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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Robert Eddings

I purchased a dell laptop on 8/20/17 at a location in Hoover Alabama the total was 1471.48 I paid in cash and the clerk said you have a 15 day return period.

This purchase was for work and when I got to work Monday 8/21 my work had already provided me a laptop so Tuesday 8/21 I returned the unopened box with my receipt to the store in Hoover and the clerk took my return and put it behind the counter and the looked at me and said we don’t give cash refunds but I can offer you a gift card for that amount.

I wasn’t interested in a $1500 gift card and ask if you don’t give cash refunds why do you take cash sales and not notify the consumer of this policy and I would have put it on my credit card.

The manager said they didn’t have that much cash on hand (right) so I ask if he could just put it on my debit card and was told no that they could mail me a check in 7-10 business days. So I left the store with no cash no laptop and a receipt showing my return. Couldn’t help feeling ROBBED By Corporate Bullying and will never shop there again.

Curls

That’s pretty common policies for stores. They don’t keep cash on hand (staff tends to make it disappear). So they state in policies that over a certain mount cash returns will be by check in a week or two.

Be good if the article added this info! It’s not something people think of unless they read the return policy itself.

John

My kids got iPad air mount for their birthdays and they have never used them but I do not have the receipt what is my status their in getting a refund or exchange?

Liz

Bought a home security system at best buy and opened a best buy credit account, the system is not what I wanted nor does it do what they said it would do. Tried to take it back and they said I was past my 3 days, then the monitoring company says 15 days as I stated I did not want a monthly fee for monitoring at best buy and that I just wanted the cameras to take pics when motion was detected.

Vivint states that if monthly fee is canceled then the whole system will not work at all. I feel I was misled in both directions. I don’t want this system and am getting run around from both best buy and vivint. Wonder if I can exchange the system for just flood like camera’s if they wont refund me???

Joe

What if the return consists of a faulty item and I simply want an exchange, am I still required to pay a restocking fee?? The item is a cell phone, which was purchased 5 days ago

Akeel

I purchased a game for PS4 that didn’t work will they let me exchange for Nintendo switch

Vincent

In the middle of the article you say there is a 15% restocking fee for drones. But at the end you say that the only items that should incur a restocking fee are opened mobile phones and special order appliances. So it is not clear if a drone should have a restocking fee.

Whit

Can I get cash back on a return if it was bought with a temporary debit card?

Rich Amooi

My wife and I bought a new washer and dryer online from Best Buy. The website said it was required to buy the washing machine fill hoses. We bought them, of course. When the delivery guy came to install them, he handed me the box of hoses I had purchased and said I didn’t need them because the washer already came with them. I went to look online at the return policy and saw the 15 days. It has been 17 days. Am I stuck with them even though they made me buy them when they weren’t necessary?

Rich Amooi

I called the number you gave me and talked to a very nice customer service rep. She said she couldn’t give me a return label because the product was delivered and not shipped. She did advise me to go to the nearest store and talk with a manager. She was pretty confident he would understand the situation (she was surprised the installer didn’t just take the product back with him and credit my account). I went to the Best Buy store down the street, explained the situation, and customer services clerk credited my account. I didn’t even have to talk to a manager. Happy Ending! Thanks for your help. 🙂

Kat

I bought an Invisible Shield Glass Curve screen protector for my Samsung Galaxy 8 about 3 months ago. It comes with a lifetime limited warranty that covers cracks and scratches as long as I own the phone. Can I exchange this in the store or must I deal directly with the manufacturer? I tried to call my local Best Buy, but the local number seemed to be linked to another location and no one answered the phone, even after a long wait.

Sandi

I returned a new unopened sound bar yesterday bought aug 17 th 2017 . Will only give store credit not happy ! Why is this ?

Bonnie

Hi I got a computer 17 days ago and I don’t really like it. It is just too slow for school especially since I’ll be doing online classes. Is it still possible to return it?

John

Recieved 2 pair of beats head phones solo 3 wireless for gifts want to return one pair they were sent to me bu family out of state no gift receipt and the cc used is not in my possession what do i do to get a full cash refund

Bloo

hey, i just bought an ojo scooter from best buy online and it was delivered to me. Before it was delivered i had asked if it was alright to ride the scooter in rain and was told yes, so when it came in through delivery i was excited and unpacked it all and threw the packaging away. after starting to charge the scooter, i grabbed the manual to give it a read to understand how to operate everything and one of the first pages said, ‘is good for riding in bike lanes’ but also says ‘ avoid water, puddles, sand, debris.. etc.’ now i’m worried cause that’s what most of the bike lanes are made up of where i live. Is it still possible to return this somehow with no packaging? I’m waiting on an answer from the support of the ojo scooters, but based on the manual it seemed like the answers i were given before weren’t correct.

Brandon

I bought a breathalyzer and after 5 drinks in 3 hours it still says I have a 0.03% BAC (Same as after the first drink). The item is clearly defective, but because I blew into it, it may be seen as “unsanitary” can I still return it because it is defective?

Cory

Just bought a drone from Best Buy. The DJI Spark for $450. I have 15 days to return it but if opened I will need to pay a 15% restocking fee. Usually they wouldn’t notice if it’s opened or not but there’s a plastic shrink wrap around it. Would they still take it as “in-opened if the shrink wrap is off?

Erick T

Hey hello there ! I just bought a LG 4K Tv about 10 days ago, and my wife just notice a dead pixel, ( The tv doesn’t have any Physical damage at all ) , can I switch my TV for a different one? What are my options , help!

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