Kindle eBooks Can Be Returned Up to 7 Days After Purchase, Here’s How

Kindle

Did you know that you can return Kindle ebooks you’ve purchased up to seven days after the transaction date?

Considering that I just recently found out about this, I’m guessing the typical Kindle owner is unaware of that fact. I’m not sure if it is something new that Amazon just started doing or if it has just gone under the radar for awhile.

Regardless, returning a purchased Kindle ebook is as easy as logging into your Amazon account and visiting the Manage Your Kindle page.

All you have to do to return a Kindle ebook is click the “Actions” button and select “Return for refund”. That’s it. No contacting support, no exchanging emails. It’s that easy.

The return option is only available for seven days after purchase and only applies to ebooks you bought, not freebies.

This is a great option to have, especially when it is so easy to make accidental purchases with one-click buying. Plus sometimes ebooks are edited or formatted so badly they shouldn’t be sold.

You’ve got to wonder about the seven day time period, though. It seems rather excessive considering it is pretty easy to complete a book in that amount of time. I wonder if Amazon will accept the return if you are at the end of the book? I’m not going to test. And what about picky readers? Seven days is plenty of time to come to the conclusion that a particular book is going to be good or not.

I don’t know… Seems a little too easy to bend the rules. There’s got to be more stipulations, but not according to the information at Amazon. Here’s the complete quote about returning Kindle Books from Amazon’s help page:

Books you purchase from the Kindle Store are eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date of purchase. Once a refund is issued, you will no longer have access to the book. To request a refund and return, visit Manage Your Kindle, click the actions tab for the title you’d like to return, and select “Return for refund”.

You can also click the Contact Us button on the right side of this page to reach us via phone, e-mail, or chat. Select “An order I placed” to see your recent orders and choose the Kindle book order you wish to contact us about.

Returning Kindle ebooks is a nice option to have, especially if some kid gets a hold of your new Kindle and decides to buy a book like Nuclear Energy for $6,232.

35 Responses to “Kindle eBooks Can Be Returned Up to 7 Days After Purchase, Here’s How”

  1. Damn, that seems pretty stupid of them.

  2. The simple process is new, but Amazon has had the 7-day return policy on e-books for well over a year.

    Until recently, the process was, “To request a refund and return, click the Customer Service button in the Contact Us box in the right-hand column of this page to reach us via phone or e-mail. Please make sure to include the title of the item you wish to return in your request.”

  3. “You’ve got to wonder about the seven day time period, though. It seems rather excessive considering it is pretty easy to complete a book in that amount of time.” You either read very fast and have plenty of spare time or just read short books.

    “Damn, that seems pretty stupid of them.” I know right! I recently found out you can return other items purchased from Amazon too! What dumdums they are with these pro-consumer policies.

  4. It is great! Does anyone know how to break DRM of kindle books in order to read them in other e-readers? I have a PRS-T1 and Calibre to convert azw/mobi/prc to epub. Of course, if you have to do any illegal action for telling me that, do not do it… ;-)

  5. Apprentice Elf? I am not sure you are joking…. In Spain (is pain) today is the day of joking. I did not know it is in EEUU too, isn’t it?

  6. Thanks. I am sorry: I knew what was your national joke day, but I thought may be you had got another one. :D

  7. Nathan, this is a good idea since one time I accidentially purchased a $20 Amazon e-book, which I thought was free and got stuck with it. I’m certain Amazon will identify the chronic abusers and deal with them appropriately.

  8. I give kudos to Amazon for their return policy, and I think the automated feature may be new because just a few weeks ago I had to return an accidental purchase and ended up contacting CS because I couldn’t find the order option Nathan mentioned.

    I also learned at the time that you cannot turn off 1-click purchasing for digital content on the Amazon website. You can turn off 1-click for physical goods, which also have a “Did you order this by accident, click here to cancel” follow-up message. I’m sure they get a lot of accidental 1-click return/cancellations.

    From what I’ve read B&N has a very firm NO REFUND policy for nookbooks. Google only allows for defects (ie. formatting errors), which I believe is Sony and Kobo’s policy also but I’m not 100% on.

