Whether you brave the stores on Black Friday, shop from home on Cyber Monday, or check out Christmas sales, holiday shopping is at a boiling point. To help you make good decisions while checking off your list, below is an at-a-glance look at the holiday return policies for the top retailers you’re likely to visit.
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While most standard items have a 90-day return window, items such as electronics and power tools have only a 15-30 day window. Items that have the usual 90-day window must still be returned within 90 days of purchase—however, if you bought electronics or power tools with a 15 or 30-day return window, between November 1 and December 24, Wal-Mart extends the time you have to make that return by starting the clock on December 26 (meaning you have until January 10 and January 25, respectively).
Wal-Mart requires that you have your receipt, otherwise they will only offer cash back for items under $25 and only store credit for items exceeding $25.
Target offers a 90-day return policy on most items; however, electronics are again held to a shorter 30-day return window, and the clock starts ticking on December 26. For items purchased between November 1 and December 25, Target allows you to return unopened items for a full refund (what you paid for them at the time) or exchange up until January 24. If you go past that date, you’re allowed to return up to $70 of merchandise within one year, without a receipt.
Items bought online can be returned to a physical store location. If you do not have a receipt, you’ll need to show a valid ID. Also, Target may assess a 15% restocking fee for some electronics and they have been known to deny a refund for opened items.
Costco does not offer any kind of extended holiday return policy because of their extremely flexible year-round satisfaction guarantee. With that, there is no return deadline on general products but electronics such as televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, touch screen tablets, MP3 players and cellular phones are held to a strict 90-day return window.
Yes, items bought online can be returned to a physical store location.
All items purchased on Amazon.com between November 1 and December 31 can be returned for a full refund if returned by January 31. While this is pretty cut and dry, keep in mind there are some major disclaimers.
You’re only eligible for a full refund if all media (DVDs, music, games, etc.) are unopened and all electronics (computers, tablets, etc.) are returned in their original packaging in mint condition. Otherwise, Amazon.com may assess restocking fees of up to 50% on opened items.
It’s also important to understand that just because you bought something at Amazon.com, it doesn’t necessarily mean you bought it from Amazon. Because the site hosts thousands of third-party marketplace sellers, check to see exactly who you are purchasing from and, above all, confirm their individual return policy (as it will likely differ from Amazon.com itself).
For items purchased between November 3 and December 31, Best Buy offers an extended holiday return policy that allows returns up until January 15 with a valid receipt and a photo ID. Keep in mind, third-party carrier contracts for mobile phones and service providers such as DirecTV do not fall under this holiday gift policy and there is an extensive list of non-returnable items to note here.
Items bought online can be returned to a physical store location.
Historically boasting a 120-day return policy, Sears now states that items purchased with a standard 30-day return policy between November 17 and December 24 can now be returned through January 24. Additionally, items purchased with a standard 60-day return policy, between November 17 and December 24can be returned up to 60 days from the date of purchase.
It’s important to note that items that usually have a 90-day return period, such as major home appliances, vacuums, and heating equipment, are not covered by the extended holiday return policy.
Lastly, Sears’ holiday return policy explicitly states that any visibly damaged items must be reported within 72 hours to qualify for refund or exchange and that a 15% restocking fee is commonly applied to electronics with missing parts or that appear to be used.
For general merchandise, Macy’s does not have a defined return period; items can be returned at any time. However, furniture is limited to three days and mattresses are limited to 60 days. (Furniture is limited to three days after delivery and delivery fee will not be refunded and there is a 15% restocking fee that will be assessed. Mattresses 60 days however, delivery fee will not be refunded and a $70 pick up fee will charged along with a 15% handling fee.)
All online purchases can be returned to any Macy’s location but, as a bonus, because they often affix a customer return label to their goods, a receipt may not be necessary.
Because Apple deals exclusively with electronics, their return policy is much more strict than the other more general retailers. The Apple holiday return policy states that items purchased between November 1 and December 25 can be returned up through January 7, however, all purchases outside of that are subject to their standard return policy of 14 calendar days (and 30 days for iPhones).
That said, much like Best Buy above, there is an extensive list of items that are not eligible for returns. That list can be seen here.
Although Toys“R”Us does not have a specific holiday return policy, their year-round policy states that they will accept returns made within 90 days of the purchase date, as long as you have your receipt. In-store returns are eligible for a refund, however online purchases returned to a store will only qualify for a store credit.
Take note that they strictly state that items must be returned in “new or like-new condition” and they must be in the “original packaging with all the paperwork (manuals, assembly instructions, etc.)” to get a full refund. Otherwise they reserve the right to refuse returns that do not meet their return requirements.
There is a 30 day return policy for cameras, camcorders, digital audio players, video game hardware, DVD players, and no-contract cell phones and a 15 day policy for computer hardware (eReaders, Netbooks, and tablets).
Making life easy, Kohl’s does not have a holiday return policy of any kind. In fact, their customer service page specifically states that you can ”return any item, anytime, for any reason.” Whether you have a receipt or not, they will issue a full refund, exchange or merchandise credit.
We understand that holiday shopping can be hectic and that the people on your list can be picky, so we hope that this list of return policies has been helpful. Now go shopping with a renewed confidence and, of course, have a Happy Holiday!