Best Buy Return Policy: 8 Things You Need To Know (Plus a Few Hacks Too!)

February 9, 2017 by Kyle

(Updated 9/19/17) 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.

Best Buy Return Policy: 8 Things You Need To Know

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 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 LabelPrint 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.

See Also: The Best Buy Price Match Policy: Tips To Help You Save BIG

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 Camera 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.

  • Look for Extended Holiday Return Time – In past years, almost anything bought in November and December could be returned right up until January 15th. This 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, 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

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64 Comments on "Best Buy Return Policy: 8 Things You Need To Know (Plus a Few Hacks Too!)"

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What about if I myself completely broke a drone I bought from BestBuy? Will they offer a return or exchange?

No. Damaged items are excluded from returns.

Hi, I purchased a laptop about 24 days ago. Now today I see that the laptop has dropped $50. I am going to go in today and try to get a credit adjustment, but I think they will just say no.

Hi I just bought a vacuum today and used it but not happy with it. can I still return it even if it’s been used?

I just left the store and was told in the beginning of June they will start charging a restocking fee on headphones, this was surprising since I’m having a hard time finding good wireless earbuds that don’t hurt my ears. Just giving you a heads up so you can update if that’s the case.

Wondering if you found a brand that does not hurt your ears, I am having the same problem.

Can I exchange a cell phone that I got 2 days ago with no restocking fee…

Can I return an opened Ipad with no restocking fee?

I bought a laptop on May 17th via If I count the 17th and the 31st, then today would be my 15th day. Is that how the 15 days are counted? Also, someone told me the count started from the delivery date which was the 19th. Is it delivery or order date that counts?

Same Q as above: when does the 15-day period go into effect? Date of online purchase, or date of delivery?

Mary, I found I was able to return the laptop based on the delivery date. BB reps did not seem to be up on the policy though and I’d call to make sure if it’s a critical issue to you. YMMV!

Just an FYI, bestbuy has added restocking fees to a couple of categories.

Is tv one of the categories

I bought something in the store, can I return by mail??

Edgardo A Soto Rodriguez

Do I have to pay a restocking fee if my unlocked smartphone came with Software issues and mess up hardware. Can I get in-store credit for another phones to avoid restocking fee if they want to applied.

May want to throw this in the mix, I just bought a 35mm prime lens for my Nikon D5200. During checkout, they displayed a message on the card reader screen stating there is a 15% restocking fee for returns on lenses.

I have a turtle beach headset with a 2 year warranty. The battery seems to have a problem it only lasts 5hrs but its supposed to last for 10hrs. Am i able to exchange for another one or can i exchange for a different brand with the same price range or if its more money just pay the difference?

What if my husband bought a stereo for his truck and then got home , put it in the closet- never even installing it, then a few days later he had a stroke. So its been sitting in the closet for 2 yrs and its a nice Kenwood. Do you think they would take it back?

No, sorry. Not really any option for taking it back to best buy. Craigslist or ebay is your friend here

What about headphones with muffs that came off? Can I return in the first week?

My husband bought me a car starter and paid for the installation back in December for me. But I decided I didn’t want to keep the car, so we never opened the car starter nor never had it installed. It’s been 6 months, will Best Buy give us store credit, so I can at least buy something else from there?

I bought an item online last week. I received it on Monday. I decided I wanted it in a different color. So today I took it into the store, unopened box and receipt to do an even exchange. I was told to exchange it for a different color I would have to pay the difference because I got it on sale and it’s no longer on sale. I don’t feel that is right.

I ordered a lens online for my DSLR and it was not for me, I went in the store for an exchange to a better lens and they wanted me to pay restocking fee. One employee said I shouldn’t be charged restocking fee but the other said yes. So I told them I’ll hold on to my current lens and think about it.

Hello !
I purchased an at & t maven 2 paygo phone July 3rd from best buy (,in store purchases). I’m not happy with it. Nothing has been downloaded nor transferred into phone. Have receipt & all the contents.
Will Bestbuy accept my request for refund ? Thank you so much !

Hi, I just wanted to point out an error in your post. You said that you cannot return Geek Squad memberships, but actually you can. You have 14 days to return it for the full amount, and after that, it is pro-rated, if you have not used Geek Squad services at all or did not receive satisfactory work 30 days after a work order was completed and picked up. I used to work as a Consultation Agent at Geek Squad and had to process many returns for our memberships, though they usually had to be approved by a manager first.

Their new restocking fee is counter productive, and I don’t see it lasting long. Especially since AMAZON does not charge restocking fee.

Hello I bought a kidizoom action cam with a two year warranty. I bought it on 6/01/17. My daughter doesn’t want it anymore it’s 7/20/17. Could I get my money back or store credit?

If I buy Windows 10 & my desktop still doesn’t boot up, can I return Windows?

My husband bought me a Fitbit Blaze a week ago and the screen has a tiny crack after wearing it. Can we return it?

