Marcus Lawrence | 

Stores That Let You Keep Returns — And Still Give You a Refund

The Krazy Coupon Lady is an ad-supported service. Many offers on our site contain affiliate links, and we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using them. Some posts are sponsored by the maker of the product, and we receive a fee for the post. Learn More.

Since more people are shopping online than ever before, the number of online returns is bigger than ever, too. In some cases, though, retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon are using artificial intelligence to determine whether it makes more sense to just let customers keep their online returns along with a refund.

So how do you get a refund, but still keep the item? Here's what you need to know.

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299. Or download the Krazy Coupon Lady app. Also, check out return policies on popular stores, plus our favorite return policy hacks and workarounds.

If Walmart can't resell a returned item, they probably won't want it back.

Import from Rich Text Editor for tipPost [Stores That Let You Keep Returns — And Still Gi...] - 1

Back in 2021, a Walmart spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal they were using AI software to consider returns on a case-by-case basis. (Amazon does this with AI technology, too.)

They take into account several factors before offering a "keep it" option, including your purchase history, the value of the item, and the likelihood Walmart would resell it.

You'll find this with some in-store returns, too. If you picked up some produce that went gross well before its best-buy date and 'return' it under the Fresh Guarantee, Walmart isn't gonna take the slimy produce back. They're just gonna issue you a refund. The same thing goes for:

  • Bakery


  • Floral returns

  • Meat returns

  • Deli returns

  • Dairy returns

  • Frozen department returns

You might also see this refund-without-actually-returning-the-item policy on consumable household goods and beauty products, like opened shampoo or makeup.

Amazon will calculate the cost and benefit analysis of making you return the item.


Make sure you're up to speed on Amazon's return policy. Partnerships with Kohl's, UPS, and Whole Foods, plus conveniences like Amazon Lockers make it easy to make returns. If the item is cheap enough or small enough, there's a decent chance they'll just let you keep it after they run it through the algorithm.

Sometimes you will have to return the item, though. If it's an under-$60 item and you opt for UPS to pick up your order at your house, expect to run into a $7.99 return shipping fee. If you drop your return off at UPS – regardless of item value — when there's another option like Kohl's or Whole Foods in your neighborhood — you might get hit with a $1 return fee.

Most of the rest of the time, Amazon returns are free in the U.S. You can see why they might not always want you to return small items if they're covering the return shipping! It's cheaper to issue a refund and let you keep it.

TIP: The Amazon return policy only applies to orders fulfilled by Amazon. If it's fulfilled by a third-party seller, you'll have to research that seller's return policy to find out about refunds.

Target will let you keep returns, too.


Target also allows for refunds without actually returning the item in some cases, once again using AI to make that determination. It ranks as one of the top stores for "keep the item" refunds.

While it's not explicitly outlined in the Target return policy, you can expect to see a refund without return offered on smaller, low-value items – or on items that can't be resold like open food or used beauty products.

Related: How to Coupon at Target

Wayfair tells you to keep your return item when it's damaged.

Import from Rich Text Editor for tipPost [Stores That Let You Keep Returns — And Still Gi...] - 4

Wayfair ranks up there with the biggest "keep it" refund policies. Now, the Wayfair return policy is notoriously horrible. Unless Wayfair messed up the order with a damaged or defective item (and you catch it in time), the return shipping is going to be on you. In these instances, Wayfair is a bit less likely to offer you a refund without a return – because they're not the ones absorbing the cost of return shipping.

In instances where your order does arrive damaged or defective, though, you might find that Wayfair is a little more apt to let you keep the damaged item (to dispose of yourself) while issuing you a refund. Sometimes, they'll send you a new item without requiring a return of the old one, depending on the circumstance.

Related: Wayfair Savings Hacks

Chewy doesn't want your used pet supplies back.


The Chewy return policy is uber generous. It gives you a full year to make any-reason returns. The only big exception is prescription meds, but even those are eligible if you receive an incorrect or damaged item.

Chewy's business is entirely online, so return shipping can add up quickly. A lot of the time, they don't want your used pet supplies back. They also don't want to pay more in return shipping than the item's worth. So you'll see Chewy rank up there as one of the companies with the most refunds without requiring a return.

Related: Brilliant Ways to Save on Chewy Pet Supplies

Kohl's ranks as a top store for 'keep it' returns.

Import from Rich Text Editor for tipPost [Everything You Need to Know About Kohl's Credit...] - 5

Kohl's is lowkey about its refund-without-a-return policy. But when consumers are polled about which stores allowed them to make a "keep it" return, Kohl's is one of the top retailers cited. It makes sense – Kohl's is wildly lenient about accepting worn, used items for returns. I can't imagine they're reselling all that well-loved return inventory. It's probably cheaper for them to just have you dispose of the item on your own.

Related: Kohl's Return Policy

SheIn saves money by letting you keep their cheap products.


This one should be no surprise. SheIn sold you those clothes for rock-bottom prices – imagine how little it cost them to make them in the first place. The SheIn return policy also offers free return shipping if you strategize your return right, so when they get a return, they're shelling out more than the item is worth on shipping most of the time.

The frequency of "keep it" refunds without returning the physical item ranks up there with big retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Target.

Related: Is SheIn legit?

Don't try to scam the system. It won't work.

Import from Rich Text Editor for tipPost [Stores That Let You Keep Returns — And Still Gi...] - 8

The algorithm isn't just watching the cost/benefit analysis of each return. AI is also watching you and your return habits. If you take advantage of a possible freebie via fraudulent returns, you're most likely going to lose your account privileges. Plus, it's illegal (and generally not cool).

There are better ways to save at stores like Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Keep tabs by downloading the KCL app.

Get our best deals on the go

By entering my phone number, I want to receive promotional messages from The Krazy Coupon Lady. Message frequency varies. Text STOP to 57299 to end or text HELP for help. Msg & data rates may apply. View Terms & Privacy.