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Amazon is the largest online retailer and a source for just about anything consumers might want. The standard Amazon return policy gives customers a 30-day window from the date the order is received. For 2013 Amazon is offering a special holiday return policy: For purchases shipped between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, the Amazon return policy states returns can be made until Jan. 31. In most cases the person sending back an item, whether purchaser or gift recipient, is responsible for shipping charges; select merchandise, such as jewelry, clothing, and baby items, qualifies for free return shipping.

The Amazon return policy stipulates several requirements for a full refund. First, only the original purchaser qualifies. Also, products must be in new condition and the original packaging and all accessories must be included. Media, including video games, music, and movies, cannot be opened and clothing and shoes must be unworn. Returned gifts come back to the sender in the form of an Amazon gift card and the gift giver is none the wiser.

Because Amazon has no retail locations, all returns must be shipped. Amazon's return policy makes this easy by having you print return labels and authorization forms at home, even for gifts. You'll need the order number found on the packing slip or you can contact customer service and supply the sender's name and email address and the phone number associated with the address to which the item was sent.

Note, however, that Amazon does not always fulfill orders from its own inventory. Many products bought through Amazon come from third-party vendors who use Amazon as a storefront; this is the Amazon Marketplace. The Amazon return policies do not apply to Marketplace purchases, so be sure to check the seller's rules, which are spelled out on its profile page.

by Louis DeNicola (Google+ Profile) – October 28, 2013
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