Amazon Delivered Empty Package: Why, What To Do & 5 Ways To Avoid It

In an attempt to ensure that every delivery ends positively, setbacks still occur. While Amazon has contingency plans for most delivery issues, they usually find it difficult to believe that a package was delivered empty. 

Two things are usually involved when you receive an empty package from Amazon. It is either the package was delivered that way due to warehouse errors or the content of the package was stolen after delivery. 

Whichever scenario is responsible, Amazon has a policy that allows refunds for stolen, missing, or empty packages. This means you can file a claim for a refund or replacement. You only need to prove to Amazon that your complaint is genuine. 

Read on to discover why Amazon packages sometimes are delivered empty, what to do, and tips to prevent a repeat. 

Why Did Amazon Deliver An Empty Package? 


The truth is that Amazon may or may not be responsible for this event. However, if you have an empty package at your doorstep, two major factors are usually responsible: 

Shipping or human error 

Shipping errors that can result in the delivery of an empty package can be from Amazon or a retailer. Warehouse personnel sometimes get carried away and make simple mistakes, which may result in scanning an empty package and preparing it for delivery. 

A good example is when a package is not sealed properly. Such an item may slip during handling and be cleared for delivery. 


Theft can occur at any stage of delivery. One way to know that your item was stolen after delivery is to inspect the condition of its container for tampering. Aside from that, there is a big chance the package was empty before delivery. 

What to Do if a Package Arrives Empty?

The first step is to check the item’s condition for tampering or foul play. After that, you can: 

1. Check your Amazon order history

The primary reason for this decision is to ensure the package is from Amazon and is for you. To check your history: 

  • Log in to your Amazon account 
  • Navigate to the “Returns & Orders” menu on the top right corner of your dashboard 
  • Go to the specific order and check its tracking number, the courier responsible for the delivery, and the weight of the package at the point of processing. 

2. Contact the seller 

After inspecting the package and checking that its details match what you have on your history, contacting the seller should be the next step. You can do this by sending them a complaint message, narrating your experience. 

Be patient and let the seller investigate the situation. It may take a few days to get a response if you are dealing with a small-scale retailer or an international shipment. 

3. Contact Amazon 

You can also contact Amazon if it owns the item or if the third-party retailer is not responsive. Just go to the order using the “Return & Orders” tab on the top right corner of your dashboard and select “Return or Replace Items.” 

Provide them with the details or evidence regarding the empty package and wait for them to investigate. Ensure you refer to their policy regarding missing and empty packages to increase your chances of getting a positive response. 

You should get a refund or replacement after the investigation if your claim is strong or genuine. 

4. Talk to a supervisor 

Sometimes, you need to escalate the whole scenario by calling a customer service rep. This method guarantees a faster response compared to leaving a message. You can even request to speak to a higher-tier customer service team. 

5. Initiate a chargeback 

Initiating a chargeback is an option to consider if you purchased the item with a credit card or Amazon is not finding it difficult to resolve the situation. This is an alternative way to seek a refund without requesting permission from Amazon if your claim is genuine. 

6. Take legal action

Legal options when it comes to disputing the delivery of an empty package include getting a court order or seeking legal advice from a lawyer who specializes in consumer protection. Please note that this route requires additional time, effort, and cost. 

5 Ways to Prevent Empty Package Deliveries


While the delivery of empty packages by Amazon may be rare, there are effective steps you can take to enjoy smooth deliveries always: 

1. Check the seller’s reviews or rating 

Not all third-party sellers on Amazon are completely genuine. Some like to take advantage of their customers and one of the effective ways to spot such sellers is to check their reviews. Seller accounts with poor ratings or negative reviews should be avoided. 

2. Secure your home 

Most empty deliveries are a result of theft after delivery. With more and more instances of porch package theft occurring at the moment, you should consider securing your home.

Practical steps you can take include installing a surveillance camera and using package deterrent signs around your home. 

3. Provide special instructions 

Special delivery instructions such as signature requirements, leaving the package in a safe location, with a neighbor, or taking a picture of the delivery can reduce the risk of theft.

In addition, if the item was delivered empty, you can easily file a claim to get a refund or replacement. 

4. Choose a time you will be available for delivery

By selecting a shipping preference or delivery window that aligns with your availability, you make it possible to receive an item from a delivery driver. Busy individuals can also direct their deliveries to their workplace if that is where they spend most of their time. 

This way, you can easily feel the weight of the package or open it in front of the delivery driver if you suspect any foul play. 

5. Choose special delivery options 

Special options such as delivery to an Amazon locker also help prevent empty package delivery related to theft. In case the item is empty at the time of pickup at the locker, you can easily take a picture and use it as evidence when requesting a refund. 

Alternatively, you can consider using Amazon key. This is a service that allows a delivery driver to deliver a package to your home. Please note that this service is not available in all locations. 

Lastly, subscribing to delivery notifications also helps. This way, you are alerted once your package arrives and can take precise action to keep it safe. 


How does Amazon investigate missing packages?

Amazon partners with the shipping partner responsible for the item’s delivery to try and locate the package. This investigation process may involve double-checking shipping records, reviewing security footage, and contacting their customer service department. 

How long does Amazon take to refund missing items?

Refund time for an empty delivery or stolen package will depend on the mode of payment. Gift card and credit refunds occur within 2 to 5 business days while others may take up to 10 business days or more. 

What happens if Amazon gets your order wrong?

Amazon will send you a return label. Once the item is received, they will send the right package or issue a refund. 

Bottom Line 

There are two things involved when an empty package is delivered by an Amazon driver. It is either the package was delivered in your absence or directly to you. If it is the former, you need to inspect the container’s condition after opening it. 

For direct deliveries, it is advisable to open the item right in front of the driver if you suspect any foul play or the package feels very lightweight compared to what you expect. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. Discover more on how to ensure your package is delivered to a safe place

Thanks for reading.