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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Hector R

I ordered a lens online for my DSLR and it was not for me, I went in the store for an exchange to a better lens and they wanted me to pay restocking fee. One employee said I shouldn’t be charged restocking fee but the other said yes. So I told them I’ll hold on to my current lens and think about it.


Hello !
I purchased an at & t maven 2 paygo phone July 3rd from best buy (,in store purchases). I’m not happy with it. Nothing has been downloaded nor transferred into phone. Have receipt & all the contents.
Will Bestbuy accept my request for refund ? Thank you so much !


Hi, I just wanted to point out an error in your post. You said that you cannot return Geek Squad memberships, but actually you can. You have 14 days to return it for the full amount, and after that, it is pro-rated, if you have not used Geek Squad services at all or did not receive satisfactory work 30 days after a work order was completed and picked up. I used to work as a Consultation Agent at Geek Squad and had to process many returns for our memberships, though they usually had to be approved by a manager first.


Their new restocking fee is counter productive, and I don’t see it lasting long. Especially since AMAZON does not charge restocking fee.

Christina T

Hello I bought a kidizoom action cam with a two year warranty. I bought it on 6/01/17. My daughter doesn’t want it anymore it’s 7/20/17. Could I get my money back or store credit?


If I buy Windows 10 & my desktop still doesn’t boot up, can I return Windows?


My husband bought me a Fitbit Blaze a week ago and the screen has a tiny crack after wearing it. Can we return it?


I received a gift (JBL Xtreme Speaker) that has the same UPC as the item sold in store. I am an Elite Member at BBuy. Do you think I would be able to exchange this item in store for store credit without any proof of purchase? What do you think the best way to approach this would be? Thanks!

Leonor May-Pinnock

How long does it take for my bank account to be refunded for my purchase

Shirley M Oloffo

Best Buy return policy stinks! Had bought an Epson Home Cinema, never used it, did not read all the “fine” print, and because of a busy work schedule, did not have time to return it in the 15 days. Took it back 2 months later, thinking I had at least 60 days only to be told they would not take it. That is $700 down the drain. Had bought many appliances there, tvs, computers and cameras, but my business will go elsewhere, where customer service comes first. Was not informed I only had 15 days, the person that sold it to me opened the box since it had a slit in it to make sure it was all there, was even willing to pay the big “restocking fee” which is stupid.


It’s on a buyer to check return policies. Most stores use 60 days BUT NOT on electronics that lose their value so quickly as they get outdated. So in this case, it makes sense that BB couldn’t take it back. Other stores wouldn’t either.

Hope you were able to recoup some on ebay or craigslist.


You’re ridiculous, haha. Buyers remorse after 2 months, and now you’re going to “take your business elsewhere.” Get real. It’s not their fault that you’re too busy to return your crap in a timely manner. I wonder if I can return this old Nintendo that I bought in 1990.. No? Looks like they’ll never get my business again! lmao you’re dumb.


Hi. Great article! One thing I cannot find ANYWHERE is BB policy on refurbished items. I am looking at a refurbished cell phone to save some money but am concerned about it will be a dud and then be stuck with it!


Hi, I purchased a laptop a week ago. Now when I boot it up I get a white screen and zero laptop functions. Can I return or exchange the laptop?


Hey, would I get a restocking fee for returning an iPhone that I ripped the plastic covering off of? Also I already peeled the plastic over the phone too, but everything else is perfect.


I bought Samsung Galaxy S8 2 days ago but I guess I’m used to ios so I’d like to return it. It still has front and back plastic covering on. Will I be charged?


Can I return an unopened Video game for store credit? After buying it 2 months ago?


Can you answer this Kyle?

Daine Wendt

I bought a camera that didn’t work straight out of the box but no longer have the box will I be charged much for the missing box even though the return is for a faulty product?