Things That Make the Trader Joe’s Return Policy Ridiculously Awesome

Updated March 21, 2024 by Kyle James

A good return policy is a beautiful thing. It let’s you shop freely without worrying about getting stuck with something you don’t need or want. So when I recently discovered just how awesome the Trader Joe’s return policy is, I knew I had to write about it. Here is everything you need to know about their liberal policy.

Things That Make the Trader Joe's Return Policy Ridiculously Awesome

The Trader Joe’s Return Policy is Risk-Free

From the Trader Joe’s site, “Try it. We think you’ll like it. If you don’t, bring it back for a full refund.”

Awesomely, Trader Joe’s is totally cool with you buying any food or drink and taking it home to give it a try.

Don’t like it? Simply bring back whatever you have left and you’ll get a full refund, no questions asked.

Trader Joe’s wants you to buy stuff and try it completely risk-free. Half-eaten box of chips or a frozen entrée, it doesn’t matter, they’ll take it all back.

See Also: The Best Buys at Trader Joe’s According to Employees

You Can Return Alcohol to Trader Joe’s (Even If It’s Open)

There is some debate on this question. Some places like Costco will often not let you return alcohol, but Trader Joe’s will take back all wine, beer, and liquor.

It can even be opened and half empty, they’ll still take it back, no questions asked.

Some state laws require Trader Joe’s to NOT offer a cash refund on alcohol, but rather an exchange for a different bottle of wine or 6-pack of beer.

Their policy makes for a great way to “taste test” wine and beer at home and return it for an exchange if you don’t like it.

No Receipt is Required

No receipt is required for a Trader Joe’s return.

This is because many of the items at Trader Joe’s are made specifically for the store and have the TJ name right on them.

In other words, it’s pretty obvious to the employee that you’re returning something you bought from them.

If it’s a more expensive item like vitamins or alcohol, you should definitely hold on to your receipt as it will make your return go much smoother.

See Also: 8 Brilliant Trader Joe’s Shopping Tips (Shop Smart and Save)

TJ’s Return Policy…the Fine Print

Like any return policy, there is some fine print you need to understand.

Here is what you need to know:

Returning Item With Receipt:

When returning items to Trader Joe’s with your receipt, you’ll get back the full purchase price to whatever form of payment you originally used.

Returning Item Without Receipt:

When returning items without a receipt, you’ll get back the lowest advertised price. Your refund will then be issued as a store credit to a Trader Joe’s gift card.

See Also: Safeway’s Return Policy is a Mystery…Until Now

Ask the Reader: Have you ever taken advantage of Trader Joe’s return policy? If so, was it an easy process?

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Eric Fischer.


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Not true at all!!


Let me explain. Bought 8 bottles of KRIS limited release sparkling wine in the lower Greenville store. Bought this many bottles because, over the years, we have enjoyed both the KRIS pinot grigio and rose. Super disappointed after opening the first bottle as this wine had clearly “turned “. Tried to return (with receipt) the bottles at the Tulsa store. They refused to accept the return and refused suggestions such as issue a gift card or allow exchange so I’m ripped off. No response from corporate. No more Trader Joe’s for me or my family!


Their policy has changed unfortunately.

Last edited 2 years ago by Cina
Oh Oh

COMPLETELY UNTRUE! They will not take unopened wine back.


Today 12/28/21, I tried returning 4 olive-wood bowls and 6 olive-wood spoons that never got gifted for Christmas. I was informed I could only return individually “sampled” items I did not like.
I stated it made little sense since I had a receipt and TJ’s has always had an open return policy with no questions asked. The manager agreed to refund me “this time”, but let me know they won’t refund multiple items of the same kind. Oh well, good to know, will only buy max two of the same item per receipt from now on 😉


Never returned alcohol, but I have returned packaged foods that it didn’t like the taste of and a bag of frozen shrimp that didn’t smell fresh (I called ahead about the shrimp, they asked me to just bring the bag, not the shrimp lol). Each time it was easy peasy and they were very nice.
I’ve also asked employees about the items in store, “have u tried this, how does it tadte?” They often just open the product and let me try it, then they damage it out. Very accommodating and friendly customers service


Today I tried to return 3 unopened perfectly good spice jars. I couldn’t remember if I had nutmeg and ginger at home so I picked some up before Christmas. Got home had some I. The cupboard so I don’t need them. So I go to return them today with the receipt. They say they can’t take them back because there’s nothing wrong with them. They’re not expired and they don’t taste bad, so they can’t take them back. They don’t return for overbuying.
So I say ok, so if I open them and tell you they taste bad then you’ll return them. Ya.

So I have some shampoo I bought there and it’s awful. Opened, used and no receipt. They return that.

But not the perfectly good sealed spices.