14 Stores with the Absolute Best Return Policies
Have a history of buyer’s remorse? Sticking with these stores will give you the best shot at getting your money back.
Athleta is under the same company as Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic, but it has by far the best return policy. Those stores will only take returns within 45 days of purchase, but Athleta doesn’t have any time limit on when you can bring the clothes back. Best of all, the store has a “give-it-a-workout guarantee.” Most stores only take back unworn merchandise, but Athleta encourages buyers to bring the item back if it isn’t comfortable during spin class. Learn eight more secrets for returning anything.
IKEA has some serious fans, but if you aren’t in love with a certain product, the store will give you a full refund within 365 days of your purchase; the only exception is that mattresses can only be exchanged, not returned. No worries if you threw the receipt out with the box. If you paid with a card or have the order number, the store can look up your transaction to figure out how much money it owes you. Even if none of those work out, you can still give the product back and get refunded the lowest price that the item has been in the last 365 days.
Bath & Body Works
Bath & Body Works has a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, so it doesn’t set a limit on when you can return an item. As long as you have the receipt, you’re good to go. If you misplaced the receipt, you’ll still get reimbursed the cheapest price that the item has been, but that price factors in promotions, coupons, and freebies that customers could have used. That said, for a store that has as many sales as Bath & Body Works, its price adjustment policy is a nice perk. If the price goes down within 14 days, you can request money back to match the cheaper amount, even on online purchases. Don’t miss these other 17 habits of people who are great at saving money.
Bed Bath & Beyond
There’s no limit on how long you can wait to return a Bed Bath & Beyond purchase. Even without a receipt, the store will try to track down your transaction using a credit card, registry, order number, and more. If worse comes to worst and you can’t find any proof of purchase, the Bed Bath & Beyond will offer store credit valued at the product’s current price, minus 20 percent (those coupons are popular, after all). There are exceptions for products such as personalized items, baby gear (which needs to be unused), and hoverboards, but most products fall under the generous return policy. Check out these other 10 clever ways to save money at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Forget that 30-day window you’d normally have to get back to the store. Land’s End lets you return anytime, with no time limit. Returns nine months or more after the purchase will come in the form of a refund check instead of going straight back to your credit card. Even without a receipt, though, you’ll get a gift card in the amount of the cheapest price of the item. Better still, if you notice the price goes down within two weeks of when you bought the item, the store offers to refund the price difference. Check out these other 56 easy tips for saving money.
For any purchase except electronics, there’s no time limit on when you can bring back unworn and unused Kohl’s items. Electronics do have a 30-day return policy, but the store extends that during the holidays, allowing premium electronics bought between November 1 and December 25 to be returned through January. Even if you don’t have a receipt, the store can use your credit card to look up the transaction and find out how much you paid. If you used cash, you’ll get the value of its lowest cost within the past 13 weeks. Here are 10 more money-saving tips you’ve never heard before.
Buying shoes online seems risky because you can’t try them on, but Zappos makes it easy as can be. The company is famous for free shipping and returns, but its 365-day return policy gives you a massive window to decide if those trendy shoes are really worth the money. Just make sure you don’t “test” them out of the house—the products need to be unworn and in the original packaging. If you’re happy with your shoes, use these 11 tricks for making shoes last longer.
Finally dug into that massive box of ready-to-heat appetizers you’ve had in the freezer for six months, only to realize they’re not really your taste? No worries—there’s no limit on when you can return items that you aren’t satisfied with. (Check out these other five hidden perks of a Costco membership.) You can even get a full refund on your membership at any point if you decide you aren’t satisfied with the service. There are some exceptions to the return policy. You can’t bring back cigarettes and alcohol, and large appliances and most electronics only have a 90-day window to return. Even with a generous return policy, avoid these six items you should never buy at Costco.
With the exception of furniture, which has to be returned within 30 days, there’s no limit on when you can get a refund for Anthroplogie products. You don’t need postage to send online orders back in the mail, but the store will take out $5.95 from your refund to cover shipping costs. To avoid the fee, you can always bring the return to a store instead.
If those shoes you tried on with those thin liner socks are too snug when you try them again at home, you have a full 365 days to return Journey’s merchandise, including items from its Kidz and Shi branches. You can even send in-store purchases back through the mail. Mail-in exchanges are free, but the company will take $7.95 from your refund to cover shipping for returns.
While the 60-day return policy doesn’t sound too exciting at first glance, its generosity in what it takes back makes the CVS return policy a standout. Even if a beauty product or CVS/pharmacy Brand item is opened, you can still bring it back for a full refund. So if that bold lipstick just isn’t as flattering as you’d hoped, you can feel confident trying out a drugstore brand beauty product risk-free. (Not that you’ll want to return these 20 drugstore beauty products dermatologists swear by.)
The 100 percent satisfaction guarantee at REI means you can return any item within a year of purchase (or 90 days for outdoor electronics). That generous return policy extends even further if the product has a manufacturing defect—if that’s the case, you can return it at any time, though the policy doesn’t cover normal wear and tear or damage that was the fault of the user. REI also has a 14-day price-match guarantee, so stay on the lookout for sales even after you buy.
Nordstrom doesn’t have a time limit on when you can return or exchange a product, but it does “handle returns on a case-by-case basis with the ultimate objective of making our customers happy,” according to its website. As long as the product is unworn or unused, you have a good chance of getting your money back. Just don’t expect to trick the store when returning that gown you never plan to wear after one black-tie event. Nordstrom adds tags to special-occasion and designer items and likely won’t take the product back if those tags are removed. (Here are 11 more money rules to memorize by the time you’re 40.)
As long as the product is still in “saleable condition” (e.g. don’t wear those suede boots in the rain and expect your money back), you can get a full refund within a year of your purchase at Bloomingdale’s. You can even return unused gift cards if you have a receipt. There are exceptions to the policy, though. For instance, you only get three days after furniture delivery to contact Bloomingdale’s about a return, and rugs need to be returned within 30 days.
[Sources: CBS News, Today, BuzzFeed, RetailMeNot]