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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Kendy

Hi yes i bought my girl a bridal set and got me a mens ring. She had hers sized and i didnt but neither of us are really liking the rings. I read this thread and couldnt find too much about jewelry returns especially if something has been sized. They waa bought a week ago. Can we reurn them with recpt.?

Drb

I returned something recently. Had receipt. They gave me cash back. Usually they make you sign the little black thing before they give you cash back, but this time they did not. Lady said some returns do not require you to sign any more???? This was in June of 2019.

Mark

Can you return a fish still alive if its causing problems with other fish in your tank?

Janell Dubreuil

I’ve recently purchased an air conditioner and come to find out the thing doesn’t run properly. So when I tell my boyfriend going to return it he informs me that not only did he not keep the receipt but he also threw out the box! Am I totally screwed or is there a way around this? Note* it was paid for with a reloadable green dot card.

Richard

Was returning a gift I received and I didn’t have receipt. Cooler. They said they can’t take it back because the value is over $50 and they don’t take any returns back for items over $50. No store credit no nothing. Item is unused and all tags still attached. Price is $53.

Angelia

I went to return a necklace at Walmart that was $24 I didn’t have a receipt which has never happened before. They told me I couldn’t get a refund which was fine, but they wouldn’t give me store credit either. I had my driver’s license and haven’t returned anything in a year at least. I read there policy online and I can’t find any reason why I couldn’t at least get in store credit. Could someone please help me understand why this happened???

Primer1st

Dude, What? Does Walmart pay your rent? There is nothing Awesome about their very strict return policies. These are some of the worst return policies in the industry! In rural area’s you are automatically assumed to be a criminal when you try to return something that is defective! On electronics I’ve actually had the return Nazi at the customer no-service counter, celebrate when she thought it had been 16 days on a return I had on a completely defective laptop! I had to get a manager to show the illiterate return Nazi how to do the math. It had only been 13 days. This woman whole world came crashing down when she realized that she was not going to be able to assist the criminal Walton family with ripping me off!

Dodi Vanspanje

What if my boyfriend purchased me a gift on line in a different state and i pick it up at my local Wal-Mart w the “gift” receipt- I have the receipt but don’t care for the gift – will they give me cash back if i return w a receipt?

Justin

What is the refund policy on a car sterero

Katie

Can I return Nicorette it is unopened?

Michelle Shaw

Does anyone know if i can return over the counter medicines?

Shirley Whitley

Can I return item I ordered on line to my local store??

Larry

The no-receipt cash refund for items under $25 is not up to the manager’s discretion, it’s their policy across the board. If they worker says they don’t do that, just ask for a CSR, MOD, or store manager & you’ll have your cash in no time.

Bill

Can I return a bicycle seat that still has it’s packaging without my receipt? Bought July 4th 2020.

Ann

What about power wheels

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