Nordstrom Return Policy: Answers to Your 8 Biggest Questions

May 9, 2017 by Kyle

Similar to Costco’s return policy, the return policy at Nordstrom is really liberal and quite popular. But as with any retailer’s policy, there are always questions that many shoppers have, especially since Nordstrom changed some of their policies recently. Here are the 8 most popular questions that shoppers have about the Nordstrom return policy. Some of these answers can’t be easily found on the Nordstrom website.

Nordstrom Return Policy

How Many Return Days Does Nordstrom Offer?

Unlimited. While Nordstrom reserves the right to handle returns on a “case by case basis” they do not have a set number of return days in place.

I’ve actually heard of some shoppers return items that are well over a year old and have clearly been worn.

But be warned, if you abuse Nordstrom’s return policy to often you’ll probably end up getting banned.

Can You Return An Item Without Receipt?

Yes. It definitely helps (speed wise) if you have your receipt but it IS NOT required.

If you return something without a receipt, Nordstrom will attempt to find your purchase within their computer system.

If they can’t find your purchase they’ll refund you the current price of the item in the form of a Nordstrom gift card.

See Also: All the Stores That Allow you to Return Items Without a Receipt

Can You Return Shoes or Clothing You’ve Worn?

Yes, you can.

Nordstrom does almost everything possible to keep their customers happy, this includes allowing returns on items that have been worn.

All they ask is that you treat them fairly and don’t abuse their liberal return policy.

What About Makeup…Can You Return It?

Yes indeed. Both used and unopened.

If you’re not happy with it, for any reason, just bring it back in (hopefully with the receipt) and get a full refund.

What If The Item Has No Tag?

Not a problem, bring it in for a refund.

Heck, you can even return it if the item doesn’t have a tag and it’s been worn.

How Do You Return Online Purchases?

You have two options. You can either mail them back with the enclosed return label or bring them back to your nearest Norstrom location.

If you don’t have a Nordstrom account or are missing your order information, you can click here and print out a blank return form.

The best part? Return shipping is FREE.

Can You Return “Special Occasion” Dresses Without Tags?

No way Jose.

Because of recent abuse of Nordstrom’s return policy, “Special Occasion” dresses now come with a tag that reads “if this tag is removed the garment cannot be returned”.

After all, nobody wants to pay big bucks to wear a beautiful dress that’s already been worn once, or multiple times.

Can You Get a Cash Refund at Nordstrom?

As of January 2017, you can only get a cash refund if the purchase was made in cash.

All other refunds will be given in either store credit, or put back on the credit card you originally used to make the purchase.

Nordstrom is cracking down on shoppers who abused their return policy, especially those whose store account shows more in returns than actual purchases.

Nordstrom Return Policy “Nitty Gritty” Stuff:

  • Be Prepared to Show your I.D.: When returning anything without a receipt they will ask you for your I.D. and enter your info into their system. This is how the keep track of those who abuse their return policy.
  • Nordstrom Rack has Different Policy: If you make a purchase from their “Outlet”, known as “The Rack”, be aware that they have a less lenient return policy. Namely, they only give you 90 days to make a return and you better have your receipt with you. Also, they will NOT take back items that have been worn.
  • You’ll Catch More Flies with Honey than Vinegar: Make sure you’re polite and conversational when making a return at Nordstrom, especially when returning used items without a receipt. Employees are much more likely to help you if you are. It’s simple human nature.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever returned anything to Nordstrom and was it an easy process?

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Phillip Pessar.

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17 Comments on "Nordstrom Return Policy: Answers to Your 8 Biggest Questions"

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This is NO LONGER TRUE! I couldn’t even exchange a GIFT to Nordstrom for an item I preferred because they “couldn’t find it in the system” regardless of my tag and obvious proof that it was a Nordstrom item! I was so disappointed that I’m never shopping at Nordstrom again because they made a big scene over it as if I was trying to scam them! Now I can never go in there and I refuse to buy at Nordstrom because they changed their policy completely! I even saw a woman trying to return a beauty item purchased online and they wouldn’t let her because it didn’t have a Nordstrom sticker. Strange because not everything you purchase online from Nordstrom has the sticker! Makes 0 sense. BYE Nordstrom! DO NOT SHOP FOR BEAUTY AT NORDSTROM ANYMORE! Terrible customer service!


How about this. I wanted to exchange the size only. Same exact product. My item was unworn with price tag attached and because they couldn’t find it in their system I was refused by the lady they left in charge. A jacket for 34.95 I guess the lady must’ve thought I stole it. I don’t know. But very disappointed. She “Marissa”said it was their policy and if she overrode it for me she would have to do the same for everyone


I agree they suck. I tried to return a duplicate gift I got at my baby shower and they wouldn’t take it!


Yep Nordstrom Rack Riverside Plaza sucks! I tried to exchange the same exact item for size. Item unworn with attached tags but they couldn’t find my purchase in their system. I explained my husband made the purchase and they couldn’t find him either. Now as I think back the b**** probably spelled his name wrong. I’m very disappointed.


