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12/21/2020

Walmart and Amazon Make Returns Easier

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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Walmart and Amazon have both just announced new moves to make returns easier this holiday season.

Walmart announced it will pick up items shipped and sold by Walmart.com from customers' homes through a new partnership with FedEx, while Amazon is now offering a returns option at over 500 Whole Foods Market stores across the country and extending its returns deadline.

Walmart customers can now schedule a return of items shipped and sold by Walmart.com through a new service, Carrier Pickup by FedEx. To use the new service, customers starts the return process on Walmart's website or app, schedule a date for pickup and print a label. Then it will be picked up by a FedEx employee.

In addition, the retailer made it easy for customers who don’t have access to a printer to return items as well. While creating a return request, shoppers can now select “Drop off at FedEx” as the return method and get a return QR code. They can take the packaged return along with the QR code to any FedEx Office location and a FedEx associate will scan the QR code, print a free return label, attach it to the box and ship it back.

If customers don’t have a Walmart account, they can also type or click www.walmart.com/startreturn to save time in line at the store. Walmart said in “many” stores it will open an alternate location within the store to make returns and help maintain social distancing guidelines. For many online returns, refunds will be credited to customers’ payment account sometimes as soon as the next day, and same day for in-store returns.

Amazon

Amazon annouced it is now offering a returns option at over 500 Whole Foods Market stores across the country and extending its returns deadline.

A box-free, label-free return option is available at Whole Foods. Customers simply bring the item and QR code generated after creating a return to the Customer Service desk. A Whole Foods Market team member will scan the code and take the item.

Returns are also available at other locations including Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, Amazon Fresh grocery stores, Amazon Go stores, UPS Store locations, Kohl’s, and more. Returning Amazon.com orders are free and most items shipped between October 1 and December 31, 2020, can be returned until January 31, 2021.

“During a holiday season that might be more unpredictable than year’s past, our employees want to help customers have one less thing to think about by giving customers more time to return, and by providing a variety of free, convenient, and easy return options this year,” said Libby Johnson McKee, director, Amazon WW Returns, ReCommerce and Sustainability. “Our hope is that by offering so many return options—from tens of thousands of drop-off locations to shipping an item back—as well as more time to think about making a return, customers can relax and shop with confidence this holiday season.”

Once a customer is ready to start a return, customers select the item(s) to be returned and the reason for returning from the “Returns & Orders” page on Amazon.com or under “Your Orders” via the Amazon app. Customers can then choose from a list of convenient return options, including at least one Free option, and then drop off their item at a nearby location—and in most cases without a box or a label.

When starting a gift return, customers enter the gift order number and select the item to return. The type of refund or credit a customer will receive depends on how the gift was purchased and how it's returned.