The Walmart Return Policy Finally Explained on a Single Page

Updated January 19, 2024 by Kyle James

Have you ever tried to read and understand the Walmart return policy? If you have, you know it’s a hot mess and VERY hard to understand. It’s actually 5 separate web pages attempting to detail how their return process works. Who’s got time for that? Not me. Why Walmart doesn’t condense it all to a single page…I have no idea. So I figured I’d take the bull by horns and do the work for you by ACTUALLY talking to store employees and managers to try to get to the bottom of their policy. With that said, here’s exactly how the return policy at Walmart works.

The Walmart Return Policy Finally Explained on a Single Page

How Many Return Days Are Available?

90 days.

For the vast majority of in-store Walmart purchases, you have 90 days to bring the item back for a full refund.

To make the process go quickly, keep the original packaging, manuals, and receipt.

How Is My Refund Processed?

Your refund will typically be issued back to your original form of payment, but does NOT have to.

From current Walmart employee John, “Stuff paid with debit card, or check can go back to cash.”

He also said, “Credit, Debit, Check, or Cash can always go back to a gift card.”

See Also: Between What Hours Can You Make a Return to Walmart? We Got Answers

What Items Have Less than a 90-Day Return Window?

With the following items, you have less than 90 days to return it:

2 Days: Major appliances including large refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, washers/dryers, and most microwaves only have a 2-day return window.

Also, you CANNOT return an appliance to a Walmart store, you must start the return online via the Walmart app or at

Hack Alert: Make your life easy and do a full inspection of any major appliances that get delivered to your home and REFUSE the delivery if you have any issue with the appliance.

7 Days: All food items. I CAN’T find this information anywhere on their website, but I have verified with Walmart that you only have 7 days to return all food items, doesn’t matter it the item is perishable or not.

If it’s beyond the 7 days you need to seek a “Manager’s Exception” to make it happen.

14 Days: Pre-paid cell phones.

30 Days: Most electronics including TV’s, laptops, PCs, tablets, drones, video game hardware, GPS units, camcorders, and digital cameras. Also includes air conditioners, dehumidifiers, evaporation coolers, generators, and pressure washers.

60 Days: Prescription glasses, contacts, and hearing aids.

1 Year: Perennial plants, shrubs, trees, and bulbs (must be returned in-store and not via the mail).

Unopened Alcohol and Tobacco: Must be returned to the store you originally purchased the item(s) at. This one also depends on the state that you live in as some states have laws in place prohibiting the return of alcohol.

See Also: 9 Freaking Awesome Ways to Save Money at Walmart

Is There Anything I CAN’T Return?


The following items CANNOT be returned:

  • Firearms
  • Pepper Spray
  • Gas Powered Recitational Vehicles
  • Tires That Have Been Put on Your Car
  • Trading Cards
  • Prescription Rx
  • Sex Toys
  • RV Sewer Lines
  • Some Medical Equipment – Includes bedpans, bath seats, and breast pumps.
  • Software that was delivered by mail
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Alcohol and tobacco products must be returned unopened, with a receipt, to the original store of purchase.

You also can’t return gold bars and silver coins which I had NO idea Walmart even sold.

Is There a Holiday Return Period Extension?


For 2023, purchases made between October 1st and December 31st are returnable all the way until January 31, 2024.

Can I Return Food Items In-Store?


You can return foods items within 7 days ONLY if you have your receipt.

I was told by a Walmart manager that if you don’t have your receipt you CANNOT return food under any circumstance.

This policy applies to frozen foods as well.

Also, thanks to commenter John, “This may vary by state/store. But food is exchange only without a receipt to prevent any sort of WIC/EBT fraud. Also usually only for the same item.”

I was also told that Walmart employees are trained to immediately open and throw away any food item that is returned as a safety precaution.

What’s Walmart’s Return Policy Without a Receipt?

Walmart Receipt

This is where their return policy gets a little bit confusing and has changed in recent months.

If you’ve lost your Walmart receipt, and who hasn’t once or twice, you can still bring the item back for a refund but you’re options are limited.

I’ve been told by a Walmart manger that they will let you make 3 no-receipt refunds within a 45 day period.

If you get denied, you’ll have to wait and try again in a few weeks.

Here’s the skinny on no-receipt refunds, along with your options…

Valid Government Issued ID – You must have an ID and it can’t be tampered with in ANY way and it MUST match with the one they have in their “secured database”.

Straight Exchange – You can simply swap out the item for another item.