  9. Yep, I also made an accidental 1 click purchase via the Amazon website recently, I was trying to check out a public library ebook when I notified that I somehow purchased an ebook (not the same ebook as the public library ebook via OverDrive.) Why does Amazon not allow you to turn off the 1 click purchase for digital items? I agree that they must be getting a LOT of accidental 1 click cancellations or returns….Thanks for the info about the Return for Refund action buttton under Manage Your Kindle!!!

  10. HOLY COW! I can’t believe the price of that ebook! All of the reviews are hilarious though.

  11. Amazon trust their customers.
    Amazonn can, however, identify abusers readily enough and they have simple ways to deal with violators of their terms of service. And they *do* apply them.
    Returning a book once? No problem.
    If you’re unethical enough to “buy” a book to copy it, strip the DRM and return it, you’ll get away with it. Once. Maybe twice.
    From Amazon’s point of view, suffering the occasional shoplifter is worth the reduced customer service cost and honest customer goodwill. But their forbearance has a limit.
    Try doing it to the three volumes of a series and see where that gets you.
    Serial abusers are easy to identify.
    And punish.
    Hint: Kindles have unique serial numbers.

  12. Yeah Felix, but you know there is going to be an internet book club on some internet forum where people who have already lost their good standing, can request books by people who haven’t, who will then buy a book, strip the DRM, post it on Piratebay or wherever, and then request a refund for that book from Amazon.com. And then it will be the next person’s turn with good standing to do the same.

    Of course those type of clubs probably already exist, the only difference being somebody eats the cost of the book while everyone else leaches. So maybe it is a losing cause, and Amazon.com is doing the smart thing after all.

    P.S. It will be interesting to see what legislation eventually makes its way out of Congress, and whether it shuts down internet access to those foreign sites like Piratebay. Of course, people will start using a proxy to get around it.

  13. I get all my books free from Amazon. Just download a batch of books on to your Kindle, turn wifi off, and apply for a refund within 7 days. The books stay on your kindle until you turn the wifi back on. I have done this for the past 7 months and have read approximately 30 books without paying a cent. Beats trolling through piratebay and is perfectly legal and with Amazon’s T&C’s. I only wish they do the same with videos……

    • You’re a real genius. Amazon has all your credit card info and address and you are blatantly stealing from them. Come back in a year and let us know how that worked out for you in the long run.

    • That’s nice Nick. I’m helping a friend self publish on kindle. He’s spent several years working on 3 books. He asks only a couple of dollars for a copy. We notice an upshift in refund rates after a promotion, as have many other authors. It appears that this practice is not uncommon.

      Maybe you should write a book and see what it’s like to have it ripped off just because people like you think everything in life should be free. Free doesn’t pay the rent though does it.

      Just remember it’s not amazon who lose out. It’s the author.

      • I hope Amazon starts policing this more because they are making it a little too easy for morons to steal.

        I wonder about a higher rate of refunds after a promotion, though. Are we talking free promos or just discounts? I could see if were free offers because a lot people follow websites that post about free ebooks and then don’t check before hitting the buy button to confirm if the title is still free.

    • This makes me want to puke. As an author, I am appalled that people like you would dare to blatantly admit that you chose to steal from those of us who struggle everyday to create these books. What do you do for a living? How about I have you come to my house and work yourself to death 23 hours a day for free. Well, every word on those pages that you steal is a bite of food off the plate of an author’s child. Thanks man, you’re a real hero for sharing your genius with the community at large.

  14. I think Amazon should have a policy for not refunding non-fiction books, unless it is for formatting issues. I have several recipe books published, which cost me sweat blood and tears to do, and several have been refunded. Obviously mean-minded people have bought it, copied the recipes they like, and asked for a refund. This is so unethical. As Steve says, being ripped off just because people think everything in life should be free doesn’t pay the rent. I have written to Amazon and complained about this, and await their reply.

  15. Are libraries unethical as well? Or the fact that you can return a physical book to Barnes and Nobles within 14 days of purchase?

    I would not be surprised if Amazon’s liberal return policies gets authors more sales than they lose from the returns themselves.

    Also, even people who return a book they like may recommend it to others or leave a good review.

  16. I’m a little concerned over the joy people seem to have when beating the system and getting a kindle book, reading it, and then returning it for a refund. Have any of these people ever considered the real victim here? I’m talking about the authors who most likely spent a year of their life writing this story and gets pennies for their work as it is. Please don’t try to rip-off an artist or writer. Thank you.

