Skip to Content

What do you do with Amazon packages you didn’t order?

Who doesn’t love opening the door to find an Amazon order has arrived! You’re excited until it hits you that you didn’t actually order anything recently. Maybe it’s a gift?

Then, upon closer inspection, you realize it is supposed to get to an address that is not yours. Someone else is probably anxiously waiting and sorely disappointed that their package is nowhere to be found.

So now what? Do you keep it? Return it? Sell it? Deliver it to the right address yourself? Well, it’s up to you to decide.

First thing’s first: Why is it there?

According to Amazon, there are few legitimate instances where you may receive something you did not order. They note it could be a gift, or perhaps a previous order that was mistakenly sent again or an item just delivered to the wrong address.

If you did order something and it’s just extra or wrong, then you will want to get in touch with Amazon to have things corrected. You can easily email them through your account and let them know you received an item you didn’t order.

Also, you’ll want to check your order history and account to make sure you weren’t charged for the item! Amazon will send you a pre-paid label so that you can return the item, assuming you can get it to the shipping store. Amazon pays for the return, so make sure to use the return shipping label they provide.

And what if you got someone else’s package?

The reality of delivery services is that they will get it wrong sometimes. It’s bound to happen with so many packages, with an address being misread or a package being misplaced.

This is a gray area. If you recognize the address, you are of course welcome to deliver it yourself. Sometimes it’s a case of mistaken street number, and the package actually belongs to your neighbor. You can bring it to them and call it a day. If it’s an address that’s farther away, and you feel like taking a road trip, you can deliver it too. It would end up being a kind of no-harm, no-foul type of situation, as the package will ultimately end up where it was supposed to.

You don’t have to do that, though. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you are not in any way obligated to make the delivery yourself. You are also not required to return it to Amazon. That means, in essence, you can treat it as a free gift.  Hopefully, it’s something cool!

Of course, given that it was not something you ordered, there is the chance that whatever it is will be something you don’t actually want. That is the risk of Amazon Roulette (if that is even a thing), that what you will end up “winning” is more clutter. Maybe you can trade it with a friend or sell it at your next yard sale.

If you get someone else’s package regularly, it’s possible the person making the orders never changed their address with Amazon or has made a mistake somewhere. In that case, at some point, you may want to just reach out to the USPS and let them know that person no longer lives at the address.

Always watch for a rogue scam!

The other possibility for a rogue package involves a scam, albeit not one that necessarily hurts people. Instead, it takes advantage of customers. The packages are sent as a way for overseas sellers to try and improve their standing on the site.

The hope is that the people who receive them will not only keep what is sent but then provide positive reviews online. The more good reviews a seller gets, the greater the chance their products will show up in Amazon searches.

Not surprisingly this is against Amazon’s policy and would impact whoever sent the package, not you for receiving it. However, if random sellers are sending you things, it means they got your information from somewhere.

And that, for many reasons, is not a good thing. So you might want to report them to Amazon.

Speaking of Amazon, these are things you will want to order yourself

Everyone just loves the convenience that Amazon offers. You can find pretty much everything on your shopping list there. If you want to get the most out of Amazon, you need to know what hot deals are being offered. We’re here to help. Here are some Amazon deals on devices that you don’t want to miss.

Stop robocalls once and for all

Robocalls are not only annoying, but they scam Americans out of millions every year. Learn Kim's tricks for stopping them for good in this handy guide.

Get the eBook