Bath & Body Works Return Policy: Is It Really As Good As It Sounds?

Updated November 22, 2023 by Kyle
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My wife and I were at our local Bath & Body Works over the weekend, buying some Christmas gifts for our daughters, when I read the posted sign talking about their return policy. Let’s just say it REALLY got my attention. Turns out the Bath & Body Works return policy is pretty amazing and actually sounds too good to be true, so I figured I better look into it. Here’s what I discovered, I hope this information helps you with your next return.

Bath & Body Works Return Policy: Is It Really As Good As It Sounds?

How Many Return Days Does Bath & Body Works Give Me?

90 days.

If you want a refund back to your original form of payment you’ll need to bring the item back, with your receipt, within 90 days of purchase.

What Happens After 90 Days?

You can still return the item(s) but you’ll have to settle for store credit or an even exchange.

Don’t ask for an exception to be made because employees DO NOT have the option in the computer system to give you cash back or a refund to your credit card.

See Also: 11 Brilliant Ways to Save Money at Bath & Body Works

What If I Lost My Receipt?

Not a big deal unless you were really hoping for a refund back to your credit card.

If you lose your receipt you can still get store credit or an exchange.

Since Bath & Body Works has no idea what you originally paid, you’ll get the lowest selling price of the item when getting store credit.

The amazing part about the Bath & Body Works return policy is that there is NO timeline for making “receipt-less returns”.

You can make a return 5 years after your purchase date and they’ll STILL take the item back for store credit, even without a receipt.

But be prepared for some nasty looks if you try and return an unused candle with 2 inches of dust on it.

See Also: Ulta Return Policy: We Answer ALL the Hard Questions

What If I Used Most of the Product?

Amazingly, they will still let you return a product that has been opened and used, even if it’s almost gone.

I hit up a Bath & Body employee and asked if this was actually true and she told me it ABSOLUTELY was.

She also added that she hopes people DON’T abuse this generous policy as it will inevitably be dialed back if they do.

And then asked her if she’s ever had someone return something that was pretty much empty and she said “Yes, once or twice but not very often.”

Is There Anything That Can’t Be Returned?

Amazingly, NO.

They want you to “love it” so you can return anything, anytime, for ANY reason.

The one thing you probably can’t return is EMPTY bottles or completely used candles.

I verified this with a chat rep from Bath & Body and was told “Returns can be denied if you try to return an empty bottle or candle jar.”

See Also: Sephora Return Policy: Let’s Break It All Down For You

Are My Bath & Body Returns Being Tracked?

Probably.

While they won’t necessarily admit it, you can almost guarantee Bath & Body Works is tracking your returns.

I’m guessing if you abuse their liberal policy they can refuse your return at some point.

Can My Return Ever Be Denied?

Yes…I think so.

From talking to an employee, I was told that “return policy abuse” cases are left up to individual store managers.

Bottom-line…don’t abuse their policy as it could easily end up going away for all of us.

Can I Return Online Purchases In-Store?

Yes.

Just bring your online purchase back to ANY Bath & Body Works location and get a refund.

You can use your online invoice or confirmation email as your “proof of purchase” receipt.

See Also: Lululemon Return Policy: We Make Sense of a Confusing Policy

How About Returning In-Store Purchases Via the Mail?

No.

In-store purchases can ONLY be returned to a Bath & Body store and not via the mail.

How Long Does It Take For My Return to be Processed?

When a return is refunded back to your original form of payment it takes 3-5 business days on average.

If a gift card is issued instead, it’s essentially an instant return.

Is There Policy Too Good To Be True?

According to many of the comments….Yes.

The policy seems good on paper but doesn’t seem to always translate.

Here are some issues:

1. Problems returning gifts – Shoppers complain of having to settle for store credit (without a receipt) instead of being allowed to do a simple exchange for a different scent.

2. Strange Exchange Policy – Some employees asking customers to pay the difference between what they paid and the current selling price in order to do an exchange on the exact same item.

Let me know in the comments of any other issues that you may have had with their return policy.

Ask the Reader: What’s been your experience with the Bath & Body Works return process? Good, bad, or simply amazing?


By Kyle James

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ThisDesertLife

I’ve had a mixed bag with BBW’s “liberal” return policy. In both instances the products in question were 100% unused, had been given to me as gifts and were scents I knew I didn’t care for. On occasion #1 I had the gift reciept but the lady behind the counter told me that I could only get the discounted amount back in store credit as the scents were “holiday smells”. Though it had been only 13 days since the items were purchased AND I had a reciept, I was given around $12 for $35.96 worth of purchased product.
On occasion 2 they were quite generous. I tripped and fell directly outside the store and broke open several bottles of soap, lotion and a candle. They let me exchange all my broken items for new ones, no questions asked or attitude given.

Dahlia

You’re a saint for accepting the $12. Call me a Karen, but I would have physically fought the store manager right there.

