Return Policies For 15 Major Retailers

Hate that stationary bike your hint-dropping friend got you for Christmas? Want to return it so you can buy something useful like a cook book or ten pounds of fudge? Well Mouseprint rounded up return policies for fifteen major retailers to help you offload all those gifts you never wanted. Retailers readily accept returns if you have a receipt and the original packaging with price tags. Most stores charge a 15% restocking fee and want their merchandise back within a few weeks. Happy returning!

Retailers’ Return Policies: The 2007 Fine Print [Mouseprint]
Tips for hassle-free gift returns [All Consuming]
(Photo: stephentrepreneur)


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  1. Quellman says:

    CompUSA: No returns. All sales final on their insignificantly marked down – over priced products.

  2. MercuryPDX says:

    NEW! From the makers of “Dick-in-a-Box”….

  3. rolla says:

    @Quellman: and thats why theyre going out of business

  4. phospholipid says:

    Also: if you want to avoid restocking fees, just say that it’s malfunctioning at certain times or is incompatible with a certain item.
    For example: a cheap speaker, you want to upgrade.
    Say the unit pops while playing certain CD’s or
    randomly after an hour of play but with others it doesn’t. Most of the time, they wont care anyways.

  5. darkened says:

    Other thing to remember if an item is defective and past the store return policy you can always try to get your money back through your credit card company. (One of the very good reasons to use credit cards for purchases especially electronics)

  6. Curiosity says:


    It is important to note that the return policy is ONLY in effect if the product was NOT misrepresented or defective irrespective of store policy.

    Either of these are a breach of contract and the store policy really does not apply.

  7. Curiosity says:

    Actually I am surprised that The Consumerist doesn’t have anything for a consumer’s basic legal rights in a contract.

    Not to step on their toes but people should know about implied warranties (while there are more technical sites , wikipedia has a decent explanation []):

    Fitness for a particular purpose

    An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, sometimes referred to simply as a warranty of fitness, is a warranty implied by law that if a seller knows or has reason to know of a particular purpose for which some item is being purchased by the buyer, the seller is guaranteeing that the item is fit for that particular purpose. This differs from a warranty of merchantability in two ways:

    * First, the warranty of fitness applies to all sellers, not just professional merchants; and
    * Second, the warranty of fitness requires the seller to know or have reason to know of a specific purpose to which the property sold is going to be put.

    For example, if Joey buys four end-tables from Susan (a non-merchant) and then uses them to prop up his car while he works on the muffler, Susan is not liable for any injury that occurs to Joey – unless Joey told Susan that he was buying the end-tables for that purpose.

    The implied warranty of fitness is described in US law by Article 2, Section 315 of the Uniform Commercial Code.


    An implied warranty of merchantability is a warranty implied by law that if a merchant (meaning someone who makes an occupation of selling things) sells something, that merchant is guaranteeing that the goods are reasonably fit for the general purpose for which they are sold. To be merchantable (salable), goods must meet the following conditions:

    1. The goods must conform to the standards of the trade as applicable to the contract for sale.
    2. They must fit for the purposes such goods are ordinarily used, even if the buyer ordered them for use otherwise.
    3. They must be uniform as to quality and quantity, within tolerances of the contract for sale.
    4. They must be packed and labeled per the contract for sale.
    5. They must meet the specifications on the package labels, even if not so specified by the contract for sale.

    This warranty will apply to one who is a merchant and regularly deals in the type of merchandise sold. If the merchandise is sold with an express “guarantee”, the terms of the implied warranty of merchantability will fill the gaps left by that guarantee. If the terms of the express guarantee are not specified, they will be considered to be the terms of the implied warranty of merchantability.

    In the United States, this subject is governed by Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The UCC allows sellers to disclaim the implied warranty of merchantability, provided the disclaimer is made conspicuously and the disclaimer explicitly uses the term “merchantability” in the disclaimer.[1] Some states, however, have implemented the UCC such that this can not be disclaimed.

    Disclaimer of an implied warranty

    An implied warranty can be expressly disclaimed in a sales contract by the use of specific language, such as the words, “as is” or “with all faults”. Such language must be conspicuous in the contract, e.g., in a different kind of print or font that makes it stand out. On the other hand, express warranty, that is, any affirmation of fact or promise to the buyer, or description of the good, oral or written, can be negated or limited only if such disclaimers are not unreasonable. (Uniform Commercial Code, Section 2-316 (1)).

    Some jurisdictions, however, limit the ability of sellers or manufacturers to disclaim the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness, such as Massachusetts. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 106: Section 2-316A).

    Contractual language can also limit the remedies available for breach of an implied warranty – for example, capping recoverable damages or limiting the remedy to a replacement of a defective item. However, such a term can be found to be unconscionable. For example, if a defective product causes a personal injury, a contractual provision limiting recovery in such a case will be deemed prima facie unconscionable. (Uniform Commercial Code, §2-719(3).)

