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.
What is the “Official” Home Depot Return Policy?
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.
What’s the Return Policy on Major Appliances?
Always carefully inspect the appliance upon delivery to your home and “refuse delivery” if the item is damaged or defective.
If you don’t inspect the appliance carefully, then later notice an issue, call Home Depot at (800) 455-3869 within 48 hours of delivery or pickup time and they’ll help you with a return.
Lowe’s has a similar policy in place on major appliances, and based on the comments, it’s not very popular with shoppers.
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.
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
– Gift Cards/Store Credits
– Product Samples
I’ll keep this list updated in case new items become non-returnable.
What About 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 commenters 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