I received a gift (JBL Xtreme Speaker) that has the same UPC as the item sold in store. I am an Elite Member at BBuy. Do you think I would be able to exchange this item in store for store credit without any proof of purchase? What do you think the best way to approach this would be? Thanks!

How long does it take for my bank account to be refunded for my purchase

Best Buy return policy stinks! Had bought an Epson Home Cinema, never used it, did not read all the “fine” print, and because of a busy work schedule, did not have time to return it in the 15 days. Took it back 2 months later, thinking I had at least 60 days only to be told they would not take it. That is $700 down the drain. Had bought many appliances there, tvs, computers and cameras, but my business will go elsewhere, where customer service comes first. Was not informed I only had 15 days, the person that sold it to me opened the box since it had a slit in it to make sure it was all there, was even willing to pay the big “restocking fee” which is stupid.

It’s on a buyer to check return policies. Most stores use 60 days BUT NOT on electronics that lose their value so quickly as they get outdated. So in this case, it makes sense that BB couldn’t take it back. Other stores wouldn’t either.

Hope you were able to recoup some on ebay or craigslist.

Hi. Great article! One thing I cannot find ANYWHERE is BB policy on refurbished items. I am looking at a refurbished cell phone to save some money but am concerned about it will be a dud and then be stuck with it!

Hi, I purchased a laptop a week ago. Now when I boot it up I get a white screen and zero laptop functions. Can I return or exchange the laptop?

Hey, would I get a restocking fee for returning an iPhone that I ripped the plastic covering off of? Also I already peeled the plastic over the phone too, but everything else is perfect.

I bought Samsung Galaxy S8 2 days ago but I guess I’m used to ios so I’d like to return it. It still has front and back plastic covering on. Will I be charged?

Can I return an unopened Video game for store credit? After buying it 2 months ago?

I bought a camera that didn’t work straight out of the box but no longer have the box will I be charged much for the missing box even though the return is for a faulty product?

I purchased a dell laptop on 8/20/17 at a location in Hoover Alabama the total was 1471.48 I paid in cash and the clerk said you have a 15 day return period.

This purchase was for work and when I got to work Monday 8/21 my work had already provided me a laptop so Tuesday 8/21 I returned the unopened box with my receipt to the store in Hoover and the clerk took my return and put it behind the counter and the looked at me and said we don’t give cash refunds but I can offer you a gift card for that amount.

I wasn’t interested in a $1500 gift card and ask if you don’t give cash refunds why do you take cash sales and not notify the consumer of this policy and I would have put it on my credit card.

The manager said they didn’t have that much cash on hand (right) so I ask if he could just put it on my debit card and was told no that they could mail me a check in 7-10 business days. So I left the store with no cash no laptop and a receipt showing my return. Couldn’t help feeling ROBBED By Corporate Bullying and will never shop there again.

That’s pretty common policies for stores. They don’t keep cash on hand (staff tends to make it disappear). So they state in policies that over a certain mount cash returns will be by check in a week or two.

Be good if the article added this info! It’s not something people think of unless they read the return policy itself.

My kids got iPad air mount for their birthdays and they have never used them but I do not have the receipt what is my status their in getting a refund or exchange?

Bought a home security system at best buy and opened a best buy credit account, the system is not what I wanted nor does it do what they said it would do. Tried to take it back and they said I was past my 3 days, then the monitoring company says 15 days as I stated I did not want a monthly fee for monitoring at best buy and that I just wanted the cameras to take pics when motion was detected.

Vivint states that if monthly fee is canceled then the whole system will not work at all. I feel I was misled in both directions. I don’t want this system and am getting run around from both best buy and vivint. Wonder if I can exchange the system for just flood like camera’s if they wont refund me???

What if the return consists of a faulty item and I simply want an exchange, am I still required to pay a restocking fee?? The item is a cell phone, which was purchased 5 days ago

I purchased a game for PS4 that didn’t work will they let me exchange for Nintendo switch

In the middle of the article you say there is a 15% restocking fee for drones. But at the end you say that the only items that should incur a restocking fee are opened mobile phones and special order appliances. So it is not clear if a drone should have a restocking fee.

My wife and I bought a new washer and dryer online from Best Buy. The website said it was required to buy the washing machine fill hoses. We bought them, of course. When the delivery guy came to install them, he handed me the box of hoses I had purchased and said I didn’t need them because the washer already came with them. I went to look online at the return policy and saw the 15 days. It has been 17 days. Am I stuck with them even though they made me buy them when they weren’t necessary?

I bought an Invisible Shield Glass Curve screen protector for my Samsung Galaxy 8 about 3 months ago. It comes with a lifetime limited warranty that covers cracks and scratches as long as I own the phone. Can I exchange this in the store or must I deal directly with the manufacturer? I tried to call my local Best Buy, but the local number seemed to be linked to another location and no one answered the phone, even after a long wait.

I returned a new unopened sound bar yesterday bought aug 17 th 2017 . Will only give store credit not happy ! Why is this ?