Yes, You Can Still Get Free Returns on Amazon — Here's How
One of the best parts of shopping on Amazon is their free returns - here are five tips for making sure your Amazon returns are free.
Over the years, Amazon has made consumers' lives incredibly easy. Having accessibility to almost any product with timely delivery has made a Amazon shopping a hot commodity. Part of Amazon's business model has been its affordability and hassle-free return system, though that may change soon. A new report indicates that Amazon may be implementing a small fee when returning orders at UPS stores.
"We offer convenient, easy returns to Amazon customers, with one or more options for label-free, box-free returns at no cost," an Amazon spokesperson said to FOX Business. "We always offer a free option for customers to return their item — if a customer would prefer to return their item at a UPS Store when there is a free option closer to their delivery address, a very small number of customers may incur a $1 fee." There wasn't a fee prior to early spring 2023.
To avoid being faced with a light return fee at some UPS locations, here are five tips on how to make sure you get free returns on Amazon orders.
1. Provide the reason why you're making the return.
When you're going to make an Amazon return, you'll be asked why you're choosing to do so. While the question seems fairly straightforward and appears like it wants to address your concern with your order, there may be a more deceitful meaning hidden beneath the questionnaire. Amazon is collecting your data, but if you select the "wrong" option, you may set yourself at risk for unwanted charges on your return. Be warned that the "No Longer Needed" category may have negative consequences.
"No Longer Needed" simply means you don't want the product anymore. Misclassifying the item you're trying to return may be a trigger for Amazon to charge your account when issuing a return. This may be viewed as a misuse of returns by Amazon. Users who misuse the return process from Amazon's point of view may see their account being hit with a ban by the company. It isn't a common occurrence, but staying mindful of what information you're feeding the app can save you unexpected and unwanted fines.
2. Don't accept the default shipping method.
When going to make a return, Amazon will provide you with a drop-down menu of shipping methods or return options. They'll show you what your options are and where you're able to bring your packages so they may be picked up by Amazon representatives. Be careful which option you're choosing. There could be some paid return methods that result in a shipping fee being taken out of your refund. The Kohl's Drop-Off Method is one way to avoid any surprise return shipping costs.
Whole Foods, Amazon Locker Hubs, and some free UPS locations have shown no signs of charging the new $1 fee and they haven't applied any other form of return costs. Make sure you're selecting one of the free return methods when you send back an Amazon purchase.
3. You have to return the purchase within the 30-day window.
Amazon's standard policies allow all returns to be made for free within a 30-day window. You'll be able to see when your free return timeframe will expire through the Amazon website or app.
All you have to do is go to your order history and select any orders you've made within the past 30 days that you'd like to return. It should always be free if Amazon has indicated that your purchase is eligible for free returns through their service.
4. It's important to know what you can't return to Amazon.
Amazon is very flexible when accepting returns to their fulfillment centers, but there are some items that they won't accept through the return process. Items classified as hazardous materials or those using flammable liquids and gases can't be returned. Live insects, digitally downloaded media, online subscriptions, gift cards, some prepaid cards, some jewelry, some health or personal care items, and grocery products aren't able to be returned to Amazon through free or paid methods.
5. Returns through Amazon Alexa are always free.
To ease any anxiety about maybe not receiving free shipping on your Amazon purchases, try ordering products through your Amazon Alexa if you have it in your home. Physical orders made through the voice-ordering device are guaranteed to have free returns compared to the company's website and mobile application counterparts. The only exclusion is that Amazon Alexa won't accept Amazon Pharmacy returns.
When you're going to return an item made through Amazon Alexa, you'd simply proceed as normal by going through the Amazon Returns Center and starting the return process. Orders placed through Amazon Alexa will automatically be granted refunds for return charges if they're applied to your package.