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Shopping smarts: Here are the things you can’t return to Amazon

Online retailers make it easy to get anything you want within a day or two, but that doesn’t mean you should go off on wild spending sprees. Here are five big mistakes to avoid when buying electronics on Amazon.

Buying things you don’t need is one thing, but it’s worse when you have something you can’t get rid of. While you can likely return that juicer you never used, it’s not the same for other products. Here’s what you need to know about Amazon’s return policies.

Amazon’s easy returns

Amazon makes it easy to return eligible purchases. Here are some places you can bring returnable items:

  • Amazon Hub Lockers.
  • UPS stores or Access Points.
  • Kohl’s.
  • Whole Foods.
  • Physical Amazon stores.

You can also ship it yourself or schedule a pickup.

Returns are as simple as printing a label or having the facility do it for you. You don’t even need the original packaging in some cases. Just check the Your Orders page for details.

Not everything is returnable, however. There are time limits, and some items can’t be returned no matter how soon you try to send them back.

RELATED: Amazon-made cheaper versions of all these popular products

The ground rules

Amazon generally gives you 30 days to return an item after receiving it. Here are more specifics:

  • Devices: Computer laptops, desktops and Kindles cannot be returned more than 30 days after delivery.
  • Digital: You can’t return the following after purchase: downloadable software products, open software or online subscriptions after you accessed them.
  • Cards: You can’t return gift cards (except as required by law) and prepaid game cards such as those for World of Warcraft, Xbox 360 Live or Wii Points.
  • Hazardous materials: You can’t return items classified as hazardous materials or ones that use flammable liquids or gases.
  • Damaged items: Nonreturnable items that arrived damaged or defective are eligible for a refund or replacement. If the refund or replacement option isn’t available in Your Orders, try contacting Amazon here.
  • Miscellaneous items that might not be eligible for return:
    • Any product missing the serial number or UPC.
    • Grocery products.
    • Items with special shipping restrictions.
    • Live insects.
    • Some jewelry orders.
    • Some health and personal care items.
    • Customized products.

If you have any questions, contact the manufacturer directly for service, warranty, return and refund information. A reputable seller should be able to help you.

If you can’t get help from the seller or manufacturer, contact Amazon.

To return an eligible item you ordered:

  1. Go to Your Orders to display your recent orders.
  2. Choose the order and select Return or Replace Items.
  3. Select the item you want to return. Then choose an option from the Reason for return menu.
  4. Choose how to process your return. If applicable, select to issue a refund or replacement. For items sold from an Amazon seller, you’ll see Submit return request. The Amazon seller reviews return requests before issuing a refund or replacement. For more information, go to Returns to Third-Party Sellers. If you don’t receive a response within two business days, you can request an A-to-z Guarantee Refund.
  5. Select your preferred return method.
  6. Print your return label and return authorization.
  7. Add your return label (if applicable) and package your items for return.

You may also like: Return policies for all the gifts you don’t want

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