Cash Refund – Without a receipt you can only get a cash refund if the value of the item(s) is $10 or less. It should be noted that a cash refund is often left up to the manager’s discretion.

Gift Card – Returned item(s) must be valued at $10 or more (this use to be $25) to qualify for a Walmart gift card.

See Also: Amazon Return Policy: Let’s Finally Cut Through the Confusion

What States Allow Me to Return a Walmart Gift Card?

This was a surprise to me. The following states actually allow you to return a Walmart plastic gift card (or Walmart eGift card) for cash.

California – Card must have a balance of $10 or less with original balance above $10.

Colorado – $5 balance or less.

Massachusetts – $5 balance or less.

Maine – $5 balance or less.

Montana – $5 balance or less.

New Jersey – $5 balance or less.

Oregon – $5 balance or less.

Washington – $5 balance or less.

Puerto Rico – $5 balance or less.

Texas – Card must have balance of $2.50 or less with original balance above $5.

Rhode Island – $1 balance or less.

Vermont – $1 balance or less.

I’ll add new states to this list as they become available.

What About Returning Online Purchases?

Great question, glad you asked.

Here’s what you need to know about returning items bought at

First off, the same return window applies to online purchases. (See above for more details on return days)

You can either return, exchange, or replace your item to your nearest Walmart or you can return it via the mail.

Keep in mind that items bought online using the “Pay with Cash” feature must be returned in-store only.

If you want to return via snail mail simply visit this page and start the return process.

Customers can complete the returns process in just two simple steps:

1. Initiate the Return: Using the Walmart App, select the Walmart transaction and item(s) to return and follow the prompts to start the return process.

2. Finish the Return at the Store: At the store, fast-track through the line via the Mobile Express Lane at the Customer Service Desk.

Scan the QR code displayed on the card reader with the Walmart app, and then hand the item to the associate.

Additionally, Walmart announced that customers returning select items will see an option in the Walmart app allowing them to instantly receive their refund without even making a trip to the store to physically return the item.

This offer will initially be available on select household items, such as shampoo and color cosmetics.

See Also: Target Return Policy: Smart Hacks to Make the Policy Work For You

Who Pays the Return Shipping Charges?

Walmart Return

Surprisingly (in an awesome way), Walmart will pick up the shipping charges as long as the item is eligible for a return.

This makes sense for defective items, or if Walmart sends the wrong product.

But they’ll EVEN pay the shipping costs if you simply decide you don’t like the item.

I even started a chat session with Walmart to verify this information as their website does NOT make this clear.

Also, as the chat operator noted above, the item must be sold directly by Walmart and not a Marketplace seller.

See Also: Costco Return Policy: Is It As Good As It Sounds?

How Do I Return a Gift Bought From Walmart?

First off, you can’t return a gift via the mail, you MUST bring it into a Walmart location.

If the gift was mailed to you, be sure to bring-in the packing slip or receipt to initiate the return.

This is the only way you can qualify for cash back.

If you don’t have either, try to get the sender’s email address or order number.

If neither can be located, you might be stuck with store credit which is obviously better than nothing.

Can I Return Items to a Different Walmart Store?

While it seems this shouldn’t be a problem, many shoppers have had their return refused and were told to take items back to original store of purchase.

From the comments section, this happened to someone returning plants as well as a necklace.

Since the item was NOT stocked at that location they couldn’t process the return.

Keep this in mind if you regularly shop at different Walmart locations.

Also, if you try and return bakery, produce, meat, or frozen food to a Walmart location that does not have those sections your return will be denied.

This is a food safety issue as the store doesn’t have any place to store the items until disposal.

Can You Return Items Bought Out of Country to a U.S. Walmart?

I’ve received different answers to this question. Some stores will take the return, some won’t.

It’s best practice to call ahead and ask your particular store if they’ll process your out of country return.

Who Pays Return Shipping If You Refuse Delivery?

If you’ve ever had something large shipped to you, you’re probably aware that it’s smart to refuse delivery if the packaging or item is damaged when it arrives.

If you do this with a Walmart delivery you may be stuck paying the return shipping fee UNLESS it’s damaged in some way.

If it’s an “over-sized item” and you refuse delivery, even though there is nothing wrong with it, you’re probably on the hook for the return shipping costs.

Conversely, I’ve been told that if you refuse delivery on smaller items Walmart will pick up the tab.

See Also: Are Walmart Tires a Good Buy? … Let’s Break It All Down

What’s the Policy on Split Purchases?

Big thanks to commenter Maria for explaining how Walmart handles returns when you split your payment method on the original purchase.

