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Does Amazon Check Returns? (+ Track Your Return)

Amazon checks returns, but only for some items. In addition, the retailer’s return policy varies by product type and reason for the return.

For instance, the policy for items sold directly to customers differs from the one applicable to purchases made through third-party sellers.

In the sections below, I’ll break down Amazon returns based on what happens when you return a product and how to ensure a smooth refund experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon checks returns, but the degree of inspection varies based on the item’s return policy.
  • Not all returned items returned are eligible for a refund or full refund.
  • Amazon may not offer refunds if you return self-damaged goods, the wrong products, or other related conditions.

Does Amazon Check All Order Returns?

Amazon doesn’t check all order returns due to the sheer number of orders the retailer handles daily. Likewise, not all products can be checked for defects. Hence, the retailer focuses on reviewing products from buyers with a shady return profile or products that require a thorough inspection before further action is taken.

The e-commerce giant attracts over 2 billion shoppers monthly, selling 5.5 billion units between January and May 2022.

With such stats, it’ll be impossible to check every item returned.

So, what specific indicators may suggest the retailer needs to examine a return?

Price

The more expensive a return, the higher the likelihood of Amazon checking it.

On one hand, the retailer doesn’t want to lose revenue from expensive purchases. 

Conversely, the company wants to ensure the return request’s legitimacy. As a result, Amazon will inspect the item for possible damage or misuse before processing a refund.

That way, Amazon prevents misuse of the return system while ensuring customers return items in good condition.

Returns History

Amazon will likely check your items if you have a history of returning most of your purchases. After all, a high return rate can indicate potential abuse of the retailer’s refund policy.

On top of that, a consistent history of returns could be a red flag for fraudulent activity

For instance, a customer might engage in “wardrobing,” where they purchase clothing, wear it once, and then return it.

amazon sues scammers
A questionable returns history may make Amazon check your returns closely

Besides checking your returns, Amazon may decline to issue a full refund if you have a tainted return history.

Product Type

Amazon will prioritize checking some items over others.

For instance, Amazon may sparingly inspect broken glass or ceramic items damaged during delivery. Conversely, the retailer will carefully check computers or gaming consoles, which are more prone to fraud.

How Thorough Is Amazon in Checking the Returned Products?

Amazon has a reasonably robust system to check returned products. 

While the exact procedures may vary from product to product and the reason for return, the retailer wants to ensure the process can determine the following:

  • Whether the item returned is in the same condition as before shipping.
  • Whether the customer returned the correct item.
  • Whether the box contains the product to avoid false returns.
  • Whether the item is counterfeit.
  • Whether the customer is swapping an old product for a new one.

What Happens When You Return Damaged Goods to Amazon?

returning damaged amazon goods
Amazon may need to do extensive checks to determine where damage came from before issuing refunds.

Amazon may offer a replacement, full or partial refund for returned damaged goods it sells directly to customers.

However, the customer must return the item within the specified window for a refund or replacement. Most products have a return window of 30 days.

Note:

Amazon may refuse to issue a refund for damaged items. I’ll discuss this detail near the end of this article.

Meanwhile, the returned item goes into the trash bin. Disposing of the product is the standard when the product is unusable. It is also an option to protect a brand’s image — some brands don’t want cheap or refurbished items with their name on the market.

What Happens When You Return the Wrong Product to Amazon?

While it sounds impractical, here are some scenarios where you can return a wrong product to Amazon.

  • You received what you didn’t order.
  • You erroneously returned the wrong item, especially if you were tracking multiple orders.
  • Shipping mistake by Amazon or warehouse.
  • You returned an order with the wrong shipping label.

The first thing to do when you accidentally return the wrong item to Amazon is to contact the retailer’s customer service as soon as possible.

On top of that, keep track of your communication with the customer care desk regarding the issue, including calls, emails, and the name of the representative you spoke with.

In most cases, Amazon will strive to resolve the issue amicably.

Note:

Amazon may charge you for the product cost when you return the wrong item. Besides, the retailer can ban your account altogether. In addition, the company doesn’t guarantee it’ll find your item or issue a refund for accidental returns.

As a precaution, double-check your purchase and order confirmation to ensure they match. In addition, you can take photos of the item before returning it as evidence, just in case.

Can You Know if Amazon Has Checked Your Return?

Amazon doesn’t send a notification to let you know it has checked your return.

Thankfully, you can track the status of your return through your Amazon account. 

Here’s how:

  1. Log in to your Amazon account.
  2. Go to “Your Orders.” Then, click “Order.”
  1. Find and track your return under “View Return/Refund Status.” The status will change as the return progresses:
  • Return requested: You’ve initiated the return process.
  • Return shipped: Your return is in transit back to Amazon.
  • Return received: Amazon has acknowledged receipt of the returned item.
  • Refund issued: Amazon has processed your refund if the product is eligible for one.
Note:

You can also track your refund through Your Orders > View Order Details. The refund status will appear in your “Order Summary.”

How Does Amazon Handle Third-Party Seller Returns?

When you return an item purchased through a 3rd party seller, the product goes to the vendor instead of Amazon.com.

