Amazon expands free return policy

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Amazon expands free return policy

By Dan Berthiaume - 12/18/2019

Amazon is turning up the heat as the holiday shopping season enters its final phase. 

The e-tail giant is expanding its free return program to offer customers at least one free return option on millions of products, including electronics, household items, pet supplies, kitchen appliances and more. Previously only clothing, shoes and bedding were eligible for at least one free return.

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 Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2019 can be returned until Jan. 31, 2020. The e-tailer will maintain its 30-day free returns policy after the holidays are over.

Expanding the return policy is the result of the company's growing logistics network, Amazon said in a press release. The company said it now offers more than 18,000 no-cost return drop-off locations for customers, including Amazon Books stores, Amazon 4-Star stores, Amazon Hub locations, select Whole Foods Markets and third party locations such as Kohl’s and UPS.

To start a return, customers select the item(s) to be returned and the reason for returning from the “Your Orders” page on the Amazon site or app. Customers then select from a list of return options, including at least one free option, and then drop off their item at a location within five miles of their delivery address. Amazon says most refunds will be credited to customer’s accounts within two hours of the return being initiated.

Amazon also now offers a label-free and box-free return option for eligible items at more than 5,800 locations. Customers show the QR code received after starting a return, along with the item to be returned, to an associate at a participating location. The associate will then pack and ship it for free, consolidating packages whenever possible.