Don’t spoil the surprise. Send sneaky gifts with this Amazon shopping tip

This story is part of it Gift Guideour collection of the best gift ideas all year round.

Imagine you’ve found the absolute perfect gift, but you can’t find the recipient’s address anywhere. Sure, you could make some mistakes in an attempt to reveal their address, or you could ruin the surprise all together and ask them directly. If you shop on Amazon, however, you may have a third option. There is a shopping feature on Amazon that makes it possible to send a hidden gift with just the recipient’s phone number or email address.

We love this idea, especially as Amazon second Prime Day event means 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, starts on October 11, you can take advantage of Amazon’s coupons page while you wait

Learn how to send gifts to those who may have moved and whose address you don’t have on file. Just note, though, that you have to be a Prime member and there are a few other caveats. (Here how to sign up for a Prime membership if you haven’t.) If you’re already a member, there are many perks that you probably don’t uselike free Grubhub Plus food delivery for a year.

Having trouble sending gifts to Amazon without an address?

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

  • Join Amazon Prime.
  • You have the recipient’s email address or mobile phone number.
  • Use the mobile app to send the gift without a specific shipping address. (The new shopping feature won’t work with, only the mobile app.)
  • Send and receive the gift in the continental US — sorry, Hawaii and Alaska.

important note: Not every gift is appropriate on its own. For example, we could not send the baby clothes we selected for our colleague’s newborn this way, but we were able to select a pair Amazon Over-Ear Headphones $36 to ship to a recipient without a physical address.

How does the Amazon Prime gift option work?

Screen showing recipient selection

This is what it looks like in the Amazon mobile app to choose to send a gift to a recipient using only their email address or phone number.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

We’ll share more details below step-by-step, but in general, as a donor, you just need to send 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 exchange 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.

How to send a gift on Amazon without knowing the recipient’s address

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

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

2. Puncture Add a gift receipt for easy return and then press Proceed to checkout.

3. Once you reach the checkout, select the option to Let the recipient provide their address and press To continue.

4. Enter the recipient’s phone number or email address. Here you can also add a custom message to be sent with your gift. You can also choose gift wrapping at this stage. (Note that this usually costs another $5 for an Amazon gift bag.)

5. Place your order by clicking To continue. The recipient will then be notified and asked to accept the gift.

How to accept an Amazon gift

Gift notification screen

You can unwrap your Amazon gifts virtually.


If you’ve been sent 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 tap View and accept your gift.

2. Tap on your gift to unwrap it and watch an animation of your gift unfold.

3. Once you’ve actually unwrapped your gift, you can choose it Accept and provide an address the Redeem an Amazon Gift Card.

4. If you choose to accept the gift, you will be asked to provide your delivery address. After entering your address, tap Delivery to this address and after Accept the gift.

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

For more, take a look how to use amazon sign up and save to buy your favorite products at a discount. Moreover, you can skip shipping with this shopping tip.

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