The DSW Return Policy: It’s Gotten WAY Worse in Recent Years

Updated January 19, 2024 by Kyle James

The DSW return policy is turning lots of heads these days and NOT in a good way. Their return policy use to be AWESOME and compare very favorably to Zappos policy. But those days are long gone, especially in terms of online returns as they now charge you $8.50 unless you’re a VIP member and buy from them frequently throughout the year. Here’s everything you need to know including stuff you won’t find posted anywhere else.

DSW Return Policy: Everything You Need to Know

How Many Return Days Does DSW Allow?

90 days…NO questions asked.

Just bring your “unworn” shoes (more on this below) back to a DSW location with your receipt and original box and they’ll take care of you.

They’ll either give you an exchange, or refund your money back to your original form of payment (including PayPal).

What Happens After 90 Days?

Not a problem.

Just bring your shoes back in and they’ll simply give you store credit that can be used online or in-store.

The same goes for online purchases. Just mail back your order with the return shipping label (included in your package) and they’ll give you merchandise credit but you’ll have to pay a $8.50 return shipping fee (more on this later).

See Also: 17 Stores That Let You Return Used Items for a Full Refund

What If I Lost My DSW Receipt?

Fortunately, you still have an option.

You can bring your item into the store and get a merchandise credit to be used on your next purchase.

Be aware that since DSW does NOT have evidence of the amount you paid, you’ll have to settle for the current price of the shoes, boots, or sandals.

As is the case with most retailers these days, DSW tracks your returns in order to prevent fraud.

They track your returns via a single valid I.D. which includes your driver’s license, passport, military ID, or state issued photo ID card.

What About Returning or Exchanging Shoes I Bought on

This is where the DSW policy has gotten much WORSE in recent years.

DSW use to let shoppers return or exchange everything for FREE. Those days are long gone.

Nowadays, if you’re not a DSW VIP Gold or Elite member you’re gonna have to pay $8.50 to ship back items.

To qualify for these membership levels, you need to spend $200 and $500 respectively.

The good news is the $8.50 only needs to be paid once and you can ship back multiple items in the same box if needed.

See Also: Nike Return Policy: We Answer Questions Even Phil Knight Can’t

Can I Wear the Shoes Before Returning Them?

I also asked the DSW employee this question and was surprised by the answer as their policy states that shoes must be “unworn”.

The employee told me the following, “We will take them back if you have worn them lightly (as far as testing them out.) We just won’t accept a worn pair if that makes sense. As far as a defective pair, we would certainly make that right for you!”

So I read that to mean that you can wear the shoes in your home all day long to test them out, and still return them for free.

Wear them outside for an extended period of time and scuff the soles and they might not take them back.

What If I’m Returning a Gift?

When returning a gift, be aware that you’ll have to settle for merchandise credit to be used toward a future purchase.

Also, when returning something bought with a DSW Rewards certificate you’ll be refunded only the final purchase price.

If you’re returning a gift via the mail (that was originally bought on be aware that you won’t get merchandise credit as the money will go back to the original form of payment.

See Also: Temu Return Policy: They Let You Keep Some Stuff Which is Crazy

What About Canadian Orders?

You cannot return orders made at a DSW Canada store or website to a U.S. store or website.

You must visit or contact a DSW Canada store to make an exchange or return happen.

Ask the Reader: What’s been your experience with the DSW return policy?

By Kyle James

Photo by Mike Mozart.


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Darlene Cave

I bought a pair of Birkenstocks size 9 Too big sent them back for a size 8 I was charged for the shoes when I bought them and then charged again when I sent them back to exchange


Question. What did you mean by final purchase price if you returned a purchased that was purchased with rewards?


I’ve not been receiving Fed Ex return shipping labels with my recent online orders!!

Brad Bustet

I did not get one with my last order either.


This might be a complicated question to ask but I’m new with after pay. This is literally my first time using it & im still trying to figure it out. So buying a pair of shoes at DSW with afterpay & wanting to return them back to the store but not wanting to have to mess with the whole mailing them back. I just want to simply walk into the store to return them. How does that work after using afterpay? Or what about just going into the store & doing an exchange?


Hi, you can take them back to the store and they will return them for you. You’ll get an email confirmation shortly letting you know your return was processed. Then Afterpay will send you an email confirming the same and showing you what you refund will be- that comes in a couple days or so. It will also show you that all of your future payment have been cancelled.

Brad Bustrr

I had a problem with a order online and was talking to a agent. They name was Adrian, very rude and did not want to help in anyway. I wanted a refund because I couldn’t find my purchase order or receipt. It was supposed to be 20% off and I wasn’t sure it go applied. She told me she couldn’t help and terminated the conversation. When I got a notice to print conversation it had been deleted. It said unable to retrieve. She was just a lazy, rude and definitely not a customer service representative. All she told me was you will get a receipt with your order and if something is wrong you can get it fixed then.

Brad Buster
Edmond, Oklahoma.

Harley Puff

My exchange fedex shipping label asks for a RMA number. How do I get that? If ts on my aperwork that is already sealed and ready to call fed x

Sue B

Do I have to call fed ex?


I purchased a pair of Adidas sneakers a few months back washed them and the sneakers now have stains that were not present before putting them in the wash. I called Adidas they referred me back to DSW to return them. Will I get a full refund or exchange for exact item?

Erin Rath

I lost the box , can’t I still exchange my boots ?

Kathryn Ryan

I just bought a pair of ugg boots, (within last 7 days) on line, price was just reduced by approx.$28, how do I get a rebate for this amount. or do I have to return them for full refund and buy them again at the lower price – which seems ridiculous to me.


I have arthritis in both feet. I also just had surgery to remove a bone spur. In light of my issues I’ve had to return many pairs of shoes after walking at home..They all hurt my feet. When I went to return another shoe I was flagged and they blocked my return.
Has this happened to anyone else. I’m waiting for a consumer group to plead my case. I’ll know in 30 days the DSW response.