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

Updated September 16, 2021 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.

See Also: Newegg Return Policy: A Very Complicated Policy That We Make Sense Of

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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Carlos V

What about if I myself completely broke a drone I bought from BestBuy? Will they offer a return or exchange?

John best

No. Damaged items are excluded from returns.

Chris

Hi, I purchased a laptop about 24 days ago. Now today I see that the laptop has dropped $50. I am going to go in today and try to get a credit adjustment, but I think they will just say no.

Stefanie

Hi I just bought a vacuum today and used it but not happy with it. can I still return it even if it’s been used?

Kristina

I just left the store and was told in the beginning of June they will start charging a restocking fee on headphones, this was surprising since I’m having a hard time finding good wireless earbuds that don’t hurt my ears. Just giving you a heads up so you can update if that’s the case.

Ines Risner

Wondering if you found a brand that does not hurt your ears, I am having the same problem.

Jake

That’s bs I work there we will never do it on headphones

Brian

Can I exchange a cell phone that I got 2 days ago with no restocking fee…

Jake

Yes if it’s unopened

Tucker D

It was explained to me that even though the box is unopened there is the SERIAL number that has been entered into the spy system (no, I’m not kidding, there is no such thing as an untracked phone… I’m just calling it that, but that’s what it really is) and the phone literally is sent back to the mfgr. so the phone can be rebooted and your name, address, city, street, zip, account information, etc. that was scanned in at the store is taken out of the memory. That’s why they charge $35. (A store manager told me this just last week).

Brian

If the phone remained unopened then there was nothing on the phone that needed to be sent back to a manufacturer to be reprogrammed. You are being fed a line of crap from JFK to LAX! Also, the phone leaves the manufacturer with a firmware, typically specific to the carrier in most cases, and the user specific information is programmed into back office servers and databases by the billing systems of the carriers or virtual carriers and then the information is sent OTA to the phone upon power up and registration. This is why when you reset a phone to factory default it starts working again unless it has been deactivated. It is called factory default for a reason. It wipes out all data in the main phone partition and reloads that same softaware from the factory off of a protected firmware partition that does not contain any user information. So any restocking fees on a factory sealed package within an allotted time unless it involves services being canceled which invoked an ETF, which would be charged by a carrier not a retailer, is unfair and undeserved profiteering plain and simple. I would fight it and make a scene big enough to make them void that fee.

Ali

Can I return an opened Ipad with no restocking fee?

LocalHero

I bought a laptop on May 17th via Bestbuy.com. If I count the 17th and the 31st, then today would be my 15th day. Is that how the 15 days are counted? Also, someone told me the count started from the delivery date which was the 19th. Is it delivery or order date that counts?
Thanks!

Mary

Same Q as above: when does the 15-day period go into effect? Date of online purchase, or date of delivery?

LocalHero

Mary, I found I was able to return the laptop based on the delivery date. BB reps did not seem to be up on the policy though and I’d call to make sure if it’s a critical issue to you. YMMV!

Tmc

Just an FYI, bestbuy has added restocking fees to a couple of categories.

Anna

Is tv one of the categories

Wendy

I bought something in the store, can I return by mail??

Edgardo A Soto Rodriguez

Do I have to pay a restocking fee if my unlocked smartphone came with Software issues and mess up hardware. Can I get in-store credit for another phones to avoid restocking fee if they want to applied.

Jon S

May want to throw this in the mix, I just bought a 35mm prime lens for my Nikon D5200. During checkout, they displayed a message on the card reader screen stating there is a 15% restocking fee for returns on lenses.

Erik

I have a turtle beach headset with a 2 year warranty. The battery seems to have a problem it only lasts 5hrs but its supposed to last for 10hrs. Am i able to exchange for another one or can i exchange for a different brand with the same price range or if its more money just pay the difference?

LA M

What if my husband bought a stereo for his truck and then got home , put it in the closet- never even installing it, then a few days later he had a stroke. So its been sitting in the closet for 2 yrs and its a nice Kenwood. Do you think they would take it back?

Drake

No, sorry. Not really any option for taking it back to best buy. Craigslist or ebay is your friend here

Yafet Beyene

What about headphones with muffs that came off? Can I return in the first week?

Kara Welch

My husband bought me a car starter and paid for the installation back in December for me. But I decided I didn’t want to keep the car, so we never opened the car starter nor never had it installed. It’s been 6 months, will Best Buy give us store credit, so I can at least buy something else from there?

Anne

I bought an item online last week. I received it on Monday. I decided I wanted it in a different color. So today I took it into the store, unopened box and receipt to do an even exchange. I was told to exchange it for a different color I would have to pay the difference because I got it on sale and it’s no longer on sale. I don’t feel that is right.

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