Amazon has long offered free returns for items sold directly by Amazon and shipped to U.S. addresses, a benefit many shoppers take advantage of regularly.
But some people are worried that Amazon’s free return policy might be changing to add a $1 return fee. VERIFY reader Rick asked if Amazon will start charging for all returns.
Is Amazon now adding a $1 fee to all returns?
No, Amazon is not adding a $1 fee to all returns. But Amazon will add a $1 return fee if you choose to return to a UPS Store when another return location is closer.
WHAT WE FOUND
Amazon recently issued a new return policy, but free returns are still an option for all items that were previously eligible for free returns. The company’s new policy charges a $1 return fee for returns made through a UPS Store when a different free return location is closer to the customer’s address.
“We always offer a free option for customers to return their item — if a customer would prefer to return their item at a UPS Store when there is a free option closer to their delivery address, a very small amount of customers may incur a $1 fee,” said Maria Boschetti, an Amazon spokesperson.
On April 14, 2023, Amazon published a blog post titled “Yes, you can still get free returns on Amazon” after news reports from the day before led some people to wrongly assume Amazon would be charging return fees more broadly.
That Amazon blog post names Whole Food Markets, Amazon stores and Kohl’s stores as free return drop-off locations. Included at the bottom of this list of free return locations is UPS Stores.
“This option is free, unless there is another free option closer to your delivery address,” Amazon wrote of returning an item at a UPS Store. “In a small number of cases, customers may see a $1 fee.”
Amazon later wrote another blog post on April 24 to tell customers the company “offers free returns with no box, tape, or label needed.” Again, the company wrote that free, no-box returns are available at all Amazon physical stores, Kohl’s stores and UPS Stores as long as there isn’t a closer free drop-off location. No-box returns are only available at some Whole Food Markets locations, and while returns are free at AmazonFresh Pickup and Amazon Hub Locker+ locations, customers will have to box up their items themselves prior to dropping them off.
At least one of these free return locations will be available for all return-eligible items that weigh under 50 pounds and are sold by Amazon, according to Amazon’s online return center. These items can be returned for any reason in new and unused condition for up to 30 days after purchase.