The Walmart Return Policy Finally Explained on a Single Page

Updated November 9, 2020 by Kyle
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Have you ever tried to read and understand the Walmart return policy? 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 (11/09/20):

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

  1. Food
  2. Paper goods
  3. Home cleaning supplies
  4. Laundry soap
  5. Pharmacy items
  6. Health & beauty products
  7. Clothing/apparel/shoes

NOTE: Returns have returned to normal except in these 2 states:

  • California
  • Illinois

Both of these states are still pausing the return of the 7 items mentioned above.

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: 9 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’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.

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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Alyssa

If I bought a face wash, thinking it was something else, then used it once before realizing, am I still able to return it with the receipt?

Karen

Yes, there is a refund option that basically says it didn’t meet your expectations. Be sure to tell them you tried it but it wasn’t satisfactory so they don’t resale a used item and it gets sent to claims. They should refund it in the manner you paid unless you specify you would like store credit.(based off of you receipt or e receipt)

Amy

What’s Walmart’s return policy on fabric? I’ve looked and can not find anything.

Christina

2 days a go i brought 7 yards of fabric have receipt but it was not thick enough for what i need to use for and try to return or exchange but they said not return or exchange for fabric.

f.a.d

I bought a wireless router and it doesnt work with my internet company. I lost the reciept but have a vaild id. I stated i was fine with a walmart gift card the prouduct cost is $82.41 but the walmart told me they dont have to comply with corporate Walmart.because every walmart is different and with out a reciept i could keep my $82.41 paper weight!!! Thats goodland, ks for you!!

Karen

Your router should have a serial number that shows your purchase date. If it is past the return period you should contact the manufacturer for the manufacturer warranty which is usually 1 year. Some electronics and select items can only be returned with a receipt within a specified amount of days to the store.

Robert F Flannery

I bought a Walmart cellphone 5 days ago. I tried it for a few days and I just found the quality of the phone to be cheap. Plastic is week. Screen does not seem durable and neither do the buttons. Trac phone makes it and puts the Walmart name on it. I have the receipt. The box it came in is a little torn but I think a little tape will fix that. Will they give me a refund?

Dean

What is their return policy on shoes? I bought a pair of sandals in store today and they are very uncomfortable.

Kristin

I bought a mattress topper Sunday this past weekend but it just moves around on my mattress and doesn’t stay enough to get comfortable. Can I return it?

Linda

We bought a mattress topper online last week, paying well over $150. At time of pickup, when I asked about return if it did not relieve my pressure points, I was told “NOTHING in bedding can be returned.” We cancelled the sale immediately. I know this is not true because we have returned pillows and bed covers to this same Walmart. Guess it depends on who you ask.

Karen

Online can be tricky because it matters if it is a Walmart item or a marketplace 3rd party item. A Walmart item can be returned within 90 days a market place item or 3rd party item you have to contact the seller and it is up to them.

Anonymous

How much do you get back on returns? I need to know if I get the full item’s price back or the full item’s price plus any tax I paid.

Greg

if you have the receipt. Items WITHOUT a receipt get refunded at the current system price. If a item returned without a receipt comes up “NOT ON FILE”, you can’t returned it, period. Stores have the right to refuse returns without a receipt if that particular store does not carry/sell the item (they can track it)

Karen

That’s because an item that is not on file means it isn’t in the system. Items that are clearanced stay in the system 90 days before they are deleted. Or it could be an item this particular store never carried. Since it doesn’t scan they do not have a price or any information on whether it was clearanced and deleted. If you have your receipt showing it was purchased in the last 90 days they should take it if not they may refuse the item because it is not in the system.

Karen

If you have your receipt you will get back what you paid plus your tax you paid. If you do not have your receipt you can only get back what it scans( so if you paid 14.97 and it is on clearance for 5.00 without a receipt you will only get 5.00 also without your receipt you will get the tax back at the rate of the city you are in). If you scan your receipts into your savings catcher app you can pull them up to use for your return.

Greg

Fish have a 72 hour return policy…..

April

I have two items purchased by different people for me as gifts that i want to return…BOTH ITEMS HAVE GIFT RECEIPTS WITH THEM….one is a foot massager and one is a pair of headphones neither item has been opened…when i take them back to Wal-Mart do they give me cash back? I dont really want a walmart gift card and surely they dont return the funds to the buyers credit card…what is their gift receipt policy? I want the cash for these items to pay off a peice of jewlery i have on layaway at a jewlery store…i dont think that a gift receipt tell the clerk HOW the item was paid for..it just gives them the date of purchase and the amount paid…so shouldnt i get cash back?

