When you share a single Amazon account with a partner and/or kids, it’s pretty difficult to keep any shopping a surprise. Amazon tracks your search history (and then serves you ads), orders are easily reviewed, and there are tons of notifications between the time you place an order and the moment it arrives on your doorstep. Basically, household gift-giving via Amazon can be both a huge convenience and a huge headache.
So what to do if you actually want to keep presents secret until they’re opened?
Set up Amazon Household
This one is an absolute necessity if you share an Amazon account for the Prime benefits. Amazon Household allows multiple users—two adults and up to four teens and four kids—to have profiles under one account. Each profile can log in and shop separately (kids under 13 can’t make purchases) but still take advantage of Prime shipping and other shared Amazon perks.
With separate (but linked) accounts, search and order histories aren’t visible to other Amazon Household members, so you can shop and purchase with some privacy.
Keep in mind, though, that a highly motivated snooper may still be able to see what you’ve ordered if you’ve used each other’s logins in the past and haven’t changed your passwords. Plus, payment methods are shared between Household members, so your partner may at least be aware that something is coming from Amazon if they’re checking those statements.
Archive gift orders from Amazon
If you don’t have Amazon Household set up or think gift recipients may browse your account, archive orders to keep them off your main order list. To do this, go to Returns and Orders (or Accounts and Lists > Orders) and tap the Archive Order option underneath the gift.
Again, an enterprising family member may look for these (found under Accounts and Lists > Accounts > Archived Orders), but at least it makes gifts less visible.
Update notification preferences and search history
Amazon is going to send you emails and possibly texts, depending on your current settings, with order updates. Thankfully, you can edit which email address and phone number receive these notifications if you’re worried about them going to a gift recipient. Go to Accounts and Lists > Your Account > Communication and content and select either Shipment updates via text or Communication preferences to update where shipping notifications go.
Under Accounts and Lists > Browsing History, you can edit or clear your search history to hide gift shopping.
Change shipping addresses or use Amazon Locker
If Amazon packages are commonplace in your house and there’s a risk that someone will open a gift without thinking, select Amazon Locker as your delivery option when you check out. Your package will go to a secure locker of your choice—or you can send the gift to a friend’s house or your office.
Enable “Don’t spoil my surprises”
Finally, if you hate it when surprises that are meant for you are ruined, you may want to check the settings on any Amazon wishlists you share with potential gift-givers. The “Don’t spoil my surprises” feature, which keeps purchased gifts listed as un-purchased for several weeks, is turned on by default. You can ensure this is the case by selecting your wishlist and tapping the three dots > Manage list. Check “Don’t spoil my surprises” if unchecked.