The Walmart Return Policy Finally Explained on a Single Page

Updated August 4, 2020 by Kyle
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Have you ever tried to read and understand the return policy at Walmart? If you have, you’re already aware you have to read 5 separate web pages to find all the details of 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 their return policy works so you can quickly find the answers to your questions and get on with your life.

Walmart Return Policy

COVID-19 Update (7/24/20):

Walmart is starting to once again allow returns of the following items in most states:

  • Food
  • Paper goods
  • Home cleaning supplies
  • Laundry soap
  • Pharmacy items
  • Health & beauty products
  • Clothing/apparel/shoes

Returns on certain items (clothing) will continue to be temporarily paused in these states:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Washington D.C.
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming

Any item that was purchased between April 20 – June 15, and was temporarily not allowed to be returned, can now be returned all the way up to September 15th.

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:

15 Days: Prepaid cell phones, computers, printers, digital cameras, camcorders, tablets, GPS devices, digital music players, drones, portable video players.

14 Days: Post-paid cell phones.

30 Days: Air conditioners, dehumidifiers, evaporation coolers, generators, and pressure washers.

60 Days: Prescription glasses.

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

Holiday Return Period Extension: For purchases made between November 1st and December 24th, 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.

See Also: 11 Freaking Awesome Ways to Save Money at Walmart

Are There Any Items I Can’t Return?

Yes.

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 If I Lost My 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.

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 Walmart.com.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Olga

I was returning some items with a less valued of 25.00 dollars . Propale At tiesto re refuse to refund in cash. They only want to give me store credit but the police states that wall mar gives cash back if value is less than $ 25.00

Greg

Store management can override this is there are frequent returns of highly frequent shrink items. $10 is about all you’re get at most stores here without a receipt. Con artists always throw the $25 policy up in your face.

Cheyanne

Exactly. Same thing happened to me even after i read the associate their policy straight from the website. Still refused! REALLY. Waited so long for a manager i just left the store. Bullshit!

Tymbre Dorscher

I used to work at a Wal-Mart, if you had no receipt then you can’t get cash back only card but if you bring in a receipt then you can get your cash back

Korrina

Hi Olga,
I am a walmart customer service supervisor. Most walmarts can do that but its up to the store manager of your store, they have the final say. If you look at the return policy mats at the customer service desk it says that the Store Manager reserves the right to change any policy.

Jonathon

But this is a corporate store. All stores should abide by the same policies, right? It doesn’t state anywhere online that it’s on the managers discretion

Stephanie Abolos

They are all supposed to abide by the corporate policy. If they ever refuse ask to look at the policy and they can’t refuse you. The policy for every store is $25 and under no receipt you get cash but some service reps choose to be jerks and not do it. Same with when they make you show a receipt at the door not anywhere in their policy book that says they can ask or you have to show.

Harold Richards

Here is more b.s. to go along with what they think they can do. No where dies it state an amount or quantity limit on a return without a receipt. However, around here, the say a $50 limit even $25 and up to 3 items only. I routinely by max quantities of items if they’re on clearance. I routinely lose my receipt as well since they are printed in paper that wont last a month at most,I routinely return without a receipt. (Limit of 3 per 45 days not 6 months or a year as they lie to you and tell you.)

So clearance items are in clearance for a reason, and obviously not all of them are quality products since being sold by walmart in the first place. So when something is not up to my very low standards I return them. But get blocked by the greeter first off then after bypassing them I make it to that unnecessarily long line just to hear csr say, “$50 or less and only 3 items.” That infuriates me to the point where I tell them we had a contract and no where when I purchased 100 pencil packs at $1.00 each didn’t state I could only buy 3 items under $50. They pull out that line, “store managers discretion ” that when I bust their ass and say “exactly, he allowed the transaction to purchase these ove 50 dollars and 100 of them so obviously that must work both ways otherwise it’s an unfair business practice and in violation of the contract we both (walmart and I) agreed upon originally.

