What to say to Amazon to get a refund?

Your purchase looked great in the pictures, the price was right, and with one day delivery, what could go wrong? Amazon has made it so simple to shop from the comfort of your own home, and with so much on offer, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the world’s biggest retailers.

However, sometimes when the goods arrive they’re not quite what you were expecting, they don’t fit, or they’re faulty. It’s time to ask for your money back.

That’s not always as easy as you think, though. Firstly, you have to bear in mind that ‘Amazon’ is not in itself a single retailer. It is a platform for thousands of sellers around the world to reach a much wider audience. Some products are sold directly through Amazon, but you will need to check exactly who supplied your goods to ensure you choose the correct refund process.

How you go about claiming a refund will also depend on your payment method. If you’ve paid by credit card then the money will be refunded directly to the card. If you’ve used a gift card then that card will be reimbursed and your gift credit will go back to the previous pre-purchase balance.

If you’ve used a promotional credit then you won’t be able to claim a refund on the amount against the full price of the item.

Cooling off time

As with any online purchase, you have a statutory ‘cooling off’ period of 14 days from the point of sale to change your mind, during which time you can be refunded with no questions asked. If you’re buying presents and gifts around Christmas then (depending on the retailer) that period may be extended. This effectively means that if the person you bought the present for changes their mind, you would be able to claim a refund.

How long does it take?

If you get a refund on a card payment then the refund is usually instant, but the money may take anything from 5-7 working days to appear back in your account.

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Refunds from overseas sellers

This is where things can get a little complicated. If you’re not happy with the goods you’ve received and ask for a refund but don’t get any response from the retailer, you can escalate the case directly to Amazon. They will then work on your behalf to get a refund, but it can take weeks. Bear this in mind, especially if you’re buying high-ticket items from overseas. If the goods fail to arrive or are faulty when they arrive then you should be automatically entitled to a full refund.

You may or may not be asked to return the item, in which case it is important to check the seller’s terms and conditions to see if you will need to pay postage and packaging costs. If you don’t have to return the item then you’ll be notified in the Returns Support Centre section of your Amazon account.

Are there things I can’t return?

Most goods can be returned for a refund if they’re not as described, faulty, or don’t fit. However, there are some items that you cannot return, such as underwear, perishable goods (such as food or make-up), earrings and body piercing jewellery. Again, it’s important to check with the seller’s guidelines before you buy, in case your product cannot be returned.

What about an exchange?

If you simply want to exchange one good for another (for example, if a pair of shoes don’t fit and you need a smaller or larger size), then you can check if the goods qualify for an exchange through the Returns Support Centre. Simply select the item and then choose a ‘Reason For Return’ from the drop-down menu. You should then be able to print out a return label and arrange for an exchange with a few clicks of your mouse.