Holiday gift returns can be a hassle — so much so that we can end up hanging on to stuff we don’t need or want indefinitely. Those items pile up, take up space (both mental and physical), and decidedly do not spark joy.
The good news is that if you receive a gift from Amazon, returns are easier than you might think. And for many Americans who shop the behemoth site for literally everything from technology to toilet paper, that credit you’ll receive is as good as cash.
Here’s how to return those unwanted gifts to Amazon and turn them into something you can truly use (which is what the giver really wants for you anyway!).
Locate your gift on Amazon.
First, go to Amazon’s Returns Center on your laptop or desktop browser. Sign into your account if you have one. If you don’t, you’ll need to set one up.
Then, type in the 17-digit order number for the item you want to return. You can find this “Order ID” on the packing slip that came with your gift, or on the digital gift receipt Amazon sent to your email. (If you can’t find it, all hope is not lost: Contact Amazon, which can help find the order through other information, like the tracking number and name of sender.) Now, hit continue.
Choose the gift (or gifts) you want to return, enter the total number of items, and select your reason for wanting to return from the dropdown menu. If your item came from a third-party seller, you will need to submit a return request; in some cases, the seller wants to review your reason for the return before accepting it.
Pick your shipping option.
Now, pick your return shipping options as well as how you want to get your return label. (Note that each return needs its own return label; don’t include items from different orders or deliveries in the same package, which could confuse the process.)
If you choose to return using Amazon Hub Locker, you'll see a prompt to pick one near you. (To do this, your package needs to be smaller than 18-by-14-by-12 inches.)
Now, print out your label and return authorization if required; not all returns require printing. If you find yourself without a printer at this point in the process, Amazon will email you a link to your label and you can come back and print later. Or, you can send it to someone else to print it out for you.
Box up your return and send.
Now, put the return authorization inside your package along with your gift (which must be in the same condition with all of its accessories, obviously) and attach the label to the outside of the box. And you’re all set to mail it back!
When Amazon gets your return, you’ll get a refund in the form of an Amazon gift card, added right to your account — and ready to spend on something you can really use.
Oh, and ... the sender won't know you returned your gift.
Since you can get your refund on an Amazon gift card, the person whose gift you're returning will never be notified or alerted. Unless of course they don't see you wearing that sweater they gave you the next time you go to brunch ...
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