The process of me giving the money and receiving the items is an implied contract as such it must be honored or they are in default in which case they receive back their items anyway and I receive back the amount I paid. Either way, then they are stuck. But that usually requires a manager above csm because CSM has only the authority to turn a key over $50. You need to speak with a “salaried” manager according to customer service. Now when the asst mgr comes out, bc the store mgr is always not there or in a meeting then you can explain it to them.

Still if they pull that store manager be has the right to refuse any return, say “Ok, where is he to refuse this specific return?” Then they will either call him and most often he approves it over the phone or they say he’s not here and I’m not approving it. In which case you point out he’s not the store manager and how it is written it says he can refuse any return. Not approve any return so in the case of returns it is assumed the return will be approved and only the store mgr can refuse one , so since he’s not there it should be processed since the assumption is they are approved and less likely to be refused.

If it was worded the opposite way, only the store manager can approve returns, then every return would be assumed to be denied except for ones he approved. And he’s not going to stand there all day to approve every return so, by default they have to do the return. If the ass mgr is a jackass and still wont do it, get his name the time and store number then go to your district attorneys website under consumer protection and file a complaint. Along with the bbb and even a small claims court case. Some states will award you 3x the value for not following the laws. And the more cases nd Complaints that pile up, the more likely punitive damages will be awarded.

mary

Does Walmart pay the return shipping fee if you refuse the delivery (either before or after it delivers?

blue

Hey guys,
I bought a printer yesterday, i was using it but after a while it started to give problem. It wasn’t printing or scanning at all. My question is can i return the printer, with used ink?
I have receipt and box

Lisa

Yes I’ve done it twice

Chris F

What will happen if I try to return a toy with receipt that is over 90 days?

Sully

Can each Wal-Mart make up their own policy? Husband went to return item we purchased with debit card only he did not have the actual receipt I had it with me, I put everything on our e-receipts so he took his phone to make the return. He was told that if he could not show them my debit card or give them the original receipt then they could not do the return.

We have never run into this problem before, he asked about just store credit and they said no, he asked when this started and they stated a couple days ago. I went in the next day it was the same person and I chose to try it the same way to see how it went, showed her my phone and walked away cash in hand no problems.

Have tested this several times with same person and she pretty much picks and chooses who she wants to use this on. This last time she pulled her policy on me so I asked to speak with a manager, he came up there and said I have to back her up, I told him ok let’s pretend I didn’t walk in with a receipt (on my phone) and would you not give me store credit, he was sadly so confused I had to repeat that a few times.

Then he asked where my sticker from door greeter was, insinuating that I stole it, but there was no people greeter and he could clearly see that. He said I am going to have to look further into this and walked away. 15 minutes later I decided he won and gave up waiting and returned it at another store later that day with no problems.

I know all they have to do is pull the manager has final decision and deny me which could be used unfairly also. So my question is without this policy being posted(even though it seems to be only this stores policy) can they rightfully use this selectively?

Because I feel that if this is ok then Walmarts ethics are becoming non existent by letting your employees (lie) or make up stuff as they go and discriminated against since I know this policy is not for everyone.

Sara

I think they do pick out customer on who they should used the correct policy. It happen to me numerous of times sady. I guess I need to be white to have an easy return.

Tim

I agree that the Walmart definition of “Customer Satisfaction” should now be “Store Manager To Determine Customer’s Satisfaction”. Yes, after being profiled yesterday, I went on line and, was shocked to learn that, the store manager alone, decides who gets any type of refund or exchange. No matter whether you have a receipt, the item was bought the same day, it was a gift, who you are, etc.
I had purchased several items for an RV, (some hoses, charger), and never opened them. The store manager inputted the items individually, purposely, to trigger the 3 items return ban. When questioned, she admitted it, on tape (recorded). After purchasing approximately 700 – 800 items on average every 6 month time period, returning three items without a receipt, gets you banned from any other non-receipted return and treatment like a common criminal?
And, sadly, it happens to not be just the color of your skin, but an aggressive policy of a company that is actually, or so it seems to be, intimidating customers to not return any merchandise, lest they be demoralized under the guise of attempting to thwart illegal activity. This from a pigmented old white man and, former longtime Walmart employee.

