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Amazon expands free return policy to ‘millions of items’

Amazon expands free return policy to ‘millions of items’


The return window for holiday deliveries lasts until January 31st, 2020

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon is expanding its free return policy to include millions of products not previously eligible, including electronics, household items, and kitchen appliances. The products must be sold and fulfilled by Amazon, and they must weigh under 50 pounds.

For the holiday season, the new policy kicks in retroactively, so it applies to any products purchased on Amazon starting November 1st and remains active for any product purchased up until December 31st. Customers will have until January 31st to return a product delivered in that time frame for free. Amazon says you can return an eligible item for any reason whatsoever and get a full refund.

Going forward, Amazon says the expanded free return policy will remain in effect from 2020 onward, but customers will have only 30 days from the date of delivery to claim the free return instead of the full two month-window in effect right now.

Amazon’s new policy offers a no-questions-asked full refund

Before today, Amazon only allowed free returns on clothing, apparel, and bedding. Customers could get full refunds on orders if the item was defective or something was wrong with the delivery. In many other cases, Amazon will deduct the cost of shipping if you use its return label, but it will not cover the cost of packaging materials if you ended up tossing the box. But this new change means Amazon now offers at least one no-questions-asked free return, meaning all costs covered, on a whole slate of new products, ones Amazon knows are quite popular during the holidays.

“At Amazon, we’re constantly innovating on the customer experience — not only when purchasing an item, but also making a return,” Libby Johnson McKee, a director at Amazon’s worldwide returns and recommerce division, said in statement. “With free returns on millions of items, customers don’t need to worry if the keyboard they ordered doesn’t feel quite right or if their dog likes his new bed — they can buy with confidence, knowing they’ll be able to return it for free with just a few easy clicks.”

Here are the full details:

Items eligible for free returns are indicated on the product’s detail page. All return-eligible items, weighing under 50 lbs. and sold and fulfilled by Amazon, have at least one free return option within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. Customers can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition. During the holidays, items shipped and fulfilled by Amazon between November 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 can be returned until January 31, 2020. To see Amazon’s full list of return policies, click here.

As for how Amazon is processing the returns, the company says items can be dropped off at designated return locations within five miles of the delivery address or can be dropped off without needing a label or even a box at participating locations that partner with Amazon. For those designated return locations, Amazon says it supports Whole Foods grocery stores and Kohl’s department stores as Amazon return locations, as well as UPS stores and any of Amazon’s various brick-and-mortar bookstores and 4-star stores.

Update Wednesday, December 18th 1:50PM ET: Clarified that Amazon’s new free return policy will remain in effect after the holiday season, and that only the expanded return window ends on December 31st, 2019