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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elma

Bought Halloween costumes, wigs, etc but didn’t wear them (unopened).
I am in school & live in another town, so I couldn’t waste gasoline to go to that town until Saturday.
I went to W-M Cottonwood on the Saturday after Halloween with unopened items & original receipt.
They would not honor return bcuz they said “no returns after 4pm on the Thursday after Halloween”.
“ What? Where was that posted?”
I was told it “was a verbal policy by their manager.”
I told them nothing was posted in the Halloween section nor was I told about it at purchase.
They both said, “yeah, it was verbal… not posted.” And refused to accept my unopened & unused items!!!

Jessica

So I went to Walmart to return a gift my kids received that we already had. I didn’t have a receipt and the lady at customer service told me that they were not able to return her item because the price was too much. Is there a price limit on return items? They even refused to give just the store credit

Erin

Is their a limit on the amount you can return without a receipt? Like target if you make a return with no receipt the limit is 70 dollars.

Andrea Gutierrez

I have a question. My husband bought me a watch and bracelet set 5 months ago for $55.00.. I really don’t like it and it is impossible to take off by yourself. The other day it took my husband a good 5 minutes to get it off for me. Can I return it without a receipt or without a receipt if I can find it?

Annomous

Hi Add bought a Bissell vacuum cleaner from Walmart I cannot find the receipt I bought it a few months ago it will no longer suck up trash at all. Do you think that they will take it back?

Thomas Linton

I bought drain clearer. The label said “free” if it failed to clear drain. Tgere was no disclaimer of warranbty or statement that the label watranty was not by Walmart. The drain cleaner failed. A snake and crystal Drano worked.

Walmart managers (2) said Walmart gave no warranty on the product.

Walmart HQ said it was up to local management and nothing else could be done.

As it turns out, it will be up to the Portage County Municipal Court, through a jury of my Ohio peers.

Not everyone is equally good as a patsy for large corporations.

Tammy

Always buy that stuff at Home Depot. The drain cleaner did not work for me and Home Depot took it back no questions asked. Home Depot has a much easier return policy.

Karen

All you have to do is call the 800 number on your package if it says it is satisfaction garanteed. The manufacturer should be the one to honor that.

Christina Miller

For anyone returning items to walmart. You yave 90 days to return MOST items, even if its never been opened.

Andrew

Purchased powerwheel from walmart.com have receipt, packaging slip, and return receipt for in store return. However due to my wallet being stolen needed my credit card replaced. So new numbers that do not match the receipt is it possible to return for value back to the card? Total value is 241.00

Karen

You can always opt for a store credit on a gift card as well

Angela Carter

Last year, I tried to return an item I had no the receipt for. Upon checking my driver’s license, I was informed I had reached my limit of returns without a receipt! I was told I could not return the item at all!! I was aware that I’d be receiving no cash back because I did not have the receipt. But I had No idea there was a limit. I received no gift card. No Nothing! Has this happened to anyone else? I purchased the item at that Wal-Mart. I would have used the gift card at that Wal-Mart! I don’t understand.

Rachel

Target has that policy posted, and Walmart’s is easily found with a Google search. Three within 45 days. Just wait a few weeks and try again!

Andrea

Andrew I have had refunds go back to cards I no longer had the money just goes back into my bank account if a debit card was used. I’m sure for a credit card you would see a credit on y our statement.

Kristin

I bought a humidifier a couple months back, and it’s starting to have problems. Not only do I not have the receipt, we threw away the box. Any chance they would take something back with these circumstances?

Karen

If the item is in good condition and still in stock they might let you exchange it for the same item with your id as long as you don’t have more than 3 returns without a receipt. You should take it in and ask if you can exchange it for one just like it. If it is no longer one they carry or if they say no you will have to contact the manufacturer.

Katy K Conklen

buyer beware. I purchased a hoover board for my daughter. It was defective. i purchased to from walmart.com direct and had it shipped to me. after 4 days of use the hoover board malfunctioned causing it to spin in circles and throw my 11yo daughter into the wall hard. I started the return online and was not given the option to send it in. I had to take it to a store. when I got there they did the return and credited it back to my card. I am used to amazon that your refund is instant. it has been 2 days and there is no money back in my account. went and talked to the store they said it was online that handles that refund. i call the online and they are saying 3-5 if they received it in the mail but since the store issued the refund they don’t have any control. so frustrated. anyone else have issues with this?

Rachel

This actually has nothing to do with Walmart. It takes 3-4 days for the money to hit your card/account. I noticed at Target they warned me ahead of time to make sure I was cool with that. At one Walmart store, they warned me as well. I think Costco told me the same thing, but I could be wrong about that, as they have a different system (if you give them your debit card, they can actually verify your purchase if you lost your receipt). Everywhere else, you’re waiting for money to move from one institution to another. Hope this helps.

