Nordstrom Return Policy: Answers to Your 8 Biggest Questions

Updated September 22, 2023 by Kyle

Similar to Costco’s return policy, the return policy at Nordstrom is really liberal and quite popular. But as with any retailer’s policy, there are always questions that many shoppers have, especially since Nordstrom changed some of their policies recently. Here are the 8 most popular questions that shoppers have about the Nordstrom return policy. Some of these answers can’t be easily found on the Nordstrom website.

Nordstrom Return Policy

How Many Return Days Does Nordstrom Offer?


While Nordstrom reserves the right to handle returns on a “case by case basis” they do not have a set number of return days in place.

I’ve actually heard of some shoppers return items that are well over a year old and have clearly been worn.

But be warned, if you abuse Nordstrom’s return policy to often you’ll probably end up getting banned.

See Also: Nordstrom Price Match Policy: Everything You Need to Know (and Much More)

Can You Return An Item Without Receipt?


It definitely helps (speed wise) if you have your receipt but it IS NOT required.

If you return something without a receipt, Nordstrom will attempt to find your purchase within their computer system.

If they can’t find your purchase they’ll refund you the current price of the item in the form of a Nordstrom gift card.

See Also: All the Stores That Allow you to Return Items Without a Receipt

Can You Return Shoes or Clothing You’ve Worn?

Yes, you can.

Nordstrom does almost everything possible to keep their customers happy, this includes allowing returns on items that have been worn.

All they ask is that you treat them fairly and don’t abuse their liberal return policy.

The Wording “Case by Case Basis” Seems Bad for Shoppers…

While the policy states you can return stuff at any time, many of the folks in the comments have had their returns denied recently.

It’s safe to assume that Nordstrom management is taking a stricter stance on those returning items 1-2 years after they bought them.

They definitely are using the wording “case by case basis” to their advantage and denying returns when items are clearly worn and not in saleable condition.

What About Makeup…Can You Return It?

Yes indeed.

Both used and unopened.

If you’re not happy with it, for any reason, just bring it back in (hopefully with the receipt) and get a full refund.

What If The Item Has No Tag?

Not a problem, bring it in for a refund.

Heck, you can even return it if the item doesn’t have a tag and it’s been worn.

How Do You Return Online Purchases?

You have two options.

You can either mail them back with the enclosed return label or bring them back to your nearest Nordstrom location.

If you don’t have a Nordstrom account or are missing your order information, you can click here and print out a blank return form.

The best part? Return shipping is FREE.

Can You Return “Special Occasion” Dresses Without Tags?

No way Jose.

Because of recent abuse of Nordstrom’s return policy, “Special Occasion” dresses now come with a tag that reads “if this tag is removed the garment cannot be returned”.

After all, nobody wants to pay big bucks to wear a beautiful dress that’s already been worn once, or multiple times.

See Also: Macy’s Return Policy: We Untangle ALL the Confusion

Can You Get a Cash Refund at Nordstrom?

As of January 2017, you can only get a cash refund if the purchase was made in cash.

All other refunds will be given in either store credit, or put back on the credit card you originally used to make the purchase.

Nordstrom is cracking down on shoppers who abused their return policy, especially those whose store account shows more in returns than actual purchases.

Nordstrom Return Policy “Nitty Gritty” Stuff:

1. Be Prepared to Show your I.D.

When returning anything without a receipt they will ask you for your I.D. and enter your info into their system.

This is how the keep track of those who abuse their return policy.

2. Nordstrom Rack has Different Policy

If you make a purchase from their “Outlet”, known as “The Rack”, be aware that they have a less lenient return policy.

Namely, they only give you 45 days to make a return and you better have your receipt with you.

Also, they will NOT take back items that have been worn.

3. You’ll Catch More Flies with Honey than Vinegar

Make sure you’re polite and conversational when making a return at Nordstrom, especially when returning used items without a receipt.

Employees are much more likely to help you if you are. It’s simple human nature.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever returned anything to Nordstrom and was it an easy process?

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Phillip Pessar.


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This article is a little bit inaccurate. Nordstrom still has no time limit on their return policy, but Nordstrom Rack has a 45-day return policy which they changed from 90-days not too long ago. Even though Nordstrom doesn’t have a time limit on returns, I’ve been told that after two years the receipt cannot be looked up anymore in the system, but as long as you have proof of purchase they will give you a gift card. I think that policy is in direct contradiction to their no time limit approach. The clerk will claim they cannot find your receipt, but I have had to keep asking a few times, and they found the receipt with my email address. If I clearly have proof of purchase and the original CC, why wouldn’t I receive credit if your policy has no time limit? With regards to items being too old, I believe Nordstrom just sends them to the Rack stores for clearance. Nordstrom has an excellent supply chain, and I don’t believe the hey trash or burn their clothes.


Last month, I tried returning a beauty tool item at Nordstrom. It had never been used but the products were old and leaking so I threw it away. It had been more than a couple of years since the purchase. It had been tucked away in the back of a closet. The manufacturer had closed their business.
To make a long story short, the salesperson did attempt to locate it in their system but to no avail. It had been purchased on my Nordstrom card. She wasn’t able to give me a refund or store credit. I went home with it and is back in the closet.


