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The Target return policy is one of the more generous out there. They go out of their way to make it easy. For instance, you can return all Target’s store-owned brands for up to a year after your purchase and get a full refund back. (Even food!)

Does Target accept returns without a receipt? What is Target’s return policy for electronics? Can you return opened items to Target? I’ll answer all of your questions here!

I’ll teach you how to take full advantage of Target’s return policy. Download the KCL app for more ways to save! Also learn about Target’s price match policy and find out the best Target coupons available for use.


1. The standard Target return policy window is 90 days — or 120 days with a Target RedCard.

A man talking to an employee at the Target guest service counter.

The general Target return policy gives you 90 days to return most items, whether you bought them in store, online, or through Target Same-Day Delivery. But if you’re a Target RedCard holder, you get an extra 30 days to return most items.


2. Return Target brand products (even used or worn) for up to a year.

A child sitting on a metal bar with a tear on the knee of her leggings.

This is one of the best parts of the Target return policy. If you’re not satisfied with any Target-owned brands, you have one full year to return or exchange them, even if they’re used.

That means if you buy your kids new Cat & Jack leggings and they fall apart after 10 months, you can still get a full refund or exchange them for new leggings without an issue.

Here are some of the most popular Target-owned brands you’ll recognize:

A receipt or proof of purchase is required for returns or exchanges on worn Target brand items. And that makes sense, because otherwise there’d be nothing to keep folks from buying Target brands secondhand and exchanging them for new.

Luckily, Target tracks your purchases at least three different ways. So, no sweat if you lose your receipt. More on that below.


3. You can even return Target-brand food for a year.

A person holding a package of Good and Gather coffee in the coffee aisle at Target

Yes, you read that right. You’ve got a year to return food from Target-owned food brands like Archer Farms, Market Pantry, Simply Balanced, and Good & Gather for a full Target refund.

So you can totally return those Archer Farms chicken cutlets that got pushed to the back of the freezer a few months back.

What about opened food? While official policy doesn’t address this specifically, I verified with customer service at three different Target locations, and here’s what I learned:

  • Opened food can be returned, but only with a receipt or proof of purchase.
  • Target-owned brands can be returned for up to a year.
  • All other food brands can be returned within the usual 90-day window.


4. The Target return policy for electronics is a month long.

A person's hand taking a packaged PS4 controller from the shelf at Target.

Most electronics and entertainment items from Target have a 30-day return policy. Apple brand products, however, only have 15 days, and mobile phone purchases have 14 days. In some states, mobile phone returns come with a $35 restocking fee if you’ve already opened it.


5. You can return things at Target without a receipt, but there’s a $100 yearly limit.

A Target employee handing a merchandise return card to a customer at the checkout counter.

If you paid in cash and don’t have proof of purchase (i.e. no receipt, return barcode, or packing slip), you’ll still get a Target refund in the form of a merchandise return card. You can’t use the merch card online or to buy other gift cards, alcohol, or in-store Starbucks.

Here’s the thing, though: To fight fraud, Target only lets you return up to $100 worth of merchandise without a receipt every 365 days. They scan your ID when you make these returns, so there is someone keeping track.



6. Use your Target account for returns without a receipt.

A person typing in their phone number for Target Circle at self-checkout.

Having a Target account makes saving receipts totally obsolete. Seriously, if you just sign up for a Target account and give your phone number at checkout, your order will be attached to your account.

Then, just use your Target app to initiate your return while you’re in the store.


7. Paid with a card? Target can look up your purchase without a receipt.

A person's hand inserting a credit card into the credit card reader at the Target return counter.

And even if you lost your receipt and didn’t remember to enter your phone number when you made the original purchase, Target can look up your purchase history via your credit or debit card.

Here are all the payment methods Target can use to find proof of purchase:

  • Target RedCard
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Mastercard
  • Discover Card


8. Returning something the day you bought it? You’ll need a receipt.

A customer's hand giving a Target receipt to a Target employee at the return counter.

Target’s system requires 24 hours before employees are able to look up a purchase made on a card. So if you bought something in the store and immediately realized you didn’t want it, you would need your physical receipt to return it within a day.


9. You can return opened items to Target — for the most part.

A person wearing a mask, holding a Hamilton Beach electric kettle, standing in line for Target's guest service desk.

For most Target purchases, you can return your items opened for a full refund as long as you’re within the return window.

There’s a huge caveat, though: This decision ultimately comes down to the associate or store manager you’re dealing with. Then there are also some select items that can’t be returned or possibly even exchanged once they’re opened.


10. Opened music, movies, and games can be exchanged but not returned.

A person's hand holding a DVD case for Incredibles 2 above a Target shopping cart at the return counter at Target.

With the Target exchange policy, opened music CDs, movies, video games, and software can’t be refunded but can be evenly exchanged at the store for the same title.

For Target video games, you can also exchange the same title for a different console (PlayStation instead of Xbox).

Randomly, this same policy applies to airbeds purchased at Target. You can exchange opened products, but can’t get a refund.



