Best Buy Return Policy
Most major retailers have a primary return policy, then a separate, stricter return policy that only applies to electronics. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Best Buy has a stingy return policy on just about everything they sell.
If you need to return something to Best Buy, about 90% of the time it’s gonna be a simple and straightforward process. But the other 10% of the time, it’s complicated. And depending on whether or not you’re a member of their tech rewards program, the rules may be different for you. Let me break it all down for you.
Best Buy Return and Exchange Policy Overview
The Best Buy return policy gives you 15 days to return most items. For devices that you have to activate (like cell phones and smartwatches), you get 14 days to make a return. (And the clock starts ticking as soon as you receive your item, whether it’s in a store or in the mail.) Overall, 14 – 15 days is a pretty tight return window, and Best Buy’s major competitors tend to do a lot better:
- Walmart return policy allows 30 days to return electronics
- Target return policy allows 30 days to return electronics
- Amazon return policy allows 30 days to return electronics
- Apple return policy allows 14 days to return electronics
One thing to note: If you have a yearly membership to Best Buy’s Totaltech program ($199.99/year), your return window quadruples. With the Totaltech membership, you get a full 60 days to return most items. But you’ll still only get 14 days to return what they call “activatable” devices like cell phones and smartwatches.
What to Know About Best Buy Returns and Exchanges
Here’s exactly what to expect when you make a return or exchange at Best Buy, depending on the type of item and its condition.
For certain open-box items you return, they’ll charge you a Best Buy restocking fee of 15% of the total purchase price. Items that may have a 15% restocking fee include drones, DSLR cameras, electric bikes, premium camcorders, and special-order products. It can get expensive real fast when you’re talking about returning a $1,000 DSLR camera, which would have a restocking fee of $150.
For devices that you have to activate in order to use, Best Buy charges a $45 return fee instead of the 15% restocking fee.
You won’t have to pay any restocking fees if the product is unopened, if you’re a Best Buy Totaltech member at the time you make your purchase, or anytime if you live in certain states (including AL, CO, HI, IA, MS, OH, OK, or SC).
Open Box Return Policy
The Best Buy open box return policy is lenient. Best Buy allows open-box returns as long as the item being returned is in like-new condition. They allow you to return refurbished and pre-owned items, too, if they’re in like-new condition. But if it’s damaged, unsanitary, dented, scratched, or missing major contents, you’ll probably be denied the return.
Additionally, you must have all accessories and original packaging. If you do not, the store may either deny the return, or deduct a portion of your refund equal to the missing parts.
Returns With No Receipt
Best Buy’s return policy without a receipt is strict and requires ID. If you’re a member of the My Best Buy rewards program, the store can look up your order using your phone number, so you don’t need to bring in a receipt to return an item. Best Buy can also look up your purchase with your credit card if you visit the Customer Service desk.
If you have no way to show proof of purchase, you may be able to get store credit (minus the state sales tax) or do an exchange as long as the item is unopened and in new condition. You’ll have to show your ID and provide your email address, and all your returns will be tracked. They could choose to deny your return altogether if you don’t have proof of purchase.
Store Credit vs. Cash For Returns
Best Buy issues refunds in the same method you paid for the item. So if you paid with a Best Buy gift card, they’ll refund your money back to a Best Buy gift card.
If you paid with multiple payment forms like a debit or credit card with a gift card, you would receive whatever amount on each method.
Receive a gift from Best Buy that you don’t actually want? They’ll give you store credit for the purchase price if you return it in-store.
Electronics Return Policy at Best Buy
The Best Buy electronics return policy doesn’t vary much by item. There are very few exceptions to Best Buy’s standard return policy, but here are the details about the items most often returned.
How to Return a Laptop
Laptops and computers must be returned within 15 days. If they’ve been opened, they must be wiped clean of all personal data and in like new condition. There is no restocking fee for computers, not even for open-box items.
How to Return a TV
TV returns at Best Buy are treated like any other, but if you need to return a TV that’s larger than 50 inches, you’ll have to do that in-store rather than sending it back by mail (for obvious reasons).
If you’re not happy with your large TV (60 inches or bigger) and need to return it, Best Buy has a generous “Best Buy TV Promise” you can take advantage of. When you buy a TV that’s 60 inches or larger, they guarantee it will fit in your space. If it doesn’t, you can exchange it for any other model.
