How to make a return to Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and other popular retailers


Amazon offers several options for returns, which includes dedicated counters at Kohl’s department stores and UPS shipping centers.


Most items you buy through Amazon must be returned within 30 days. Anything purchased between October 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31, 2021.Depending on the size of the item, you might have the option of returning it to an Amazon Hub return center, in person. Otherwise, you’ll have to print out a shipping label and mail it back. How to return an Amazon purchase to a return centerFirst, go to your orders page on Amazon’s site to find the item you want to return — you can also do this through the Amazon mobile app. After answering some questions about why you’re returning it, you’ll get a list of locations where you can drop off the item, if it’s not too large. These might be free of charge and may not require a box or label. Some locations, like an Amazon locker, might cost money, which may be deducted from the amount Amazon returns to you.Once you choose your location, you’ll receive a QR code. Take your item to the drop-off location and scan the QR code — either printed out or on your phone — to complete the return.Amazon uses various locations to serve as return drop-offs, including Whole Foods and Kohl’s, as well as select pharmacies, supermarkets, and convenience stores.How to return an Amazon purchase by mailBecause Amazon return centers can only accept smaller items, you may have to mail your item back. That means you’ll have to print out a label and have a box to ship it back in. As with an in-person return, start by going to your orders page and selecting the item you’re returning. You’ll answer questions about your reasons for returning it, and then you’ll print out the label and return authorization. Once you take it to the shipping center, it could take up to a month for Amazon to receive the item and process your refund. UPS can also pick up your box, but this will cost more than dropping it off yourself.How to return a gift to AmazonThe process is a little different if someone else purchased something from Amazon as a gift for you. The first step is to go to Amazon’s return center page. You’ll need the 17-digit order number (or “Order ID”), which you can find on the packing slip or on the gift receipt emailed with a digital purchase. If you don’t have either, you can contact customer service to have them track down the order.As with other returns, you’ll either drop off the item at a return center or mail it back. Amazon says it can take about three weeks to get a gift card or credit applied to your account.For step-by-step instructions on returning a gift to Amazon, check out our guide.Things to keep in mind when returning an Amazon productThere are some caveats when you’re returning certain Amazon purchases. Some expensive items, like watches over $35, require a trackable shipping method. Collectibles, artwork, and similar items worth over $500 also need to be insured. If you’re returning multiple purchases, you’ll have to ship them separately.Amazon will deduct a return shipping fee for returned clothing bought from The Drop Collections. If you bought a customized or engraved item, you need to notify the seller within 14 days if you need to return it.For third-party sellers on Amazon, you’ll have to submit a return request, which the seller will have to review and approve before you can return it.Not all items can be returned to AmazonGroceries, pet food, live plants, unboxed mattresses, and insects cannot be returned but may be eligible for a refund or replacement. The same is true for Amazon Photos. Digital purchases — including some games, software, music, and videos — are not returnable, either. However, Kindle ebook purchases can be returned, as long as you do so within seven days.Hazardous materials also cannot be returned, so you’ll have to contact the manufacturer, instead.Items you can return after 30 daysCertain items have longer return windows. Baby items can be returned or exchanged within 90 days. You can return items on your baby registry for a full year. The window for wedding registry items is 180 days.If you bought a refurbished product, you have 90 days to return a defective item.