What Is Walmart’s Holiday Return Policy?

Sue Hwang / GOBankingRates

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?

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 Nov 1. 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
30 days Jan. 25
90 days No change

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What Is Walmart’s Electronics Return Policy?

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:

Prepaid and postpaid cellphones have their own separate 14-day return policy.

What Other Gifts Can You Return to Walmart?

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:

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What Can’t You Return to Walmart?

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:

Are There Any Exceptions to Walmart’s Holiday Return Policy?

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.

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Restocking Fees for Certain Types of Returns

Effective July 31, Walmart Marketplace sellers can no longer charge any restocking or return shipping fees.

How To Return an Item to Walmart

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.

Exchanges and Refunds

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.

How Walmart’s and Other Major Retailers’ Return Policies Compare

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.

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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
  • Generally 14-90 days
Costco Same as general return policy
  • Essentially unrestricted for most products
  • 90 days for certain electronics
  • Limited returns for select products like tires and batteries
  • State-specific returns for alcohol
  • No returns for cigarettes or custom products
Target 30-day return window begins Dec. 26 for electronics and entertainment items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25
  • 90-day general return policy
  • 14-30 days for electronics
  • Up to 1 year for Target-owned brands
Best Buy Items purchased between Oct. 18 and Jan. 2 can be returned through Jan. 16 of the following year
  • Generally 14-15 days
  • Up to 45 days for My Best Buy Elite Plus members
  • Restocking fees of $45 for cellphones, excluding prepaid phones, and 15% of purchase price for certain electronics may apply
Amazon Items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned until Jan. 31 of the following year
  • 30-day general return policy

2019 GBR Retail Report: Stores With the Best and Worst Return Policies

What’s the Final Word on Walmart’s Return Policy?

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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Information is accurate as of Jan. 27, 2022