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All the Gift Return Policies You Need to Know Now That the Holidays Are Over

December 26, 2017, 6:01 PM UTC

Christmas is over, which means now it’s time to figure out what to do with those gifts that you don’t want.

Lucky for you, many of the biggest retailers have pretty generous return policies. Here’s a rundown of their rules.


If your gift is from Macy’s, you’re in luck. The retailer will allow a full refund on most items within 180 days of purchase. The item just needs to be in its “original” condition, and you’ll need proof of purchase, which can be a receipt or the credit card with which the item was purchased. Without proof of purchase, you’re still eligible for store credit—but the amount will be based on the current selling price of the item. Electronics are often an exception to the 180-day rule, so be sure to review Macy’s policy before waiting too long to return an item.


While Walmart’s standard return policy allows for full refunds within 90 days of purchase, a number of items typically fall under more stringent rules. Electronics have a 15-day return policy, while video games and bulky equipment like lawn mowers have a 30-day return policy. But fear not: The deadlines for these items are extended for holiday shoppers.

On products purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25, items that fall under the 15-day return policy can be returned until Jan. 10. And 30-day returns are also extended, to Jan. 25.

Best Buy

If you’re hoping to return an item purchased at Best Buy, be prepared to wrap your head around a fairly complicated return policy. Most items purchased between November and December can be returned up until Jan. 14. However, if you are an “elite” status member—meaning you spend at least $1,500 at Best Buy each year—you are eligible for returns until Jan. 29. And if you spend more than $3,500 per year, you can make those returns up until Feb. 13.

Unfortunately, not all the complications are positive. Some items incur a restocking fee—for cell phones, it’ll cost you $35. And on a range of other items, including built-in cooktops and refrigerators, DSLR cameras, and drones, a restocking fee of 15% will be applied.


Amazon has extended its standard 30-day return policy for the holiday season, allowing most items shipped between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 to be returned for a full refund up until Jan. 31. But be sure to read Amazon’s return policy carefully, as there are a number of exceptions.

Many third-party sellers have their own return policies, often revolving around who pays for shipping. (When the goods are bought directly from Amazon, the company doesn’t usually cover return shipping.) Perishable items, such as groceries and flowers cannot be returned, but may be refundable if they are expired or damaged. Gift cards and electronic downloads are not returnable, with the exception of e-books on Kindle, which can be returned within a week. And a range of computer items incur a restocking fee.


While Target‘s 90-day return policy applies for most of its items, electronics and entertainment products that typically fall under a 30-day policy will have a bit of extra time. The 30-day clock won’t start until Dec. 26 for items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25, meaning you’ll have until Jan. 25 to return those goods.


For those of you who purchased a new iPhone, Mac, or Apple Watch, you’re not so lucky. Apple has extended its return policy only slightly for items purchased over the holidays. For any product purchased and received between Nov. 15 and Dec. 25, returns will only be accepted through Jan. 8.