R.S.

Hello, I work at Walmart doing returns, and the computer automatically gives store credit for gift receipts, there is no way to even override this. Sorry.

Karen

Gift receipts equal store credit at my store also

Sarah

Great article thank you! Does anyone know if I can return a infant exersaucer that I’ve already put together? Just bought it 4 days ago but it is too big for my daughter and I want something that fits her now. I really don’t want to take it all apart to return it. Thank you!

Karen

I would just take it back with the receipt some items click together and you aren’t getting that sucker apart. The people in claims will take it apart.

Dave

If I buy an item with a gift card and cash and I need to return the item will Walmart refund me entirely in cash or put it all on a gift card?

Karen

Gift cards are not redeemable for cash so I would put the amount you paid by gift card back on a gift card and give you the remainder in cash. But If it’s a 100. Ticket and you paid 10.00 with a gift card and your refund is 40.00 I would just give you cash. Be cause the majority of the payment was cash. You have to use your judgment and the information the reg gives you on items returned from the ticket in previous transactions.

Cheryl Mongold

No where in the return policy does it state that Wal-Mart does NOT accept returns after 90 days even with a receipt..bought a $200 carpet scrubber 5 months ago..never opened..decided to put down hardwood, so no need for scrubber..yes, it sat here, but I don’t drive so getting it back to the store is difgivult..finally got someone to run it for me, pd for their gas as well..walmart won’t take it back..even with the receipt…not even for a gift card..so now I’m stuck trying to sell it for I’m sure much less..ugh..

Karen

Refund periods start on your date of purchase not when you decide to use the item. You could have it in storage for years without opening it but you only have a specified amount of time to return it to the store. You do however have a manufacturer warranty that may give you 1-5 years depending on the product. Sorry but this is just the way refunds work . Some stores if it is new and still in stock might give you store credit, but again that is up to the store manager.

Samantha Mattingly

I have a reciept where I returned a few items and the original reciept. Which reciept do I show if I need to return another item on the reciept? The original or the one that was marked with returns?

Karen

I agree with Kyle. One might be an exchange receipt, but the first one shows your original form of payment. I would take them both with me.

Kimmy

I bought an iPhone 6 a week ago and I just shattered it have receipt and box and everything that came with, could I return it?

Rachel

Kyle, I think it’s super awesome that you reached out to Walmart about Kimmy’s situation. What about the other situations? I’m reading a pattern here where Walmart is not honoring their own return policies, and where employees AND managers seem to be making decisions on a whim. I just posted about my own similar experience where not even store credit was offered when I tried to make returns without a receipt for items under $25. Have you had an opportunity in the past few months to reach out to Walmart again on behalf of your 60+ commenters? Just imagine how many fans you would have if you did so!

Kelly Hagler

I want to know what their return policy is on the extended warranty that you can purchase from Walmart when you buy electronics or computers from them. I recently returned a small radio/CD player that I purchased. I had also paid extra for the 2 year replacement warranty. I had it for over 30 days because it was a gift for a relative who lives in a nursing home. It was a birthday present. When we opened it, we found out that it didn’t have a head phone jack which he needs to keep from disturbing his roommate when he listens to music. He had me take it back. They would not refund the money for the 2 year warranty because they said it was over 30 days since it was purchased. I then bought another one online from Walmart that said on the website that it had a headphone jack. I purchased the warranty on it also. When I received it, it also did not have a headphone jack. I took it back to our nearest store, with the packing slip, less than a week after receiving it in the mail. They still refused to return the money I paid for the 2 year warranty. So now I have paid twice for the 2 year warranty on a product that I will have to go elsewhere to purchase and will probably have to pay for another warranty on it at that store!

Karen

The warranty you purchased online should have been refunded from Walmart.com as long as it was within the 30 days. They do this back to your card and send you an email . They do not let us process this in store. The one you purchased in the store unfortunately they are not able to refund after 30 days the register denies the return of the warranty because technically you are supposed to file a claim and your warranty takes care of your defective item. But it looks like the store did that for you Instead. Probably because the item was under the 90 day return period( unfortunately your warranty can’t be refunded after 30 days)

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