See if shopping the online giant is worth it for you.
This online behemoth started out as a humble online bookstore founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. Today, Amazon has grown into the largest online retailer in the world, offering millions of items, from vehicle tires to makeup to mattresses.
The company also now offers a paid membership service called Amazon Prime, which gives members access to services like Prime Video, Prime Music and Prime Pantry.
Some online reviewers note issues with customer service
What do people say about Amazon?
Overall, Amazon gets positive reviews online. Most customers are happy with its huge selection of products, competitive pricing and speedy delivery. While online scams can and do occasionally happen, there aren’t many complaints about fraud when ordering through Amazon. That said, it’s a good idea to check product reviews and only pay through Amazon.
Some customers have reported issues with Amazon’s customer service team, however, saying that it’s difficult to speak to a real person. Others say some issues regarding warranties and canceled orders were never resolved.
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In a nutshell: nearly everything. Amazon now offers millions of products from sellers around the world, including clothing, home goods, groceries, furniture, mattresses, tech items, car parts and much more.
The company also offers a range of streaming services, including Amazon Music and Prime Video, as well as Kindle e-books. You can find deals on Amazon devices like Echo, Fire TV and Kindle here.
If you’re shopping for clothing or other sized items, check the sizing information on the individual product page. Since Amazon is a third-party marketplace, there’s no uniform sizing chart that applies to everything on the site.
Shipping, payments and returns
Can I get free delivery?
Yes! Amazon Prime members get free two-day shipping on all Prime-eligible orders. Some items are even eligible for free next-day shipping with Prime membership.
If you don’t have Prime, free standard shipping is available on select items. You also might want to consider these alternatives to Amazon Prime.
Shipping costs depend on the weight and sizes of the item(s) in your order, your location, your selected shipping speed and whether or not you have a Prime membership. Exact shipping rates and options are available to view at checkout before finalizing your purchase.
Pay for your order using Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Diner’s Club or JCB. Note that payment options may vary by seller.
Most items fulfilled by Amazon can be returned for free within 30 days of purchase, as long as they’re new and unopened. But if the item shipped from a third-party seller, the return policy and options can vary. Before making a purchase, check the return policy.
Can I exchange for a different color or size?
Yes. Most items fulfilled by Amazon can be exchanged for a replacement. If your order shipped from a third-party seller, contact them directly to inquire about their specific policy.
Find the item you want to return and click Return or replace items. If you don’t see that option, the item is not eligible for a return.
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your return and print your return shipping label.
What sets Amazon apart?
Amazon has become a household name in online shopping, carrying millions of items — often at competitive price points. The online giant also edges out some competition by offering free two-day shipping options, free shipping on Prime Pantry orders and a variety of streaming services.
There are a few ways to get in touch with Amazon customer service:
Live chat online.
Schedule a phone call through its online help center.
Amazon can be a great place to start if you’re searching for a broad range of items and want to make sure you get the best deal and free shipping. Take the time to look at product reviews before buying, though, to avoid quality disappointments.
Gabrielle Pastorek is a staff writer at Finder, helping readers to round up the best deals, coupons, retailers, products and services to make sound financial decisions. She's written more than 800 articles on the site and is a quoted expert in Best Company and DealNews. She earned an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, with essays and short stories published in The Collagist, Blue Monday Review, Blotterature and others. When she’s not writing, Gabrielle can be found out in the barn with her horse, Lucy.
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