Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, thanks in part to its dedication to low prices. As the holidays approach, sales are expected to boom for the company, which reported fourth-quarter earnings of $138.8 billion over last year’s holidays. With that kind of sales revenue, the company needs an extensive return policy in place. Here’s a look at Walmart’s standard and holiday return policies, including comparisons with those offered by its major competitors.
- What Is Walmart’s Return Policy for the Holidays?
- What Is Walmart’s Electronics Return Policy?
- What Other Gifts Can You Return To Walmart?
- What Can’t You Return To Walmart?
- Are There Any Exceptions to Walmart’s Holiday Return Policy?
- Restocking Fees for Certain Types of Returns
- How To Return an Item to Walmart
- Exchanges and Refunds
- How Walmart’s and Other Major Retailers’ Return Policies Compare
- What’s the Final Word on Walmart’s Return Policy?
Walmart slightly tweaks its return policy during the holidays, partially due to the immense volume of sales the company generates. The enhanced holiday return policy is a way to give customers extra time to make returns during this busy period.
Walmart’s holiday extended return policy applies to most items purchased between Oct. 24 and Dec. 25. The extended return window begins Dec. 26 for items that come with a 14- or 30-day return policy. The return-by date varies based on the original return policy for the item purchased:
|Walmart’s Holiday Extended Return Policy|
|Original Return Window||New Return Deadline|
|14 days||Jan. 10, 2020|
|30 days||Jan. 25, 2020|
|90 days||No change|
The standard Walmart electronics return policy comes with a 30-day window, but some items have a return policy with as few as 14 days. Here are the electronics that have a 30-day return policy:
- Computer hardware
- Smartwatches and activity trackers
- Digital cameras
- Digital music players
- Portable video players
- GPS units
- 3D printers
- 3D printing supplies and products
Prepaid and postpaid cellphones have their own separate 14-day return policy.
Items from Walmart that you receive as gifts follow the same standard 90-day return policy, with the exceptions listed above. Gifts must be returned in-store and cannot be returned via mail.
To return a gift to Walmart without a receipt, you must bring either the order number or the sender’s email address. Then, Walmart will still process your return with no receipt as long as you present a valid, unaltered government-issued photo ID and its refund verification process approves your return. Once your return is verified and accepted, you can:
- Send the item to the manufacturer for repair
- Exchange the item for another one
- Receive a cash refund if the value of the returned item is below $25
- Receive a gift card if the value of the returned item is at least $25
Although Walmart has a generous return policy, some items are not eligible for return. Here’s a look at what you can’t bring back to Walmart:
- Video-on-demand purchases
- Electronically fulfilled PINs or minutes for prepaid cellular devices
- Video game download cards
- eDelivery software
- Personal intimate massagers
- Firearms, ammunition, pepper spray, air guns and BB guns
- Perishable food, unless damaged or defective
- Funeral products, unless damaged or defective
- Gift cards: Walmart plastic gift cards and Walmart e-gift cards are not returnable or refundable for cash except where required by law, including certain states and Puerto Rico
- Gas-powered items such as mini bikes, go-karts, dirt bikes, utility terrain vehicles and all-terrain vehicles
- Prescription drugs and products containing pseudoephedrine and pseudotropine
- Diabetic supplies
- Used tires
- Snow tires
Exceptions to Walmart’s holiday return policy mirror those of the regular Walmart return policy and are outlined above. The holiday return policy also excludes items purchased on Walmart’s website from third-party Walmart Marketplace sellers. Return policies are the responsibility of each individual seller, but Walmart does enforce a minimum return window of 30 days, with the exception of certain electronics.
Effective July 31, Walmart Marketplace sellers can no longer charge any restocking or return shipping fees.
Items purchased at Walmart or Walmart.com can generally be returned to a local store or returned by mail, as the Walmart online return policy is the same as the in-store return policy. For more detailed instructions on returning items by mail or in-store, visit the Walmart website.
Refunds for items returned by mail or in-store are issued to the original method of payment and are credited within five business days. Exchanges follow the same rules as returns in terms of restrictions. For items purchased at Walmart.com and select items purchased from a store, you can begin the refund process online using Mobile Express Returns before finishing the process in-store.
Like most retailers, Walmart slightly adjusts its return policy over the holidays. The adjustment comes in the form of a longer period to return items as opposed to a change in which items may be returned.
|Walmart’s and Other Major Retailers’ Return Policies|
|Retailer||Holiday Return Policy||General Return Policy|
|Walmart||Return window extends to Jan. 10 and Jan. 25 of the following year for certain items|
|Costco||Same as general return policy|
|Target||30-day return window begins Dec. 26 for electronics and entertainment items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25|
|Best Buy||Items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned through Jan. 14 of the following year|
|Amazon||Items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned until Jan. 31 of the following year|
2019 GBR Retail Report: Stores With the Best and Worst Return Policies
Understanding that the holidays are a special time of year, flooded with sales and gift exchanges, Walmart does extend its return period for many items. For the most part, this puts the retailer in line with its competitors when it comes to holiday returns. The policy for Walmart returns without a receipt is a bit restrictive, but the store will generally accept such returns. The bottom line is that over the holidays, the standard Walmart return policy remains in effect, but the start date for the return window is delayed for some items.
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