Amazon launches Christmas game-changer allowing customers to send gifts even when address is unknown

By Linda Howard

Amazon has introduced a new feature which allows Prime members to send gifts to friends or family members even if they do not know their address, and it could be a game-changer this Christmas.

If you have ever wanted to send someone a Christmas gift, but been put off because you don’t know their full address, Amazon.com has just the solution that could be heading to the UK very soon, according to home delivery expert, ParcelHero.

Just by providing the recipient’s email address or mobile phone number, the gifts can be sent instantly - as long as the receiver is also a registered Amazon user, but if they are not, they can sign up when they get the gift notification - and ParcelHero believes other online retailers could soon catch on to the new idea.

The new service also lets people swap a gift if it wasn’t quite what they were hoping for, without the sender knowing.

Recipients can swap the original present for an Amazon gift card to choose something else, without the gift giver being notified.

Here’s how the new feature works

Amazon Prime member wants to give someone a gift but does not know their postal address, however, they do have their mobile phone number or email address.

Prime member chooses the gift using the Amazon mobile app, selects the ‘add gift receipt for easy returns’ options during check-out, and will see an option to ‘let the recipient provide their address’.

The Prime member then adds the recipient’s email address or mobile number.

At this point the Amazon Prime member’s payment card isn’t charged, but a hold is put on it for the amount of the purchase.

The recipient then gets a notification either by text message or email that there’s a gift from an Amazon Prime member waiting for them.

If the recipient does not have an Amazon account, they can create one at this point - they must have an account to accept the gift, but only the giver has to be a Prime member.

The recipient can click on the notification from Amazon to reveal what the Prime Member has sent, then decide whether to decline the gift, accept the gift, or accept it but swap it to an Amazon gift card instead - the sender won’t be notified if it’s being exchanged for something else.

If the recipient accepts the gift, the sender’s payment card is then charged the amount on hold.

If the recipient ignores the gift notification entirely, it expires within a few days, and the sender gets their money back.

Commenting on the new feature, ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., said: “Amazon Prime members purchasing gifts for loved ones, friends and colleagues on Amazon now don’t need to know the recipient’s full address before sending them a present this Christmas. That’s a feature we’ve all wished for at some time.’

“It’s a surprisingly simple idea, and one we can see Amazon.co.uk and other British online retailers adopting quickly as well. With just a little tweaking, it’s a development that should be an option for UK retailers such as Argos and ASOS.”

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