Buying gifts for friends and family is always fun, especially when it’s a surprise. Amazon allows you to purchase items and ship them to your friend’s house without them knowing.
However, the items you buy will appear in the recipient’s notifications. If you want to, you can disable that feature and keep your gifts a secret until they finally arrive at the correct address.
Stay with us, and we will explain how everything works.
How Do Wish Lists Work?
Wish lists are similar to gift registries. Anyone with an Amazon account can create a Wish List and add items to it. Depending on the settings, the user can choose to keep the list private and send it to a few friends or family members for gifts, or the user can make it public and anyone can search and make a purchase.
When someone purchases something on another person’s wish list, that item is shipped to the wish list creator. We’ll go into more detail about this below, but essentially, a person will only receive notifications if they’ve set them to send an alert when something on their list is purchased.
If you’re considering purchasing a gift on your own Amazon account rather than from their wish list you can. But, Amazon will not know that it should remove that item from the list, and therefore someone else may make the exact same purchase.
When you create your Amazon account, you have to enter your address and other details. Every item you buy will be sent to the address you specified during the registration process unless you choose another one. When purchasing items as gifts, Amazon allows you to enter different shipping addresses and names of the recipients. You can also add a note with your best wishes and choose a wrapping, so the item gets sent as a real gift. Here is how you send gifts on Amazon:
- Select “This is a gift” before you purchase the item.
- Add the item to your cart.
- Select “Proceed to checkout.”
- Enter the address where you want the gift to be sent. You can do that from your address book or manually.
- Hit “Ship to this address.”
- Select the wrap you want by checking the box that says, “Gift-wrap this item.” You can also include a personalized message. Items in the Amazon Global Store, however, don’t come with these options.
- Select “Continue.” and the item will be sent to the address you entered.
Amazon needs a few days to send out the items you’ve bought as gifts. That leaves you with some time to change your note. If the item didn’t enter the shipping process yet, go to your account and find the order you want to change details to.
Surprise Spoiler Settings
Typically, the person receiving the gift will get a notification when you enter their name and address in the recipient field which might be a problem if you want to keep the gift a secret and get that surprise factor.
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By selecting “Don’t spoil my surprises” in the Settings menu, your purchases will stay a secret for weeks. The items you purchased will show as “Unpurchased” on your items list. If you try to repurchase them, Amazon will warn you about duplicate items.
Here is what you need to do to keep your purchases a secret:
- Navigate to “Your Lists.”
- Find the list you want to change filters for.
- Hover your cursor over the three dots icon and select “Manage List.”
- Deselect “Keep purchased items on your list” if you want to make sure no one knows you purchased a gift.
- Select “Don’t spoil my surprises” if you don’t want the recipients to receive the gift notification.
- Select “Save Changes.”
Amazon warns that you have to remain logged into your account if you want this filter to stay on. Otherwise, the recipient could get the notification, and your surprise will be spoiled.
Other Options for Sending Gifts
Since you can send out gifts with personalized messages, you can also make them a surprise. You can choose to hide the price on the packing slip. If you want the gift-wrapped, the packing slip will be packed in an envelope named “Don’t spoil the surprise.” Only the name of the recipient and the address will stay on the outside of the package.
Some items can’t be wrapped because of their size, shape, or weight. If that’s the case, they will be shipped out in their original packaging. Amazon will inform you about that before you buy it.
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However, if you want it to stay a secret, the recipient will not be notified. The good thing is that Amazon will tell you if the person you wish to receive the gift already bought the item through his or her profile. That way, you won’t buy something they already have, which is a nice touch.
What You Can Do If You Share An Amazon Account
It isn’t unheard of that someone would want to purchase a gift for someone else in the same household and with the same Amazon account. This is actually much more difficult to pull off because of the account notification settings.
Let’s say you’re ordering a gift and you’d like to keep it from your significant other, your best bet is to set up an Amazon Household account where you would receive all of the notifications yet still use the same Prime account. Once ordered, you should place the order in the Archives to keep it hidden and verify that the recipient of your gift doesn’t have text alerts on.
We have an entire article about this here if you’d like to check it out and get more information on how to order a gift for someone without ruining the surprise.
Surprise Your Friends with the Best Gifts from Amazon
The Amazon online store has something for everyone. You will surely find something to surprise your friends or family members with. If you want to keep the purchase a secret, make sure that you check the “Don’t spoil my surprises” box. The items you bought will arrive at the location of your choice wrapped, and you can even add a personalized note for the full effect.