Bath & Body Works Return Policy


Bath & Body Works return policy is "Return anything, anytime for any reason. 100% Guaranteed." It's rare to see a store return policy that broad and overarching. And while it's obviously great for shoppers, it also creates an opportunity for cringeworthy returns of significantly used items. I've watched it play out on a few occasions and I feel for the store associates, having to keep a straight face as a shopper unveils a heap of nearly empty used candles.

Perhaps, it's the associates the store is looking out for in a new unconfirmed policy update, said to be rolling out September 14, 2022. The main changes include:

  • Returns will be limited to merchandise that is in "new, gently used or in a defective condition"

  • An exchange will only be permitted for the same product type with the same ticket price as the product being exchanged

  • Price adjustments exclude select promotions lasting 48 hours or less, for example, Candle Day

Bath & Body Works candle returns

A person holding a 3-wick candle that has been lit before next to a Bath & Body Works bag and an unused 3-wick candle.

The Bath & Body Works question everybody asks me most is whether you can return candles to Bath & Body Works. And I get it. No matter how much time I spend sniffing in stores, sometimes I end up with buyer's remorse after lighting my candle at home. I have successfully (and easily) returned used candles at B&BW after determining I didn't like the smell.

And even with the new policy update to be released in September 2022, I'd still be able to make these candle returns—100% customer satisfaction is still guaranteed. The distinction made in this new policy differentiates (for the first time) distinctly different policies for gently used and heavily used returns.

Can you return empty candles to Bath & Body Works?

You cannot return empty candles to Bath & Body Works. While it's true that previous to the latest update, you could have, in a recent update, this portion of the policy has been clarified for store associates. (Customers who have issues that are related to poor performance or unsatisfactory customer experience can make returns. If the product performs as expected, no returns of heavily used items will be issued.)

No more empty candle returns, whatsoever. Shoppers, for those of you that needed this clarification, the universe is giving you 'the look' and reminding you to keep it classy.

Can you exchange candles for another scent?

The great news is you can still return candles, even gently used ones for another scent. One new addition to the Bath & Body Works return policy is that your exchanges must be for the same item at the same price point, perfect for those looking to swap for a new scent. But other than that, this awesome policy remains largely unchanged.

Can you return used items to Bath & Body Works?

A woman squeezing lotion from a bottle

Bath & Body Works' policy covers returns on "new, gently used or defective" merchandise. So, for returns of used items with receipt, within 90 days, you can get all of your money back, even if the item is gently used. If the lotion irritated your skin or the smell gave you a headache, don't be afraid to take it back. That's fully allowed within the policy. (And unlike those empty candle returns, the store associates aren't gonna look at you strangely with your return.)

Can you return empty bottles to Bath & Body Works?

You cannot return empty bottles to Bath & Body Works. If the product has been significantly used or has been intentionally defaced it is not eligible for return.

Can you exchange bottles for another scent?

Yes, you can exchange Bath & Body Works items for another scent, even if you received it as a gift. You can even exchange items included in the Black Friday limited-edition tote for different scents in the store! Or if you see a sale on only Japanese Cherry Blossom and you're not a fan of that fragrance, you could buy it up anyway, knowing you can exchange it for another scent at any time.

You've got 90 days to make a return for a full refund.

Bath & Body Works employee behind checkout counter with products

If you want your money back in the form of your original payment, make your Bath & Body Works returns within 90 days. Bath & Body Works rewards members can look up your purchases using your phone number in stores. And online orders can be easily looked up in your account or email. Because Bath & Body Works does not give free shipping on returns, I recommend making your returns in-store.

Can you return Bath & Body Works without receipt?

Hand holding Bath & Body Works receipt in store with checkout counter in the background

You can always make a return at Bath & Body Works without a receipt. It's one of the many reasons Bath & Body Works make great gifts. Whether you're the one who made the purchase or not, you can always do returns, even with no receipt.

You cannot get cash back without a receipt. You can only do what's called an "even exchange," handing back your item and grabbing a new one of equal value. Practically speaking, returns without a receipt are best for exchanging one scent for another.

Bath & Body Works price adjustments exclude sales lasting 48 hours or less.

A woman holding a Bath & Body Works bag filled with candles next to a display of 3-wick candles on sale for $10.25 each for Candle Day.

Bath & Body Works offers a 14-day price adjustment window. This means if you buy something at one price and return it to the store with your receipt when the item is cheaper, you can ask for the store to refund you the difference. (If you paid with coupons, you will not be able to reapply the coupon to the new sale price.)

Through September 14, 2022, you can request a price adjustment for any sale or promotion as long as it was a 24 hour sale. (And given Candle Day's extension to three days, Black Friday's early Monday start, and the Semi-Annual Sale's long-standing multi-week timeline, you can basically shop all of the big Bath & Body Works sales early, then return with your receipt during the sale period to get a partial refund.)

The new return policy will exclude price adjustments for promotions lasting 48 hours or less. Depending on how Candle Day 2022 goes, this might mean our workaround for shopping early is no longer viable. Keep the official policy handy should you run into any questions in the store.

And Bath & Body Works Sales frequently run for less than 48 hours.

Person looking at Bath & Body Works display

We track Bath & Body Works sales schedules and the move toward one-day sales is major. The new changes to the price adjustment portion of Bath & Body Works' return policy are going to make price adjustments much less likely to save you money. It's actually the only part of the new policy I'm bummed about.

The updates to the Bath & Body Works return policy go into effect on Sept 14, 2022

But, I doubt the policy changes are going to impact most of our shopping behavior much anyway. So for now, make sure not to miss the current Bath & Body Works coupons and deals from KCL.

And text "BBW" to +1 (208) 266-4466 to get on our Bath & Body Works sale alerts text list.