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’s not what we expected, and then begin the easy online process of returning the item. Your refund is usually applied to your payment method as soon as it is recorded with the shipper, such as a UPS store.
Have you ever wondered what happens to many of these returned items in open boxes? Step into Amazon Warehouse, home of those returns and a lesser known perk for everyone to grab a bargain – if you don’t mind lightly used items (maybe this indoor flying home security camera was only not someone’s cup of tea).
Unlike Amazon Outlet with its plethora of excess inventory New items, Amazon Warehouse items have probably been in someone else’s mitts, dirty or not. Here’s how it works:
When you land on the Amazon Warehouse page, you are taken to a category landing page. And Warehouse categories cut a passage: computers and tablets, kitchen and household items, unlocked cell phones, digital cameras, Amazon-branded devices (Echo, Ring, Roomba, etc.), televisions, furniture, baby, outdoor recreation and more.
Amazon tells us the items are used, open box, or simply “pre-owned” products. All the usual advantages of buying on Amazon apply. You get the same delivery promises (usually two days) given to Prime members, the same customer service and the same return capability, which would make your return the return of the return.
There is good transparency. On the product detail page, Amazon classifies the warehouse item’s condition as such:
- Used – Like New: The product works perfectly, all the accessories are there. The packaging may be damaged.
- Used – Very good: The item is in very good condition and has probably been used to a limited extent. It may arrive in damaged packaging and have slight cosmetic imperfections. Missing non-essential accessories are noted.
- Used – Good: Item is considered to be in good condition and may show some wear from use. It works fully. There may also be some cosmetic imperfections and accessories may be missing (these will be noted).
- Used – Acceptable: It probably works, but you’ll probably see indications of use. There could also be significant dents, scratches, and other signs of wear. Valuable accessories may be missing and you may need to purchase spares to keep this used item in full working order.
As you might guess, the further down the condition list you go, the bigger the bargains because, well, the missing parts, the scratches, the dents.
We did a little digging and found a Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K digital camera selling for $263.57. Next to “Used – Acceptable” on the product page, we hovered over the details area. He told us the camera had over an inch cosmetic blemishes on the front of the camera and small cosmetic blemishes on other parts of the camera. The same model new on Amazon was selling for $347.99 (list price $399).
You pause when an item is listed as “Used – Very Good”, but again it’s not as discounted as “Used – Acceptable”. For example, under Kitchen, we found a Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker (SCV700-S-BR) selling for $35.99 in Amazon Warehouse (its only listed imperfection was damaged packaging). A new one was selling for $39.99 on Amazon.
Under “Computers and tablets” in the warehouse, we found a host of Apple products. A 2021 Apple 11-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi, 256GB) was selling for $729.60 and was listed as “Used – Good”. The details drop-down indicated that it had minor cosmetic blemishes, was missing bonus material, and had damaged packaging. The same iPad model sells for $829 (list price $899) on Amazon.
You won’t find consistency in the products because once they’re gone, they’re gone.
For even bigger deals – many of which won’t last long – visit Amazon Warehouse Limited, which offers great discounts. There, we saw an Amazon Dot 2nd Gen smart speaker for $17.04 (current 4th Gen Echo Dots sell for $49.99). Want to get in shape? Here is the Island Girl Hula workout for beginners. It’s under $5, with your choice of old-school DVD or VHS