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How does Amazon's Try Before You Buy service work?

Like online shopping but hate paying for items upfront that you might not keep and the faff of sorting out returns? Amazon's Try Before You Buy service could be just what you're looking for. We highlight the benefits of the scheme, alongside honest reviews from Mumsnetters.

By Rachel Erdos | Last updated Dec 18, 2023

Women's clothes rail

As lovely as it is to mooch round the shops IRL, it's hard to beat the convenience of online shopping. Especially when you can stock up on loungewear from the comfort of your sofa and add items to your WFH wardrobe while sat at your desk. And one of the biggest benefits is having time to try on items at your leisure, in your own bedroom, with your own accessories, away from the unflattering mirror and lighting combo that seems to dominate shopfloor changing rooms. As IcedPurple notes, "even Naomi Campbell would cringe under those lights".

But as much as we love the excitement of a fashionable parcel landing on the doormat, the process of returning items can be a faff and paying for items in advance (that you might not keep) can be a pricey exercise. Amazon's Try Before You Buy service offers to eliminate these pain points so we've looked into how it works and scoured the Mumsnet forums for insights into whether it's worth signing up for.

What is Prime Try Before You Buy?

Formerly known as Prime Wardrobe, Amazon has rebranded its fashion service to Prime Try Before You Buy, not quite as catchy but it does what it says on the tin. Exclusive to Prime members, it allows you to order up to six eligible items at a time (clothes, bags, shoes and accessories) and try pieces on at your leisure. You'll have seven days to figure out if you want to keep or return them and you only pay for the items you hang onto. One of the biggest selling points is that you don’t have to pay for items in advance and then wait for refunds to be processed. Delivery and returns are free, as per all Prime orders and you'll have seven days after the seven-day trying-on period to return what you want to send back.

How do you return Try Before You Buy items?

After you've selected the items that you want to return via the Your Orders page in your Amazon account, you can slip them back into the original packaging, use the prepaid label and drop them off at a convenient location (typically a local shop or your nearest post office) up to seven days after you start the returns process online.

How much does the Try Before You Buy service cost?

The Try Before You Buy service is exclusive to Prime members and is included in the subscription price so if you already have a Prime membership you can take advantage now. There's no extra cost to use it and both delivery and returns are free of charge. Prime membership currently costs £7.99 per month or £79 for a year. Membership includes unlimited premium delivery as well as access to services including Prime Video, Amazon Music and Prime Reading. You can take advantage of a 30-day free trial when you first sign up if you're keen to test the waters before committing.

Woman returning clothes in a box

What do Mumsnetters think of Prime Try Before You Buy?

The general consensus across the forums is positive. It's a thumbs up from Mabelface who thinks that "Amazon Prime Wardrobe is great. You do try before you buy and return what you don't want, only paying for what you keep. Repackaging is simple as is returning". And for anyone that hates traipsing round the shops, like soloula, the concept is really appealing: "You try stuff on and you get charged for what you keep after a certain time. I hate shopping so I've been ahead of the curve and I've been using this services for ages".

And on a thread titled 'I flipping hate clothes shopping, FriedEggs1 was keen to point out the benefits of the service: "I've recently been using Amazon Prime Wardrobe. You have to be a Prime customer. Not all items are eligible but I've found a very good selection are. You can try before you buy. Minimum order is 3 items, max 8. Free and easy returns which have to be done within 7 days of receipt to the Post Office. I sound like I work for Amazon but I don't".