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Published: Jan 07, 2022 6 min read
Person holds an Amazon package box
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Returning items to Amazon isn’t quite as easy as purchasing them. But it’s getting close. Whether your items are damaged, accidentally purchased, incorrectly sized or simply unwanted, don’t panic. You have several ways to make an Amazon return, including options if you don’t have a printer (who does these days?) for a return label. In fact, you may not even need to box up your return anymore, either.

According to an Amazon blog post Wednesday, you can drop off your unboxed and unlabeled return orders at approximately 6,000 locations across the U.S., and they will repackage your return and ship it back to Amazon for you, for free.

“We understand that finding a box and tape, and printing a label for a return can still be a hassle,” Amazon’s blog states. “Now, most Amazon returns are easier than ever with no box required.”

Where to bring Amazon returns

Here are the four places Amazon is currently accepting unboxed, unlabeled returns:

  • UPS: At more than 4,700 UPS stores nationwide.
  • Kohl’s: At approximately 1,150 Kohl’s stores across 48 states.
  • Physical Amazon stores: At Amazon Books and Amazon 4-Star locations. Roughly 50 stores are scattered across several states.
  • (Some) Whole Foods markets: According to Amazon, some but not all Whole Foods locations accept unboxed or unlabeled returns. More locations are coming soon. Double check the return details to see if your nearest Whole Foods is included.

While you have several places to make these returns, that doesn’t mean you can just show up with your oversized jacket from Amazon and expect them to take it on the spot. You’ll need to start the return process online beforehand.

How to return Amazon items with no box or label

Amazon says most items purchased on its site in the U.S. and fulfilled by the company are eligible for at least one free return option. Return-eligible items usually have several different options, some of which require a fee.

If you don’t have a printer or shipping supplies, the first step is to check your order’s return eligibility.

To do that, log in to your Amazon account and access your order history in your account settings. There, you’ll be able to see a list of your recent orders. You’ll typically have a 30-day window from the date of delivery to make your return.

Amazon extends this period of time for the holiday season. For most items ordered between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, you’ll have till Jan. 31 to return them. If your order is within the allowed time frame, follow the prompts to initiate the return process.

Next, Amazon will ask you “Why are you returning this?” Be sure to answer carefully (and honestly), as it will affect your return options. You can choose from a list of several responses, including:

  • Wrong item was sent
  • Item defective or doesn’t work
  • Bought by mistake
  • Inaccurate website description

You can also choose from several other reasons for your return even if nothing was wrong with the item, such as “no longer needed” or “better price available.” Note that these options may prompt a return process that isn’t free.

Select the one that best fits your situation. You’ll also have the option to leave a comment, where you may describe your issue in more detail.

Then, Amazon will display your refund and return options. Depending on your order, you may be able to swap the item, get Amazon credit or receive a refund to the credit or debit card used for the initial purchase. Finally, choose your return option. (Again, not all options are free.)

To return an item without a box or label for free, the easiest option will most likely be to drop it off at a nearby Kohl’s or UPS store since Amazon partners with almost 6,000 locations across the country. There may be several UPS-related return options listed, so be sure to select the right one if you don’t want to box your return. Amazon will clearly state which option is eligible for unboxed or unlabeled returns.

Once you’ve confirmed your return and drop-off location, Amazon will send you a QR code that you must show an employee at the return location. They’ll scan it, take your order and do the rest for you.

It is a little bit of a process, sure. But it’s more convenient than the usual retail return rigamarole, in which you have to haul your item to the store you bought it from, wait in line and show them your ID, the receipt and the card used to purchase it.

Plus, this adds to the list of reasons why printers are unnecessary in 2022.

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