Home Depot Return Policy: The In’s & Out’s To Make It Work For You

Updated August 13, 2020 by Kyle
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Due to nature of DIY projects, the Home Depot return policy is one of the most used return policies in existence. Because of that, it’s nice to know exactly how it works, what the exclusions are, and even some insider tips for success. Here’s everything you need to know to make returning stuff to the Home Depot a breeze.

Home Depot Return Policy

COVID-19 Update (8/13/20)

In light of the pandemic, Home Depot has extended their return policy from 90 days to 180 days.

They are also asking customers to refrain from making returns at this time if at all possible.

What is the “Official” Home Depot Return Policy?

90 days. You have a generous 90 days to return an item to the Home Depot if you’re not satisfied for any reason.

Are There Exceptions to the 90 Days?

Yes, there are. These items all have a different time window for returns.

  • Furniture – 30 days.
  • Mattresses – 30 days.
  • Area Rugs – 30 days.
  • Generators – 30 days.
  • Gas Powered Stuff & Tractors – 30 days.
  • Consumer Electronics – 30 days.

I wasn’t aware that The Home Depot sold consumer electronics.

See Also: 7 Highly Clever Ways to Save Money at The Home Depot

Can Items Be Opened or Used?

Officially, “No”. Unofficially, “Yes”.

If you still have the original packaging, receipt, and still within 90 days, you can return most opened or used items.

With used items, it often comes down to the amount of “wear & tear” the product shows and is typically handled on a case-by-case basis.

For example, if you bought a Wooster paintbrush and use it heavily for an entire weekend then decide to return it, you’re probably out of luck.

But if you only used the paintbrush for a couple minutes, weren’t happy with, and cleaned it thoroughly, you stand a really good chance of them taking it back.

This is especially true if you’re okay with store credit or an exchange.

What If I Lost My Receipt?

Another cool aspect of The Home Depot’s return policy is they can often find your order in their system using the credit card or debit card you used to make the purchase. So always try!

If you paid with cash, or a Home Depot gift card, they’ll usually still accept the return for store credit. Be prepared to show a valid I.D. as they will track your return history this way.

I’ve been told that if you make too many returns without a receipt, they will flag your account and not accept any returns from you for up to 90 days.

This is done to protect themselves from shoplifters who try and return their loot for a quick profit.

Will They Limit No-Receipt Returns?

I received a comment from someone who was told they could not return an item without a receipt because it was valued at over $50.

While this is not stipulated anywhere on the Home Depot website it could very well be a store by store policy.

Be aware that your return may get rejected if the value is over $50 and you don’t have your receipt.

See Also: Lowe’s Return Policy: Rock Your Next DIY Project

What If I Have Receipt But Lost the Box?

In most cases, yes, the Home Depot will take stuff back without the original box or packaging.

Your mileage may vary from store to store depending on the employee you encounter, but I have personally returned stuff without the box.

What Stuff Can’t Be Returned?

The following items are not returnable to the Home Depot…

  • Custom Tinted Paint – For this reason, make sure you see the color of the paint before you buy it. You also can’t return any “Oops” paint that you buy at a discount.
  • Custom Blinds – The only blinds that can be returned say “Guaranteed to Fit” on them.
  • Utility Trailers
  • Major Appliances – Always inspect the appliance upon delivery to your home and “refuse delivery” if the item is damaged or defective. If you don’t, then later on notice an issue, call Home Depot at (800) 455-3869 within 2 days.
  • Generators
  • Gift Cards/Store Credits
  • Product Samples

I’ll keep this list updated in case new items become non-returnable.

What About Online Returns?

Home Depot Online Returns

Another really cool feature at the Home Depot is their online return system.

They actually allow you to return purchases made via their website via UPS, as well as products bought in-store.

This is a handy feature if you live a LONG distance from the nearest location, or you just have trouble making it in-store for whatever reason.

To see if your item is eligible for an online return, visit this page, and click on “Return Items”. (See image above)

Be prepared to pay the return shipping costs unless the reason for the return is an error by The Home Depot.

Are There Ever Any Restocking Fees?

The only items that might incur a restocking fee are Special Order returns or cancellations.

Be prepared to pay a 15% restocking fee on these items.

Can I Return Major Appliances?

Yes, but be very careful with this as they will ONLY take back the appliance if it’s defective.

So if you buy a refrigerator from the Home Depot and when it gets delivered you realize it’s too big for your kitchen, you’re screwed.

To this end, ALWAYS measure your space before you go shopping for refrigerators, dryers, washing machines, and dish washers.

Many commentors have noted that HD employees do not always share this information with shoppers so be CAREFUL.

What About Returning Flowers or Plants?

According to Home Depot, they will unconditionally guarantee all tropical, house, and landscape plants (only perennials, trees, and shrubs) for one year.

If your plant dies just bring whatever is left of it, the original pot it came in, and your receipt, and they’ll replace it or issue a refund.

If the plant is no longer available, a store credit will be issued.

The key here is perennials, trees, and shrubs. They don’t offer a 1-year guarantee on annuals, but I believe they still offer a 90 day return window.

