CVS Return Policy


As a frequent CVS shopper, I’ve reviewed the CVS return policy about a dozen times; however, I had yet to see how it works in IRL (in real life). While all of my experiences in a CVS store and online at have been positive, I was curious how it would go when it came time to return merchandise.

While on one night, I bought what I initially thought was a clever idea; a magnetic microwave splatter guard that sticks to the inside of your microwave so you don’t have to keep taking it out. Then I thought about it; magnets and microwaves together are a very bad idea! It arrived within a couple of days. But, no way. Time to take it back.


1. Pay attention when returning a item in-store, because cashiers can fail to refund your shipping.

Although refunds shipping costs, pay attention when you return items in store, because cashiers can “forget” to refund your shipping. This situation happened to me with my questionably safe magnetic microwave splatter guard. Here’s what I paid: $14.99 for the splatter guard, plus $5.49 shipping and $1.23 tax, for a total of $21.71.

When I took my return into my local CVS, the clerk immediately refunded $15.89 to my debit card. After thinking that didn’t add up, I called customer service (888) 607-4287, and “Daysmarie” refunded the difference to my card. She also said it would take three to five business days to see the money in my account. She explained that CVS reimburses shipping and that the cashier must have forgotten to include it. His forgetfulness could have cost me $5.82!


2. Sign up for email receipts, so a CVS return without a receipt doesn’t cost you.

Looking to return something you bought from CVS and don’t have the receipt? Unless you received an electronic receipt from an online purchase, best-case scenario, you’re looking at getting a refund based on the lowest price of that item during the last 60 days. Worst case, you’ll be denied a refund altogether.


3. No need to return your item if it’s under $10.

If you buy something for under $10 online at and want to return it, call, and a rep will start a refund for you. No need to send the item back.


4. Return your item via mail for free if you don’t have a local CVS pharmacy.

Do you live in an area that doesn’t have a local CVS, or it’s too far to drive to for a return? No worries, CVS will gladly help you process a return by mail. All you have to do is call at (888) 607-4287. You will receive a pre-paid (doesn’t cost you) return label in the mail that you place on your package and drop off at your nearest post office or ask if your carrier can take it for you. Since you have to wait for CVS to receive your item, expect the return process to take a few weeks.


5. Pay with CVS gift cards and a debit or credit card; get your return as a gift card.

Any time you pay for an item using both a CVS gift card and a debit or credit card and need to return the item, expect to get your refund via a store gift card.

I bought my microwave thing with a gift card, but my cashier really wasn’t paying attention when processing my return. He refunded the purchase amount to my debit card (without the shipping, of course).

During my chat with “Daysmarie” at CVS, she told me my cashier also made this mistake. But that turned out to be in my favor.


6. Return CVS brand and beauty items, including makeup, for whatever reason, even if it’s open.

While CVS doesn’t offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of the items they carry in-store and online (like my splatter guard), they allow returns on all of the CVS brand and beauty items, even if opened. The catch? You better have proof you bought it at CVS because they keep an eye on you.


7. Prepare to show your license at CVS pharmacy when you return something, like opened makeup, in-store.

Receipt or no receipt, be prepared to show your license when you make a return in-store. This is especially true for opened items, like makeup. Why? To make sure you aren’t abusing store returns.

Yep, CVS enters your info into their database and shares it with a company called The Retail Equation. If your refund is ever denied you can get a transaction ID # from CVS and request a report via email or mail of your returns activity by calling (855) 837-3424.


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