She said, “When returned with receipts and meeting all requirements, Walmart will put your entire refund on a gift card.”

She said her purchase was made with a partial payment on a gift card and the balance was on her Visa credit card.

BUT….if you originally pay with cash AND a Walmart gift card, be aware that they’ll refund you 100% back to the store credit gift card and you WON’T get any of your cash returned to you.

Can You Return a Mattress or Air Bed?

Mattresses bought at Walmart can be returned but ONLY with a manager’s approval.

As for air beds, if the air bed is still factory sealed, and you have your receipt, you can return it within 90 days of purchase.

Opened air beds, with a receipt, can be returned within 90 days for a Walmart gift card.

Can I Return Furniture That I Already Put Together?

Did you buy a desk, dresser, or entertainment center, take it home and build it, only to realize it’s not the right size or defective in some way?

You absolutely can return it but you’ll have to disassemble it, pack it up with all the original accessories, and then take it back.

I Shattered My iPhone Screen, Can I Return It?

If you’re still within the 2 weeks, have the receipt, original box, and accessories you need to take it back to the store you purchased it at and speak with a manager.

I was told by a Walmart representative that most managers will try and work it out with you.

Can I Get a Refund on an Extended Warranty?

If you return an item to Walmart, and you bought an extended warranty for that item, you can get money back on that warranty ONLY if returned within 30 days of purchase.

They don’t process this at the store, instead you’ll get an email with instructions how to do it online.

What About Returning Tropical Fish?

Being the owner of a 50 gallon fish tank, I have personal experience with this as we often buy our fish at Walmart.

Originally, tropical fish bought from Walmart came with a 90 day return policy if they were to die, but not anymore.

The new policy is only 3 days and many Walmart locations no longer sell live fish.

I called my local Walmart to verify this information and it is accurate.

By the way, at my Walmart, I only had to bring the receipt back when/if one of the fish died which made entire proposition less stinky for all involved.

Ask the Reader: What’s your personal experience with the return policy at Walmart? Am I missing any useful information? Let me know in the comments below, 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
Melinda Escoto

I tried to return my speaker but it’s says unrefundable I have receipt and everything

Ayech Bee.

You forgot to speak about the whole slew of information that there is to know about returning items to Walmart that you might have purchased in store with check. 😉


Can u return a microwave that u never used to walmart after 90 days with your receipt.


Can I return am open pkg of dry protein supplement w/ no receipt


The Walmart at my neighborhood, won’t follow this policy. My dad that lives almost 3 hours away. He’s an elderly man. Tried helping me out, and purchased a pampers box for my daughter. Unfortunately he didn’t know the difference from regular pampers, and pull-ups pampers.

I didn’t notice until I ran out of the diapers that I already had. They refuse to exchange them without a receipt, I didn’t want to return or a refund! I just wanted to change them for regular diapers. They wanted the card he used to do the exchange.

They never bothered asking for my ID. I asked to see the stores return policy. They crossed out manually with a pen the amount of value items they would accept to do an exchange!! I I explained that is not a valid policy when it’s manually changed with a pen.

The manager was called and refused to comply with the actual Walmart policy. I made a complaint about the store managers and employees changing the policies themselves. Never heard any outcome or corrections or their contradictory policies.


I always keep my receipts, but I bought clothes at WM a few weeks ago and 3 of the items do not fit…..and for some reason I cannot find my receipt anywhere. I had birthday money (cash) that I paid with. New items, tags still on, current merchandise that was not on sale or clearance.

When I went in to do the return, the lady said they do not issue a gift card for return w/out receipt for any amount over $25. The WM website says they give cash for return w/out receipt for $10 and under, and they issue gift card for over $10 and does not state a maximum.

So I returned one sweater that was $24.98 and came back home w/the other sweater & the pair of jeans that do not fit. I have never returned w/out receipt before, so that is not the issue. She did not scan the items or refuse due to any problem with the items I was returning; she just stated the $25 max before I even showed her what I was returning.

Does anyone know if this is the new Walmart policy, or if each store makes their own return policies? Seems a little hard to keep up with….


What about a large return after holidays with no receipt? I have multiple items that were Christmas presents with no receipts or gift receipts that I need to return.

It’s close to $200. No I’m not able to get gift receipts etc from the person who bought the gifts.

I’m fine with in-store credit. I just need to be able to get my kids different items then what was originally purchased.

With having an id will I have any issues because it’s multiple items and a larger dollar amount?

1 9 10 11