Maritza

At the Walmart near me you get no respect or recognition umless youre black

Tami

Your comment couldn’t be more wrong. I am a 47 year old white female ,and for the most part have had African American’s helping me at customer service and I have been made to feel like a criminal. Maybe you are the racist. Just saying

Nolan

You’re ignorant I’m white and I have the same problems they do it to me all the time just today gave me a hassle about returning a charger and battery said since I brought both of them in and it was over $50 I couldn’t return it wouldn’t even let me return one of them the lady said that was because I walked in with both items so I couldn’t return even one

Jeff

I tried to return some dead trees that were purchased less than 2 months ago, with a receipt. She had it rung up then said, “oh you bought these from a different Wal-Mart store so you will have to take them back to that store” Is this in their policy? I can’t find it anywhere. I wasted 1/2 hour in line and being rung up for the return to be turned away. Very frustrating.

MYSTERY JORDAN

I have been traveling across the country going from one Walmart to the next, so obviously I’ve had to return things to different stores. They have to refund your money. it does not matter which state you bought the item in as long as it’s a Walmart. Call corporate! they don’t like it when you tell them that you’re going to call corporate.

Ashley Dawson

Some of the Walmarts carry different items. So if they carry it they will refund it but if they can’t get the code the need for the product because they don’t sell it they aren’t able to give u the return . I learned this from. Some jeans I had bought out of state. They didn’t have the jeans but could tell they came from a Walmart store but since they didn’t carry it was saying product not available for return at this Walmart.

Kelli

This happened to us today. We tried to return a Time & Tru necklace bought at a Walmart in another city, Our Walmart doesn’t sell that particular Time & Tru necklace, so they couldn’t process the return. I called corporate and they told me that it was Walmart store policy to not accept returns that aren’t in that locations system. Now we have to drive all the way back to the other Walmart just to return a $7 necklace. The main reason we went shopping over there was because they had a nicer selection of clothes and jewelry. Such a bummer because now I don’t feel good about shopping the other Walmart stores.

Brandon

what if you return something you purchased on Walmart.com with the cash option but the store doesn’t have that item in stock? What then?

Angela

Super simple, you can choose to pay cash at customer service desk and show them your order number after placing an online Walmart order. It is shipped after payment is received.

Mike

Bought a camera in Walmart located in Puerto Rico can I return in USA Walmart?

RAJESWARI VADRI

How do you return a matress that you got. How do you pack it

Carrie

You can’t return any mattress even air mattress is what I was told open or not

Kare

Air beds that are factory sealed with a receipt can be refunded within 15 days of purchase. Opened air beds with a receipt can be put on a store gift card within 15 days of purchase. No receipt or past 15 days can only be exchanged for another air bed of equal or greater value.

Rebecca fresquez

What is the policy for returning unopened foods? Is it 24hours or 7days. Coming from Las Vegas, NV

Greg

got a receipt? You can return a food item. Generally, that’s common sense to return a food item the sooner the better. If it was paid with cash, check or credit card, it will go back to the original form of payment. If it was paid with EBT/food stamps it will go back to that form. Typically, if you don’t have the receipt for food, you MIGHT be able to exchange it for other food, but that’s not guaranteed and taken on a case by case basic. WIC items (formula) is NOT returnable (take it back to your health department for another voucher). FYI. Returned food goes in the trash and it not put back out on the shelf or re-sold. Some canned items are donated to the local food bank if in good condition, and un-dented.

ANNETTE KITCHEN

I purchased a small computer desk off Walmart.com, I picked it up at the store. Spent 2 hours Labor Day assembling the desk only to discover the slide out tray for keyboard was to small and keyboard would not fit, plus keyboard tray was very wobbly. I feel the item is defective. Can I return the desk assembled or do I have to take the thing apart and repack it in box it came in? I have receipts etc.