  8. EvilSquirrel says:

    @curiosity: Thanks for posting that useful bit of information. While most retailers I have dealt with have a return policy that is similar to these laws, it might be useful to point out that many credit cards will also provide you with protections on the quality of goods. Some cards such as American Express will let you return things if you just do not like the goods. If all else fails, you can always go for the chargeback. Sometimes it is just easier to deal with your credit card companies than the actual retailer.

  9. darkened says:

    @EvilSquirrel: Most credit cards prefer you have attempted atleast some what to reach an end with the seller first. Immediate use of these benefits with no effort with the store will eventually just lead to them being denied more often or cost more for the consumer to have those benefits.

  10. SaraAB87 says:

    I would like to add that Kmart DOES NOT take returns without a receipt for any reason whatsoever, even if the item has legit kmart price tags on it.

  11. Ghede says:

    I’d care more about the article, were it not for the fact I did absolutely NO holiday shopping this season. Well, I ordered a T-shirt for a friend online, but that was like three days ago.

    I’m mostly commenting to say… Awwwwwwwwwwww!

  12. UpsetPanda says:

    Why would anyone ever return that kitten that looks like Mufasa from The Lion King…

  13. The Cynical Librarian says:

    So in theory if while I’m buying something and I tell them “I do believe I’ll go swimming while listening to this iPod” and they just smile and nod. They are extended the implied warranty to cover my swimming destroying my iPod?

  14. jrdnjstn78 says:

    I had a horrible experience at Circuit City yesterday!

    I bought a video game for my kids for Christmas, well I grabbed the wrong platform (a gamecube instead of PS2). I just wanted to exchange it for a PS2 game. The game had not been open of course. I didn’t have a receipt because I couldn’t find it.

    I get to Circuit City and explain to the guy what I want to do. I give him 2 cards to look up my transaction and he finds nothing. So I figure I paid with cash or check. Which they keep no record of those transactions. He tells me that he can not return the item without proof of transaction. I get furious. I tell him “I’m stuck with a game my kids can’t play because I have no proof of transaction, the game is in perfect resaleable condition.” I cuss at him and then leave.

    I get home and look for the receipt. of course I have every receipt except that one. I call Circuit City and ask to talk with the manager. I tell her what happened and told her that I just want to exchange the game for the same one but for the PS2. I then ask her how it is possible that I can walk into and out of the store with a video game in my hand and no one stops me to ask for proof of buying it but I can’t exchange it? She tells me to come back and they will let me exchange it.

    Not all stores print out “gift receipts” so guess you should tape the receipt to the gift that you are giving too.

  15. UpsetPanda says:

    @jrdnjstn78: Ok first of all, sorry you grabbed the wrong game, but in my retail experience, when someone is so incredibly angry that they swear at me, that is just the line that I draw. There’s no excuse for disrespecting someone like that and you are less likely to get help if people think you’re just going to be angry.

    Also, because you don’t have a receipt, they can’t verify you bought it from that store. Unless CC puts some kind of labeling which would suggest it was from CC, I understand why they would be hesitant to refund you anything.

    Something that you could’ve done, I’m sure, is if you ask for store credit, you could simply apply that credit to the PS2 game, no worries. If you were looking for an exchange, like you had bought a $30 GameCube game and wanted to directly swap it for a $50 PS2 game, that wouldn’t work, and neither should you demand they do that for you. But it’s possible if you come in without your receipt, you get store credit for it and can use that for the other game.

  16. FessLove says:

    @jrdnjstn78: Whats so difficult to understand? If you want to return or exchange something, proof of purchase may be required. They give you a receipt for that purpose. and cussing at someone at a retail store doesn’t get you what you want, unless you want everyone to laugh at you when you leave and call you an ass.

  17. Copper says:

    Anyone who is going to call Best Buy’s Customer Care (1-888-BEST BUY), I urge you to please, please read the return policy on the website. Thank you.

  18. bombaxstar says:

    @jrdnjstn78: I love your second paragraph. You sound like one of the people that make retail work unbearable at times.

    Cursing at a worker isn’t gonna get you anything besides mockery once you turn your back.

  19. Red_Eye says:

    Bed Bath and Beyond (not listed on mouseprint and I don’t comment there because the editors edit the content of comments) has a store credit only policy if you don’t have the credit card used for the original purchase during the return. My wife discovered this when trying to return a blender with a receipt yesterday that had been given to her as a gift.

  20. STrRedWolf says:

    Don’t return kitteh!!!

  21. Chairman-Meow says:

    Oh Noes!

    I iz not broked Kitteh!