Amazon to Start Charging Fee for Select Returns

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Have you heard about the new Amazon return fee?

amazon packages-2

Say it ain’t so, Amazon!

Amazon has started charging a fee for some returns made at UPS stores. Previously, customers could drop off their returns at a UPS Store free of charge. Now, Amazon will charge a $1 fee if customers have another free return option that’s the same distance away or closer.

This new policy comes at a time when customers are returning more merchandise than ever – over $800 billion dollars worth in 2022, according to the National Retail Federation. That amount has nearly doubled since 2020, and processing all those returns comes at a staggering cost to Amazon and other retailers.

UPS storefront signage

Now, Amazon is joining other retailers in rethinking their free return policies and trying to decrease their dependence on UPS. For now, Amazon will still continue to offer at least one free return method on most items delivered to an address in the 50 United States.

To make sure that your purchase qualifies, just look for “Free returns” next to the price on the item’s Amazon product page.

Amazon spokesperson Steve Kelly told Business Insider, “We offer convenient, easy returns to Amazon customers, with one or more options for label-free, box-free returns at no cost. 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.”

*Note that many are finding their fee to be more than $1. It seems this may vary.

If you decide to forego one of the free drop-off locations and you do incur a fee for using a UPS Store, the $1 charge will be deducted from your refund. While the Amazon return fee is small, this may have some customers rethinking their purchases, or at least their preferred Amazon return location.

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About the writer:

Jenna has a Bachelor's Degree from Lycoming College and her Master's from Penn State, holding 4 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.

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Comments 25

  1. Jay C.

    Charging a fee for returns? That’s so dumb. Customers are already losing time and gas having to drop off the returns. All of my returns are usually receiving defective items, but sometimes I’m too lazy to return the defective items Amazon send me and just take the loss. I dread returning stuff and only return when the item cost too much and is received broken, leaked, defective. Amazon is too much. Guess I won’t be shopping there lol

  2. acgold

    I am a prime member. I am not a big returner. A few times when I want to return there is no option for Whole Foods or Kohls. It wants me to go 45 minutes away to an Amazon drop off. I have tried many times to change the location and it never lets me. It is many phone calls to get them to take it back more conveniently. Once or twice they told me to just keep the items. It makes no sense. Also- always get a receipt. I returned 2 pairs of sunglasses 3 years ago to Kohls and it showed only 1 was processed. I had the receipt so they cleared it up.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing about your return experiences, acgold! Sorry to hear that there aren’t more convenient location options available for your returns. ❤️ Great tip about getting a receipt, I do the same, and trow it away once I see the return has hit my bank! 🙌

      • Sarah

        Keep it for six months. They came back and re-charged me for an item I had returned six months earlier, claiming they had never received the return! The lady at Kohl’s return station said she had heard the same from numerous other people, so she was telling everyone to save their tracking indefinitely. Really shocked me when it happened to me!

    • SH

      I also am a prime member who orders often and seldom returns anything, with the same experience you had. Even though the item was marked as “free returns”, I would have had to drive an hour to reach the location that would be free. Instead I chose the location 10 minutes from my house and had to pay 5.99 for return shipping. As a result, I don’t order as much from Amazon anymore.

      • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

        Bummer! That is disappointing that you had to pay a fee for return shipping to choose a location closer to you. 😔 Thanks for sharing your experience with us! ❤️


      Yes- 100% get a receipt wherever you return! I’ve had them not account for returns at Kohls, and even items that were dropped off (no box/label) to UPS. AND- One the rare few times we returned more than one item in the same order, EVERY TIME one of the items did not get processed. And MONTHS later they try to charge us. Thankfully, I’ve kept receipts for months so I can show them there were two items.

      • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

        Great tip on saving the receipts, Jennifer! Glad that you were able to get a refund on your items! 💕

  3. Lana

    We cancelled our Prime a few months ago and honestly we do not miss it. Yet another reason not to renew.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Glad you are not missing it, Lana! 💕

  4. ThriftyChristy

    Two weeks ago, I had to start packaging my items (with a printed label) instead of dropping them off unpackaged. It’s really annoying.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Darn! Thanks for sharing how you had to start labeling and packaging items for return, ThriftyChristy! 🤗

    • Tina

      I keep the package it came in until I know it will work for me. Thankfully I have a UPS store in town and it’s usually free unboxed items, but I usually take it back in the package it came in

  5. Patricia Mcginty

    Probably be ordering less

  6. jkw

    Is anyone else having troble with their S&S items not accumulating to get the 5%/10% or 15% with five items?? When I select S&S, it just ships it out and will not accululate in my S&S account. I’m so confused! I did contact Amazon and they said they would look into it, but nothing has changed.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That does sound confusing. Sorry to hear about the issues with your Subscribe & Save orders.❤️ Maybe try changing the shipping rate or date to see if that might do the trick. Hoping it starts working better for you real soon! 🤞❤️

    • Darlene

      I am having the exact same issue! Ships it right out no discount. I have noticed that I have been ordering fewer and fewer items from them. Probably will not renew my prime this year

      • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

        That does sound frustrating. Maybe try reaching out to customer service to see if they may be able to help. Hoping this is fixed for you soon! ❤️🤞

    • Csandst1

      Make sure all of your subscribe and save items qualify for a discount. I’ve seen items labeled subscribe and save but there’s no discount attached to the item. In order for the discount to apply, there must be 5 items that are discounted.

  7. Tammy

    For the last 6 months if I needed to do a return, Kohls stopped being one of my options. I’m not close to the UPS drop off, nearest is 30 some miles. This forces me to initiate a chat to get to an associate who will set it up at my Kohls. I keep asking why it changed and have never received a good answer. So frustrating! I’ve never had an issue with Kohls making any mistakes.🤷‍♀️

  8. Liz Curtis

    They charged me $1 on my last return said it was for the label but l never received it, however there was 2 items returned at the same time maybe that was why. Not a big deal it was just a dollar.

  9. Lisa

    I use the UPS store because it’s in and out, I get an immediate email it’s been processed when they scan it. It’s in the same shopping center as a Kohl’s and a Whole Foods that both fake returns. Going to be interesting to see which one they claim is closer. 😆

  10. tt

    I think they should base this off accounts that are constantly returning items. Not inflict this upon the rest of us…especially when we’re already hurting for putting out more for the membership.

  11. Jodi P

    When I want to buy something that I might need to return, instead of Amazon, Home Depot, Best Buy, etc, I see if has the same thing, for about the same price, and “sold and shipped by Walmart”.
    If I order from “sold and shipped by Walmart”, I can just take it to any Walmart to return it.

  12. Marcus

    I have been a Prime Member for a very long time. Personally, I think a lot of returns due to no price matching. I know it has effected me personally when I need to return items; only because Amazon won’t price match/adjust.

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