(Updated 6/05/18) I’m not gonna lie, the Best Buy return policy is kind of confusing. Different lengths of time to return stuff, different ways to return items, and some products that you flat-out can’t return. Because of all these factors I figured it was time to put the fingers on the keyboard and straighten it all out for my readers. Here’s everything you need to know about Best Buy’s return policy, plus a few hacks to make it work even better.
How Does the Best Buy Return Policy Work?
Here’s the skinny so you can actually make the Best Buy return policy work for you.
In-Store Return – You can return an item bought at Best Buy or BestBuy.com directly to any brick & mortar location.
To make the return go smoothly bring in your receipt or packing slip, the credit card used, and a valid photo ID.
Return by Mail:
Do-It-Yourself – You pick the carrier, use the included Return Form on your packing slip, and pay for the shipping yourself.
No packing slip? Print this blank one and fill it out. Refund will be processed with 2-3 business days of receiving your item.
Use the Prepaid Return Label – Print a prepaid return label, pay nothing upfront, and send your item back to Best Buy for a refund via UPS.
Expect the cost of the return shipping to be deducted from your refund unless the return is a result of a Best Buy error.
To avoid any possible return shipping fees, it’s definitely worth the effort to try and make your return in-store.
How Many Days Do I Have to Return Something?
Cell Phones and Devices with a Carrier Contract – 14 days for everyone.
Wedding Registry Items – 60 days from date of purchase.
Everything Else (like 99% of the stuff they sell) – 15 days for regular Best Buy customers. 30 days for Best Buy Elite members. 45 days for Elite Plus members.
In case you were wondering, and who wasn’t, a Best Buy Elite (and Plus) membership is earned via their free Rewards Program.
You have to spend at least $1,500 for Elite status in a calendar year and at least $3,500 for Elite Plus.
How Do I Return a Gift to Best Buy?
If you return a gift bought at Best Buy by walking into a physical store, you’ll get store credit for the purchase price.
For gifts returned via mail, they’ll credit the gift purchaser and notify them via e-mail.
What Can’t I Return to Best Buy?
There are some products you can’t return to Best Buy. Here they are:
Final Sale Items – These are clearance products marked as “Final Sale”. If you’re not sure if item is Final Sale, ask an employee before you purchase it.
Special Orders – You’ll only get 85% of the original price refunded. These are items that are typically ordered directly from the manufacturer and not stocked by Best Buy.
Digital Content – This includes games and software that can be downloaded.
Prepaid Cards – This includes prepaid cards from Nintendo, AT&T, Verizon, eBay, and Disney.
Gift Packaging – Pretty obvious. This would be really hard to return.
Membership Costs – This includes the annual Geek Squad membership.
Completed Services – This refers to services that Geek Squad has completed for you.
Opened consumable items – This includes batteries, ink and 3D printer filament, and items returned that are damaged, unsanitary or missing major parts.
Do I Have to Pay Re-Stocking Fee on Certain Items?
Yes, unfortunately you’ll have to pay a re-stocking fee on these items.
DSLR Cameras and Lenses – 15% re-stocking fee.
Smartphones – $35 flat re-stocking fee.
Drones – 15% re-stocking fee.
Projectors – 15% re-stocking fee.
Rideables – 15% re-stocking fee.
Special Order Products – 15% re-stocking fee.
What If I Don’t Have a Receipt?
If you don’t have a receipt, be prepared to show a valid ID when returning something to Best Buy.
They do this to try and cut down on return fraud in their stores.
They reserve the right to refuse any return without a receipt if they feel it’s fraudulent.
See Also: 7 Insider Tips to Save Money at Best Buy
What If My Return Has Been Opened?
No worries, just pack everything back up as well as you can and get a full refund as long as your still within the return period.
Make sure you don’t forget any manuals or instructions that can with the item.
What If My Return is Missing Parts?
Don’t let that stop you from returning something to Best Buy.
From their site, “If you do not have all the original packaging or accessories, that’s okay too. We can process a return with a nonrefundable deduction on your refund for what is missing.”
What About a Cash Refund?
Keep in mind that if you pay with cash, and your order is over $800, you’ll have to settle for a corporate check as a refund. You’ll get the check in the mail within 7-10 days.
Stores don’t keep a lot of cash on hand and so they won’t be able to refund you with cash.
The same applies when you spend $250 by check or by a debit card without a major credit card logo.
What if I Used a Gift Card to Make the Purchase?
Not a problem. If you bought the item with a Best Buy gift card, you’ll get a full refund back to that same gift card.
If you don’t have the gift card anymore, no worries, just call Best Buy at 1-888-237-8289 with your order number and they’ll re-issue you a new gift card.
BONUS: Best Buy Return Policy “Hacks”
Like any store’s return policy, there are some clover hacks and tips that savvy shoppers need to be aware of.
Over 15 Days Hack – If you have your receipt, but it’s been over 15 days since you made the purchase, you’re often better off returning the item without your receipt and accept the store credit.
Look for Extended Holiday Return Time – In past years, almost anything bought in November and December could be returned right up until January 14th.
This Holiday return policy extends until January 30th for Elite members and February 14th for Elite Plus.
Best Buy’s Error? – If you’re returning something to Best Buy via mail, and the reason for the return is an error on Best Buy’s part, they’re on the hook for the return shipping charges.
Always Opt For In-Store Return – When returning an item bought from BestBuy.com, always return it to your local store if you can.
Not only will you avoid any return shipping charges, but you can also take advantage of an instant exchange.
Ask the Reader: Have you had success taking advantage of Best Buy’s return policy? Any issues I need to add to this post that I may have overlooked?
By Kyle James