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

Updated November 30, 2020 by Kyle
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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 their return policy, plus a few hacks to make it work even better.

Best Buy Return Policy: 8 Things You Need To Know

Holiday Policy Update:

Best Buy has extended their return policy for items purchased between October 13, 2020 – January 2, 2021.

You now have until January 15, 2021 to exchange these items.

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 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. Update: Thanks to employee Kristy who says Geek Squad memberships can be returned within 14 days of purchase. After that they will pro-rate it.

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 – $45 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.

Can I Return Refurbished Items?

Yes.

The regular return policy applies to refurbished, open-box, and pre-owned products.

Can I Return an Unopened Video Game?

I had someone in the comments ask if they could return an unopened video game they bought 2 months ago.

I wasn’t sure of the answer so I hit up Best Buy Live Chat and was told YES, it’s returnable for store credit since it is unopened.

I then asked if the original purchase of 2 months ago would be a problem and was surprisingly told…NOT a problem.

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 31st.

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

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Jason Agabao

Does best buy open the unopened pre-owned boxes up ? And what if they did that and found nothing but junk. Who is responsible for that.? Because I never opened my reused item then best buy . Wil open it?

Arthur

I really hate this laptop I bought on Black Friday. I was out of town, came back and the last day to return was January 16, I thought it was the 19th. any way they will still take it back?
Thanks
Edit I’m willing to pay a restocking fee

Courtney Baas

Another thing id add is that 14 day return period for mobile devices includes the day it was purchased so you only have 13 additional days even if you pick up one minute before store closing and your online order history indicates 14 days after the date you took it home. Best Buy can override that period if necessary, BUT your wireless carrier’s contract cancellation period is 14 days including the date of purchase. I recently had this issue and best buy was able to do the refund for what I paid in the store and the geek squad plan, but I had to contact my carrier separately to explain the situation and they made sure the phone and the 2 year payment plan was off of my account.

Scott

My artist tablet is not at all what I was expecting. I paid $320 cash. How will i be refunded.?

Jeff

What if the computer you bought has never worked correctly. Mine has been freezing up since I bought it. They want $250 to fix it. I just bought it!

David N Bidwell

hI
aND THANKS FOR THE INFO, SO i BOUGHT A BIG BEEFY GAMING pc 21 DAYS AGO TURNS OUT ITS NOT BEEFY ENOUGH, THE RECEIPT ALONG WITH ANOTHER ITEM TOTALED OVER $1600 DOLLARS. tHIS QUALIFIES ME TO GET 30 DAYS TO RETURN BEING IT STILL THE SAME CALANDER YEAR?

Justin

I returned a tv today to Best Buy. It was bought in my debit card and they are supposed to be putting it back on my debit card When will I receive the money

Becky Strom

Is there any possibility of exchanging my 3 month old laptop for a different computer? I really don’t like this one

Matthew Burke

$80 for a trade-in value of something i just purchased that doesn’t work right half the time and it was an open box with a guarantee fantastic. definitely wont be shopping at best buy anymore

Terri Jones

I bought a pair of blue tooth head phones for my tv. But my tv is not compatible with blue tooth. I need to return them but I don’t have the box. But I do have everything else can I return them to get my money back

Jeff

I recently purchased an item that didn’t work as advertised and I wanted to return it but in store they said they could’t do anything since it was outside the 15 day window. I ordered it online and it allowed me the option to return with a prepaid slip. I’m curious how they’ll handle this. It’s been a few days since I sent it in and am curious if they’ll just send it back or process a return.

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