How to Easily Return Gifts on Amazon Without the Sender Knowing

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How to Return Any Gift on AmazonAdrianHancu

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There's so much joy in both giving that perfect present — but sometimes receiving it is, well, a little less joyful. It could be because of something small, like they got you the wrong size, or it might be because the gift doesn't suit your style or needs.

When that happens, you could relegate that unused gift to a closet for some possible future use (spoiler: you'll just forget about it, and that day will never come). Or you can always regift the item to someone else better suited to it for another occasion, in a tactful way, of course. But if the gift came from Amazon — as so many do these days! — your best option might be to simply return it and turn the credit into something that's more your style, or something you can really use.

Unlike a gift card to a particular clothing store or specialty retailer, a credit at Amazon is practically as good as cash for many users: You can add it to your account and use it to buy everything from a toy or gadget you prefer, to fine jewelry, to school or office supplies, to everyday household items like cleaning products and snacks.

And if you're feeling guilty about returning unwanted gifts on Amazon... don't: After all, the gift giver intended to make you happy — not to clog up the recesses of your closets with unused items or clog up landfills with waste.

How to return a gift to Amazon

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 (or specifically the gift return portal at Then, type in the 17-digit order number for the item you want to return.

17 digit order number for the returned item explainer

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 might be able to help). 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.

You may see many possible options for return shipping, including returning to a nearby Kohl's, Whole Foods, Petco or UPS Store. (You might even be eligible for a discount on any new purchase you make at that store when you make your return!)

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.

If your return method requires boxing and labeling, 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...

Can you return a gift on Amazon without a receipt?

Sadly, no. You can get ahead of the problem by asking anyone who gives you a gift to also include a gift receipt, which will then allow you to return it with no issue. You can also ask the person who gave you the item for the receipt if you're comfortable with that!

Will Amazon let me return after 30 days?

It depends. Usually, yes, but you might be charged a restocking fee or only get a partial credit. Also, the seller's return policies might be different from Amazon, so it's best to do the return ASAP. For the 2023 holiday season, Amazon says, "most of the items (other than Apple brand products) purchased between November 1 and December 31, 2023 can be returned until January 31, 2024. For Apple brand products, items purchased between November 1 and December 31, 2023 can be returned until January 15, 2024."

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