EXCLUSIVE: Here are the 10 things you can't return to Amazon

EXCLUSIVE: From Gift cards to live cockroaches and pet food: Here are the 10 things you can’t return to Amazon

  • Consumers can buy anything on Amazon, but not everything is returnable 
  • Non-returnable items include live bugs, pet food and software downloads
  • READ MORE:  Amazon introduces $1 fee for sending back parcels via UPS

Amazon sells nearly everything under the sun, but the e-commerce giant has strict rules on what items customers can return.

The policy’s fine print shows that software downloads, video games and gift cards cannot be returned for a refund.

While these sound reasonable, Amazon also clarifies that it will not take back live cockroaches, pet food and theme park tickets – so be sure you are committed to these purchases.

DailyMail.com has compiled a list of 10 products on Amazon that cannot be returned. 

You better believe many of those are returned. It’s painless — a couple of clicks online and drop the return off.

Watch out next time you buy the wrong size or regret that drunk purchase: Amazon will charge $1 for items you take to the UPS Store if a Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh or Kohl’s location is the same distance or closer.

Amazon sells nearly everything under the sun, but the e-commerce giant has strict rules on what items customers can return

Software downloads 

You bought new photo editing software but never opened the box. Good news: You can return it within 30 days of purchase. 

If you bought a downloadable software package, opened the box on physical software or activated an online subscription, no such luck. 

Amazon states that ‘returned software or video games that are activated, used or missing parts will incur up to a 100% restocking fee.’ 

Ouch. Before you buy a downloadable program on Amazon, read the reviews to check for any red flags or missing features. Once it’s yours, there’s no going back.

Video games

Just like software, once you open, play, activate or register it, that game is yours. 

Change your mind? Your best bet is to try to sell it to a buddy because Amazon won’t take it back. 

Video games: Once you open, play, activate or register it, that game is yours

Specific tech devices like the Kindle can be returned within 30 days, but only if it is not damaged 

Tech devices

Amazon won’t take back certain devices like laptops, desktops, and Kindles more than 30 days after delivery. For some, that deadline is 90 days. 

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Check the product page for details on how long you have to return it. 

Note that if you return tech used, damaged or ‘materially different,’ you may receive a partial or no refund.

‘Renewed’ products professionally inspected by Amazon are backed by the Amazon Renewed Guarantee. 

Gift and pre-paid game cards

An Amazon gift card, or any other gift card you buy on Amazon.com, is not eligible for return. 

Amazon says it’ll only take back gift cards when required by law. 

The laws vary by state and don’t apply to all types of gift cards. 

In other words, it isn’t very clear.

This category includes prepaid game cards like World of Warcraft, Xbox 360 Live and Wii Points.

Live creepy crawlies

Did you know that Amazon sells insects? An order of 100 medium-sized (3/8′ to 3/4′) Dubia Cockroaches costs $24.95. A pack of 2,000 live mealworms is a bargain at $26.50. You can pick live harvester ants, ladybugs, caterpillars, or whatever floats your boat.

Amazon says it’ll only take back gift cards when required by law

Yes, you can buy live cockroaches on Amazon and no you cannot return them

Caterpillars are sold in a pack of 10 as a ‘Butterfly Kit Refill.’ No kidding. One reviewer says it’s a ‘very fun and interesting project for the whole family.’ Another says the caterpillars took about two weeks to ‘reach their final form.’


Yes, Amazon sells tickets to theme parks. No, you can return them if your trip is canceled or something else happens.

Personal health items

Amazon offers myriad health, beauty, and personal care items. Just be careful before you buy. Not all of them are eligible for returns. The returns customer service page is vague and says they won’t take back ‘some health and personal care orders.’

Before you check out, look for the ‘ Returns ‘ line on the product page. It’s under the Add to Cart and Buy Now buttons. 

‘Eligible for Refund or Replacement’ means you’re out of luck if you change your mind or don’t like it — but ‘if the item arrives damaged or defective, you may request a refund or replacement.’


 It’s convenient to get groceries from Amazon Fresh, but if you decide you don’t need something you bought, there’s no returning it. 

Amazon does issue refunds if something arrived spilled, damaged, or unusable. 

Amazon will only refund groceries if the product is damaged or spoiled 

Just like people’s food, pet food is also not eligible for returns

‘If you aren’t satisfied with the condition of a grocery product that you receive from us, we’ll issue a refund up to 30 days from the delivery date.’ Amazon says.

Pet food 

Just like people’s food, pet food is also not eligible for returns. 

That said, if it arrives damaged or defective somehow, Amazon will likely refund you or replace it.

Anything you customize 

This product type makes sense, but still, a bummer if you shelled out money for a custom product that doesn’t live up to what you expected. Sellers aren’t required to accept returns on anything with an inscription or that’s been embroidered, printed on, engraved or otherwise customized.

Other handcrafted items can be returned if you have all the packaging and original tags.

There may be exceptions 

It’s also important to note most sellers want happy customers. 

Even if you bought something that’s not eligible for a return, it’s worth reaching out if your order’s a major issue. 

We saw lots of reviews from people who bought bugs and got money back or a new order when many of them, unfortunately, died on the journey. 

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