Buy the Wrong Size? We Dug Up Return Policies for 13 Popular Retailers

A woman looks up how to return a blouse she just purchased online.
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There’s a lot to stress over when it comes to holiday shopping.

Staying within budget, dealing with big crowds and long lines, figuring out what on earth you can get for Great Aunt Margaret, who’s regifted every single thing you’ve ever given her…

The last thing you need is the headache of dealing with complicated return policies.

But fear not. Here to ease your gift-giving (and -receiving) woes is an overview of the return policies for some of your favorite retailers.

One important note: All retailer return policies assume your purchases are made with a credit card or electronic online purchase. If you are a cash purchase type, you must keep your receipts. Without that, your return scenario will be much more complicated, and perhaps unsuccessful.

1. Amazon’s Return Policy

In short: Returns can be made within 30 days of the receipt of a shipment. That period is extended for the holidays.

Item condition: In most cases, used or open box items purchased from Amazon Warehouse and shipped from Amazon.com can be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment. Some products have different policies or requirements associated with them, which is noted on the purchase page of the item.

Exceptions: Amazon has a long list of items that cannot be returned.

No receipt?: Not an issue, since your credit card is used for the purchase and your shipment includes a return slip.

Worth noting: Ease of return is one of the best points of shopping on Amazon, as long as you have a dropoff location nearby.

Read the full fine print.

2. Kohl’s Return Policy

In short: In-store and online purchases can be returned within 180 days of purchase with or without a receipt. There are exceptions that do require a Kohl’s receipt or a look-up on your Kohl’s account.

Item condition: Must not be used or damaged (unless items arrived damaged from an online order).

Exceptions: Gift cards may not be returned.

No receipt? No receipt is required; store associates can locate Kohl’s charge purchases up to 12 months after the purchase date, and the credit can be applied to your account.

Non-Kohl’s charge purchases, or purchases made outside the 12-month timeframe, qualify for a Kohl’s Merchandise Credit or a corporate-issued refund.

Worth noting: Shipping costs on orders from Kohls.com are not refunded.

Read the full fine print.

3. Macy’s Return Policy

In short: You can make returns — for free — for 90 days after purchase. Items purchased in store must be returned in store.

Item condition: Must be unworn, unwashed and unaltered.

Exceptions: Special merchandise terms apply for select items.

No receipt? The credit card used to make the purchase can be used to find the purchase. You can also provide a return label or packing slip if it was shipped.

Worth nothing: Macy’s return period has shortened from one year to 90 days in the past couple of years.

Read the full fine print.

4. Walmart Return Policy

In short: Returns are accepted within 90 days of purchase.

Item condition: Must be in original manufacturer’s packaging. There are exceptions and additions to condition requirements by department.

Exceptions: Some outdoor items must be returned within 30 days. Some electronic items must be returned within 15 days. Contract cell devices must be returned within 14 days.

No receipt? Walmart will look up store purchases with a debit/credit card or online orders with a phone number or email.

Worth noting: Walmart offers a special holiday season return policy that began Oct. 1, 2022 and runs through Dec. 31, 2022. See details below. 

Read the full fine print.

A woman carriers her child into Target.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

5. Target Return Policy

In short: Returns are accepted within 90 days of purchase. If you used a Target RedCard, the return period is extended 30 days.

Item condition: Most items must be unopened and in new condition. Some items have a modified return policy noted on the receipt, in-store Target policy board, Target.com or in the item department.

Exceptions: Quite a few (see full return policy for further details).

No receipt? Target can attempt to look up your receipt if you bring the item, a government-issued photo ID (like a driver’s license) and the method of payment used to an in-store Guest Service desk within the return window allowed for that item.

Worth noting:  While their standard policy is 90 days for most products, if you’re not satisfied with any Target Owned Brand item, you can return it within one full year with a receipt for an exchange or a refund.

Read the full fine print.

6. Apple Return Policy

In short: Returns are accepted within 14 calendar days of the date you purchased the item (if bought in store) or received it (if bought online).

Item condition: Depends based on item type. See the full return policy for further details.

Exceptions: Not eligible for return: opened software (unless it has not yet been installed on any computer), electronic software downloads, software upgrades, Apple Store gift cards, Apple Developer Products (membership, technical support incidents, WWDC tickets), Apple Print Products.

No receipt? Sorry; original receipt or gift receipt is required.

Worth noting: Different wireless carriers have different service-cancellation policies. Returning an iPhone or iPad may not automatically cancel or reset your wireless account; you are responsible for your wireless service agreement and for any applicable fees associated with it. Be sure to contact your provider for more information.

Read the full fine print.

7. Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic Return Policy

In short: Returns are accepted within 30 days of purchase at Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic.

Item condition: Must be unwashed and unworn. Swimwear must have original price tags and hygienic liner intact. Sunglasses must have tags attached and be returned with complimentary case.

Exceptions: Final sale items cannot be returned or exchanged. Online purchases marked “mail only” cannot be returned in-store.

No receipt? The refund policy does not specify what to do in this case; see “contact us” section on this page for further details.

