Here’s every holiday return policy from Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and more

High angle view of young woman making credit card payment while doing online shopping on laptop.

Oscar Wong/Getty Images

There are always two parts to the holiday shopping season: the buying and gifting phase and the receiving and returning phase. If truth be told, no matter how much you think you know that special someone, or yourself, not every holiday gift is a guaranteed smash hit.

Perhaps you should’ve ordered that pair of fuzzy winter boots a size larger, or the “new” laptop can’t seem to hold a charge; the odds are always stacked against you.

If you think about it, the end of the year is when most retailers and brands embrace the holiday cheer to clean out any leftover products in their warehouses, so defects and irregularities are not surprising. So you might need to return a product that didn’t arrive as described. In fact, knowing how flexible a retailer’s return policy could be helpful in deciding to buy from one source over another.

Below I’ve broken down the fine print of every major retailer and brand so you know exactly how much longer you have before that return window is closed for good.

Holiday return policies for major retailers

Here’s a snapshot of every major retailer and how their return policies compare:

Retailer Return window Return shipping In-store returns Unqualifieditems
Amazon Until Jan. 31, 2023 Free, via UPS Yes, via Whole Foods, UPS, or Kohl’s Products from third-party sellers, downloadable content, gift cards
Walmart Until Jan. 31, 2023 Free, via FedEx Yes, via Walmart Products from third-party sellers, downloadable content, gift cards
Target Until Jan. 24, 2023 Free, via UPS Yes, via Target Products from third-party sellers, downloadable content, gift cards
Best Buy Until Jan. 14, 2023, or after 60 days for Totaltech members Free, via UPS, USPS, and FedEx Yes, via Best Buy Activatable devices, downloadable content, gift cards
Costco Within 90 days after purchase No Yes, via Costco Activatable devices, downloadable content, gift cards
B&H Until Feb. 1, 2023 Paid, via your shipping preference Yes, via B&H Products from third-party sellers, downloadable content, gift cards
Newegg Until Jan. 31, 2023 Free, via UPS and FedEx No Products from third-party sellers, downloadable content, gift cards

Holiday return policies for brands

And here’s a snapshot of every major brand and how their return policies compare:

Retailer Return window Return shipping In-store returns Unqualified items
Apple Until Jan. 8, 2023 Free, via UPS and FedEx Yes, via Apple store Downloadable digital content, gift cards
Samsung Within 30 days after delivery Free, via FedEx Yes, via Samsung store None
Google Until Jan. 15, 2023 Free, via FedEx Yes, via Google store Downloadable digital content, SIM cards, gift cards
Microsoft Within 30 days after delivery Free, via UPS Yes, via Microsoft store Downloadable digital content, gift cards
LG Within 30 days after delivery Free, via FedEx No None
HP Until Jan. 15, 2023 Free, via UPS and FedEx No Downloadable digital content, gift cards, large format printers, “Final Sale” items
Lenovo Until Jan. 15, 2023 Free, via UPS No Lenovo Outlet orders, server/storage products

FAQs

What is Amazon’s return policy?

While most of the items purchased from Amazon between Oct. 11 and Dec. 25, 2022 are eligible for a return until Jan. 31, 2023, the policy does not apply to every item on the platform. When shopping, you should pay close attention to whether you’re choosing products that are sold and shipped directly from Amazon, which qualify for the retailer’s extended return policy, and ones that are distributed by third-party sellers, which don’t qualify.

As always, downloadable and consumable digital products such as gift cards are not eligible for returns, period.

What happens if my item arrived damaged?

In the case that an item arrived damaged, either due to shipping or manufacturer defect, you’ll want to reach out to the retailer or brand’s customer service line for further instruction. In most cases, the return or replacement process will be the same as usual. However, there is a possibility that you may have to file an investigation claim with your local carrier if the damage is suspected to have occurred during shipping.

What if I don’t have my receipt?

Most stores will require you to have either a physical or digital receipt should you want to return a product. If you ordered from an e-commerce platform like Amazon, Walmart, or Newegg, the receipt should be available to you on your Orders page.

That said, retailers like Costco, Macy’s, and Target do accept receipt-less returns. In some cases, you’ll have to settle for store credit instead of getting actual cash back.

For physical purchases, it’s always good practice to take a picture of the receipt in case the item is not as described or you change your mind.

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