Sam's Club Return Policy


Up until recently, I haven't needed to know anything about the Sam's Club return policy. Over the last few months, I've contemplated joining Sam's Club and figured I'd better learn the ropes before going all-in on a membership. As a part of the process, I did some recon to find out how their return policy works.

Spoiler alert: The Sam's Club return policy is pretty great. Before we get into it, make sure you download the KCL app for even more deals, coupons, and money-saving tips.

1. You have literally forever to make returns at Sam's Club.

A Sam's Club employee wearing a face covering putting items inside a shopping cart for an order pick up

It sounds too good to be true — but I'm not lying! The Sam's Club return policy has zero time constraints for most items. There are a few exceptions, though.

And just like the Costco return policy allows, you can actually return your Sam's Club membership if you're not happy with it for any reason. According to their 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can cancel your Sam's Club membership at any time and get a full refund of the amount you paid for your current year's fee. So on day 364 of your membership, you could technically get a refund for the entire year.

2. The Sam's Club return policy for electronics gives you 90 days.

Apple iPads on display at Sam's Club

This same time frame applies to any appliances you buy at Sam's Club, too.

3. You have 30 days to return certain items like heavy equipment.

Box for BMW Electric ride on toy for kids at Sam's Club

Motorsports items and commercial heavy equipment must be returned within 30 days, per the Sam's Club return policy.

4. You only have 14 days to return cell phones at Sam's Club.

Person holding a cell phone with a number entered, with laptop in the background

This is true for prepaid, postpaid, and no-contract cell phones.

5. You cannot return some items at all.

Hand holding a ticket for gift cards in front of gift card display at Sam's Club

Once you purchase one of these items at Sam's Club, there's no going back:

  • Gift cards.

  • Prepaid cards.

  • Tickets.

  • Custom-made items like personalized gifts and photos.

  • Anything you may have bought through the Sam's Club Wholesale Trading Program.

  • Prescriptions.

6. The return policies for alcohol and other items may vary from store to store.

Wine section at Sam's Club

Call your local Sam's Club to learn more about their return policy timelines for:

  • Alcohol.

  • Tobacco products.

  • Eyeglasses.

  • Hearing aids.

  • Tires.

  • Car batteries.

7. You can return mattresses and jewelry at any time — with some asterisks.

Sam's Club storefront

Mattresses and jewelry fall under the general Sam's Club return policy with no time constraints. However, there are some common-sense exceptions. For example, if you've been sleeping on a mattress for two years and it shows, the store manager will probably reject your return.

Jewelry is returnable, but Sam's Club managers will likely reject your return if it shows signs of wear. If you had any engraving work done, the piece is considered custom and can't get returned.

8. You can return opened items to Sam's Club.

A man in the diaper aisle at Sam's Club putting a box of Pampers diapers into his shopping cart.

Just make sure to hold onto all the packaging. If the item appears to be used, your return might get rejected. That's up to the discretion of each store manager, though.

But opened items can be returned as long as you held onto all the parts, instruction manuals, and the box your item came in.

9. The Sam's Club return policy allows returns without a receipt.

Someone using their iphone with ibotta to save and get cash back with paper receipts

It's still a really good idea to hold onto your receipt. In fact, Sam's Club prefers that you do.

But if you lose yours, they will try to work with you. If you're a Sam's Club member, they should be able to look up your purchase in their system as long as you made it within the past two years.

10. You can return online Sam's Club orders in-store.

Sam's Club store front

There are very few exceptions to this rule. Things like golf carts and vending machines, for example, can't be returned in-store.

But most items can be. If your item is an exclusion, it will be noted on your packing slip.

11. If you're not a Sam's Club member, your refund will be in cash.

Hand holding Sam's savings card and Friends of UNCG card

For Sam's Club members, your refund goes back to your original form of payment. But non-members can only get cash.

12. Bring your order number and ID for in-store returns.

Someone holding up a paper receipt from an online order from Sam's Club

Don't worry about printing out a receipt or other order information if you bought something online and need to return it in-store. All you need is your driver's license and order number, which your local Sam's Club customer service rep can look up with your phone number.

13. Expect to spend some time in the Sam's Club return line.

Customers standing in line, waiting to be helped at Sam's Club Customer service and returns counter.

The downside to returning an item at Sam's Warehouse: It's gonna take some time. On one of my recent return trips, it took almost an hour for me to get to the front of the line even though there were only four people ahead of me.

14. Return shipping is free for online Sam's Club orders.

Package delivery box on front porch

If you need to make a return on a order, you will be provided with a free return shipping label.

Your original shipping fees will not be returned unless they got your order wrong or it was damaged in shipping.

15. You can't return bulk orders from Sam's Club.

Sam's Club Website

The only exception to this rule is if your order had a manufacturer defect or was damaged in shipping. If that's the case, you only have 72 hours from the time of delivery to file for your return. You initiate the process by contacting Sam's Club with photo evidence of the damage or defect.

Bulk orders are:

  • Single orders of 10+ like items.

  • Multiple orders that contain 10+ like items made within a 24-hour period.

  • Orders with 2+ like items that total over $10,000.

  • Making 500+ orders of any items within 12 months.

16. If you aren't a Sam's Club member, bring one with you.

A person holding a Sam's Club membership card in front of the Member Services desk inside Sam's Club.

You aren't allowed inside Sam's Club without being accompanied by a member. So if you received a gift from a Sam's Club member and want to return it, you'll have to bring them with you.

17. No, you can't return a Sam's Club item to Walmart.

Walmart Storefront

Wondering if you can return an item you bought at Sam's Club to a Walmart store? The answer is NO! While they are sister stores, returns are handled by each separately. The Walmart return policy is different from the Sam's Club return policy.

Despite that minor inconvenience, the Sam's Club return policy is pretty great. It gives you unlimited time to make returns, and returning online orders isn't overly painful. What are your experiences returning items at Sam's Club? Leave your story in the comments!