Karen

It can actually take up to 10 business days ( excluding weekends and holidays) depending on your bank. Especially if you do it as a credit. Debits tend to post faster most people can see it pending right away on their online banking app. I always tell people and give them an option of a gift card or cash if it’s a debit on the receipt so they are aware of this issue.

Caren

Today was the first time I’ve ever done a return without a receipt. I read the website about the no receipt under $25 cash back part and was like perfect! So I go in and tell them I didn’t have a receipt and the lady at the register says very quickly “okay I’ll give you store credit” as she’s about to credit a giftcard making the motions… and I’m like “I’ll take cash please if that’s okay”.

She’s like sorry I can only give you a gift card. I said well your return policy says if it’s under $25 I can get cash, and mentioned I’ve never NOT had my receipt before. She says sorry that is only for under $10. And I’m like under $10? Then why does your website say otherwise under $25 ?

At this point she called over her supervisor in a yellow vest. And as she’s giving her the whole rundown I’m pulling in the website on my phone…. The supervisor says sorry you can only get a gift card with no receipt. So then I old her the same thing I told the cashier about well your website says blah blah blah (turning out my phone with the return policy on it). I then had to push the subject about 3 more times until she said “okay we’ll do it this time”.

I’m sure they have a lot of crappy people that come in and try to pull stuff, but I’m an honest customer, work in retail myself , so I was totally polite but yet firm in the end. I felt like they were treating me like some scammer or something because I wanted my $15 back in cash (I always use debit with pin). Anyhow I just wanted to give the heads up to anyone reading this page thinking that under $25 cash thing is so awesome and will be a breeze, because it’s not. I gladly gave them my ID so they can track it or whatever.

I can understand getting that crummy treatment if I was some scammer that was always in there being shady, but I’m not. And when I got to my car and was putting my crap back in my purse and putting my seat belt on, etc. I see that same supervisor girl in the yellow vest coming toward me car and I’m thinking “what the heck ???” And then she opens the passenger side door of the car next to me (her car).. and she was digging around for something.

She ended up pulling out some sort of little booklet (hopefully it was her supervisor guide and she was educating herself!). But what really got me was I was parked in one of the best spots in front …and she was next to me even closer to the front of the store. Isn’t she supposed to park in the boonies with the other employees???

Erin

I worked at target and we were always parking in the front of the lot looking for the best spots in the lot. Who wants to walk across a dark parking lot alone after the store is closed?

Karen

It does say this is at the managers discretion if you don’t have a receipt. Try using your savings catcher app so you can pull up your receipt to do returns . Also know we have the option of swiping your credit card to pull up you purchase this is new and I love it! We just started using it this week.

Jazmin

Bf purchased an instant film Fiji film for me during the holidays and it was on sale. The color wasn’t correct so he went to exchange it for the same camera but different color and they tried to make him pay the difference. From past experiences the sale price should still apply. Any experience with this at Walmart?

Guy

What if you used all 3 already, when can you do it again? How long

Rachel

Well, have you ever lost your receipt the DAY you bought your stuff there? I did, but I thought maybe I could gift the items OR find the receipt (eventually). I bought a couple of Christmas sweaters and some Tommy Girl cologne, as well as a sheet set at the beginning of December, and like I said, literally lost the receipt within hours. Now, the sweaters and the cologne were definitely under $25 each, but because I didn’t have a receipt, I was offered $1 in cash for each of them???!!! The reason I was given was that the “numbers were no longer in the system.” Hmm. The sheets were a totally different problem. I opened them and threw the packaging away (I honestly don’t know how I did this, but it was the same day and I think I threw out all that, plus the receipt, when I got tidy and was doing laundry, changing the dirty sheets for the new ones, etc.) but when I tried to put them on my bed, they didn’t fit. Weird. So for the sheets, since there was no number, they offered nothing unless I could find the EXACT item in the store and bring it to customer service. What difference would it have made though? The sheets were around $25 (maybe a dollar more or less) but what I learned is that NO RECEIPT = NO REFUND. My experience was at the Walmart in Anaheim, CA. Hope this is helpful. If you have an idea for me, I’d still REALLY love to return the sweaters, which are unworn and have their original tags!!!

Karen

If you had gone back to the store within the return period with the date of purchase and the credit card you used a manager should have been able to pull up your receipt in the computer at the store where your purchase was made. With a receipt it would have given you a refund for the amount you paid as long as you are within the refund period. If these items were only ringing up 1 dollar they must have been clearanced so you must have waited to long to return them . This is especially important with seasonal items such as your Christmas sweaters as these get clearanced fairly quickly.

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