Can You Return A Kindle Book? Here's What To Know

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With the simple and convenient one-click purchases of today's world, errors inevitably occur. Sometimes, these mistakes can be attributed to kids or pets who accidentally click "purchase" or an unlocked phone hastily tossed into a purse that somehow purchased something on its own. Returns and refunds are understandable in these cases, and naturally, this applies to books accidentally purchased on your Kindle — as long as returns are made within seven days, according to Amazon's website.


After an uptick in Americans using e-readers, some policies inevitably needed to be updated and adapted as the realm of e-books expanded. And this was precisely the case with Kindle book returns. Previously, Kindle books could be returned for a full refund, even after readers had completed them. This would put authors out of royalties, so authors understandably pushed for a new policy. 

Still, whether you've accidentally purchased a book you've already read or perhaps clicked the wrong book in a series, you can make a return, but there are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

How to return a Kindle book

If you — or your child or pet — accidentally purchase a Kindle book and need a refund, the process is fairly simple, though Amazon recommends turning on your parental control settings to make sure these mistakes are few and far between. To make a return, go to "Your Orders" on Amazon and ensure you're signed in with the same account you used to make your purchase. Here, select "Digital Orders" and then "Return for Refund." You should receive a refund as long as you're within the seven-day purchase window and the book hasn't been partially read.


On the rare occasion that an ebook you purchased needs to be returned outside of the seven-day window — not due to writing quality or uninteresting content but because of poor formatting, like out-of-order text or misplaced footnotes — you'll likely need to call Amazon customer service. Alternatively, you could heed the advice of a Redditor who suggested keeping the book, especially if the writing itself was solid. "... formatting issues are very likely not the authors fault, they probably had little involvement with that aspect, but they're the one that'll take a financial hit from the return," the Redditor explained.

Why a refund might be denied

While accidental purchases happen and you can be refunded for these mishaps, Amazon keeps a close eye on Kindle book returns. Amazon states on its site, "If you have a high rate of return requests in your account history or you have partially read a book, the self-service refund option may not be available to you." So, if you read a few chapters of a new romance novel on Kindle everyone is raving about and find it really isn't for you, a refund isn't likely. However, if you purchase a book accidentally or purchase one and no longer need it for one reason or another (such as for a college course you dropped), you may request a refund within seven days, as long as you haven't read some of it.


It's worth noting that the read-and-return habit some Kindle users got used to wasn't impacting the mega-corporation Amazon. It was taking earnings back from writers who earn royalties from book sales. This is especially true for self-publishing authors who make all of their money from royalties, as they don't receive an advance or other forms of payment from publishing houses. "Authors love readers. They're our lifeblood," Chad Ryan, a horror and fantasy writer, told NPR. "My hope is that readers will understand that influencers on TikTok and discussions on Facebook may have all the angles figured out on how to get e-books from Amazon for free, but it's not Amazon they're hurting here." So, next time you want to return a book, think about the why behind your return and if you really need to return it. Then, if you do need to return it, you can rest assured that the process is very simple.