Target Return Policy: Tips and Hacks to Make It Work For You

Updated September 4, 2020 by Kyle

The return policy at Target has some interesting twists to it that are worth your attention, especially if you shop there regularly. Do you need a receipt? Should you ever return products you bought online via the mail? Are there any exceptions to their policy? You got questions, I got answers. Let’s get right to it…Tips and Hacks to Make The Target Return Policy Work For You

COVID-19 Update

Target has temporarily changed their return policy during the pandemic.

Purchases made between March 26 – April 26, 2020 now have until June 15th to make a return.

Online purchases have the same extension and can be returned online or at a Target location.

How Many Return Days at Target?

Target’s baseline return policy allows you to return unopened items within 90 days of original purchase date.

Is a Receipt Absolutely Necessary?

Nope, a receipt at Target is not a requirement for a return.

They can actually look up your order if you made the purchase via the Target REDcard, Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, personal check, or Target Gift Card (you gotta still have the gift card).

You’re only out-of-luck if you made the purchase with cold, hard, cash.

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

Can They Limit No-Receipt Returns?

Yes, they can limit returns without a receipt and they absolutely do as part of their fraud prevention program.

Within a 1-year period they allow you to make $150 worth of returns without a receipt. They’ll ask for your photo ID and track your returns that way.

Once you reach the $150 limit, you can’t make any more returns without a receipt until time has passed.

Can I Immediately Get a Cash Refund on a Cash Purchase?

No, you actually have to wait 24 hours to get cash back from the original store of purchase. Or an even exchange. Or a gift card.

The reason is because it takes 24 hours for your purchase to register in Target’s system.

But…you can drive to a different Target location immediately and get a cash return.

Thanks Jamie for the heads up on this. I think she summed it up best when she said “Moral to the story… don’t drive away and change your mind.”

Are There Any Exceptions to the 90 Days?

Yes, as a matter of fact there are…

Opened music, movies, video games and software – You CAN’T return these items but you can exchange them for the same title within 90 days.

Opened airbeds – No dice, you’re stuck with it unless you want to exchange it for the same, or similar, bed.

Electronics and entertainment items – You have 30 days, not 90, to make a full return or exchange.

Drones – You only have 14 days to get your drone out of the sky and return it to Target for an exchange or refund.

Gasoline powered stuff – You can return it “in-store only” within 90 days but you gotta take all the gas out of it first or they won’t take it back.

Also, it’s worth noting that NO international returns or exchanges of any kind will be accepted.

Can Alcohol be Returned to Target?


This is not a Target policy but rather a state law.

In other words, some states let you return alcohol and some don’t.

Here is a good list of Alcohol Return Laws by State so you can check what your state allows.

What About Returning Food?

Target Food Return Policy

I wasn’t sure about this so I started a live chat session and asked.

I was told YES, you can return food, opened or unopened, within 90 days of purchase with your receipt.

I originally asked about protein powder that was opened and the chat rep said “Yes”. I then asked about all other food items and was told those are returnable as well.

So knowing this you are apparently free to try grocery items at Target and return them if you don’t like them.

What About Returning Target Owned Brands?

Target owned brands, there are over 40 of them, are returnable within an astounding 1 year of the purchase date.

It doesn’t matter if the item is opened or used, Target will take back their exclusive brands.

Try to keep your receipt because it will make your return much easier.

Here are all the Target brands that are eligible for the 1 year return window:

Target Brands

What About Opened or Damaged Items?

Not a problem….usually.

If the product is still eligible for a return, you can bring it back to Target for an exchange or refund in most cases.

Target does reserve the right the deny or refuse a refund on opened items.

They don’t say specifically what circumstances would trigger this, but I’m guessing it would have to do with excessive returns or fraud by the customer.

See Also: The Walmart Return Policy Finally Explained on a Single Page

Can You Return Clearance Items to Target?

Target Clearance Sticker

Yes, you can return clearance items to Target.

The only thing you can’t do with a clearance item is get a price adjustment if the price of the item dropped even further.

How Do You Get a Longer Return Window at Target?

Would you be stoked to get a return window of 120 days rather than the standard 90 days?

If so, you should consider applying for the Target REDcard (debit or credit card) as it comes with an extra 30 day return window.

Target Policy “Insider Hacks”…

What would this article be without a few hacks to maximize your Target “return experience”.

Purchases on – Don’t return items you bought online via snail mail.

Instead, just take the product back to your local Target and get ‘er done in a few minutes with no hassles.

Otherwise, you’re going to have pay return shipping fees unless the reason for the return was an error by Target.

Want to Return Beauty Products to Target? – Not a problem, you can even return makeup that’s been opened and used within 90 days of purchase.

Gift Registry Items – Items from gift registries (like baby & wedding) can be returned within an astounding 1 year. The year starts from the date of the event, not the date of purchase.

Don’t have the receipt? No worries. Just print out the “Gifts Purchased” list from your online registry and it’ll work just like a receipt.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever had an issue with their return policy? If so, what was it and how did it pan out?

By Kyle James


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I unwittingly over-bought holiday items at Target during November and December. The week after Christmas, I returned unused items with the tags on and receipts. I wanted to repurchase some of them and store them for next year, as they had gone on clearance. One store let me do this, and even complimented me on the deals I was getting. Another Target would not and was rude about it. The store that said no told me I could come back the next day and re-purchase them if they were available. Seems like a scam to let the employees have the chance to buy these items at a discount. Why else would they refuse to let me repurchase them while they were sitting right in front of me?

Kerri Lee

My fiancé bought me a kitchen aid mixer for my birthday on February 15th and he opened the box, but Target didn’t have the Colbalt blue one I wanted(you had to order it). Do you think they will do an exchange or refund on an opened KitchenAid Mixer?