Target Return Policy: Smart Tips to Make It Work For You

Updated November 20, 2023 by Kyle

The Target return policy 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 at Target 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…

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

How Many Days Does the Target Return Policy Allow?

90 days.

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).

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

Does Target Offer an Extended Holiday Return Policy?


For all purchases made between October 6th – December 25th the return period will start on December 26th.

This means you basically have 90 days from December 26th to make your return.

This essentially gives you until March 26th to make your return.

The exceptions to this are electronics (must be returned by January 26th), Apple products (must be returned by January 9th), and mobile phones (must be returned by January 8th).

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.

What Happens If I Paid With Cash and Lost My Receipt?

In most cases you’re only out-of-luck if you make a purchase at Target with cash and you lose your receipt.

BUT…if you sign up for the free Target Circle Rewards program they can look up your order, even when you pay with cash.

Thanks to commenter Casey, “If you are a member, (which is free) and you input your phone number or scan your barcode for every purchase, you will never have to worry about a lost receipt again.

Every purchase is saved. It’s the best, and I wish every store would do this! As an added bonus, you also get money back on every purchase by being a member, so it’s really a win win!”

Thanks Casey, that’s a GREAT tip.

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…

1. 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.

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

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

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

5. 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.

See Also: When Does Target Restock Stuff? Here’s How It ALL Works

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.

This return policy is especially impressive when talking about their kids and baby clothing line, Cat & Jack’s, as they’ll take back clothing that’s been worn and abused for up to 365 days. 

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: Confused by the Walmart Return Policy? I Finally Explain It So It Makes Sense

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 Return Policy “Insider Hacks”…

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 return policy at Target? If so, what was it and how did it pan out?

By Kyle James


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Chris Lanko

I bought Motorola moto4E cell phone less than a week ago. It is not what I really want and isn’t that great.I want to return it but the box is gone but have the charger and manual which is all that came with it. Will they take it without the box and I have the receipt fr it.

Jill Taylor

Has anyone ever tried to return opened protein powder? I really want to find the right one and I’d only know by just picking one. But I don’t want to waste my money if I can’t return it after trying it.


Needing to return a used Weber bbq that has a malfunctioning burner section. I’m under 90 days. Wondering if they would take it back. Anyone have experience.


Hi J D. Were you able to return the grill? I just received a Weber Grill for Xmas and used it a few times, but I don’t really like it. Figured I was stuck with it, but after reading this article, I’m wondering if they would actually take it back. Any luck?


My son and daughter in law just purchased a breast pump off of their registry but the cashier didn’t scan it. They purchased it with gift cards but the cashier also threw those away. They ended up not needing the breast pump but Target won’t accept it because it wasn’t scanned on the registry. It’s on their registry, the exact same model but not scanned. Seriously???

Cheryl Campbell- Disalvatore

Can you return at a different Target than you purchased from?

Donnetta Blunt

My husband bought me a 55 inch flat screen TV on Black Friday well when I opened it the TV he paid for wasn’t in it it’s a old beat up TV my husband said it was the last one can I return this and get my money back?



i bought apple watch on 11/22in receipt it was given return before 12/08 i missed this date, now target denying to take it back. please suggest how i can get my money back. its cost 350$ its big amount for me. i have requested many ways to store representative but its of no use.


I returned a never-out-of-the-box KitchenAid mixer yesterday. Had the packing slip from shipping, it was purchased on my RedCard, and even had it pulled up on my Target app. Target employee said she “couldn’t find it” in the system, and was grumpy and indignant the entire time. I admit that the purchase was a year ago – it was evident when it arrived that it wouldn’t fit in my cabinets, so I set it aside (box, paperwork, everything) and forgot about it until a week ago. She finally told me (even though online customer service told her to do the return) the system wouldn’t let her do the return, so I asked for a manager. Magically, the manager walked over, confirmed that she needed to do the return, and without any assistance she could all of a sudden complete it. Her final nasty dig was to give me in-store merch card – it should have gone back on my RedCard. But at least I got something out of it. Even if she didn’t like the fact that I was returning an item that late, she really needed to keep her attitude to herself, especially when both online CS and the store manager told her to do the transaction. Someone clearly peed in her Wheaties.


The return policy is not for one year, just because you forgot to return it. She couldn’t find it in the system because after a year it isn’t there, companies make new models and discontinue the old ones. Of course the system wouldn’t let her do the return, it’s not set up to accept returns after one year for items the store no longer even carries. You were lucky to get a store card and the manager who let you return it was rude to the employee. I worked at guest services over 20 years ago and we were told to follow the rules. One time a manager that usually wasn’t at my store told my customer she could return a three-year-old used camera that she still had the ancient box and receipt for, after I told her we had a 90 day return policy. Three years is way past that. It wasn’t in the system either of course, and I even spent a good amount of time looking it up on our old crt system and the old books with the item numbers and prices first just in case. When it didn’t come up and I had no possible way to return it, she demanded to talk to a manager. All of my store managers would politely tell a customer the rules and that I was just doing my job, except this lady this one time, she was from a different store. So no wonder the girl was upset, she was doing her job the way she was supposed to, and then someone came along and applied different rules that we were told not to do. She even tried to look it up, it wasn’t there anymore. You are the one being rude saying someone peed in her Wheaties. Yes, you did!


Can you return already assembled furniture

Mya Neco

You can return opened air mattresses if its a target brand. EMBARK BRAND is what I returned due to leakage. The girl told me no but I said try….she did and ot went through.


I bought a Fitbit, took it home and opened it but it’s not holding a charge. It’s been 2 days. Can I return it for a full refund with reciept in hand??

Willie Payne

What if I have an item costing $350 and inwant to return it without receipt.


i have a question. so if i purchase a kiddie pool use it for one night, then the next day dry it and put it back in the box with everything else and tap the top of it shut, do you think they would notice? i need a kiddie pool for one night and they’re all so expensive, i don’t wanna waste my money.


So then if you do that, and the employee puts it back out on the shelf, and an unsuspecting customer buys it thinking that it’s brand new. They get home and realize that it’s already been used. How would you feel!? Wouldn’t you feel gypped? Don’t be selfish. Go to the dollar store then


I returned an item recently to one of our 3 local target stores. The item was new with tag (of course) but unfortunately I misplaced the receipt (likely in a different purse). This very rarely is the case, and I believe it was my first return without a receipt in at least a year. Store credit is perfect with a return considering I can always find something to purchase instead, target has amazing products. Anyway, I was informed I would be receiving a percentage of my purchase tag price and not due to item markdown but instead a fee for restocking. I was informed it is a new policy and not all locations are utilizing the return policy as of yet. Apparently this is a test running at select stores. Purchase price was around $19 return credit was $16 and some change. Stockton, California, Trinity Parkway location


Target’s return policy is bullshit. I had a babyshower and received multiples of the same items but with no gift receipts. When I went to return it they said they could only offer me the lowest price the items were sold for on a gift card. So for a $60 diaper bag they gave me $20 and a $45 bather then gave me $20. I decided not to return the baby monitor because they were only going to give me $30 when it costs $130. ( I was going to exchange it for a better one and pay the additional cost) it makes no sense especially because all of those items were still being sold for the regular price. I used the refund amount towards items that I didn’t get on my registry which is only half the amount of what my friends and family paid for those items. BULLSHIT.


Next time try asking your friends and family if they have the receipts so you can exchange the items before you go to the store.


I received a comforter for a Christmas gift. Before I put it on the bed I washed it the way the tag says to. But when I went to put it on the bed I realized the blanket melted. Will target return or exchange it?