  17. Seven days? It is very comfortable if you are buyer. But why do they keep author’s royalties for two month?

  18. As a husband and wife team promoting my wife who is writing her first book, she’s sold quite a few copies to date and woke up to her first refund on Amazon this morning. Given that customers can see a sizeable preview before ordering I don’t really understand what grounds a customer would have for a refund in theses circumstances (the book is formatted and proof-read correctly by the way). It’s also had quite a few good reviews to date.

    Seems immoral to me but maybe I am biased. I’m not sure if a book shop would allow the same thing to be done with a real book!

  19. As a fresh author myself I must also say that I got quite surprised by this policy. I mean, I know that no questions asked return policy in the US does exist and is easy but there are people who will abuse it. 7 days is a lot of time and for some people it’s enough to read the book even more than once and then still request the money back. That’s why there’s the sample, in Smashwords it’s quite a big one – 20% of the book to make sure if you like it enough to buy it or not.
    For sure there are too many possibilities for overusing this policy… :(

  20. As an author it is worrying that this abuse is possible but the question to my mind is how widespread this is and does Amazon have a means of identifying serial abusers such as Nick above? WRT the law in the UK/EU there is a clear distinction between durable (i.e. physical items) and non-durable (i.e. digital downloads and software) which makes the refund policy of Amazon wrong as they are applying the rules on durable goods to non-durable ones. However, the consumer will be loathe to lose that ability wrt e-books no doubt so it will take some pressure to get Amazon to change.

  21. I have purchased and returned immediately a couple of ebooks that had grammatical errors, poor editiing, or wasn’t as described–reference type book.
    IMO, I feel the return should be immediate–one can get a sense
    of a book rather quickly. Two days for a return would be fair.
    The author suffers a monetary loss, unfortunately.

  22. When you do too many returns through amazon on kindle they take your “return for refund” option away on the actions tab. It happened to me. I am a pretty picky reader, so sometimes samples don’t do anything for me, especially when they are only a couple pages long. Its hard to get a feel for a book or an author, just from reading the sample. So if I didn’t like the book I just returned it. But I guess they thought i abused that option, because they just took it off my “manage your kindle” page. I can still return my books through customer service by calling them and everything, but that is a lot more hassle than just clicking a button. I spend hundreds of dollars through my amazon/kindle account, so I thought this action was a little extreme considering how much I buy without returning, but according to them I’m unworthy. Meh. No skin off my back. I still return, but I guess not as often now. And also I read about that lady who got her content taken off of her account for no reason, and that freaked me out thinking it was going to happen to me, so I return less frequently now.

