The Walmart Return Policy Finally Explained on a Single Page

Updated September 20, 2022 by Kyle

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 trying 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. Here’s exactly how the return policy at Walmart works so you can quickly find the answers to your questions and get on with your life.

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.

Your refund will be issued back to your original form of payment.

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

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

14 Days: Post-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.

1 Year: Perennial plants, shrubs, trees, and bulbs.

Unopened Alcohol and Tobacco: Must be returned to the store you originally purchased the item(s) at.

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

Is There a Holiday Return Period Extension?


For 2021, purchases made between November 1st and December 25th (that come with a 15 or 30 day return policy), your window for returns doesn’t start until December 26th.

All other items with a 90-day return window still have the same 90 days from date of purchase to make the return.

Can I Return Food Items In-Store?


You can return foods items within 90 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.

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

Are There Any Items I Can’t Return?


The Walmart return policy specifies that you cannot return software that was delivered by mail, as well as diabetic supplies.

Update: It also seems that mattresses, fire arms, ammo, pepper spray, prescription drugs, and gift cards are NOT returnable.

Also, alcohol and tobacco products must be returned unopened, with a receipt, to the original store only.

What’s the Walmart Return Policy Without Receipt?

Walmart Receipt

This is where their return policy gets a little bit awesome.

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

I’ve been told that they 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 gotta have one and it can’t be tampered with in any way.

Straight Exchange – Simply swap out the item.

Cash Refund – You can only get a cash refund if the value of the item(s) is less than $25. It should be noted that a cash refund is often left up to the manager’s discretion.

Gift Card – Returned item(s) must be greater than $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.

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.

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

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.

Can You Return a Mattress or Air Bed?

Mattresses bought at Walmart cannot be returned, but air beds can under certain circumstances.

If the air bed is still factory sealed, and you have your receipt, you can return it within 15 days of purchase.

Opened air beds, with a receipt, can be returned within 15 days for a Walmart gift card.

If you don’t have you receipt, or it’s past 15 days, you’ll be stuck with an even exchange.

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


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Beware of split purchases. When returned with receipts and meeting all requirements, walmart will put your entire refund on a gift card. My purchase was made with partial payment on a gift card and the balance on my VISA card. Refunded all to a gift card. Not ethical

Heather Strickland

Same thing just happened to me!!!

Candy R Strickland

I’m getting ready to take to kitchen appliances 1 toaster and a 1.5 quart slow cooker that was gifted to me to see if I can exchange because I do not need them I’ll let you know how it goes

Dee Battista

I tried to return unopened frozen chicken burgers without a receipt today. The person in CS said I could only exchange it even up for the same item. I pointed to the return policy on the wall, she said it doesn’t apply to food. I was so annoyed I just walked away and told her to keep it. I think she was wrong but I try not to argue with idiots and was in a hurry. Who was right?


This may be a food safety/security requirement. Even if it’s sealed an evil person could still inject something into food without it being noticeable. If there’s no receipt accompanying food item returns, it would make it much harder to catch the culprit if the food turned out to be tampered with. I actually think this is a reasonable policy and hope all retailers require a receipt for food returns.


Law enforcement catch literally thousands of people every single year because the criminals did something idiotic that easily led straight back to them. Thankfully! And I know for a fact there have been people arrested that were so stupid they tampered with food even INSIDE the store despite the blantly obvious overhead security cameras watching them! The point = don’t assume every criminal has sense enough to think through their actions.

I can’t fathom why anyone would consider it unreasonable to require a receipt for food returns. Honestly, I’ve got several beefs with how Walmart does business but returns isn’t one of them. They have a more generous and easy-going return policy than many other retailers. Lastly, although it should be apparent, I’ll point out that no retailer has any legal requirement to accept a return without a receipt. They are extending you a courtesy if/when they choose to do so.


This dont make since, they can’t resell the food item, it goes to claims, desposed of so no one getting food someone took home. Plus if they don’t have receipts they have to have ID so they are tracked more so. A cash receipt does not show who you are. Lastly, horrible as it is if an evil person wanted to tamper with food, they could do that right in store.