Thanks to reader Gail who informed me that clearance plants (with yellow price sticker) are NOT returnable.

Does anyone know for sure? I can’t find any information on this to be certain. Let me know, thanks.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever had trouble with the Home Depot return policy? How did it happen and what was the end result?


By Kyle James

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Joe Molloy

Hi Everyone.
 
I have run into an issue with Home Depot’s return policy. Tuesday I attempted to return a drill set and buy a more expensive one and was denied.
Home Depot uses a third party service called The Retail Equation (TRE) which uses an algorithm to flag “suspicious” returns.
I made the origional purchase with a Home Depot gift card and store credit from earlier returns. I had all my receipts documenting my purchase.
I asked a manager to explain the reason for the denial and he said once the return is denied by TRE there is nothing Home Depot can do.I had one return this year with the receipt for $7.48!
I am a homeowner and a long time customer who has spent thousands of dollars at Home Depot over thirty years.
Numerous calls to both Home Depot in Georgia and TRE in California have gotten nowhere.
 
Any ideas or suggestions how I solve this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

David Vega

After reading some of the replies here I’m getting a bit nervous about getting refused for a exchange or a refund. I bought a large bbq online and it was shipped. When it arrived I took it out of the box and the doors were dented in. Yet the shipping box looked fine. I contacted the company and they eventually sent new doors. The doors came 6 days later and I set up the grill. But the gas did not go through the burners. So after numerous emails and a new hose, it still didn’t work. They recommend me to take it back to home depot for an exchange or a refund. But there is no mention in the return policy about bbqs and i don’t have the box it came in. Any thoughts?

Denise

I have same issue. By the time the manufacturer sent me the part that I thought would make it work then only to learn it still doesn’t work correctly, I am over 30 days. Were you able to return your item? If so, how long after the date of purchase was it?

Penelope french

I just successfully returned a battery operated string trimmer. I gave the man the receipt, he got a new one of the shelf for me, for a nice exchange. I’m a happy camper. What happens if my new string trimmer goes wrong as well. I never got a new receipt.

Carlos

Hi there, can I return a 6 day old electric water heater?

Erica

Hello! I bought a toshiba floor a/c and it is horrible! It wont even cool my bedroom! I have the receipt and everything but i threw the box away because for $329.00 why would i think it wouldn’t work. Am i able to return it for an LG which is what i already have….?

Just Ed

Anyone else experiencing the latest problem with Home Depot… when looking at your online order page there is no Return Items button on ANY of your orders that are still within the return period? Since it’s impossible to initiate the return from the website AND since they’ve done away with online chat (tough luck if you’re deaf/mute/etc and can’t telephone them), the ONLY option (for those that can) is to call and sit on perpetual hold listening to them repeat the same message every 30 seconds and (unlike every other major retailer’s phone system) it doesn’t provide an estimated hold time. You just have keep waiting and waiting with no idea how much longer you need to keep waiting! It’s like they’ve abandoned common sense and are doing everything possible to make it so difficult to return anything that maybe they think you’ll just give up and they’ll avoid some returns. But all it does is make me give up on shopping at Home Depot.

HDSucks

Yes. Exactly. I purchased hundreds of dollars worth of supplies. only after reading the return policy. I only need to return 2 items amounting to $25, but there are no Return Items buttons on any of my many purchases, though they are well within the return period. I don’t want to go to the store to return right now. I also don’t want to be waiting on the phone line hearing that message repeat over and over again, ad infinitum. I will not be ordering from Home Depot again.

gail

You don’t want to return it to the store and you don’t want to call them about the return. Looks like the items are yours to keep now.

gail

Yes, I know for sure. HD, Lowes and Walmart have had a 1 year ‘guarantee’ on all plants, shrubs, etc. (excluding annuals) for several years now. It’s not noted, but, this policy does not apply to items on Clearance. Not ‘Sale’, but clearly marked down for the last time on ‘Clearance’ and it must have the Yellow sticker with the clearance price. I had a problem with 1 front end manager who refused to take back several fruit trees I bought on sale. One call to Corporate in front of her (and after she gave Corporate a hard time refusing to speak to the rep ‘in front of customers’) she reluctantly reimbursed my purchase.

I have exercised my right to this several times and recently a comment was made “wow, almost to the day” with a sarcastic attitude. Purchase was May 2019 and I returned within a day or 2 of the 1 year mark this May, 2020. I said ‘this is the guarantee. 1 year’. Not sure why she was unhappy. It’s the policy and she can take it up with the store manager or Corporate.

It is posted on their website (as well as in their stores in NJ):

https://www.homedepot.com/c/Return_Policy

What I was NOT aware of was their ‘Exclusive Grow a Garden Guarantee’. When buying Bonnie plants and a Miracle Gro product, you CAN return vegetable plants that crap out before the end of the season!

I will note that I was told on more than one occasion by employees from each of these stores that I must retain and return the original nursery pot. Easy enough. Speaking of, I have $500+ in small evergreens to dig up and return this week. These shrubs came with a case of ‘bag worm’ that really did a number on them.

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