Amazon is expanding its free return policy
Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business
(CNN) — Amazon is expanding its free return program as the holiday shopping season comes to a close.
The company is letting shoppers return “millions of items” sold and fulfilled by Amazon for free. This includes electronics, kitchen appliances and household items that weigh under 50 pounds. Amazon previously only allowed free returns on shoes, bedding and apparel.
Expanding the return policy is the result of the company’s growing logistics network, Amazon said in a press release. It has been working on speeding up delivery times and beefing up its own shipping network. FedEx and UPS have been struggling to keep up with growing demand. Amazon has recently bolstered its air division and bought stakes in two delivery airlines.
The online retailer said there are now more than 18,000 physical return points across the United States, including Amazon stores such as 4-Star and Books, select Whole Foods locations, roughly 1,000 Kohl’s stores and at more than 10,000 UPS stores. It also has nearly 1,000 Amazon Hub spots, which are self-service locker rooms.
The company also reiterated it “label-free and box-free” return program at nearly 6,000 locations, which includes Kohl’s, some Whole Foods locations and the UPS Store. Customers show a QR code to a store associate after starting the return online or in the app and then the employee ships the package back to Amazon for free. Refunds are usually credited within two hours of the item being returned.
The company claims the label-free initiative, which launched in July, is part of its broader initiative to become more environmentally friendly.
For the holidays, Amazon is allowing returns on purchase made between November 1 and December 31 to be completed by January 31, 2020. Amazon typically allows returns within 30 days of the purchase date.