24 Stores With the BEST (& Worst) Return Policy

Budgeting, Shopping Tips

Shopping for a new pair of boots or the perfect pair of jeans, but you're not sure if you're gonna love them? You may wonder which of your favorite stores have the best return policy. Before you swipe that card, make sure you can get a refund when you need to!

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How many items have you discovered sitting in the back of your organized closet just collecting dust? Maybe you've got shoes you ordered online and didn't love in person. Or dresses you swore you needed for a fun night out but you never removed the tags. A box of cereal that didn't snap, crackle, or pop?

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Whether you're shopping online or in-store, buyer's remorse is bound to happen for various reasons on occasion. But instead of throwing that money down the drain, take advantage of store return policies so you can hang on to your hard-earned cash. Keep reading for the deets on the stores with the BEST (and worst) return policy, from clothing to housewares, and even groceries!


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Shopping for clothes? Home goods? Electronics? Find out who has the most flexible return and exchange policies (just in case):

  • American Eagle – If you have your receipt, American Eagle accepts returns anytime. It doesn't even matter when you bought the item. No receipt? No worries! American Eagle will allow you to make an exchange.
  • Bath & Body Works – It's hard not to love all their lotions, candles, and body wash, but if you need to return an item, they make it easy! Bring in your receipt and get a full refund or a Bath & Body Works store credit if you've lost your receipt.
  • Costco – Just another reason to love them, you guys! Costco's return policy is one of the most lenient around. You don't even need to track down your old receipts! They can find you in the system using your membership number, and they'll take your purchase back for a full refund.
  • IKEA – If you need to make a return at IKEA, you have a full year after your purchase to cash-in on a refund. Just grab your receipt if you have it. If not, they'll try to find you in the system.
  • Kohl's Kohl's has some of the BEST prices on clothes for the family, and it turns out their return policy is pretty awesome, too. You have 180 days to return your purchase to Kohl's for a full refund.
  • Nordstrom – Nordstrom is famous for its return policy, and it's LEGIT. You can wear a pair of shoes for two years, decide you don't like them and go get your money back. For real. They put the service in customer service!
  • Target – If you have kids, listen up. Target's Cat & Jack kids line has a 1-year guarantee. If your kids rub a hole in their knee, you can either exchange the item for a replacement or get your money back. Just show your receipt or proof of purchase in your Target app.
  • Walmart –  Not only can you return non-food items, but you can return unopened groceries as well. Depending on the Walmart, you either have to exchange for other groceries, or they'll give you a store credit. Some locations will even give you cash back!

Not in the mood to head to the mall or shopping center? Keep reading if online shopping is more your speed! (Same, girl.)


woman shopping on her laptop, from Fun Cheap or Free

More of an online shopper? We get it! It's SO easy! For the best return and refund options, try one of these online shops:

  • Amazon – If you decide you don't need that avocado slicer you bought on clearance, just send it back! You can either print a UPS shipping label at home or drop your item at a local UPS store or Kohl's. They'll take care of the shipping, and you can either get an Amazon credit or a full refund on the card you used. Easy peasy!
  • REI – Did you accidentally buy the wrong gear while shopping online for that hiking trip? If it's too tough to repackage it all and ship it back, just toss it in your trunk and drive to the nearest store. REI accepts in-store returns for items bought online or through a catalog. You can receive a full refund within one year of purchase!
  • Zappos – This online shoe company has legendary customer service, so it's no surprise they make returns and refunds super easy! If you don't LOVE your new shoes, ship them back (for free!) and get your money back.

When it comes to stores with the best return policy, think outside shoes, clothes, and electronics. This next set of tips just might surprise you!


countertop full of groceries, from Fun Cheap or Free

Surely you can't return food for a refund, right? At these grocery stores, you sure can:

  • ALDI – Aldi's twice as nice guarantee is ah-mazing! If you don't love one of their products, bring it back for a full refund AND pick a replacement for free!
  • Trader Joe's – Anyone else love their Everything But the Bagel seasoning? It will change your life! But we digress. Their refund policy is just as awesome. You can eat half a loaf of bread, decide it's not your fave, and take it back to Trader Joe's for a full refund. No questions asked!
  • Publix – Not only do they have the world's best fried chicken, but they're also generous with their refund policy. It's simple. If you're not satisfied, Publix will give you your money back. You don't even need the receipt.
  • Whole Foods – This high-end grocer pulls out all the stops! You can sample any item in-store before you buy it, and if you get home and change your mind, just bring it back. Whole Foods offers full refunds on most products.

While we're not in favor of abusing refund policies, we're big fans of speaking up when you don't love a product! There's no reason to spend hard-earned money on items you can't use, so don't ever be afraid to cash in on store return policies. They're there for a reason!


man and woman moving TV, from Fun Cheap or Free

Not every store is as lenient as Amazon, Costco, or Nordstrom, so before you buy your next TV or winter coat, make sure you're aware of return policies. These stores are the strictest:

  • Apple – We all love their phones, tablets, earbuds, and laptops, right? Just make sure you're totally committed to your purchase before you click that button. Most of their products must be returned within 14 days for a refund.
  • Best Buy – If you get that new TV home and realize it's not the best fit, don't put off taking it back to the store! You only have two weeks to make returns and exchanges.
  • Barnes & Noble – Did you accidentally buy two of the same books? Unless your book is still shrink-wrapped, you're out of luck. Barnes & Noble only accepts returns and issues refunds within 30 days of purchase, and the item must be in the same condition as it was when you bought it.
  • Forever 21 – Known for their low-cost fashion finds for women, Forever 21 doesn't accept returns on clearance items. For other purchases, you must save the receipt and bring the item back within 30 days. No exceptions.
  • Lululemon – If you decide those new yoga pants aren't the best fit, you only have 14 days to make a return. Even gifted items are subject to this rule. And if you are within the 14-day window, make sure your items are in tip-top shape, with tags still attached.
  • Overstock – Worried that the new couch you just ordered might not work out? If you buy a product from Overstock.com, you have to pay for return shipping, your item must be in perfect condition, and you only have 30 days to change your mind.

Don't say we didn't warn ya. Knowledge is power, right?


One last tip! Even if your return doesn't meet a store's policy requirements, don't give up. Many businesses give their employees the leeway to bend the rules, so be polite and friendly, calmly state your case, and you might be able to negotiate a refund or exchange. It also helps if you have the receipt! Store your receipts in a desk drawer or small file folder, so they're easy to find.

And now you know all there is to know about store refund policies. Look at you, smarty pants!

Tell us what you think. Which stores have the best customer service and generous refund policies? Drop a note below and share the love!

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Now, go get that money back!


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