Don’t spoil the surprise. Send Sneaky Gifts With This Amazon Shopping Trick

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This story is part Gift guideour year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

Imagine that you have found the absolutely perfect gift, but you cannot find the recipient’s address anywhere. Of course, you can do some research to try to find out their address, or you can spoil the surprise all together and ask them directly. If you shop on Amazon, however, you may have a third option. There is an Amazon Buy feature that allows a stealth gift to be sent with only the recipient’s phone number or email address.

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We love this idea, even more so than Amazon’s second Prime Day event means that buying gifts for colleagues, family or friends will soon be a little cheaper. Although the official event, which Amazon calls the Prime Early Access sale, begins on October 11, you can take advantage of Amazon Coupons Page Waiting.

Here’s how to send gifts to those who have moved and whose address you don’t have on file. Just note, however, that you must be a Prime member and there are a few other caveats. (Here is how to get a prime membership if you don’t have one.) If you are already a member, there are a lot of benefits that you probably don’t useAs Grubhub Plus Free food delivery for a year.

Is there a catch to sending Amazon gifts without an address?

Yes, here are the puzzle pieces needed to make this handy shopping hack work. You have to:

  • Be an Amazon Prime member.
  • Have the recipient’s email address or cell phone number.
  • Use the mobile app to send the gift without a specific delivery address. (The new shopping feature will not work with Amazon.com, only the mobile app.)
  • Ship and receive the gift within the continental United States – sorry, Hawaii and Alaska.

Important Note: Not all donations are eligible. For example, we could not send the baby clothes we had chosen for our colleague’s newborn this way, but we could select a pair of $36 Amazon Over-Ear Headphones to send to a recipient without a physical address at hand.

How does the Amazon Prime gift option work?

Screen showing recipient selection

Here’s what it looks like in your Amazon mobile app to select whether to send a gift to a recipient using only their email address or phone number.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

We’ll share more details in the step-by-step below, but in general, as a donor, all you need to do is submit a gift receipt and select the new delivery option. The recipient will then be notified to accept the gift by providing their address. If they decide not to accept the gift, they can redeem it for an Amazon gift card. Amazon says it won’t tell the person who chose the gift if the recipient chooses a gift card instead.

How to Send a Gift on Amazon Without Knowing the Recipient’s Address

If you’ve just picked out a gift for a family member or friend on Amazon, here’s how you can text or email it to them:

1. Add the gift to your cart using Amazon’s mobile app.

2. Faucet Add a gift receipt for easy returns then press Proceed to checkout.

3. Once at checkout, select the option to Let the recipient provide their address and press Continue.

4. Enter the recipient’s phone number or email address. This is where you can also add a personalized message sent with your gift. You can also select gift wrapping at this point. (Note that it usually costs an extra $5 for an Amazon gift bag.)

5. Place your order by clicking Continue. The recipient will then be notified and invited to accept the gift.

How to Accept an Amazon Gift

Gift notification screen

You can virtually unwrap your Amazon gifts.

Amazon

If you received a gift through Amazon, here’s how to accept it (or get a gift card instead):

1. Click on the text or email notification from Amazon and press View and accept your gift.

2. Tap your present to unwrap it and watch an animation of your revealed present.

3. Once you have virtually unwrapped your gift, you can choose to Accept and provide an address Where Redeem for an Amazon Gift Card.

4. If you choose to accept the gift, you will be prompted for your shipping address. After entering your address, press deliver to this address so what Accept the gift.

5. Amazon will then send your gift to you with free Prime shipping.

To find out more, see how to use amazon subscribe and save to buy your favorite products at a reduced price. Additionally, you can avoid shipping costs with this shopping tip.

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