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What Happens to Amazon Returns?

By Last updated on: October 11, 2023

Consumers return items for many reasons, including unmet expectations, inaccurate fit, damaged products, or accidental orders. Whatever their reason for returning the things they have purchased, Amazon takes responsibility for these items.

When return items arrive at Amazon, getting them back to their categories or order again becomes difficult. Amazon returns leave warehouses with increasingly stocked items that occupy their space and cost them extra pennies. Other consumers or e-commerce liquidation websites purchase these products.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

What is Amazon’s Return Policy?

Amazon is one market that understands the struggles of managing customers. With a flexible return policy, they have adequately infused stability and a smooth marketing experience between their suppliers and customers. They allow customers with order problems to return their purchase within the first thirty days of receipt of shipment. When Amazon receives a return, it might take up to 25 days for Amazon to receive it at their fulfillment center and start the payment process.

Customers who have to return products after purchase must ensure that the package is unopened and that they are willing to wait two to three weeks for a refund. Also, consumers must be ready to pay shipping costs for the products to be returned to the company. While some Amazon products have different return policies, ordering directly from a seller has a separate policy. The items that need to be returned are shipped directly to the seller instead of Amazon.

Amazon Returns

Unlike other companies, Amazon offers buyers several methods to return items. You can use the Amazon DHL Express Receiving Center, UPS Shipping Receiving Center, DHL Express Pickup, or Self-paid return label.

What Does Amazon Do With Damaged Returns?

Amazon has different options for returning goods. They can have returned inventory sold to other liquidators or customers, send the returned merchandise back to the suppliers, or donate returned merchandise to charitable organizations. Amazon also recycles returned items.

This brings to mind another question: what happens to damaged returns, and how does Amazon handle return damaged goods? They auction them off! See, there’s never really a loss with Amazon. When they receive damaged products, they sort them into different grades and label them as damaged goods before auctioning.

Other sellers buy these goods, fix them, and sell them as refurbished products. Because most of the products are owned by third-party sellers, Amazon does not ultimately decide what happens to these damaged returns.

They have a working system, and sellers can take advantage of Amazon’s fulfillment network to decide what happens to their products. They can either select new buyers or donate their products to charity. Amazon’s incentive programs also allow suppliers to choose removal instead of disposal!

Many Businesses and companies hate the return process and might even offer to have you keep the item while they send you a complete refund. However, the case may be that Amazon has made its return process and policy generous for sellers and consumers.

Amazon Items Consumers Can’t Return doesn’t accept returns of the following items:

  • Computer laptops, desktops, and Kindles more than 30 days after delivery
  • Items classified as hazardous materials or that use flammable liquids or gases
  • Products missing the serial number or UPC
  • Downloadable or open software products
  • Online subscriptions after consumer access
  • Gift cards or prepaid game cards
  • Some jewelry orders, healthcare, and personal care orders
  • Grocery products
  • Items with special shipping restrictions
  • Fresh flowers, live indoor plants, or insects, but may be refundable
  • Amazon Photos print products but may be refunded or replaced
  • Baby items within 90 days of receipt of shipment
  • Fine Art items returned without original documentation
  • Mattresses after 100 days of receipt of shipment
  • Theme park tickets

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Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

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Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay-based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce, and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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