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

Updated September 16, 2021 by Kyle

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 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?


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, 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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Michelle Clayburn

Tv screen broke during the refund/exchange 15 days. Will BEST BUY exchange the 70” Samsung tv?

Yellow Tag

Hi Michelle, unfortunately damaged TVs cannot be returned, and it is not something that is covered under the extended warranty.


my boss bought a printer with gift cards. They attempted to deliver after business hours and the carrier immediately returned the item. She called Best Buy said they would deliver next business day no problem. Well they didn’t called today and the said refund will go back to the gift card but we threw it away cause the balance was zero. They said too bad that’s where they money went for the return. All we wanted was the printer we paid for but they said since a refund was being processed they can’t ship a new one. So now we are out $225 all cause the carrier returned an item without trying to deliver next day during business hours


It says on their website that if you no longer have the gift card you paid with that you can call them at the number listed in their return FAQ and they will send you a new gift card.

Yellow Tag

Hey K R,

I’m so sorry to hear that happened to you. In the event that a refund is processed back to a gift card you no longer have, Best Buy Customer Care is able to re-issue a gift card! By calling the 1-888-BESTBUY number, specialists are able to cancel the gift card the refund was processed to and re-issue a new one via mail to the address on file, typically around 7-10 business days, however this can depend on business needs.


You may want to mention that a lot of big retailers, including Best Buy, use a system to track non-receipted returns. In an effort to combat return fraud, DL information is entered into a database. If you make too many returns without a receipt, they will block your license so that you can no longer make non-receipted returns. If this happens, you will have to contact either Best Buy’s customer help line, or refund admin, if they have any.


So this is annoying. I did a chat and a phone call with 2 different people and I explained that I had purchased a screen cover for my new phone and it keeps lifting all around the edges and mostly the bottom of the screen. They both said I was over my15 days. Keep in mind the app stated I had until today. I purchased it on 7/17/2021 and the app says 8/1/2021. I added the days and it is today 8/1/2021 and I confirmed on a date calculator that it’s correct. So now I am heading to the store to see what they say after I show them the app.

Yellow Tag

Hi Shellie!

With the 15 day policy you are correct, your return policy would have been active up until the end of day on 8/1. Depending on the brand of screen protector as well, some brands allow Best Buy to honor the manufacture warranty for them and replace it in store for you during that time, however it is only select brands and manufacture policy may change at any point so in store exchange is not guaranteed.


I purchased an air conditioner 19 days ago unfortunately I caught covid right after so I was in Quarantine. I had someone come out to install my ac only to learn the volts are too high for my place. Anyone know who can I speak to about this situation? While I understand there is a 15 day return policy I had covid. Anyone know if the store would work with me in this case and at least give me store credit?


Here we go with the COVID excuses. Do you think Best Buy cares you came down with COVID? Do you honestly think they will take a doctors note so you can return your item? You should have just went to the store with COVID and returned your item. Your loss…


Dear John,

You are an ASS.

The World.

The One

You’re one of those people that need their teeth kicked in.

Yellow Tag

Hi Samantha,

I’m very sorry to hear you developed a virus, but I’m glad to hear you’re doing better! As far as an extended return policy, while Best Buy does not have any special policies for during COVID, all Best Buy associates are aware of and work to uphold our values, one of which is taking care of the customer. While I cannot speak for your local store or the 1-888-BestBuy customer care team directly, I can say that we try to work with every customer that wants to work with us! They may be able to offer you store credit or an exchange for the same or like item, but again, this would be up to the manager on duty at your location. I wish you the best of luck!

Yellow Tag

Hey there!

Just wanted to throw in a few updates to your list. In terms of restocking fees, if the items are unopened (packaging and original seal) then there is no restocking fee, EXCEPT for activated phones. When a phone is scanned into the system and activated using a serial number and IMEI, we are no longer able to sell that phone again and it gets shipped back to the manufacturer. So if you purchased a phone unlocked, if it’s unopened there will not be a restocking fee. However, if it is activated in a Best Buy store, there will be.

Also, large appliances are now subject to a 14 day return policy, starting either on the date of delivery or when you leave the store with it if you picked it up, regardless of your rewards status.

For unopened video games, it will be dependent on the manager on duty at your local store where you return. A return for store credit will not be guaranteed past the return period even if unopened for video games. For both opened games and unopened games past policy however, they can offer to see what the trade in value would be in our system for you to get a gift card for the value, though it will be less than what you paid.

Lastly, I think the biggest hack to add would be to be kind to your stores representatives. It’s important to remember they are just doing their jobs and following their policies. However, if you are nice to an associate, it goes a long way. Trust me, we do want to work with you, and will do everything we possibly can. However, yelling, swearing, belittling or demanding a different manager is either going to get you turned away or escorted out of the store.

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