  23. Having been flagged as a serial returner of Kindle ebooks by Amazon.com, I have posted below a shortened version of the comment letter I provide Amazon.com that sums up my personal experience and opinion re: this issue. I intend to make no further comments. However, if publicly sharing my personal experience forewarns other sincere but un-witted Kindle customers, the effort was well worth it. As follows:
    I am submitting a letter of comment regarding my personal experience with Amazon.com’s, Inc. (hereafter “Amazon”) Kindle ebook return policies and my being flagged as a serial returner (high return rate of ebooks) upon which Amazon acted.
    In sum, I believe a lack of transparency and public disclosure of Amazon’s overall Kindle ebook return policies contributed to my high return rate because I believed customer satisfaction was a legitimate reason for ebook return; the publicly disclosed return policy provided no further guidance, description, or warning (hereafter “guidance”); and, as an individual customer, I received no forewarning of exceeding an internal Amazon return threshold for Kindle ebooks.
    The publicly disclosed refund policy provides NO further guidance such as maximum number of acceptable returns per time period, limiting the reasons for a return, or restricting a customer’s viewing an entire ebook after purchase. The internet refund process provided the option of “other” that a customer can mark as the reason for a refund. While the process appears “automated,” none of my individual ebook return requests were questioned/denied as improper in and of themselves.
    At present, I have 206 books in my Kindle ebook library; I made my first purchases in Spring 2012, mostly sci-fi romance and erotica categories. I have copiously utilized both sample previews and customer reviews; however, more often than not, preview of an ebook’s opening pages is inadequate and customer reviews are “hit or miss.” My Kindle Fire and my Kindle library represent a significant investment of my “entertainment” budget. I approximated my Kindle ebook return rate to be 60% of purchases for 2013 and 40% of purchases for 2012. I do not dispute the high return rate.
    Prior to purchasing a Kindle and transitioning to ebooks, I thoroughly previewed paper books from front to middle to end prior to purchase in the actual store regardless of the price or condition of the new or used books. For new books, I purchased one or two books every few months overwhelmingly from my “trusted authors” list and very rarely purchased a book from a new author. Furthermore, in this day of digital media, people can “preview” in its entirety many games or movies by renting the items first and songs by listening to the radio first.
    Amazon’s return policy, as I understood it before this incident, was a big inducement to purchase a Kindle and Kindle ebooks, even over a coworker’s personal recommendation of a Nook.
    The incident is as follows: The week of November 17, 2013, I discovered my internet return option was disabled. After briefly researching, it appeared that I un-wittedly exceeded Amazon’s internal return threshold. Following up on my inquiry, customer service representatives’ ultimate answer was the restriction is not temporary but the “matter may be revisited in the future,” no further guidance as to return policy except a generic “be careful of what you purchase,” and no information regarding the un-descriptive public policy or why potential violators were not forewarned. No assurance as to future access to my Kindle library was provided.
    In sum, having outlined the above information, based on the basic public return policy without further guidance or forewarning; this customer believed that customer satisfaction was integral to the Kindle ebook purchasing process and a legitimate reason for returning a Kindle ebook. Consequently, after a thorough preview after purchase (given the nature of an ebook), I kept ebooks that I was satisfied with (some ebooks were returned for other reasons), and I returned ebooks that I was dissatisfied with. My buying habit was never with the intent to cheat Amazon or authors or to exceed any public or internal return policy.
    I believe the publicly disclosed statement of Amazon’s Kindle ebook return policy, as standing, is not transparent and does not sufficiently disclose Amazon’s serial returners policy. I believe, at the very least, forewarning potential violators of its internal policy would engender better customer and vendor relationships (for un-witted customers such as myself) while also addressing the legitimate concerns of both Amazon and authors regarding serial returners.
    Other vendors have, while also monitoring customers’ return rates, publicly disclosed and better described their serial returners refund policies. Examples include Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and even Google play books provide that “[r]efunds will not be granted in situations of purchase abuse.” Today, creditors and even pay-as-you-go cellular phones forewarn customers before they exceed a limit.
    As it now stands without further guidance on its refund policy, to purchase ebooks with Amazon, under the “fear” that the next return request could result in account closure and loss of my Kindle library, is equal to purchasing ebooks from another vendor with a transparent no-returns policy. I shall return to my prior paper book buying habit of buying only from my “trusted authors” list and severely reduce my willingness to purchase from new authors.
    Now better informed on the matter, I certainly do not seek leave to return to a buying habit that may violate vendors’ return policies [even internal ones] or may be detrimental to authors. I now know that Amazon’s return policy does not provide for customer satisfaction. While some who may read my comments will conclude “good riddance to a bad customer,” I will note that, even accounting for my prior high return rate, less than ten (10) of my kept Kindle books were from my old “trusted authors” list [due to their new book release rate]. The overwhelming majority were by new authors, several of whom I have added to my new “trusted authors” list and have made/will continue to make several purchases therefrom.
    After this incident, I join other customers and authors who encourage Amazon to either substantively change or, at least, better publicly describe and disclose their serial returners policy. At the very least, I believe that forewarning potential violators of an internal return threshold is a more positive, productive process than as now stands. If I had been forewarned, I would have immediately thereafter complied with Amazon’s internal return policy without my trust as a customer in Amazon as a “customer-centric” vendor being destroyed in the process. Thank you,

  24. Seems to me that it is worth the occasional abuse, to foster goodwill amongst their customers. Personally, I think it’s a great policy and considering the giant that amazon has become, I’d say they’re doing something right. :-)

  25. Also, THANK YOU for this blog as I just accidentally purchased an ebook copy of a book, when I wanted the physical copy, so I was very upset, thinking I had just wasted 15 bucks. Now I know how to get the refund and am much happier.