Staples Return Policy: How It Actually Works + Hacks for Success

August 29, 2017 by Kyle
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The Staples return policy seems fairly straight-forward at first glance, but in actuality it has a bunch of nuisances based on the item you’re buying and what form of payment you use. In this article, I break it all down so you’ll never have a problem returning something to Staples in the future. I also came up with some insider hacks for success that you’d need a magnifying glass to find on their return policy page.

Staples Return Policy: How It Actually Works

Staples Return Policy:

How Many Return Days Do You Get?

30 days. The majority of products sold by Staples come with a 30-day return policy.

Any Exceptions to the 30 Days?

Yes, several products have a shorter return window…

  • Computers & Laptops – 14 days. Make sure all personal information is removed before returning to the store.
  • Printers – 14 days
  • Digital Cameras – 14 days
  • Business Machines – 14 days
  • Tablets & eReaders – 14 days
  • Smart/Cell phones – 14 days
  • Unopened Drones – 14 days
  • Items Bought with a Check – 14 days and you can only return item for store credit.

The 14-day return window is pretty short on the above items so make sure the product is a “keeper” fairly quickly.

See Also: Best Buy Return Policy: 8 Things You Need To Know

Anything That Can’t Be Returned?

Yes, glad you asked. Here they are…

  • Downloadable Software, Movies and Music – Non-returnable.
  • Opened Software – Can only be exchanged for the same software title.
  • Custom-ordered and Custom-assembled Furniture – Can only be returned if it’s defective when you receive it.
  • Gift Cards and Phone Cards – Non-returnable.

Does anyone ever buy phone cards these days?

Can You Return Without a Receipt?

Yes, but you can’t always get a straight refund.

If you’re receipt-less and used a credit card, Staples can easily look up your order and issue a full refund. Make sure you go back to the same store you originally made the purchase.

If you don’t have a receipt, and Staples can’t verify the purchase, you’ll get either store credit or an exchange.

The price they’ll give you is the lowest selling price within the last 30 days. Staples will also need a valid photo ID so they can track your return history.

Warning: If you try and return too many items without a receipt you might raise a red flag and they can deny your return.

If you lost your online receipt, simply go to your online account and click on My Orders and you can print out a copy of it.

Can the Item You’re Returning be Opened?

Yes, it can be opened, BUT the item must be in “salable” condition.

This means it must be in original packaging/box with all manuals, cords, and parts.

What About Online Orders?

You have several options when it comes to returning online orders to Staples.

You can take it back to your local Staples, you can create a return online, or you can call Staples at 1-(888) 515-8880 and set up a return that way.

Staples Return Policy Hacks:

  • Staples Branded Office Supplies DON’T Have a Time Limit: I was a bit surprised by this when a former Staples employee said it on this Reddit forum. Apparently they really want Staples branded products to have a perceived lifetime guarantee. So feel free to return that 3-year old stapler that keeps getting jammed.
  • Holiday Returns: All electronics and furniture bought between November 20th and December 25th get an extended return policy. You have until January 15th to return the item.
  • Coupons & Returns: If you use an online coupon on a purchase from you can’t use the coupon again after you return the item.
  • Be Careful Returning Purchases that Include Promotional Items: If you were given a free gift or gift card as part of a Staples promotion, be aware that you’ll have the value of the gift deducted from the amount refunded.
  • Paying with Prepaid Cash Card?: Be sure to hold on to that sucker because your refund needs to go back on the card. If you throw the prepaid card away it will be a BIG pain to try and get your refund.

Ask the Reader: Have you had any issues with the Staples return policy? Let me know, thanks.

By Kyle James

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