Hence, the vendor would be the one to check your return to see if it qualifies for a full refund, replacement, or partial refund.

Thankfully, Amazon third-party sellers can’t just take the law into their own hands, as they’re bound by the global retailer’s return handling policies. That means you can expect your returns to be treated at a similar level of professionalism as you’d get if Amazon were the vendor.

amazon third-party seller returns
Return Amazon third-party seller products to the vendor for checks, not Amazon.

In case you don’t receive a refund or replacement from the vendor after 14 days from their receipt of the returned order, you can file an Amazon A-Z Guarantee claim to have Amazon step into the matter.

How to Ensure a Hassle-Free Amazon Return?

The easiest way to ensure a smooth Amazon returns process is to check your package at delivery. If you’ve received the wrong or damaged product, inform the Amazon driver and don’t accept delivery. They’ll help you get a replacement or refund.

What happens if you’re not at the delivery point or Amazon delivers late? No problem! Amazon has a straightforward return process.

Follow the steps below to return your order.

  1. Log in to your Amazon account.
  2. Go to “Your Orders.” Alternatively, go to “Return a Gift” to return presents.
  1. Pick the item you want to return and choose “Return Items.”
  1. State why you’re returning the item and add comment. Click “Continue”.
  1. Select how you want Amazon to process your return. Choose “Refund to your Amazon account balance” or “Refund to your original payment method.” Click “Continue.”
  1. Choose a return method that works for you.
  2. Print your return and authorization label.
  3. Attach the return label to your return order, if applicable.
  4. Confirm your return. 

How Does Amazon Handle Refunds/Exchanges After Checking Returns?

Amazon’s refunds and replacement process may vary case by case. Likewise, the refund amount and method may differ.

The table below shows instances when Amazon may issue a partial refund for returned items.

Reason for Partial Refunds Percentage of the Price Refunded
Late returns (typically past 30 days) in original condition. 80%
Opened (unwrapped) CDs, DVDs, vinyl records, and cassette tapes. 50%
Damaged items or items with missing parts as a result of the customer’s negligence. 50%
Opened games or used software by the customer. 0%
Opened cards, board games, toy figurines, tabletop games, and collectible cards. 0%

Amazon typically starts the refunds and replacements process AFTER receiving the returned item. However, in select cases, the company may refund or exchange your order before it gets the product.

Furthermore, you can leverage Amazon’s Online Return Center for advanced replacement or refund. However, to avoid charges, you must return your purchase by the “Return by” date emailed to you.

How Soon Does Amazon Offer Refunds After Checking Returns?

Amazon offers refunds within 30 days of receiving and processing your product.

However, in some cases, it may take longer to receive your funds based on the refund method, as the table below shows.

Refund Method Additional Wait Time After Amazon Processes Your Refund
Credit Card 3 to 5 working days
Amazon Gift Card 2 to 3 days
Debit Card Up to 10 working days
Checking Account Up to 10 working days
SNAP EBT Card Up to 10 working days
Gift Card Balance 2 to 3 hours
Shop with Reward Points Up to 5 working days
Pay in Cash Up to 10 working days
Prepaid Credit Card Up to 30 days (may vary depending on the issuer)

Can Amazon Refuse Refunds After Checking Returns?

Yes, Amazon can refuse to issue a refund even after receiving and checking your item.

If the retailer gets a different product from what you bought, it may withhold the reimbursement to investigate the case further or dispose of the order without issuing a refund.

Other instances when Amazon may not issue a refund include the following:

  • The item isn’t eligible for returns.
  • The order is past the return timeline.
  • The customer is responsible for the product’s damage or defect.
  • The retailer has solid reasons to justify your return as fraudulent.

What Can You Do if Your Amazon Return Is Rejected?

You can appeal Amazon’s decision to reject your return within 30 days.

To initiate your appeal:

  1. Go to “Your Orders.”
  2. Click the order.
  3. Choose “Problem With Order.”
  4. Choose “Appeal Decision.”
  5. Enter your comments in the text box.
  6. Select “Submit.”

Alternatively, you can reply to the “Amazon claim denied” email to initiate your appeal.

Note:

Amazon takes at least 7 days to review and respond to your appeal via email.

Recommended Readings

FAQs

Amazon can ban or suspend your account for excessive returns. 

While Amazon has a customer-centric return policy, repeated and abusive use of the system may have a negative impact.

The responsibility for paying for Amazon return shipping charges varies. 

The retailer covers the costs if the return results from the company’s mistakes. 

If the buyer is to blame for the return, they pay the shipping fees, which Amazon deducts from the buyer’s refund.

Meanwhile, independent sellers who process their orders must bear the shipping cost for returns and refunds.

Does Amazon Check Returns? Now You Know

Amazon may only check some of the items returned. However, the company takes returns, refunds, replacements, and exchanges seriously and won’t hesitate to inspect your product for the right reasons.

It is, therefore, crucial to abide by Amazon’s return policy to avoid unnecessary friction with the retailer regarding reimbursements and replacements.

And with the insights in this post, you should know how to navigate Amazon’s policy to check your returns before issuing a refund.

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