Amazon refund tips and options: easiest method to return or exchange unwanted items

The Amazon refund process is extremely simple, as we explain in this guide to the top exchange and refund tips and methods.

Amazon refund tips: returning an item to Amazon

You can get a great deal of loot from Amazon, but sometimes you'll want a refund on your purchase.

The item could be faulty, it might not fit or perhaps you just don’t want it anymore.

Customers can return multiple items, but you may see different return options depending on the seller, the item or your reason for returning it. 

Here’s a handy guide to show you how to return your goods quickly and hassle-free.

If you want to make sure you get the best deal on all future purchases, read our guide on shopping like a pro at Amazon.

Return an item you’ve ordered on Amazon

First off, go to the Returns Support Centre and click on ‘return items'. 

When you’ve found the order you want to return, click on ‘return an item from this order'.

If you’re struggling to find the order, type the item into the search bar and hit ‘search orders'.

Amazon returns and refunds (Image: Amazon)

Select what you want to return and enter the number of items. You’ll see a ‘reason for return’ menu, which also allows you to add any extra info you need to in the details box.

If the item was sold through Amazon.co.uk, go ahead and select your return option. Those who choose to return via Amazon Locker will be asked to choose a locker location there and then.

But if you bought the item through a seller, you’ll need to click ‘submit for approval’ as some sellers will need to review your return request.

If it’s approved, they’ll provide a label and instructions on how to return it to you. 

The next step is to print your label and return authorisation, but some sellers won’t ask you to do this.

The only snag is that you’ll need a printer. If you don’t have one, you can request for a label to be sent via email, so you can print it out at your convenience.

Alternatively, somebody else can print the label for you. Then it’s just a case of putting the return authorisation on the inside of the package and attaching the label to the outside.

Make sure to delete anything personal on items such as laptops and cameras before you return them.

Returning gifts works in much the same way, except that you select ‘return a gift’ when you head over to the Returns Support Centre.

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How refunds work

Most refunds are issued based on the payment method you used. You might even be offered an instant refund option.

Instant refunds are either refunded to your credit card or given to you as an Amazon UK gift card balance, depending on what you select. You’ll need to return items within 30 days.

Just be aware that if you opt for an instant refund, the request will be processed instantly but it may take 5-7 business days for it to display on your payment card statement.

Payment method

Refund method

Refund time (after the return is received)

Payment card

Instant refund to payment card

Instant

Payment card

Instant refund to gift card

Upon completion of the return request

Payment card

Refund

5-7 business days

Amazon gift card

Gift card balance

1 business day

Promotional credit

No refund issued

N/A

Payment card & Amazon.co.uk gift card

Payment card, gift card balance, or both

5-7 business days for payment card and one business day for gift card

Pay monthly

Pay monthly installment

5-7 business days

If your refund hasn't come through by the appropriate time listed above, you’ll need to contact Amazon to chase it down.

You’ll be refunded your return costs on items sold or fulfilled by Amazon up to the standard delivery cost if the item is incorrect, damaged, defective or if you’re returning shoes, clothing, jewellery or watches.

Free returns

In some cases, Amazon will let you return items for free. If the item says ‘free returns’ next to the price, then it’s eligible.

You can return eligible products in a new and unworn condition in the original packaging within 30 days of receipt of delivery for a full refund. Original delivery fees aren’t refunded.

For products fulfilled by Amazon, you’ll get a notification email when your return has been processed. Sit tight, as it could take up to five working days.

If you return a mix of products that are eligible and ineligible for free return, Amazon may deduct postage for the ineligible products from your refund amount.

Items bought from sellers on Amazon Marketplace will need to be returned directly to the seller.

Now read: the amazing life of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Exchanges

Again, this is all done through the Returns Support Centre by clicking ‘start a return'.

Find the order you want to return. If you’re struggling to find the order, type the item into the search bar and hit ‘search orders'.

Amazon refunds: how to return or exchange your unwanted items

Select the item you want to exchange and then choose a reason from the ‘reason for return’ menu.

An exchange order will be created using the same delivery method you used for the original purchase.

You can then use the label provided to you to send your original item back. Return it within 30 days so that you don’t get hit with a charge for both the original and exchange items.

If you’re exchanging for a different size, Amazon will take this into account. You’ll be charged if it costs more and refunded the difference if it costs less.

Now read about Amazon's ambitious plans for the future.

What about Kindle purchases?

You’ll need to be signed in to your account and head to ‘manage your content and devices'.

From ‘your content’, hit the ‘actions’ button next to the title you want to return, and then choose ‘return for refund'.

In the pop-up window, select ‘return for refund’ again.

Amazon refunds: how to return or exchange your unwanted items

I want to return something from AmazonFresh

In most cases, AmazonFresh won’t accept returns. But if you receive something that’s damaged or unusable, you can get a refund up to 30 days from the date of delivery.

You’ll need to get in touch with Amazon to request a refund – you won’t be asked to return any AmazonFresh items if it’s damaged or unusable.

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