Jennifer

I’ve tried that that they are asses about returning now so I’m boxing up all my recently bought bbw handsoaps and wallflower and retur jng them. I’ll stick with goosecreek.

Connie

Thanks for the recommendation, just placed an order. Bye B & B

Kaylie Aguila

hi! i work at bbw, and i think the reason why you took the $12 instead of the full price was probably because they may have bought it using coupons or it was an item on sale.

Misty

Same with me, I had an online purchase and didn’t like the smell and had a receipt from online and was told it still concerned a no-receipt exchange, and it had to be the product for the product as a body spray to body spray lotion for lotion cream for a cream.

Which I was okay with then she said I would have to pay the difference in the price if I paid $16.50 then the product I was trying to get was 17.50 I would spend the difference.

I was okay with that that was the 3rd person who I spoke with then here comes the 4th supposed to be a manager after the other three supposedly managers was like no that’s not how it works we have to refund you then you have to re-buy the items you want at the store price.

I was like wait what she was like yeah that’s how the new policy is because of something about store point but I didn’t want to return I just wanted to exchange, so I just asked for my items back and left they was rude as well and through my whole energy off

Connie

Nope, with a receipt? And within the time frame? They’d not been happy with me causing a seen pointing out their own return policy to them. No way would I have accepted $12

April

Bath and body lies! Their policy changed over a year ago. Even if you have the receipt if it’s more than 30 days they will tell you to take a store credit for the amount purchased and there is no way they can you give you a refund, in the form you paid! I’m done with them. This is my second time being swindled because it was more than 30 days.

Leigh

I was just in the store. None of my products were over half used & two were never used. I had to pay an additional $2.00 per candle (from $24 to $26) to make the exchange. The one that I had burned but less then half way, they refused to take. They would not accept the lotion in the tube (never used) but wouldn’t say why & I’d have to pay the additional $$$ to exchange the two bottled lotions because of the new prices. I decided to give away as gifts because I refuse to pay more for a product that has NOT improved. The lotions have actually gone downhill, IMHO.
The main reason I even still shopped at B&BW is out of habit AND the once great return policy. Spend a fortune and you’re safe because if the smell is different once you get it home, no problem. Make the exchange next time you do that kind of shopping. It was a win-win..
I’ve no idea when the policy changed but no wonder their stock price is down. Prices are insane for what is now a mediocre product. There are just too many options for better product and better prices in this day & age. What’s even more maddening, is even with my receipt, they won’t give me two candles for the price of my one since they are now on sale.
Double standards.. My loyalist days are over.

Cheryl Smith

Gift giving from BBW is no longer attractive and that’s a sad thing to say at Christmas! Someone recently gave me a body spray and shower gel in a fragrance I did not like.

It is a scent still available in the store and both items were unused. I went to exchange it for a body spray and shower gel in a different scent, but I was told I could not exchange, I would have to be given a credit, because I didn’t have a receipt.

The credit amount did not cover the cost of the body spray and shower gel in another scent….even though the original value of the items were the same. How is this a good return policy??

If I purchase an item for someone and they don’t like it, they should be allowed to exchange it for something of equal original value; without having to “pay a difference”. BBW needs to fix this!

Last edited 1 year ago by Cheryl Smith
Celeste

I was shocked the other day when I tried to exchange a brand new, never used 3 wick candle for another 3 wick candle in a different scent. In order to do it, they wanted me to pay the difference between what I’d paid and the current selling price – for the exact same item! That’s not an exchange policy. It’s more like an upgrade fee. It’s not my fault I got it on a good sale, but didn’t like the scent. Now, I have tons of items from there that I’m not sure what I’ll do with.

Connie

What they say on paper and what they actually do are definitely two different things. I am done with bath and body. Prices have gotten too high and product scents too low. I had a tube of Vanilla Bean Noel that separated or something. When I opened some brown oil came out. I just got for Christmas. I took to store, first of all manager was rude as hell. LSL MO. She argued with me it was an old bottle. Well then how did it get purchased in November. She would give me $3.25. I have bottles of lotion at home over a year old that are good, when they made them good. I took bottle home and threw it away. Bye b & b

Connie

Thanks to the lady on here who mentioned goose creek, I just placed an order. They were having a sale, great ratings. Hope I found my replacement to b &b. Done with all these overpriced stores, and don’t do what they say they’ll do. Another Harry & David- close all your stores so you have to buy online then way overcharge on shipping. I ship items and they extremely overcharge on shipping! These companies are going to continue as we let them

Connie

Bye B & B, will be going over to goose creek, sale right now. Tried returning a lotion that something was wrong with it, oil coming out. Would give me $3 at LSL MO. And was rude. I took home and threw in trash. Their prices are getting ridiculous, scents are getting weaker, don’t last. Spent too much money there for them to turn I to what they are now. Bye