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What does “open the box” mean on Amazon?

Amazon.com can be a shopper’s haven for deals and discounts. While most items sold on Amazon are listed as in new or unused condition, you can sometimes find a product labeled “open box.” This designation may sound confusing, but at Amazon.com, the meaning depends on whether the item is sold by Amazon or by a third party.

What Does "Open Box" Mean on Amazon?
What Does “Open Box” Mean on Amazon?

Amazon warehouse offers

Amazon “Open the box” from Amazon’s Warehouse Transactions division that offers discounts on items such as new, used, or refurbished Amazon. These items may have been returned by the buyer, or the packaging may have been damaged in the warehouse.

Amazon Warehouse Deals products are in good condition and are verified as working well, but they are simply not new. Due to Amazon’s strict standards for the status and functionality of the items they sell when you buy an open-box product on Amazon, a product that doesn’t work won’t be sold, regardless of its cosmetic status.

Return or damaged packaging

Amazon “Open the box” at Amazon Warehouse Deals usually refers to an item that has been shipped to the customer but then the carrier returns is unable to deliver. Amazon employees may have opened the packaging to verify that the item is working well and that the item may have been repackaged if the original packaging was broken, but the item itself would not have been used.

In the event of package damage, Amazon will not replace the damaged packaging unless the original packaging no longer provides adequate protection for the item inside. If the packaging of a product is overdue, Amazon will repackage it.
Third-party sellers

The second, slightly vague definition of “open box” on Amazon.com applies to an open box purchase from a third-party seller through Amazon’s store. Amazon has a set of guidelines for labeling product status (“new,” “as new,” “as new,” “very good,” “good,” “good,” “acceptable” and “unacceptable”) that third-party sellers must follow, except that the phrase “open box” applies only officially to games and computer software.

In those cases, the item may no longer be originally wrapped and may lack the original UPC case and symbol, but the software itself must work perfectly and the packaging, instructions and discs are further classified according to the condition instructions. For products that are not computer software or games, the term “open box” is defined by the seller, so the definition may differ from Amazon Warehouse Deals.

Check before buying.

Amazon recommends contacting any third-party seller who lists an item as an “open box” to confirm what the term means to that seller, as definitions can vary. To contact the seller, click on the seller’s name on the item listing page, and then click the “seller insights” link to see if the page must include a link to contact the seller’s customer service. Ask questions about the condition of the product before you buy, and if you’re not happy with the seller’s feedback, look elsewhere. Purchases that you make from third-party sellers over Amazon.com are protected by Amazon’s A to Z Guarantee, including the status of the item and timely delivery, even for open box items, but must clarify the status of the item in the advance to avoid the hassle of return.

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