19 things you can’t send back to Amazon after purchasing

<p>In this Oct. 18, 2010 photo, an Amazon.com package awaits delivery from UPS in Palo Alto, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)</p>

Paul Sakuma

In this Oct. 18, 2010 photo, an Amazon.com package awaits delivery from UPS in Palo Alto, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Amazon had us at free shipping and free returns. Impulse shoppers everywhere were thrilled because, hey, you have nothing to lose when trying out new products from the online retailer. And returning items is even easier since Amazon partnered with Kohl’s department stores to process returns there.

Amazon’s standard return policy allows customers to return most items that are sold and fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days of receipt for a full refund.

Amazon is quick with the refunds, too. In most cases, you’ll get it as an “advance” as soon as the shipper scans the bar code on the return label (free to print at home when you start scheduling your return on Amazon.com).

If you order via Alexa voice shopping, you can return non-digital products to Amazon free. For accidental digital purchases via Alexa, contact customer service for a refund (and deletion of the product) within seven days.

Return policies for merchandise sold and shipped by third-policy sellers on Amazon.com can vary, so read each seller’s fine print.

But there’s a catch. Before you hit “add to cart,” be aware that certain items can’t be returned to Amazon. Make sure you fully understand the e-commerce giant’s return policy if your items are any of these 19 products you can’t send back.

Amazon.com’s non-returnable items

  • Laptops, desktop computers and Kindles, after more than 30 days from delivery.
  • Some health and personal care items, including items with damaged safety protection seals, but these may be refundable.
  • Customized or handmade products, unless there is damage, defect or error, such as misspellings.
  • Digital music downloaded from the Amazon Digital Music store.
  • Fresh flowers, but these may be refundable.
  • Gift cards
  • Groceries, including AmazonFresh and grocery items, though refunds or replacements are possible in cases of spills or spoilage.
  • Hazardous materials, including flammable liquids or gases.
  • Live insects. Amazon sells everything from ladybugs to Madagascar hissing cockroaches. None are returnable, but they may be refundable.
  • Live plants, but these may be refundable.
  • Pet food, but this may be refundable.
  • Photos printed from Amazon Photo, but these may be refundable.
  • Prepaid game cards, for World of Warcraft, Xbox Game Pass, Wii Points, etc.
  • Prepaid phone cards
  • Products missing the serial code or universal product code (UPC)
  • Software and game downloads, digital pur-chases from the Amazon Appstore.
  • Theme-park tickets
  • Videos downloaded from the Amazon Video store.
  • Wine, but these may be refundable or replaceable.

Amazon’s return policy for electronics

Laptops, desktop computers and Kindle e-readers must be returned within 30 days of purchase; you can review a product’s detail page for specifics. Amazon operates a trade-in program that lets you sell back eligible items, including video games and Kindles (as well as books), for an Amazon gift card. For cash, try selling them on Craigslist, eBay or sites that buy used electronics like Gazelle and NextWorth.

Gift return policy

If you’re returning a gift that was purchased for you from Amazon, you’ll need the order number from the packing slip. The refund will usually be issued in the form of an Amazon gift card.

Make the most of non-returnable items

So what can you do if an item isn’t returnable or you miss the return window? Re-gifting is one option. Another is giving the item to charity, which might allow you to get a tax break for your charitable donation. Sell your unwanted gift cards to card-swap sites such as Gift Card Granny or GiftCards.com. As for the live insects? We know this bugs you, but sorry, you’re going to have to wing it.

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