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Why can’t I remove items from a friend’s Amazon Wishlist?

remove items from a friend's Amazon Wishlist
Double trouble: duplicate presents could now be a problem

Amazon’s Wishlist feature is a convenient way to track items that you’d like to purchase. Or, more pertinently, items that you’d like your friends and family to buy for you. Look out for an article soon extolling all the virtues of Amazon’s Wishlist, including tips on getting the most out of it. But, for now, we really need to talk about a feature that’s suddenly disappeared.

If you’ve ever visited somebody else’s Wishlist, you’ll know you can purchase an item from it and have it sent straight to them or to yourself. Amazon then removes that item from their list so they don’t end up with duplicates.

Well, okay, not all of the time – for whatever reason it can be hit-and-miss, with purchased items refusing to budge from the list. You can also add products from other websites to an Amazon Wishlist but buying those certainly won’t remove them from the list, as Amazon has no way of tracking purchases from third-party sites.

However, there is a well-hidden way to get those hard to remove items off people’s wishlists. Look to the right of your list and under ‘Add to Basket’, you’ll see a link named ‘Buying this gift elsewhere?’

Clicking on this will prompt you for your name and your email address. Amazon will fire an email to you, from which you can confirm that you have purchased the item and it will be removed from the relevant list.

Which sounds great. Except, it’s gone. Vanished.

I queried this on Twitter with Amazon’s customer services and they were, shall we say, unhelpful…

Yes, they are explaining to me that the way around the missing option is to use the missing option.

After patiently explaining the issue in further detail, Amazon asked me to try the cliched solution of “clearing cache and cookies”. That didn’t work. Nor did another browser. Or even trying it on my wife’s laptop, with her Amazon account, on both a different browser and a totally different operating system.

Thankfully, it turns out I was sane, as soon other users confirmed that they were seeing the same problem on both Amazon UK and US.

After further quizzing, including Amazon insisting I ring them to sort out this “account issue”, the company seemed to admit failure…

Which is all rather unhelpful. This does suggest that a rather important Wishlist feature has been removed. I asked them how items were now supposed to be removed from a friend’s list and, again unhelpfully, Amazon told me how to switch the option on to have them be automatically removed (which, as I said before, doesn’t work for third-party purchases).

So, for now, the option is missing. How long for, we simply don’t know, but I’m suspicious of that final message, which makes it sound like an intentional change. I’m hoping Amazon will fix this in due course and restore the link. Otherwise, Christmas day could be spent unwrapping the third copy of the same book that you had on your Wishlist.

Now click here: How do I get a refund from Amazon after 30 days?

Main pic credit: ▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓

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About the author

David Artiss

With 28 years of experience working in the IT industry, David has been writing about technology on his own personal site for many years. He is a keen gamer and happily admits to being a gadget nerd too.

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  • I’ve used the Amazon Wishlists for many years and the main reason for using it was to avoid duplicates from family members. I too no longer have the option to remove items from the list that are bought from another website and my family have been telling me that they can’t remove items from my list either. It’s not good if they have removed that functionality!!!

  • I have used this feature many times. Too bad they removed it as Amazon was our family’s first choice in sharing wish lists.

    If you go to their List help (attached), it still shows it as the appropriate option. Last sentence.

    Amazon, if you have removed it, fix your help screen! Otherwise bring the feature back!

    Purchase from a List
    Once you’ve entered someone’s list, you can browse the item details of anything on the list.

    To purchase from a list:

    Browse the registry.
    Note:

    You can sort list items by title, date, price, priority or purchased status by choosing the desired option from the Sort and Filter pull-down menus.

    Click Add to Cart or Buy with 1-Click.
    Note:

    You can click these buttons from the list page or product detail pages. When you order, the item will be moved to the Purchased section of the recipient’s list.
    If you place your order through the Shopping Cart instead of 1-Click, you can enter a gift message and request gift-wrap.

    Continue shopping or proceed to checkout.
    Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your order.
    Note:

    Only the registrant’s name and city will appear on the default address to protect the privacy of the list owner.
    If you’re purchasing an item from a seller, the default shipping address will only be available if the list owner has enabled third-party address sharing. Otherwise, you’ll need to know and enter the shipping address.
    To mark a seller item as purchased, click the Buying this elsewhere link next to the item and follow the instructions in the pop-up.

  • My mom and I are going nuts without this feature. I also chatted with a rep around March and was told that they were also frustrated it was gone and had passed the request on – helping us know we weren’t insane either.

    In the meantime, anyone have an alternative? We have already duplicated one $40 gift, I’m not inclined to continue down this path.

    Thanks! 🙂

  • I’m so glad I found this article! For ages I had been thinking I was going mad as I could no longer see the ‘buying elsewhere’ button on people’s lists!! It is so frustrating that Amazon have removed it, I’m sure they’ll find a lot of people don’t use them anymore as the whole reason I liked their lists was because I could add both Amazon and non-Amazon products to it. Grrr!!!

  • Talking to POOJA about this now on Amazon Live Chat. He says, amusingly, “Phil, you do not need to mark it as ‘bought Elsewhere’, when you purchase the item from any other website the desired quantity in the wish list will automatically get reduce by 1.”

    Although he doesn’t seem to have any comprehension of the fact that people might dare to buy anything outside Amazon, he’s now removing the items from the wishlist for me at his end. Madness.

  • I just had a web chat with someone at Amazon and asked about the missing “Buying this gift from elsewhere” links:

    3rd July 2018 You’re now connected to Ankit from Amazon.co.uk

    Ankit: Hello, my name is Ankit. I’ll be glad to help you today.
    We know about this.
    The tech team is working on something even better.
    Hope it will be released soon.
    Ankit.

    Simon: Will this allow for the same usability?

    Ankit: Yes. with some added features.

    So it looks like they will be revamping the wish lists at some point “soon”.

    Finger’s crossed it works well.

  • Amazon Germany has removed the option as well so it seems to be a worldwide problem. Had to login into my husbands account and delete items manually, not an option I can take with other people….

    I hope Amazon fixes this soon

  • Same here. I was about to buy something off a friends list for Christmas, which I have managed to find for half the price of Amazon, but I can’t remove it off her wish list, and I don’t want her to end up with 3 of the same come unwrapping time, so I won’t be buying it unless I can find out who else she shares the list with, and let them all know.
    I have used her wish list many times & mostly bought off Amazon, but the odd time that a better offer can be found I would love to be able to stop other people buying her the same thing. I hope it returns!!

  • Very glad I found this article. I thought i was going crazy. I had a 30 minute “chat” with an Amazon rep about this (the third one I was transferred to) that said they were going to open a ticket, work with the technical team and get back to me. Seems like that may not be happening if this has been going on since May. I”m now looking at third party options. 🙁

  • What’s the point of accessing a friends wishlist if items on it can not be deleted as soon as purchasing then some other friend mistakingly buys the same item. Idiotic. Why hasn’t Amazon sorted this out? Was like this last Christmas and unbeknownst to us a friend received three exact copies of books from different people using this. Not exactly a gift is it!

    • It’s now even worse – if the friend qotes another website to buy from, there is only a button for that website. If the item is in Amazon you can only buy from Amazon – no “buy elswhere” So these lists are now useless. Ideas with notes in the Comments is now no use – only button is Amazon search, no option to remove if bought elsewhere

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