We're reader-supported and only partner with brands we trust. When you buy through links on our site we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date and time indicated and are subject to change.

A growing number of stores are charging customers for processing their online returns — a development that might have you thinking twice before clicking that “buy” button.

Popular apparel retailers J.Crew, Zara, and H&M have seen massive increases in the number of online returns over the last few years since the pandemic, and they say the cost of transporting, sorting, and restocking these items is getting out of hand. According to the CBRE Group, it costs retailers 66% of a product’s price to process a return. That means if you return a $50 product, it’ll cost a company $33 to take it back. And as labor shortages and higher shipping costs are putting a dent in companies’ budgets, free online returns are no longer something lots of companies are willing to do.

Don’t panic — not everybody’s charging for returns. But we’ll tell you who has added these fees recently and which retailers are preparing to do it soon. Here’s who’s gonna charge you for changing your mind:


Stores That Deduct Online Return Fees From Your Refund

A person's hand taking a JCPenney package out of a mailbox.

While you won’t have to pay any extra out of pocket, these stores will reduce the amount of your total refund by subtracting a return or restocking fee. Here are the stores that are deducting from your refund total:

  • Abercrombie: $7, deducted from refund
  • American Eagle Outfitters: $5 deducted from refund
  • Boohoo: $5, deducted from refund
  • Crate and Barrel: $5 (more non-furniture items) deducted from refund
  • Dillard’s: $9, deducted from refund
  • DSW: $8.50, deducted from refund (free for Gold and Elite Rewards members)
  • Eddie Bauer: $7, deducted from refund
  • Foot Locker, $6.99, deducted from refund
  • J.Crew: $7.50, deducted from refund
  • JCPenney: $8, deducted from refund
  • Journey’s: $7.95, deducted from refund
  • Lands’ End: $6.95, deducted from refund
  • L.L. Bean: $6.50, deducted from refund (free if purchase bought with L.L. Bean MasterCard)
  • Neiman Marcus: $9.95 deducted from refund (free if you return within 15 days and it’s not clearance)
  • Next: $7, deducted from refund
  • PacSun: $7, deducted from refund
  • REI Co-op: $5.99, deducted from refund
  • Saks Fifth Avenue: $9.95, deducted from refund
  • Shoe Carnival: $6, deducted from refund
  • T.J.Maxx: $10.99, deducted from refund
  • Uniqlo: $7, deducted from refund
  • Urban Outfitters: $5, deducted from refund
  • Woman Within: $8.99, deducted from refund
  • Zara: $3.95, deducted from refund


Stores Charging for Online Return Shipping

A person holding up a wayfair box in front of a front door

Thanks to free Amazon returns being the gold standard for online shopping, plenty of other retailers tried to follow their example by offering free shipping for purchases and returns. Companies say they’re spending too much money shipping returns, so these stores are charging for online returns. Here’s who will make you pay extra to ship back unwanted products:

  • Amazon: For packages over 50 pounds or products sold by third-party sellers, you may be required to pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • Belk: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • Cents of Style: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • Crate and Barrel: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • Fabletics: $9, deducted from refund for shoppers in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico
  • Famous Footwear: $7.95, deducted from refund
  • Foot Locker: $6.99, deducted from refund
  • Forever 21: $5.99 via FedEx, or you pay shipping costs via another carrier
  • GameStop: $8.99, deducted from your refund
  • Gilt: $9.99, deducted from your refund
  • Hobby Lobby: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • HomeGoods: $14.99, deducted from your refund
  • I Love Dooney: $9.50, deducted from your refund
  • JoAnn: $7.95, deducted from refund
  • Kohl’s: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • Loft: $7.95, deducted from your refund
  • Nordstrom Rack: $9.95, deducted from your refund
  • Patagonia: $5, deducted from your refund
  • Petco: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • PetSmart: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • Rue La La: $9.99, deducted from your refund
  • Rue21: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • SheIn: First package return from an order free; after that, $7.99, deducted from refund
  • Sierra Trading Post: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • Sur La Table: $12.95 ($26.95 for shoppers in Alaska and Hawaii), deducted from refund
  • The Children’s Place: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • Ulta: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • UntilGone.com: Pay for shipping costs (depending on reason for return)
  • Wayfair: Pay for shipping costs (depending on reworld marketason for return)
  • West Elm: Pay for shipping costs (depending on reason for return)
  • World Market: $6.50, deducted from refund
  • Yankee Candle: Pay for shipping costs (varies by location and item)
  • Zulily: $4.95, deducted from refund

TIP: If you want free returns, we have nine of our favorite stores offering free return shipping.



Expect more stores to add return fees in the coming months.

A person walking outside an H & M store holding a H & M bag

The pandemic saw online shopping at an all-time high, with a 43% increase in 2020 compared to 2019. Of course, more online purchases meant more returns. Reboxing, restocking, and reselling have eaten into retailer profits — about 4% by industry estimates.

And in 2022 people are still returning at a high rate, jumping to 16.6% retail returns versus 10.6% in 2021, leading more stores to use charges to combat returns.

Expect more stores charging for returns; H&M is on the verge, as they’re already testing £1.99 ($2.26) for returns in Europe (although, as you’ll see in the next tip, they offer free returns for their rewards members).

TIP: If you want to avoid costly returns, check out our list of return policies that’ll save you money.


Avoid fees by making returns to stores or by joining rewards programs.

A Lowes return receipt and a thankful sign held in front of Lowes

Stores charging for online returns will probably discourage lots of people from even going through with the returns process, but there are a couple ways to avoid the charges:

Take your purchase back to the store.

This is probably the easiest way to avoid return fees. Although most stores have time limits on returns, the vast majority don’t charge for bringing your online purchases back to a physical location.

Join a rewards program that offers free returns.

Some retailers incentivize you to sign up for their loyalty programs (both free and paid) by offering free returns among other perks. Here are some of them:

Check out our list of some of the best rewards programs to see what they offer.



J.Crew, Zara, H&M & Others Have Started Charging for Returns