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

Updated August 18, 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

COVID-19 Return Policy Update (7/10/20)

Best Buy had extended their return policy for items purchased between March 1 – May 17, 2020.

But they have since gone back to their original return policy which is outlined below.

If you’re making a “curbside return” Best Buy asks you to bring the product, all the packaging, and your receipt with the order number on it and park in a designated spot.

They are saying a return currently takes approximately 5-15 minutes, more during peak hours. Don’t show up 5 minutes before closing as your return WILL NOT happen.

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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Jon

Weird situation to ask about, haven’t found any answers online yet lol. I bought like 8 Wi-Fi plugs & threw away the boxes & manuals. The last day to return them is January 14th

I have all of their receipts online & they can easily pull them up with my phone number that is registered with my Elite Plus membership.

I asked someone at a Best Buy a few days ago & they said yeah no boxes is completely fine for a full refund as long as nothing is missing parts wise (a Samsung soundbar that I’ll also be returning without the box)

It slipped my mind at the time but now I’m seeing that most of the manuals for the Wi-Fi plugs are missing so I threw them away along with the boxes.

Can I still get a full refund?

Jon

Never mind lol I called in & a Best Buy store manager confirmed that I can do these returns without a box & without their manuals for a full refund.

Kyle W

I’m a best buy employee and as of February 2020, some of this is inaccurate. For example, if you are outside of your return policy and you come in without a receipt, we can simply look it up in our system and see that you’re outside the policy. However, if the item is opened and undamaged and you’re willing to do an exchange, we USUALLY make an exception.

Thomas Perry

Can I return a radio dash kit that is without original packaging I have all the parts to it and I have the receipt too

Samuel Bender

So i bought a gaming computer and i want to return it. i cant find the outer packaging. i have the ac cable and everything that came with it except the box. A. do you think they will return it and B. how much is the charge for returning it without the box it came in.

Cheryl Templeton

How do I return a large unopened freezer?

Shantell Bos

What if I buy a roomba robot vacuum? I robot gives 2 months return time if you don’t like the product and it is $60 cheaper through them but out of stock so I was gonna buy from best buy instead and do financing

Eric R Parker

They say they won’t return or refund PlayStation store cards. You have to go under digital library( in the Best Buy website not sure if you have to have an account) and pull it up and it says it’ll be on there 4 hours after purchase and they never meet that that demand. That’s your way to get your full refund. This only works if you’re ordering online.

Joshua N Church

Yes I have a terrible situation an it deals with a almost $500 Xbox one x that I bought from them online during this covid crisis ordered it for my brother’s birthday. I purchased item online April 31st received item by geek squad the very next morning great shipping time well my brothers bday was may 11 so that is when he opened his present well here it is now June 29th and the HDMI port has stopped working on the console… For some reason didn’t get the extented warranty. So my question and issue is will they exchange it for the exact same system I don’t want money back anything else just a system for him to play. Was unaware of their 15 day return policy as for I think something that criminal should be spoken to one and also made signed. I thought I remembered companies doing three months upto for game systems for the exact reason I’m having rn.

Linell Patchin

Trend Micro Internet Security was mistakenly renewed for me, and $29.99 was charged to my bank account (via debit card). Formerly I had Trend Micro on my computer, but last month I changed to Webroot at the suggestion of a local Geek squad agent. I removed my Trend Micro from my computer(as my subscription was about at its year’s end) when I downloaded my new Webroot, so I don’t even have Trend Micro here on my computer any more. Please, may I be reimbursed the $29.99 I was charged for the Trend Micro renewal that I can’t use any longer? My Member No. is TRN00000PP000AA49B9. (I really didn’t realize that Trend Micro would automatically renew, since a Geek Squad agent first downloaded it on this fairly new computer when I bought it at our Joplin, MO, store. I remember being told by him that he had made sure that this Trend Micro subscription would not auto-renew, so it should have been at my request to have it renewed.) I hope you can help me with this, as I got nowhere by calling 1-800-433-5778! Thank you.

Stephen Pierce

Trying to find out about my warranty on tablet

Alice

What about the part when returning a cell phone it says excluding prepaid phone upon returning and the restocking fee it says excluding. Which phones are considered prepaid phone specifically unlocked phone?

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