of Amazon's free returns, provided that Amazon fulfills your purchased item/s. Go to your item/s’s product detail page and check if it has a Free Returns label next to its price.

• Can I return items without labels and boxes?

Yes, you can send your item/s back without labels and boxes. You can avail of this option by choosing a label- and box-free return location in the Your Orders section so you don’t have to pack them in a shipping box. You should receive a QR code once you finish all the necessary steps in the returns process. Leave your item/s and the code at the drop-off point.

• How can I track my returns?

Monitor your return’s status by going to the Your Orders section. Once there, choose the View Return/Refund Status option beside the concerned item/s.

The Bottom Line

Long-term brand success means being in touch with your customers. Learning the “how do you return something to Amazon” lesson will greatly help your brand because you'll understand where they're coming from. Take this article as a starting point for better customer service and brand growth.

Got any more questions for us? We’d be glad to answer them! Our team’s years of experience managing Amazon accounts will prove valuable to you and your brand. So please email us at [email protected], and let’s get started!

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