Best Buy makes this exchange process for large TVs incredibly easy. You can do the exchange in-store, or they’ll ship your replacement TV directly to you for free, even if you didn’t get your original TV delivered.
If you purchase their mounting service, Best Buy will unmount the original TV for no charge and mount your new one.
There are no additional delivery fees for returns or exchanges. Even if you live in an area that has extra fees, Best Buy will waive them for TVs larger than 60 inches.
How to Return a Cell Phone or Tablet
You have 14 days to return an activated cell phone or tablet to Best Buy, and you’ll be charged a $45 restocking fee when you do. However, Totaltech members do not have to pay the restocking fee.
Before you return your cell phone, make sure you remove all your data and any link to your cloud account or any other device. If you decide to return a phone or device with a carrier contract, you are responsible for canceling your service contract with the carrier, and for all carrier charges.
You can return your cell phone in-store or by mail. Just tell the store associate that you want to cancel your service. Carrier service cancellation policies may vary. And if you want to mail it back, just call Best Buy Mobile at 1-877-702-2211 for instructions on how to return the device by mail.
How to Return a Video Game
If your item is opened, you can only do an exchange for an identical item. This applies to opened physical copies of computer software, movies, music, video games, books, video game guides, and sheet music.
If your video game is unopened, simply return it within the regular return window (15 days) for a full refund and no restocking fees.
Appliance Return Policy at Best Buy
Best Buy’s appliance return policy only allows returns if the appliance is defective. To return an appliance to Best Buy, you still technically have 15 days, just like their standard return policy. But if you read the fine print, you can’t just change your mind and get a refund. The only acceptable reasons for return are defects and damage. Many of Best Buy’s competitors have similarly strict return policies for major appliances.
- Home Depot’s appliance return policy gives you 48 hours, and it’s only for defective appliances.
- Lowe’s’ appliance return policy gives you 48 hours
Wondering how exactly to return your appliance? First off, do not take your item back to the store. Begin your appliance return by calling 1-888-BEST BUY (1-888-237-8289).
Best Buy Holiday Return Policy
Best Buy’s holiday return policy offers an extended return window beginning in mid-October, giving you extra time to return any purchases you make from mid-October to January 2. The early window for holiday returns includes Best Buy’s Early Black Friday sales, as well as traditional Best Buy Black Friday shopping, in case you score a great deal but need to return it for some reason.
Last year, the holiday return window lasted from Oct. 18, 2021, to Jan. 2, 2022 — that’s 76 days! Purchases made between those dates could be returned any time until January 16, 2022. Expect to see a similar extended holiday return window for 2022 – 2023.
Exclusions to the holiday return policy include cell phones, tablets, hotspots, and smartwatches that have cellular activation and a third-party contract. Activated devices have a 14-day return policy no matter when you buy them.
Holiday items like artificial trees, lights, garlands, inflatables and decorations are also excluded from Best Buy’s extended holiday return policy. Instead, these holiday items can be returned within the normal 15 days for a full refund.
Things You Can’t Return to Best Buy
Final sale items can’t be returned. Final sale and nonreturnable items include:
- custom or personalized orders
- digital gaming subscriptions
- prepaid cards
- vehicle replacement key fobs
- home standby generators
- completed services
- plumbing items including bidets (gosh, yes.)
- sexual wellness products (ditto)
- health supplements and test kits
- opened SIM kits
- trading cards (including Pokémon)
- cleaning agents
- 3D printer filament
BestBuy.com Online Returns
To return something by mail, go into your BestBuy.com account and tap “Order Details” for the order you want to return, then “Return Options.” You can select the items from your order you want to return, and then print your pre-paid return mailing label. Or you can fill out this return label template.
Stick the label on your package and take it to your local UPS drop-off location.
What Is the Best Buy Return Policy After 15 Days?
What about Best Buy’s return policy after the 15 days are up? Good news: Your local Best Buy manager or customer service rep can make an exception.
Although Best Buy has strict return windows, if you try to return an item a day or so after, you can explain your circumstances to your local Best Buy store manager to see if they will make an exception in your case.
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