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When the flurry of excitement around the holidays finally dies down, and the last of the crumpled gift wrap and ribbons has gone out to the curb, what you're likely left with is a house full of new stuff. And while you might be thrilled about some of these gifted items — eager to put them to good use around the house or flaunt a new look that's just your style — you might also find that some of those gifts amount to nothing more than unuseful clutter. (Although the giver's thoughtfulness is always appreciated, of course!)
Sure, you could regift some of these items, or save them in a closet until some future occasion in which you might actually change your mind about liking them. (Spoiler alert: you won’t). Or, even better, you can return them for something you might actually be excited to use right now.
Sure, the return process can be a hassle. But if your gift is from Amazon, here’s the good news: returns are actually easier than you might expect. And if you're like many Americans who shop the giant web retailer weekly (or even daily) for everything from cleaning products and toilet paper to furniture and fine jewelry, that return credit you receive will be just about as good as cold hard cash.
Here’s how to return those unwanted gifts to Amazon and turn the credit into something you can really use, or something that's just plain more your style. (No shame! The recipient intended to make you happy after all.)
First, locate your gift on Amazon.
Sign in to your account if you have one (if you don’t, you’ll need to set one up), and go to Amazon’s Returns Center at amazon.com/returns. 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.
Then, pick your shipping option.
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. But 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.
Next, box up your return and send.
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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