Worth noting: Returns and exchanges of online purchases are free by mail with a prepaid return label (however, original shipping and handling charges are not refunded). Items purchased from Athleta may be returned at any time.

Read the full fine print.

8. Office Depot/OfficeMax Return Policy

In short: Returns are accepted as follows:

  • Office supplies: within 90 days of purchase
  • Ink and toner: within 30 days of purchase
  • Technology and consumer electronic products: within 14 days of purchase
  • Software, DVDs, video games: within 14 days of purchase
  • Furniture: within 14 days or purchase

Item condition: Depends based on item type (see full return policy for further details).

Exceptions: Special order, custom items and “manufacturer direct” items cannot be returned or exchanged unless they are damaged upon receipt. Pre-paid cards (i.e. gift cards and phone cards) are non-refundable.

No receipt? All returns without an original receipt require valid government-issued ID. Technology products without an original receipt are not eligible for return. Software, CDs, DVDs and video games without an original receipt are eligible for an exact-item exchange only.

All other returns without an original receipt (so long as the item is still active in the store’s system) will be refunded in the form of an Office Depot or OfficeMax merchandise card in an amount equal to the lowest retail price during the preceding 90 days. (If that amount is under $10, it will be refunded in cash.)

Worth noting: Holiday purchases (items purchased between Oct. 21 and Dec. 24) may be returned as late as Jan. 14 (or as the return policy states, whichever is later). Office Depot/OfficeMax reserves the right to request identification or deny any exchange or return.

Read the full fine print.

9. Lowe’s Return Policy

In short: Returns are accepted within 90 days of purchase.

Item condition: Must include all original manufacturer’s packing materials, manuals and accessories.

Exceptions: Major appliance, outdoor power equipment and highway trailers must be returned within 30 days of purchase.

No receipt? No receipt is required in most instances if you provide the MyLowe’s card or credit card you used to make the purchase. A receipt is also not needed if you provided a phone number when you made the initial purchase and paid in cash or check. (Lowe’s reserves the right to refuse or limit the number of returns permitted without valid receipts.)

Worth noting: Lowe’s reserves the right, in its discretion, to repair, replace or refund an item based on your method of payment.

Read the full fine print.

An exterior photo of The Home Depot.
Photo courtesy of The Home Depot

10. Home Depot Return Policy

In short: Returns are accepted within 90 days of purchase on most items.

Item condition: Items must be returned with all components for a full refund.

Exceptions: Furniture, mattresses, area rugs, generators, gas-powered equipment and consumer electronics all have 30-day return policies. See the complete list here.

No receipt? Returns are permitted without a receipt, but you must have a valid driver’s license or government-issued ID.

Worth noting: This one’s a bit tricky with lots of exceptions, and instructions depend on whether your purchase was made in store or online. See the full return policy for further details.

Read the full fine print.

11. Walgreens Return Policy

In short: Returns are accepted within 30 days of purchase.

Item condition: Depends based on item type. See the full return policy for further details.

Exceptions: No refunds are given for sexual wellness or seasonal products. Returns of cosmetics and electronics are handled at the discretion of the store manager and are typically refunded as a store gift card.

No receipt? Check the return policy on that specific product’s page on Walgreens’ website. If it permits returns, then you may still be able to get a refund in the form of a store gift card. Ultimately, the decision to refund your money is the store manager’s to make.

Worth noting: Online orders that are eligible for return can be returned to a store within 30 days of the date of purchase on the receipt.

Satisfaction is 100% guaranteed on all Walgreens brand products, so if you are not completely satisfied — even on opened and used products — you may return the unused portion and receive a refund the full price, including shipping if the item was purchased online.

Read the full fine print.

12. PetSmart Return Policy

In short: Returns are accepted within 60 days of purchase.

Item condition: Must be in original packaging and in sellable condition.

Exceptions: You must have a valid receipt to return or exchange any of the following products that are valued at $10 or more: electronic merchandise — such as collars, fencing and training items — grooming tools, filters or pumps, pet medication or vitamins.

No receipt? Bring the item and a valid ID to any store and a merchandise return card for the most recent sale amount will be issued.

If you wish to exchange the item for another product, any remaining balance will be refunded in the original form of tender (i.e. in cash if you purchased in cash, refunded to your credit card if charged, etc.).

Worth noting: Bring a pet product from another retailer along with its original receipt into any PetSmart store, and they’ll gladly refund your purchase in the form of a merchandise return card. You can also exchange the product for a similar PetSmart product.

Read the full fine print.

13. Best Buy Return Policy

In short: Returns accepted within 15 days of purchase for most products, but My Best Buy Elite members get 30 days and Elite Plus members get 45 days.

Item condition: Does not have to be in original packaging or include all accessories; however, your refund may be reduced for any missing items.

Exceptions: Refunds on cell phones with contract are only accepted within 14 days of purchase. There is a $35 fee for returning or exchanging these items.

No receipt? If you don’t have your receipt, Best Buy will still issue a refund, but you must have a photo ID.

Read the full fine print.

Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor who runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do. Follow her on Twitter @CordeliaCallsIt.

Contributor Kent McDill contributed to this report.