Walmart Sends Me Extra Clothes, Says To Keep Or Donate Them

Inevitably, in commerce through the mail, shipments get mixed up, customers receive the wrong thing or nothing at all, and customers receive multiples of what they ordered. What impressed Brent was that sure, Walmart says that they “may have” shipped the jersey that he ordered “multiple times.” They not only didn’t ask him to return the items, but encouraged him to donate them. Isn’t that wonderful?

Here’s the e-mail that he received:


Dear Brent [redacted],

Thank you for shopping with

Due to a system error, we may have shipped the apparel item(s) listed below multiple times and so you may receive one or more item(s) you did not expect.

Because this was our error, we’d like for you to enjoy the extra items you receive – on us! You will not be charged for the extra items you receive. If you don’t need or want the extra items, we suggest you consider giving it to a friend or donating it to an organization that supports those in need.

[Here were the details of the item Brent ordered and may receive in duplicate or more]

Again, thank you for shopping with, and thank you for your understanding in this matter.


Your Customer Service Team

“As much as I complain about Walmart, I think this is a pretty classy act,” Brent wrote when he forwarded us this notice. “They should be applauded.”

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  1. shanapp says:

    Doesn’t this fall under mail fraud laws… that once a company ships something to you that you didn’t order, it’s yours to keep? Seems like just some smart PR to cover up that they have no other recourse.

    • KDoggMDF3 says:

      Yes, there is. From the FTC website:

      Q. Am I obligated to return or pay for merchandise I never ordered?
      A. No. If you receive merchandise that you didn’t order, you have a legal right to keep it as a free gift.

      Q. Must I notify the seller if I keep unordered merchandise without paying for it?
      A. You have no legal obligation to notify the seller. However, it is a good idea to write a letter to the company stating that you didn’t order the item and, therefore, you have a legal right to keep it for free. This may discourage the seller from sending you bills or dunning notices, or it may help clear up an honest error. Send your letter by certified mail. Keep the return receipt and a copy of the letter for your records. You may need it later.

      Q. What should I do if the unordered merchandise I received was the result of an honest shipping error?
      A. Write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for postage and handling. Give the seller a specific and reasonable amount of time (say 30 days) to pick up the merchandise or arrange to have it returned at no expense to you. Tell the seller that you reserve the right to keep the merchandise or dispose of it after the specified time has passed.