Even if you have the receipt, Nordstrom will only refund to a gift card if the purchase was more than 90 days ago. This change was effective June 1 according to a manager! Note this is for regular purchases in the Nordstrom store or online. The manager said eventually Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack will have the same return policy!


This is true. Nordstrom is so shady – they’ve dramatically changed their return policy with no notice or publicly available information about it. I’ve returned items WITH a receipt (online purchase), and if it’s more than a year old, it’s purged from their system. So they treat you as if you’re scamming – take your ID and information, enter it in their system, and act like it’s an receipted return.


Nordstrom has really gone downhill when it comes to customer service. I tried to return a dress that I purchased my mother a few months before.They couldnt find it in their system,obviously due to a computer error .The cashier, Veronica in Palo Alto,CA was treated treated me like I was in the wrong, even was a
smart alec when I let her know my mom was disabled and it is easier for her to shop online than travel to the store.The dress cost $268.It still was being sold by Nordstrom at the original price. After being treated so rudely by the cashier and humiliated I left.
The next day I went to the store in SF , the manager , Katherine, returned the dress and put it on a gift card, for $100. The dress was and is still being sold by Nordstroms for $268 !


I’m sorry to hear you had an unpleasant experience. Without a receipt they probably gave you the credit at their lowest sales price. I can understand if that’s the case but they need to post their policy. I also can understand your frustration because $100 is a big difference from 268. Did your mother have an issue with the size or buyers remorse?


I have always had great experiences with returning at Nordstrom. For example, I was able to return some Tod’s shoes that I had bought 3 years ago and got the full $450 back. In the same time, to return, I always bring the receipt and the tags, including the small Nordstrom white return tag. I feel that the only time that Nordstrom refuses returns is to those who return too much or if the Nordstrom return tag is taken off. Yesterday, I saw a lady return over $2000 worth of Chanel shoes from many seasons ago and got all of it back in cash, and the SA barely inspected the shoes! Overall, Nordstrom has not changed their policy except that one should always bring all the tags and the receipt.

Victoria Ingebrethsen
Victoria Ingebrethsen

If purchased on-line thru can the item (a handbag) be returned at the nearest Nordstrom Rack store near my residence?


I received my merchandised damage. I bought cologne and make up eveything was broken. What should I do?


People calling Nordstrom “shady” or worse for not accepting returns that are months/years old? And with no receipt or proof of purchase? What retail chain does? No one in their price point. The fact that they DO sometimes allow exceptional leniency is amazing. I’ve been shopping there for more than twenty years and have never had a problem.

Eva Svigos

I made a return for $1027.00 after I spent almost $4000 because the dye that the lambs wool was died with was coming off all over my hands, arms and then face! I returned it and I handed the cashier my debit card and she said I did not need the card because the receipt had the info she needed. It’s three days since I returned this coat and my credit hasn’t appeared in my bank account! I called to ask why and the manager told me that it takes 8 days -2 weeks to be credited back!!! WHY?????? It is a debit card!!! Every other store I shop at credits your debit card immediately!!! What BS is this? Are they investing the money in the stock market!!! I will NEVER shop at Nordstrom!!! Bloomingdales is SO much better anyway!! Bye bye Nordstroms!!! You just lost yourself a great customer! Looks like you’ll be out of business soon!!!


I just went through 1 week of full employee training with Nordstrom’s and only worked a seasonal job. I was amazed at their investment in time and money to make sure that even seasonal help is on par with regular employees. If anyone has a rude associate or difficulty in returning items, it is not a company policy, only a bad employee. Nordstrom’s is awesome about returns. Most companies have 30- day policies, Norsdstrom will take things back on a case-by-case basis way beyond that. Without a receipt or the white bar code tag that is installed on the price tag, you will get a gift card. Nordstrom’s does not hold onto your money for up to 8 days on a return with a debit card, it all depends on your bank as to how long it takes to process it. I saw people who took advantage of the liberal policy and although we did the refund, shame on them. For instance, I bought a pair of shoes for my sons wedding. Theoretically I could return them because after a few hours, my feet hurt. I will not do that because ethically, it is just wrong in my opinion. I choose the shoes, I used the shoes for their intended purchase, done deal. Would Nordstrom’s take them back? Yes, but I would not ask them to. Nordstrom is very leery of those who want to return special occasion dresses and similar items. People use them with the full expectation to return them when done, thus turning their “purchase” into a “rental”. You will not be able to return those items. I have shopped Nordstrom’s since they were only a glorified shoe store back in the early 1970’s and they still have the same customer service. To those who are not satisfied, please take your concerns to the manager next time and if your return is reasonable, they will accommodate you.


I’m not sure why there are all these complaints with returns to Nordstrom. I purchase online and have held onto some purchases for over six months while deciding whether or not to keep it. Never had an issue with returning them with receipt, tags intact and unworn. Nordstrom’s free shipping + returns along with their liberal return policy is why I choose to shop with them. I suspect those who are having problems with returns are abusing Nordstrom’s return policy.