Hi, if I pay for an item partially with a gift card and the rest with a visa card, how will Nordstrom refund me?


As long as you paid even a small amount with your debit or credit card in conjunction with store credit, your debit or credit card will receive the entire refund. I just confirmed this for the second time at a seperate location from the first, yesterday. Essentially, you can turn an entire store credit into cash in an easy 2 step process.


I recently purchased with a gift card $100 and PayPal online because my local Nordstrom closed. I had to pick up at rack. I spent $150. I returned the majority of items and Nordstrom only put what was charged to PayPal back to PayPal. I had to call and track down the remainder because I didn’t receive a gift card for the remainder back either. I called in and the rep told me a year ago they changed the process and I should’ve received a gift card and sent me one when I asked her for it. Very confusing and difficult to track down money owed back.


why does it take so long for a credit to show on my Visa card, ordered some great Cole Haan boots on line,they were to large returned them from the Island to Vancouver by mail according to Nordstom instructions and with their return label, 10 days now and counting and no refund on my credit card.


If you insert your card when they do the refund, it goes on instantly as debit. If they do it entirely on their computer without your card present, it can take a few days being processed as credit.


I have been issued nordstrom notes recently for a large purchase, but have decided to return a small portion of it. Does this mean they will take back a portion my notes too?


This article is definitely wrong, I had the tags on both by items and with no proof of purchase they will not take things back anymore


I actually recently returned an item I purchased in 2018 and it was refunded to my Notdy card. It’s definitely YMMV.


Will Nordstrom refund a designer shoe if it’s been worn but you have the receipt


No. Designer has a different return policy. Once a designer piece shows signs of wear, it cannot be returned


This was many years ago, so likely irrelevant, but I figured I’d share anyway … I had a pair of Prada shoes I bought and wore a handful of times … not sure exactly how many times, but you could DEFINITELY TELL they had been worn, and not just inside in carpet or hardwood floors.

I can’t recall how I paid for them, but I likely used my Nordstrom credit card … they refunded me however I paid for it, I do remember that … around the same time, I had a pair of Seven Jeans with Swarovski crystals all over them … they cost me around $700-$800, and I wore them FREQUENTLY … the bottomed were even getting fringed.

However, I gained weight, and at some point, could no longer wear them, and returned them (WELL over a year after I bought them, I’m sure); again, they refunded me, no problem (also not as a gift card) … these were the only two times that I abused the return policy (and I still feel guilty) … that being said … I RARELY returned anything, and I had a credit card with a $10,000.00 limit, which allowed me to go over the limit by $10,000.00, but I had to pay the overage in full when the bill came.

I used that card to pay for EVERYTHING, so I frequently went over the limit, oftentimes all the way to the $20k max; therefore, I doubt they were going to quibble with me over a pair of shoes and a pair of jeans, regardless of how expensive they were, and how ridiculous it was for me to try and return them.

I no longer have that credit card (or that kind of money), but I found a dress my mom bought years ago to wear to my wedding that was ultimately called off; the tags are still on it, and it was never worn … it’s been in the garnet bag this entire time, and she has the receipt, so I’m hoping they let us return it for store credit.


Omg Brittany, what did you do for a living? I’m genuinely interested?


Ive searched everywhere online to find this answer. does Nordstrom issue a credit for returns lost in the mail?


Terrible with mail returns. Takes too long and I have to always call. Its resolved only after a few phone calls. Im done with this store.

Debra Morgan

I ordered a jacket and doc martins boots for my granddaughter.The jacket is perfect but the boots are to small.Can you advise me on how to return the boots?

Rita Flores

I also bought doc martins online and threw away the box, they were too snug for my liking, will I have any luck returning them by mail or in store?

Mayra Licon

I bought online and the system changed my email address and I did not received my online purchase or my money back, I called and put a request on the phone 2 times , I went there, I talked to the employees, once a week for one and a half month, I did not get the item or the money back and the only email I got still says the order is in process. So be careful..


Nordstrom Rack accepts returns up to 45 days after purchase … not 90. And deeply discounted items are often “Final Sale”.

Adam C

FWIW, on price adjustments: I have read conflicting accounts regarding in-store designer items that were already marked down at initial purchase…some say you can’t do this, but it worked for me just now.

I bought a sweater locally at a 40% discount during a sale. 10 days later I saw the price got cut to 60% off online. The item was still available in that size for pickup at that store. I called CS at that Nordstrom, read off my receipt number, and immediately received credit back to my VISA card for the difference.

Holly Michel

I received a pair of shoes as a gift from my mom who lives out of state. They fit snugger than I like and just wanted to exchange them in store for another size. I did not have a receipt and they attempted to look it up via her phone number but could not find the order. I was told they couldn’t do anything unless I could get the receipt to prove they were purchased there. I dont want to make a return…just want to be able wear the shoes that were bought for me by making an exchange. I’ve worked retail forever and have never not taken care of a guest especially for an exchange for the same thing.