Staples Return Policy: How It Actually Works + Hacks for Success

Updated December 1, 2023 by Kyle James

The Staples return policy seems fairly straight-forward at first glance, but in actuality it has a bunch of nuisances based on the item you’re buying and what form of payment you use. In this article, I break it all down so you’ll never have a problem returning something to Staples in the future. I also came up with some insider hacks for success that you’d need a magnifying glass to find on their return policy page.

Staples Return Policy: How It Actually Works

How Many Return Days Does Staples Allow?

30 days.

The majority of products sold by Staples come with a 30-day return policy.

Any Exceptions to the 30 Days?

Yes, several products have a shorter return window…

  • Computers & Laptops – 14 days. Make sure all personal information is removed before returning to the store.
  • Printers – 14 days
  • Digital Cameras – 14 days
  • Business Machines – 14 days
  • Tablets & eReaders – 14 days
  • Smart/Cell phones – 14 days
  • Unopened Drones – 14 days
  • Items Bought with a Check – 14 days and you can only return item for store credit.

The 14-day return window is pretty short on the above items so make sure the product is a “keeper” fairly quickly.

See Also: Best Buy Return Policy: 8 Things You Need To Know

Anything That Can’t Be Returned?

Yes, glad you asked. Here they are…

  • Downloadable Software, Movies and Music – Non-returnable.
  • Opened Software – Can only be exchanged for the same software title.
  • Custom-ordered and Custom-assembled Furniture – Can only be returned if it’s defective when you receive it.
  • Gift Cards and Phone Cards – Non-returnable.

Does anyone ever buy phone cards these days?

Can You Return Without a Receipt?

Yes, but you can’t always get a straight refund.

If you’re receipt-less and used a credit card, Staples can easily look up your order and issue a full refund. Make sure you go back to the same store you originally made the purchase.

If you don’t have a receipt, and Staples can’t verify the purchase, you’ll get either store credit or an exchange.

The price they’ll give you is the lowest selling price within the last 30 days. Staples will also need a valid photo ID so they can track your return history.

Warning: If you try and return too many items without a receipt you might raise a red flag and they can deny your return.

If you lost your online receipt, simply go to your online account and click on My Orders and you can print out a copy of it.

Can the Item You’re Returning be Opened?

Yes, it can be opened, BUT the item must be in “salable” condition.

This means it must be in original packaging/box with all manuals, cords, and parts.

See Also: Temu Return Policy: Very Cheap Office Supplies with a Solid Return Policy

What About Online Orders?

You have several options when it comes to returning online orders to Staples.

You can take it back to your local Staples, you can create a return online, or you can call Staples at 1-(888) 515-8880 and set up a return that way.

Staples Return Policy Hacks:

Staples Branded Office Supplies DON’T Have a Time Limit: I was a bit surprised by this when a former Staples employee said it on this Reddit forum.

Apparently they really want Staples branded products to have a perceived lifetime guarantee. So feel free to return that 3-year old stapler that keeps getting jammed.

Holiday Returns: All electronics and furniture bought between November 20th and December 25th get an extended return policy.

You have until January 15th to return the item.

Coupons & Returns: If you use an online coupon on a purchase from you can’t use the coupon again after you return the item.

Be Careful Returning Purchases that Include Promotional Items: If you were given a free gift or gift card as part of a Staples promotion.

Be aware that you’ll have the value of the gift deducted from the amount refunded.

Paying with Prepaid Cash Card? Be sure to hold on to that sucker because your refund needs to go back on the card.

If you throw the prepaid card away it will be a BIG pain to try and get your refund.

Ask the Reader: Have you had any issues with the Staples return policy? Let me know, thanks.

By Kyle James


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fred Goldberg

I tried to return several items to staples without a receipt. staples would’nt take them back because I had prviously returned one item to staples without a receipt. any suggestions?


yes, ask for the 800 number, be real nice and explain youre not tech savvy and for the life of you, you cant find the reciept, ask real nice if they could please remove the block this once for you, and how much youd appreciate it! They always do! Theyll do it once, but you may haveto go in with someone elses ID. They never look and with masks and all this… Youre good.


I purchased a printer from Staples two years ago, with an extended warranty, online. I went in as a guest, so I do not have an online account with them. The printer is not working and I need to have it repaired or replaced. But, I do not have my credit card receipt. I have been told that without the receipt, they will not repair/replace it. I am frustrated b/c I paid over $300 for the printer, and need it asap. Any advice?


You cannot return online items in store. I tried to do that, they turned me away. Even though it was the same store where i picked it up, and it was sealed unopened box.


Nowhere does anyone explain what an actual on line return consists of nor does Staples explain it. If I create a return, I want to know if I have to go mail the item back somewhere or via what method it is getting there. Pretty much giving up on Staples because of their confusing emails and lack of simple information that should be easy to find.

Laurie Baker

I purchased a Netgear wireless modem back in November and set up my internet with Xfinity which is supposed to be compatible with this modem. It worked ok up until now and I would like to return it. Is that possible?


Just bought a printer 3 weeks ago. Didn’t use the fax the whole time and found out it doesn’t recognize my dedicated phone line. Want to return, but don’t have the box. Can I still return. This was an online purchase.

Stephen Hamilton

I tried to return a printer to the Kalispell staples. I did not have some of the items I needed to return it which I understood. However the manager was a complete jerk in the process and I don’t care to ever go to the store again.

George E White Jr

Can you get any credit for an item bought that went on sale the next week.


Yes. I did this. I spoke to a rep through the chat feature on the website, but you could also call in. I bought an item that dropped in price by $20 a week later, and they refunded me the $20 + tax.


So I put my bag down for a minute or two on the floor in staples and for that minute or two my bag disappeared, manger and another worker said two guys took it, he said the one of the guys were wearing black and the other was wearing a Jean jacket, and the other worker said that they were both wearing black so I went outside and seen nobody in sight wearing anything like that I looked everywhere, I asked if I could see the cameras, and guess what the manager said they aren’t working. What I really think is that these two are lying and they took my bag, everything I had in that bag was everything I had, I have a disability and these guys stole my bag. How could I get my bag back?