At Amazon, we want customers to be completely satisfied with their purchase. That’s why we provide comprehensive product information, including photos, videos and customer reviews, to help customers make more informed buying decisions. If however a customer is unsatisfied with their purchase, we offer a hassle-free return process.

So what happens to products once they’ve been returned?

Returned items are put through a detailed inspection process, and if the product meets our high-quality standards, the item is tagged as “new” and is re-listed for sale. Most returned products meet this bar and are put back on our digital shelves for other customers.

If a product doesn’t meet our standards for “new” goods, it will go through further inspection and, depending on its condition, could be resold as used through Amazon Warehouse, sold to liquidators, returned to the supplier, or donated to charity. In 2021, customers in Europe bought over 14 million products from Amazon Warehouse (UK, DE, FR, IT, ES), and Amazon and our selling partners donated more than 13 million products, including technology products, appliances, and clothing, to charities across Europe. Our selling partners can also offer used products to customers through Amazon Renewed (UK, DE, FR, IT, ES) or FBA Grade and Resell.

We consider recycling and energy recovery only after all of the above options have been exhausted. We first recycle products where possible. If recycling is not possible—for example, for hygienic reasons or because a product is too badly damaged—we will send a product to energy recovery, which turns the products into usable sources of energy. Energy recovery is our last resort, both environmentally and economically.

We are committed to reducing returns by helping customers make more informed shopping decisions, reselling or donating products wherever possible, and disposing of as few products as possible. This is in line with our commitment to The Climate Pledge, to be net-zero carbon by 2040.

Read more about the Climate Pledge here.