Send Surprise Gifts to Everyone Using This Amazon Trick
Send gifts to everyone without their address with just a few easy steps.
Alexandra GarrettAssociate Editor
Alexandra is an associate editor on CNET's Performance Optimization team. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and interned with CNET's Tech and News teams while in school. Prior to joining CNET full time, Alexandra was a breaking news fellow at Newsweek, where she covered current events and politics.
Here's a dilemma: You've found the perfect gift for someone but you don't know the correct address to send it to. You don't want to text them to ask for their address because that would give away the surprise -- but if you don't ask then you're left with a great gift and no address to mail it to. Unfortunately, while the internet can solve most problems, a correct address can be hard to find. But if you're shopping for a gift on Amazon, all is not lost. There's an amazing Amazon shopping feature that makes it possible to send a stealthy gift with just the recipient's phone number or email address.
Is there a catch to sending Amazon gifts without an address?
Yes, here are the puzzle pieces needed to make this convenient shopping hack work. You must:
Be an Amazon Prime member.
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 Amazon.com, only the mobile app.)
Ship and receive the gift to the continental US -- sorry, Hawaii and Alaska.
Important note: Not every gift is eligible. For example, we couldn't send the baby clothes we picked out for our colleague's newborn this way, but we were able to select a pair of $36 Amazon over-ear headphones (not currently available) to send to a recipient without a physical address on hand.
How does the Amazon Prime gift option work?
We'll share more details in the step-by-step below, but in general, as the gift-giver you just have 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 to not accept the gift, they can exchange it for an Amazon gift card. Amazon says it won't tell the person who picked out 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 just picked out a gift for your family member or friend on Amazon, here's how you can send it to them through text or email:
1. Add the gift to your cart using Amazon's mobile app.
2. Tap Add a gift receipt for easy returns and then tap Proceed to checkout.
3. Once at checkout, select the option to Let the recipient provide their address and tap Continue.
4. Enter the recipient's phone number or email address. This is where you can also add a custom message sent alongside your gift. You can also select gift wrapping at this stage. (Note that this typically costs another $5 for an Amazon gift bag.)
5. Place your order by clicking Continue. The recipient will then be notified and asked to accept the gift.