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

Updated October 20, 2021 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

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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Karl

What about if you ordered a custom door and realized after that it’s not going to allow a storm door to accompany it? Can you return a special order door?

Paul E. Schoen

I bought some hip/ridge cap shingles from HD, and asked if I could return a partial package since I only needed a few more to finish the job. I only wanted like $25 store credit on the $55 total price, and it seems that other customers would appreciate being able to buy only enough for their project without so much waste. This does not seem to be addressed by their return policy as summarized above, and I think I am being reasonable. So I plan to buy more than $500 of materials in the near future, and I’ll be taking my business from now on to Lowes or 84 Lumber.

John Wad

Wow people are dumb

Robert Edward McManus

What about a tankless water heater? The box says not to return it to the store but call an 800 number.

Heather Smith

What if my husband buy something there and he want me to return it can I return it. .

Rob

Can I return items such as joist hangers and post holders? They come unboxed and are sold individually.The carpenters who built my add on/addition purchased more than they used,and I just discovered the extras under my house.The project was done in April , and the receipts are God knows where.There is at least $150 worth of these hangers left with the stickers still intact. Will Home Depot take them back and refund the cost to me,without a receipt?

Scott

You can likely return them for store credit even if they are beyond the 90 days. We had a similar situation. Our remodel sub contractors purchased a lot of extra materials and didnt keep the receipts. The key is you need to clean the items as best you can, which makes the return easier and if you have a huge amount maybe split it in half and take the rest to another HD location.

Esther H

how about third party orders? What about if you ordered a door and it is badly damaged all over with dents and chips broken from the molding when they pit nails in the molding and when you asked for no dead bolt and even though none was in the door they still put an extra hole in the side section where the latch thing goes in and then the door is not square when inside looking at the door you see a huge long crack where you see daylight. They tell me I have to deal with their third party and the Home Depot refused the special order door and refused me a refund and I contacted them right away after they had it delivered to me with photos. I can’t find anything on line where it tells people they are out of luck if you can’t deal with the vendor. The vendors info on line states if they give a refund you only get the amount they were given so Home Depot keeps the rest for themselves.

Patty

What if i am past the 90 days, can i get store credit with a reciept?

Mike

Bought a tool at HD using my debit card & $8.00 store card. Found it cheaper, same day, at another store. Tried to return tool to HD with receipt, same day, DENIED by TRE that HD uses. Even store manager could not override. Sueing TRE & HD, it’s not about the money, it’s about store policy & my GOOD NAME.

Denis

Regarding perennials, they will do the return but must have the pot that it was sold in (although now empty), and the receipt.

Ronnie Loeffler

I have been denied returns for store credit now for over 8 years and Ive called the number they gave me a couple times to try and resolve this issue to no avail…They always say they will either take care of it or return my call, neither ever happened. The only thing i can think of that may be a problem is about 10 years ago I was in a Home Depot getting material for a job ( many different Items) and I had forgotten my gloves so I grabbed a pair off the rack and put them on with the intention of paying for them at checkout. It took me probably an hour or more to collect everything I needed and proceeded to the checkout counter. I paid for all the items in my cart (over $900.00) and started loading the material into my truck. A manager then approached me and asked me to come back into the store…Dumbfounded and in a hurry I wanted to know why and he advised me the gloves I was still wearing were not paid for and he informed me he could either call the cops or allow me to have my picture taken and an in store report made. I argued with this guy that it was simply an oversight but he refused to even allow me to pay for the gloves at that time. I went ahead and allowed him to take my picture fully intending on taking this matter up with Higher management or corporate. This guy kept the gloves and I left pretty embarrassed and Pissed off to say the least! Common sense would tell him that I just spent over 900.;00 in his store why would i need to steal a 9.99 pair of gloves??? In any event, since then I have not been able to return anything without receipt. Anybody have any answers for me please?

Dawn Melamed

I tried returning a houseplant today due to illness. This is after I purchase $300 worth of plants from them. I have returned one two years ago and they accepted it, now they do not.The associate made sure to make it clear to me that they do not accept returns or exchanges on houseplants. They do not get credit for them. Bellingham, MA. I will not be buying plants from them anymore.

Mike mechanic

I bought s Milwaukee grinder, used it almost every day gor a month.the paddle switch btoke off. Took ot nacl tp home depot, because they ssid it had a 90 day fill replacement warranty.they gave me sivh a hard time. Luckily i had taken a picture of the receipt. And they still wouldn’t do. it. The fat angry bitch at the register. Kept try to that depart. Said they had 4 in stock. But the a-hole on that department wouldn’t give me one. So she tells me they don’t have anymore. You had just told me you had 4.so then they start saying…… Oh it looks very used !! …….i replied , isn’t that why you buy a tool to usr it ? Or to put it on a shelf snd look at it ? So i got really pissed off at the fat angry bitch at the register . and they finally gave me a new one
She acted like it was coming out of her pocket or something… Bottom line is don’t ever buy a tool from home depot !!! It not worth the aggravation !!! I NEVER WILL AGAIN !!! TAKE MY BUSINESS ELSE WHERE…. AND YOU SHOULD TOO ?
.

Robert

Wondering if you can return product ,with receipt to a different province? Bought in BC going to Alberta?

Jeanette Platt

Can ply wood that home depot cut themselves be returned ?

Terrell Dunn

Not if you requested the cut. They definitely won’t return it. I’ve asked them to cut plywood several times and every time they made sure and nicely tell me (for by own good) that once they cut it for me it can’t be returned/refunded/exchanged. I do believe they were being kind making sure I knew their policy before they cut the plywood.

Terrell Dunn

How about a gas powered weed trimmer that I used? I have the receipt, and just bought it only two days ago and would be fine with store credit (bought it with a debit card) I do have the original packaging but now that it’s assembled it won’t fit back in the box. It’s a mower style string trimmer with wheels, not a handheld weed eater.

Every time I make a large purchase there I ask the cashier if I can return the particular item I’m buying and they always say ‘yes just make sure and keep the receipt.’ And if I pay with a card they say ‘sure you can, and even if you lose the receipt we can look it up using your credit card info’ And they almost always state their return policy statement of ‘you can return an item if you’re not satisfied for any reason’ I asked before this purchase and was told yes.

Which begs the question of returning something used like I am…I spent $300 for it with the full intention of being extremely satisfied, otherwise I wouldn’t spend $300 on it, but as much as I wanted to like it I can’t stand it. How would I know that I would be unsatisfied with if it just sat in a box? Using it was the only way to find out I was unsatisfied. Before I used it I would have said I was satisfied, using it was what changed my mind.

So if they refuse to return a used item, it sort of contradicts their policy, or at least makes the policy very misleading because it’s a given that the only way you could know if you’re satisfied or not is by using it to find out. Hope they take it back, I’d hate to get stuck with it.

I fully intended to keep it, I even purchased the protection plan with it. Anyone have any experience with a similar type return?

Curtis Lane

Does the return have to be at the same store it was purchased?

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