Did you know when you return something on Amazon, the story doesn’t end there? Ok, this isn’t some big retail secret, but knowing how it works on Amazon can score you some great deals. It’s called Amazon Warehouse. And what is Amazon Warehouse, exactly? It’s where many of your returned items wind up so they can be resold. Full disclosure: until a few weeks ago, I had never used Amazon Warehouse. So I decided to do a little experiment to find out whether the deals are worth it.
How to find Amazon Warehouse deals
Have you ever seen that little line when you’re shopping on amazon: “New & Used from $15.90”. When you click this link, you’ll see a window of other sellers pop up. And one of these other sellers is Amazon themselves. Or Amazon Warehouse, rather. If you look at each listing you’ll notice a “sold by” line. Look for the “Sold by Amazon Warehouse” indicator and you’ll know you have one of their products.
This is important because many of the other sellers are third parties. And you may pay shipping when purchasing from a third party. However, Amazon Warehouse purchases are prime eligible and backed by their 30 day return policy.
What are the conditions of Amazon Warehouse products?
Every product you purchase from Amazon Warehouse will be graded based on its condition. Here are the categories you could see while shopping for new & used amazon products:
- Used – Like New
- Used – Very Good
- Used – Good
- Used – Acceptable
Rather than go into the descriptions of what each means, I’ll let Amazon explain. They have great descriptions for what you can expect with each of these conditions. It’s a good idea to check what each means so you can get an idea of what you’re potentially buying.
How good are the deals?
There’s no one size fits all here, but I can give you an idea given my experience.
I was looking for a screen free story reader for my 4-year-old and came across the Toniebox. The regular Amazon price was $114.99. But if you look at the new & used section, you’ll notice the starting price listed at $94.52. If I click in to look at the options, the first option is an Amazon Warehouse product for $94.52 listed in “Used – Like New” condition. So, you’re saving ~ 18%. It may not sound like much, but keep in mind this is just one product out of many. Some could be more deeply discounted, and others could be less.
Rather than looking solely at the discount amount, I wanted to understand the difference in quality. That 18% may not be worth it if the Amazon Warehouse product clearly looks used. But it could be worth it if the product looks and feels just like new.
What kind of quality can you expect with Amazon Warehouse product?
According to Amazon, the “Used – Like New” condition is in perfect working condition. Original protective wrapping may be missing. The original packaging may have minor damage, or item may come repackaged. Package damage is clearly defined for each item. All accessories are present.
That description sounds pretty good. In my mind, I’m getting a perfectly new item – just with less than ideal packaging. I can live with that.
Note the different conditions. I chose to purchase and write about my experience for a “Used – Like New” product, but other conditions may show some wear.
Is a Used – Like New Amazon product worth it?
The description that was shown for this “Used – Like New” item said: Item will come in original packaging. Packing will be damaged. Ok, I’m not gifting this, so let’s go for it.
I received the item promptly in two days and it lived up to its prime eligible name. It was shipped in your standard Amazon box. Inside the Amazon box was another shipping box for the product itself. The box wasn’t the most attractive thing you’ve ever seen (it had some ripped cardboard), but it’s a box, so I can’t say I minded even slightly.
Then inside the second box was…a third box, the product packaging. That box was in perfect condition and if you were gifting this item, you could easily throw away the other two boxes and wrap this one up. But enough about packaging. How did the actual product stack up?
Does the quality appear used or brand new?
After inspecting for a few minutes (and my daughter using for a couple weeks), it’s just as the description says – like new. It works perfectly. It’s clean. There were a couple tiny little ink spots on the top of the device, but other than that, it looks brand new. The instructions and accessories were all there and in perfect order. To be honest, if you take the packaging out of the equation, it’s perfectly new.
After using the device for a couple weeks, I can also back up that it functions normally too.
Can you trust Amazon Warehouse products? Would we recommend them?
From my experience, yes, definitely. If the only difference is a slightly damaged shipping box, my answer is yes. Packaging is packaging. And it’s totally worth it to save $20 if you’re still getting a new product. The couple dots of ink on the top lead me to believe someone tried it out, and then decided to return it. So just know, it may have been handled a few times, but its essentially new.
And keep in mind, the condition can vary. The “like new” products are trustworthy from my experience, but for other used conditions, you may have to decide if some wear is worth the price difference.
This is also a good place to mention, Amazon Warehouse product go through a rigorous 20-point quality inspection process. So it’s not as if they sell it to you without ensuring the quality is fit to sell. Since they also back Amazon Warehouse products by their 30-day replacement and 30-day refund policy, it’s relatively low risk if you decide to give it a try.
Just remember, it’s first come, first served. So if you see something you like, scoop it up!