2016 Holiday Store Return Policies: Walmart, Best Buy, Target & More

Christmas is here, and odds are you got at least one gift that left you feeling less than merry and gave a few too.

Not to worry, that can be fixed.

You see, many stores have extended holiday return policies, so you can exchange, or get your money back, on most items purchased within the last month or two.

To make sure you give, and get, gifts that can be brought back if needed, here is a list of 2016 holiday store return policies.

Best Buy

Purchases made between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 have an extended return period that lasts through Jan. 15. However, there are exclusions, particularly, cell phones, devices with a carrier contract, and AppleCare and Geek Squad Protection plans returned without a product.

Also, final sale items cannot be returned, which includes prepaid cards, digital content, and opened items, such as batteries, ink, and 3-D printer filament.

You can return in-store, even for purchases made online; just bring photo ID, the receipt,and credit card if you used one. Returns can also be made my mail, but you’ll have to pay for postage.


Target accepts returns on most items (that are unopened and in new condition) within 90 days for a refund or exchange. For music, movies, videos, and software, items can’t be returned, but can be exchanged in-store for an identical title on the same or different platform.

Electronics and entertainment items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25 have a 30-day return period, which starts on Dec. 26.


Amazon, which is known for their great service, has one of the best extended holiday return policies. All items purchased and shipped between November 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015, can be returned until January 31, 2017, for a full refund.

This policy applies to 3rd party sellers on Amazon as well, unless otherwise stated in the seller’s individual Return Policy

In addition, Amazon has specific return guidelines depending on the type of purchase you make and which category the product falls under.

For instance, gift cards can’t be returned, except as required by law and groceries and wine can’t be returned, but may be refunded.

To be safe, check their full return policy


Walmart allows returns on most items within 90 days; you can also return purchases made online at Walmart.com to any Walmart store.

Some items are excluded or restricted in regards to returns, including guns, go-carts, dirt bikes, UTVs and ATVs; Opened and used airbeds may be returned with a receipt within 15 days of purchase to be exchanged for the same airbed, or receive credit towards one of equal or greater value.

Defective airbeds can be exchanged for an airbed of equal of greater value within 90 days of purchase.

They also have a NO Receipt policy, which applies to items returned in-stores only. You have the option of cash (for purchases under $25), a Gift Card for the amount of the purchase (for purchases over $25) or an even exchange for the product. To return or exchange items without a receipt, you need a valid photo ID.

No-receipt returns are limited to a maximum of 3 in a 45-day period.


Macy’s return policy is as follows:

If you have the original receipt you can return an item at ANY TIME for a full refund in the original form of payment- doesn’t matter how long ago you purchased it.

If you don’t have the receipt they can try and find your purchase info by accessing your account, gift registry, or by using a customer return label. If they find it, you’ll get a refund to the original account or a store credit.

If they can’t find proof of purchase, you get store credit for the item’s lowest selling price within the last 180 days.

If you order from Macys.com and your items arrive damaged due to delivery, you can take them to any Macy’s location and they’ll refund the purchase price and any shipping costs you incurred.

There are exceptions and limits for certain departments, such as mattresses and furniture; see their full policy here

Toys ‘R’Us

Both Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us offer returns on items within 90 days with proper ID and a receipt as long as the item is like new with all parts and paperwork.

There are exceptions, which are as follows:

-Cameras, camcorders, digital audio players, video game hardware, DVD players and no-contract cell phones can be returned within 30 days.

-Computer hardware, such as eReaders, netbooks and tablets can be returned within 15 days.


Staples customers can return their purchases for any reason; the return period for electronics and furniture has been extended for the holidays.

Electronic and furniture purchased between Nov. 22 and Dec. 24 can be returned until January 16.

There are exceptions, as follows: gift cards, phone cards, and downloadable software cannot be returned or refunded and opened software packages can only be exchanged for the exact same title.


Select items purchased at Sears between Nov. 8 and Dec. 24 will carry extended return periods and may be returned through January 24.

Do you have a lot of gifts to return or exchange this holiday season?

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Consumer Expert Tracy Ortiz

I am a mom to 2 little boys: a 10 year- old and an 8 year-old and they are the only things I love more than writing. I am an avid reader, a big sports fan and love a good deal. Most of all, I love keeping up on the latest consumer news and sharing my findings with all of you. When I'm not writing I'm painting- check out my latest in my shop: etsy.com/shop/paintmeapicstudios