On the surface, the Lowe’s return policy seems pretty straight forward. But once you dig into it a little bit you realize that it has some nuances to it that are worth knowing, especially if you are a big DIY’er and shop at Lowe’s regularly. I also have some insider return policy tips at the bottom of this article to help you even more. I hope this helps.
COVID-19 Response as of 6/02/20:
Lowe’s recently doubled the time limit on returns to 180 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has made walking into the store and making a return unsafe for some elderly and high-risk shoppers.
How Many Return Days Does Lowe’s Give You?
The Lowe’s return policy stipulates that you have 90 days to return items to their store.
Are There Exceptions to the 90 Days?
Yes, there are exceptions and here they are…
- Winter/Holiday Seasonal Items – Must be returned by December 31st of the same holiday season.
- Major Appliances – 30 days.
- Outdoor Power Equipment – 30 days.
- Trailers – 30 days.
- Plants – 365 days. More on this below.
FYI: You can only return trailers to a Lowe’s store in the same state that you bought it.
Do You Need Your Receipt?
If you don’t have your receipt, Lowe’s can usually use your credit card, MyLowe’s card, or phone number to find your order details.
If they can’t find any record of your purchase, they’ll typically issue you in-store credit at the item’s current price.
Be aware that if you try to return too many items to Lowe’s without a receipt they may limit your returns or deny them completely.
What If You Paid with Cash or a Check?
No receipt is required to get a refund or exchange if you use cash or a personal check.
Lowe’s can actually look up your purchase with your phone number. For this reason, be sure to provide a phone number when you checkout.
Obviously this only applies to in-store purchases.
Can I Return Used Outdoor Power Equipment?
If you bought a lawn mower, chain saw, weed eater, blower, pretty much anything that takes gasoline, I was told by a manager that you can return it within 30 days.
But you MUST drain all the gas from it before you bring it back and you MUST have the receipt.
What About Online Purchases?
The same 90-day return policy exists on purchases made via Lowes.com.
Most items bought online come with a prepaid shipping label which is WAY cool.
Just repackage the item with the original box, manual, and parts and send it back at no charge.
Or even easier, return the item to your local Lowe’s store if you have one in your area.
Unfortunately, when you return an item via the mail you’re out the original shipping charges (if any).
Can You Return Items Bought In-Store via the Mail?
If taking items back to the store is not convenient, you can indeed return items via mail.
Because you won’t have a prepaid shipping label, you’ll have to call Lowe’s directly at 1-800-445-6937 to initiate the return process.
What About Defects That Happen After 90 Days?
You just might be eligible for some relief if your product/appliance has a manufacturer defect after your 90 day return window expires.
Just call Lowe’s at 1-888-77-LOWES to schedule a factory-certified service appointment.
If the repair is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty you won’t be charged a cent.
What’s the Return Policy on Plants?
1 year from date of purchase.
This 1-year “plant guarantee” does not include annuals or clearance plants.
Just bring the dead plant back along with your receipt and you’ll get your money back.
If you still have the plant’s original container bring that back too, it will make the return process much easier.
Gift Cards…Can You Return Them?
The only way you can return a lost or stolen gift card is by presenting the original receipt.
Once presented, Lowe’s will reissue a new gift card for the remaining balance.
4 Lowe’s Return Policy Insider Hacks…
Here are some insider tips and hacks to make their return policy work best for you.
1. Major Appliances.
Always inspect them closely upon delivery. You have 3 days from date of delivery to call Lowe’s at 1-800-445-6937 to report any damage or missing parts.
2. Return Item When Competitor has Lower Price?
If you notice that a local competitor like Home Depot or Ace Hardware has the item you bought at a lower price, you can get a price-match without returning the item. Just bring in proof of the lower price and you’ll get cash back for the difference PLUS an extra 10%.
3. Double Dip Your Savings with Store Credit (Not a Return)
Shop online at Lowe’s.com, but first use my favorite cashback site TopCashBack as they’ll give you 5% back on your Lowe’s online purchase.
When you’re checking out online, choose “store pickup” then stop by your local Lowe’s and pick-up your order.
Next, walk around the store for a few minutes, then return to the customer service desk and ask for “store credit” as you changed your mind on the purchase.
Result? You’ll still score the 5% cashback and have store credit to use on your next purchase. Rinse and repeat.
4. Lowe’s vs. The Home Depot
Whose return policy is better?
From talking to store employees, it seems to come down to individual store managers and how they handle returns.
Some managers (at both retailers) are very willing to bend over backwards to keep the customer happy and accept a return on darn near any product, regardless of age or condition.
The takeaway here is to get familiar with both retailers in your area and figure out which store is more lenient on returns and take your business there.
Ask the Reader: Do you have any tips to make the Lowe’s return policy even more useful? Let me know in the comments section below.
By Kyle James