Lorisa Johnson

You’re lucky she would exchange it at all. No receipt on food purchases should be denied. It is a “snap” thing.


Still not seeing anything in the help section of about the Holiday Return Period Extension. Can you please provide a reference to where they state what you’ve posted here? Thanks!

Joe mcclain

I bought two batteries from Walmart online with three year extended warranty they went bad the seller is rejigging on replacing. Or refund I ok but who’s responsible on the three year extended warranty plan


Wallmart sold my mom a 481 dollar roku that was broken she tried to return it right away and denied exchange or payment that pist me off but were taking it back today

Lyle A Bialk

Walmart has lost an online customer with these ludicrous return policies and their refusal to allow exchanges. I ordered Wrangler jeans for my brother in law for Christmas. They don’t fit. He wants to exchange them at a store so he can try them on. Walmart doesn’t allow that. I have to return the jeans to the store, then wait 10 days or more for the refund to be processed. This is NOT acceptable, and I will never shop for anything at again.


This may sound like a strange question..but can deodorant be returned if it’s been used? I bought Dove 0% aluminum deodorant and it sucks! The deodorant itself is greasy and make my pits feel wet and more stinky. Lol eww I know! But it was almost $6 and it’s useless. Doesn’t cost that much but it’s the principal of the matter. No big deal if I can’t. Just wondering.

Gabriel Carrillo

I was told cannot return item item worth more than $50 my mother bought me an air filter for Christmas for a machine I don’t have she thought it was for my furnace it was just under $60 She mailed it to me I ripped open the brown mailing packaging to show the kids how to open a present like a Tasmanian devil ripped to shreds threw it all away Except for the container it came in it is pristine but all the wrapping paper from the mail I just threw it away cause I thought for sure it was something I was gonna useTook it into exchange I did not even ask for a refund and the guy immediately said can’t touch it it’s worth more than $50 so now I’m stuck with this $60 air filter that is just staring me in the face and I don’t know what to do Does anyone have an advice please help

todd mcrae

Not sure where you got your info from. This was copied and pasted from Walmart’s website:

Must be returned within 30 days with a receipt to obtain a refund or exchange:

  • Most electronics, including but not limited to: Verizon postpaid (contract) cellular phones, drones, camcorders, digital cameras, digital music players, e-readers, tablets, laptops, PCs, televisions, portable video players, video game hardware, GPS units, audio systems, hoverboards, electric bicycles, electric scooters, and radio-controlled vehicles. Walmart Protection Plans and Applecare+ can be returned or canceled within 30 days of purchase.

I bought a State of California sport fishing license yesterday at Walmart superstore, Milpitas, CA Yesterday, 5/8/2022.

After that I like to return it, because I am disable find I can get a free license. I went same Walmart store, and same date, yesterday.

But Return place representative said she doesn’t know the policy, asked me to Walmart online to cancel the license and return, but said I bought in store, they have no history of my purchase.

I called store today, nobody answer the phone. How can I cancel and return it?

Grouchy Norwegian

Walmart had a company sent to my house to pick up the mattress that I “returned”. The mattress was purchased online and Walmart credited my account and had the mattress donated or trashed.


I bought a 24 slice Sargento sharp cheddar cheese slices from Walmart 3 days ago. I paid cash, and believe it was $6.89. It has an expiration date of Aug. 3 2022. I opened the package last night, and the cheese was moldy.I no longer have the receipt. I figured, no problem, I took it back to the store this morning, and the CS person said they couldn’t help me without a receipt. I said, “you can’t be serious”. They keep their refrigerated foods section at too low a temperature, and the food goes off 2 months before the expiration date, and they won’t even do an even exchange! I used to buy milk at this same store, but it kept going off several days before the exp. date, and I had to dump half of it down the sink.I spend about $600.00 per. month on groceries at this retailer, and this is how they treat me. I told the CS person, “I have never experienced such poor CS at any store before, and they will have to sell their spoiled food to somebody else in the future”. I will never give this outfit my business again!I am really steamed about this!


Thanks Kyle, very clear and precise. Very much appreciated.


Thank you!

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