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Tech tips

Best ways to hide what you buy on Amazon so you don’t spoil the surprise

You may not know this yet, but your Amazon account’s entire purchasing history is recorded, and all activity is likewise tracked on the retail giant’s site. While this is great for reviewing past orders and checking receipts, there may be times when you want to hide purchased items.

This might pose a problem for homes where all family members share a single Amazon account. Hiding your history can be necessary for a variety of reasons. It could be personal or downright weird. Tap or click for the weirdest things you didn’t know you could buy on Amazon.

Most of the time, you don’t want to reveal spoilers for gifts you’ve bought loved ones. So here are a few tips to help you hide your activity on Amazon and even have your items delivered to an address other than your home.

Stop Alexa from spilling the beans

If you have an Echo device, Alexa can automatically tell you delivery updates for items you order. Unfortunately, if you ordered someone a gift, everyone in your house will know what’s been delivered when Alexa announces it out loud.

To keep the element of surprise for your holiday orders, follow these steps to disable the feature in the Alexa app:

  • Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Choose Notifications.
  • Select Amazon Shopping.
  • Uncheck the box labeled For items in delivery updates under the section Let Alexa say or show titles for items you’ve ordered.

Amazon Household

One way to avoid Amazon gift spoilers and hide your purchases from your family is by setting up an Amazon Household Account. This is available for Amazon Prime members and it allows you to share all the Amazon Prime perks, and even your library of purchased digital content, with another adult in your Household.

With this, you and your significant other can have separate Amazon accounts, each with its own respective shopping history, wish lists and notifications. Never heard of this option? Tap or click here for other Amazon Prime perks you’re probably not using.

Your Amazon Household can have up to six members:

  • Two adults, each with a separate Amazon account.
  • Up to four child profiles (used for Amazon’s service for kids called FreeTime). Child profiles are limited when making purchases on Amazon.

Both adult accounts can manage the household’s child profiles. To share your Amazon Prime membership with another adult, go to Amazon Household > Add Adult and choose whether to invite them by email or sign up together to verify the accounts.

For non-Amazon Prime members

For non-Amazon Prime members, don’t despair. If you’re sharing the same Amazon account with another family member, there are still ways to hide purchases and searches to avoid potentially heartbreaking gift spoilers.

Archive an order

When you archive orders, this action hides gift purchases from your order history and can also hide items you no longer want to reference or are simply too embarrassed to reveal.

To archive an order, hover over Account & Lists > Your Orders > find the item you want to archive > Archive Order. This will remove the item from immediate viewing within your order history.

Note: Archived orders can still be viewed by going to the Your Account page and selecting Archived Orders. These items can also be restored by selecting Unarchive Order.

Remove items from browsing history

To avoid revealing your gift ideas to the entire household, you can remove items from your browsing history. Hover over Browsing History beneath the search bar and click the orange dot, which turns into a black X when you hover over it.

You can also click Browsing History, find the item you want to hide, and choose Remove from view.

Note: If you want all searches hidden, turn off your account’s Browsing History entirely by selecting Manage history > Toggle the Turn off browsing history option to off.

Remove items from your Recommendations

Another source for potential gift spoilers is Amazon’s Recommended List. This list is automatically populated with what Amazon thinks you’ll be interested in based on prior purchases.

To exclude certain purchases from influencing your recommendations, go to your Amazon’s account’s Improve Your Recommendations section, locate the particular item you want to exclude, then select I prefer not to use this for recommendations or This was a gift.

Ship to an Amazon Locker

Deliveries can also cause spoilers. Nothing says “something’s up” more blatantly than a big Amazon box waiting at your front door — especially when a special occasion like Christmas is coming up.

To avoid Amazon home or office delivery gift spoilers, you can always ship to your nearby Amazon Locker.

What are Amazon Lockers? They’re basically delivery sites located in more than 900 U.S. cities. You can ship an item to an Amazon Locker of your choice and then pick it up at a time that’s convenient for you.

To ship to an Amazon Locker, find your closest Locker location while logged in to your Amazon account and add it to your shipping address book. Now, each time you purchase an item, you can select your Locker as the shipping address.

Once an item has been delivered to the Locker, Amazon will email you the unique six-digit code you’ll need to retrieve it. Enter the code on the Locker’s touchscreen interface, wait for the Locker door to open and pick up your package.

Note: Although most items can be shipped to Amazon Lockers, there are still size and weight restrictions. You also only have three calendar days to pick it up, or it will be returned to Amazon for a refund. There is no additional cost for using an Amazon Locker but standard shipping rates (including free Prime shipping) still apply.

Ship to a different address

You can also ship to a different address by visiting the Manage Addresses and 1-Click Settings in Your Account.

Just click Add Address and put in the details. For security reasons, you will be asked to confirm your credit card each time you place an order using a new or edited address.

You can also delete or edit any saved address you have in this section.

Amazon Key

If you want your delivery placed in specific areas at your home address, such as your garage, inside your home, behind a gate or even in your car trunk, try Amazon Key. How does it work? Check out this helpful video:

Now that you know you can hide all your purchases and search history, adjust those settings and start shopping!

By clicking our links, you’re supporting our research. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Recommendations are not part of any business incentives.

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