Can I Cancel an Amazon Order After it’s Shipped?

Ever want to return an item for a refund after it’s shipped? It can be done. Read on to find out how.

Yes. You can cancel an Amazon order after it’s shipped. How do I know? Because I just did it with 100% success!

Here’s what happened to me:

On Wednesday, Amazon emailed me and was like, “Hey, man; we’re gonna send you your Subscribe & Save stuff now; you should check it out and make sure you still want it.” (I’m paraphrasing). And I was like, “Oh yeah, I totally will.”

And then I didn’t.

And then a week later, they were like, “Hey, man, we’re all set with the 25 pounds of organic flour and case of Clorox wipes you didn’t say you didn’t want. Should be there tomorrow!”

And I was like, “Ohhhh noooo.”

Immediately after getting the email, I popped on to and frantically clicked the Cancel items button from the Your Orders screen. Amazon said that the items were already on their way and that they’d try their best to cancel them and let me know if they were successful.

A few days later, I got an email confirming that yes, they were successful and they’d be refunding me the full amount.

Yet another mistake that was 100% my fault fixed by Amazon!

So, how does that work? How do you get a refund for items already shipped from Amazon?

If you go to Amazon’s help site, there’s a page all about canceling Amazon orders. On the way, way bottom, there’s a little note about canceling items that have shipped. It says:

If your order shipped directly from and cannot be modified, you may refuse the package or return it using our Online Returns Center .

When I clicked the Cancel items button on my already shipped order, I’m guessing Amazon contacted UPS and told them to send the package back to Amazon. I must’ve done it early enough that this was possible.

If I hadn’t have done this, I had another option: refusing the package. That is, when the package arrives, straight up not accepting it and making the delivery person take it back.

This is hard to do since the UPS guy usually rings my doorbell, drops the package, and runs like the dickens. You can’t refuse a package online unless the first delivery attempt is made. But if you are home and manage to catch the UPS guy at your door and holler at him and tell him to take the package back, he will. Then it’ll be shipped back to Amazon, and you’ll get your money back.

Note that this policy works for items fulfilled by Amazon. For items fulfilled by third-party sellers, your mileage may vary.

So, give canceling an already shipped order a shot. You’ve got almost nothing to lose. Me, I had already resolved to bake like a million pretzels with my case of flour when it got here. The fact that it was returned and refunded was a pleasant surprise. Hopefully, you’re as lucky as me when you try.



  1. Stephen E Vaile

    I do not try to catch UPS if I am home. Which usually am not when they deliver.

    So far AMAzon has accepted all returns, ordered inadvertently etc.
    Their customer service has been stellar thus far, 10+ years.

  2. John Yungton

    Unopened ‘1st class’ packages can be ‘refused’ for USPS with free return shipments.

  3. Barry

    Many companies assign tracking numbers from the carrier through an interface to the carrier’s system when an order is ready for picking in the warehouse. Typically orders are picked then ‘staged’ for shipping in the distribution center–stacked ready to load onto a carrier’s trailer. Or, they may load directly onto the trailer. Then the warehouse management system (WMS) triggers a ship confirmation email to the customer.

    It’s a pretty sophisticated WMS that can find a package at that point and pull it from the staging area, but it can be done.

  4. Rod Payne

    The one time that I accidentally double ordered the same thing after getting confused with their order process .

    I immediately went online but was told that it was too late to cancel . If I wanted to send the item back I could have a credit against certain items that I didn’t want or have a use for or I could have a full refund minus the delivery costs which amounted to half the price of the book I had bought so still have the book. Won’t use Amazon in future.

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