Amazon Warehouse: Where Amazon Prime Returns Become Your Next Online Bargains – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Many of us have taken advantage of Amazon Prime’s liberal return policy – in a good way, of course. We buy something online from Amazon, decide it isn’t what we were expecting, then start the easy online process of returning the item. Your refund is usually applied to your payment method as soon as it’s checked in to the shipper, say a UPS store.

Have you ever wondered what happens to many of those returned, open-box items? Enter Amazon Warehouse, home of those returns and a lesser-known perk for everyone else to score a bargain – if you don’t mind slightly used items (perhaps that indoor flying home surveillance camera wasn’t someone’s cup of tea).

Unlike Amazon Outlet with its plethora of overstock new items, Amazon Warehouse items have likely been in someone else’s mitts, grubby or not. Here’s how it works:

When you land on the Amazon Warehouse page, you’re taken to a category landing page. And the Warehouse categories cut a swath: computers and tablets, kitchen and housewares, unlocked cell phones, digital cameras, Amazon-brand devices (Echo, Ring, Roomba, etc.), televisions, furniture, baby needs, outdoor recreation and more.

Amazon tells us the items are used, open-box products or simply “pre-owned.” All of the usual perks of buying on Amazon apply. You get the same delivery promises (typically two days) allotted to Prime members, the same customer service and ability to return,which would make your return the return of the return. 

There’s a fair amount of transparency. On the product detail page, Amazon categorizes the condition of the warehouse item as such:

  • Used – Like New: The product fully functions, all of the accessories are there. Packaging may be damaged.
  • Used – Very Good: The item is in very good shape and likely has been used to a limited degree. It may arrive in damaged packaging and may have slight cosmetic imperfections. Missing non-essential accessories are noted.
  • Used – Good: The item is considered in good condition and it may show some wear from use. It fully functions. There may also be some cosmetic imperfections and accessories may be missing (they will be noted).
  • Used – Acceptable: It likely works, but you’ll likely see indications of use. There also could be significant dents, scratches and other signs of wear. Valuable accessories may be missing and you may have to purchase spare parts to get this used item in full working order. 

As you can guess, the further down the condition list you go, the bigger the bargains because, well, missing pieces, scratches, dents.

We did a little digging …….


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