I’ve had to navigate Wayfair’s return policy more than once after purchases that didn’t pan out. I discovered Wayfair subjects its customers to a slew of rules that (a) border on ridiculous and (b) can leave folks paying hundreds of dollars simply to return their purchase.
Here’s what I wish I had known prior to making my purchase from Wayfair — and why I’ll proceed with caution before buying from the online retailer again.
1. The Wayfair return policy is strict.
Wayfair’s return policy is not overly generous, so you need to really think over your purchase before checkout.
Generally speaking, Wayfair’s return policy gives you 30 days from the delivery date to return your item. You will need to hold on to the original packaging for any returns.
However, Wayfair has many carve outs in its return policy. That means there are lots of items you cannot return. Ever.
2. Wayfair does allow returns on damaged furniture.
Typically, after you assemble your Wayfair furniture, you cannot return it.
But if you receive damaged furniture, you can still return it within the 30-day window, even if you only catch the damage while you’re assembling it. You can also reach out to Wayfair if you’re missing a piece of your furniture, like a table leg, to get a replacement part sent to you.
Bear in mind this return policy is only for items that arrived damaged – not items that were damaged from wear and tear in the first month of use.
To start this process:
- Log onto Wayfair.
- Click ‘My Orders.’
- Select ‘Return Item’ or ‘Replace Item or Parts.’
- Click on ‘Damaged or Defective.’
3. You can return Wayfair rugs. But only if they’re in original, like-new condition.
Rugs – like most other things on Wayfair – can be returned within 30 days of delivery. But you’re going to need to make sure the rug or any other Wayfair item is in original condition, and that you’re sending it back in its original packaging.
So if you lay your rug out in a high-traffic area of your house, then decide 29 days later you don’t like it after all, you’re probably going to have a hard time returning it. Especially if you wear shoes inside.
But if you take it out of the box, give it one look and decide the design doesn’t match your aesthetic, you should be able to repackage it and send it back without any trouble.
4. There are some Wayfair mattresses you can’t return – even with the 100 night guarantee.
Most Wayfair Mattresses come with a 100 night guarantee with a free return or exchange. You can use this guarantee once per order.
However, there are no returns on these mattress items:
- Mattress toppers.
- Crib mattresses.
- Air mattresses.
- Open box mattresses.
5. The Wayfair return policy does not cover open box items.
It’s not just open box mattresses that don’t qualify for Wayfair’s return policy. Any open box item cannot be returned.
6. Wayfair’s return policy doesn’t apply to clearance items.
Clearance items also do not qualify for the Wayfair return policy. All clearance purchases are final.
7. You cannot return personalized items.
If you ordered a personalized item, it does not qualify under the Wayfair return policy.
8. You must return the whole bundle under Wayfair’s return policy.
Bundle deals can be tempting! Who wouldn’t want 5 for $25 Christmas ornaments when they usually cost way more than $5 a la carte?
Be careful before you get all excited about that deal. Bundle deals do technically qualify for Wayfair’s return policy, but you’re going to have to return the whole bundle. You can’t just return one of the items.
9. Don’t automatically accept delivery of large appliances from Wayfair.
Damaged appliances do technically qualify for the Wayfair 30-day return policy. But there’s a huge catch.
You’re going to want to inspect the item before you accept the delivery. Once you accept the delivery and plug the appliance in, you’re no longer eligible for returns or refunds.
10. The Wayfair return policy is more generous during the holidays.
Most of the caveats to Wayfair’s return policies we’ve talked about so far are negative. Here’s a happy one for you!
If you order an item between November 1 through December 31, you can initiate a return through January 31. Assuming the item was returnable in the first place.
11. Wedding registry return policies are more generous.
Another positive aspect of Wayfair’s return policy is the carve out for wedding registry items. You have until 90 days after the wedding to return items, assuming they weren’t on clearance, weren’t open box and are otherwise returnable.
Careful, though. This policy is only for items purchased by guests. If you’re fulfilling your own wedding registry, you don’t get the extended window.
12. Wayfair makes you pay for your own return shipping.
When I recently completed a return with Wayfair, they emailed me a shipping label to stick on my original packaging, which I then dropped off at a FedEx drop-off location. I was only returning a small lantern. If it had been a larger item like an appliance or furniture, Wayfair would have arranged to have it picked up.
Wayfair deducts the shipping cost from your refund. The shipping cost is calculated by the weight of your item, so you might imagine this quickly gets out of hand if you buy any piece of furniture.
Reddit is full of horror stories from folks who have been told to pay hundreds simply to ship their return. I had one experience where it would’ve cost more than the purchase price to return a set of barstools.
13. Skip the return shipping charges if your item was damaged or defective.
There is a bit of good news on return shipping policies: If your item arrived damaged or defective, Wayfair won’t make you pay for the return shipping.
A Wayfair customer service rep advised me to take a picture of my box and the product as soon as it arrives. The quicker you can document this and let them know, the better, as it shows them there was less of a chance you broke the item.
Once you show them this, you’ll be asked to hold onto the product (in its original packaging) for two weeks while they arrange a pickup.
I was also told you can always donate the defective product or sell it — and you’ll still receive the refund.
14. Get your refund as store credit or deposit it back onto your credit card.
This will be something you choose before you finish working your way through the return prompts online. Wayfair says you should expect the refund to appear two to three business days after Wayfair is notified that you dropped off the item. Mine took two days.
15. Call the customer service line and ask politely for a refund.
If all else fails, call Wayfair’s customer service line. Wayfair’s rulebook is tricky to navigate, but you can call a CSR to help guide you through.
In my experience, shoppers should expect the most leeway on smaller items you can easily return in good condition. Wayfair will give you less leeway on large, complicated items such as a bed frame, couch, or even barstools.
Do you have any nightmare Wayfair return experiences? Let me hear about it in the comments — I want to know!