Maria

What did you end up doing? I am in same situation…

Melanie

I bought a fallacy Luna 8 or 9 days ago. Already the screen is shattered. Can I still exchange without reciept

Greg

The electronics associates would have to inspect the phone to see what made the glass shatter? was this due to negligence (drop)? Typically walmart does not get credit for damaged phones like shattered glass, but each case could be handled on a seperate individual basis.

Karen

No not without a receipt. Did you buy the warranty? If you know the purchase date the store you bought it from should be able to look up your receipt. Then if you bought the warranty you can file a claim

vivian

Any idea what they’ll do with an opened item with receipt? I bought a dry erase board calendar that is not working out at all (falling off the wall, I should have gotten a blank one). I have the receipt (<90 days) and the magnets it came with, but the mounting hardware is no where to be found after ripping off the wall for the 100th time, aaand there's no barcode. I feel kind of shady about it, BUT I am genuinely dissatisfied.

Hello

What’s the return policy on kayaks? Will I have the 90 days to return it in middle of the winter?

Tanja

Hello! My question is… will Walmart either refund or exchange an air mattress that was used just a few times, but is defective? I had just bought an air mattress a few days prior and on the third night when just laying down on it, the thing busted straight up the seam! Prior to that, it needed to have air added the first two nights. It wasn’t blown up too much, not enough or have excessive weight on it. It wasn’t neglected in any way, shape, form or fashion either. You could totally tell that it wasn’t made properly on how it busted, because it didn’t bust just a tiny bit, nor was there a hole, it split quite a ways straight up the seam!

Anyway, when taking it back to the local Walmart where it was purchased, (now four days prior) and with receipt in hand, I was told no refund, no exchange, no exception! I was quite irked by this because NOWHERE was it stated of this “policy”! If it had been, I most definitely wouldn’t have bought it at Walmart, or anywhere else that wouldn’t allow a return on a DEFECTIVE product, including an air mattress! I’ve looked online for this “policy”, but couldn’t find it stated, other than by other customers who ran across this same issue.

If someone can return a half empty gallon of milk, we should be able to return a DEFECTIVE air mattress. At the very least, they should have it clearly posted so the customer can decide if they want to take their chances and buy it from Walmart, or take their business somewhere else that would willingly accept a return on a defective air mattress, at least within a certain number of days!

I’ve dealt with customer service representatives that would bend over backwards to try to help the customer, and they’d do anything they could (of course within limits) to make sure the customer was satisfied and taken care of right, which is the way it should be. On the other hand, I’ve came across some that’ll test a persons patience and make a person wonder how they’ve managed to keep their job that long when their attitude totally sucks! Sometimes I can’t help but to think that the final outcome totally depends on who you’re dealing with at the customer service department, and if they’re in a bad mood or not….

Mindy

Hi with prior experience Walmart doesn’t refund or exchange air mattresses supposedly at all. On most air mattress boxes it says do not return to the store call the manufacturer.

Tiddles

I returned air mattress but they only gave me a gift card for the value of it. I paid with PayPal online, even showed my online receipt bar code, and the lady scanned it at customer service desk. I wanted cash back, not a dang gift card! Really upset now.

Karen

I work customer service at Walmart and it is posted in our store in the department and customer service the air bed policy.
Unopened (factory sealed) with receipt you can get a refund within 15 days of purchase
Opened with receipt you can get a store gift card within 15 days of purchase
No receipt or past 15 days you can exchange for another air bed of equal or greater value with valid ID as long as you do not have 3 non receipt returns on your Id already.

Rich

That’s asinine! What is wrong with the product if it is factory sealed? Air beds are not perishable items so this is ridiculous. Understandable if it was opened, but anything that is still factory-sealed should have the 90-day time limit besides food or other similar perishable items.

jsamp

Interesting info. I recently tried to return an unused mop purchased 8 months ago. I was expecting to get a gift card because it was over 90 days. I have done this before with other items at other stores near me. This time the lady would not even return it. When I said I thought after 90 days you will give a gift card she said that is only without a receipt. She would not take the item back at all.

So if you do not have a receipt you can return the item but if you do have the receipt you cannot return the item at all. I guess her store does not want my business. I will go to another store and return it without a receipt for a gift card.

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