11. Return opened beauty products with Target’s makeup return policy.

Open Covergirl mascara at the return counter inside Target.

Even if your Target makeup has been opened, you’ll get the usual 90 days (or 120 days with RedCard) to return it. This covers most beauty items bought in store or online.


12. The Target clothing return policy doesn’t require tags.

A woman holding two shirts at the Target return counter next to a Target grocery bag.

The Target return policy without tags is pretty lenient. If you have your app, a receipt, or the card you paid with, Target will accept returns without tags for the full 90-day return period.

Again, you might find this policy to be at the discretion of the associate or store manager. But I’ve personally made tagless returns before with zero issues.


13. Return an item from a BOGO-free promotion for a prorated discount.

A person's hand holding up a case for LEGO Worlds game for the Nintendo Switch in front of a sign advertising a sale for Buy 2 Get 1 Free on video games and puzzles.

When you return one item from a BOGO-free promotion, you receive a prorated amount of the item’s retail price.

Let’s say you buy two smart speakers that are BOGO free. The first speaker retails for $60 and the second for $40. In this case, you’re getting the $40 item free off of a $100 total retail value purchase.

That savings gets applied like it’s 40% off each item. So, if you were to return the $60 speaker, you would be refunded $36.

The $40 speaker would get you a $24 refund.

This prorated return policy also goes for BOGO 50% off deals.

Too much math? Don’t worry. The return value of every item is shown as a line item on every Target receipt.


14. Get a prorated refund for gift card promo items.

A close up of the free $10 free target gift card offer in the Target Toy Book

If you return a qualifying item from a gift card promotion, your refund will be reduced by the prorated value of the free gift card.

So if you bought three $10 items that were part of a “spend $30, receive a free $10 Target gift card” promo and you return one of those items, your refund will be worth $3.33 less than what you actually paid for the item. But you’d still get to keep your gift card.


15. You can’t return Target gift cards at all.

A person's hand holding up a Target gift card with three dogs in a basket on it, in front of a wall of gift cards.

Yup. Doesn’t matter if it’s a Target gift card, a Visa, a restaurant gift card, digital or physical, you’re not getting any refund.

Other items that can’t be returned or exchanged are:

  • Opened collectibles
  • Personalized items
  • Digital downloads
  • Opened breast pumps


16. Get rewarded for your empties with Target Sodastream exchange.

The Sodastream x Bubly Drops display at Target.

Sodastream gas cylinders are only available at select retailers, and Target is one of them. Once you use up your gas cylinder, bring it back into the Target store. You can currently get 50% off your next cylinder purchase when you make this “exchange.”

If you purchased online via Target.com, you have the option to mail in your empties directly to Sodastream. Then, you’ll get a $15 Target gift card. You will need your Target order number in order to claim this promotion.


17. Here’s how the Target diaper return policy works.

Two boxes of Huggies special delivery in the basket of a Target shopping cart.

Technically, there is no carve-out for diapers, so the standard Target return policy applies. You have 90 days to return them, unless you purchased diapers with a RedCard. Then you have 120 days.

If you purchased a Target brand like Up & Up, you should be able to return diapers for up to a year.

Anecdotally, it seems like diaper returns aren’t accepted as often if the box is opened. But there’s no explicit rule about it in Target’s return policy, so you might want to give your store manager a call before deciding not to make the return/exchange.


18. You have the full 90 days to return Target Optical purchases.

The Target optical section in-store with a sign advertising for convenient eye exams.

Grabbed some new glasses but they’re not quite your look? Like most of the stuff at the store, you’ve got 90 days to change your mind about what you got at Target Optical.

When it comes to contacts, though, they’ve gotta be totally unopened and unmarked. And if your glasses are damaged, you can only return them if they got damaged during delivery.


19. Target.com purchases can be returned in the store.

A person carrying a target bag walking toward the Target entrance.

Like Walmart and Amazon, Target.com lets you buy things from approved third-party sellers through a program they call Target Plus. You can return any of those items to your local Target store.

But if you buy through a third-party seller, the return window may be different.

For example, I just bought a new case and screen protector for my iPhone from a third-party seller, and they gave me 60 days to return them.

Looking at other third-party items, I saw anywhere from 30 to 90 days to return. Click “Shipping & Returns” on the product page, and it’ll show you how much time you have to return.


20. You’ll pay return shipping for online returns if it wasn’t due to Target’s error.

An open Target shipping box sitting on a couch.

Target does not offer free return shipping for online orders. So it makes way more sense to just return in the store. In select markets, Target is planning to roll out curbside return options in late 2022 through the Drive Up service.

There is an exception to this no-free-return-shipping policy, though: If your item arrived defective or damaged and it was Target’s fault, they will cover the return shipping costs for you.


21. The Target holiday return policy goes into effect on Oct 6.

A person carrying a Target hand basket with a holiday-themed pillow in it on her arm, and holding two holiday-themed mugs in an aisle at Target.

The holiday return policy at Target essentially takes all the normal return policies and freezes them until Dec. 26.

That means for purchases made between Oct. 6 – Dec. 25:

  • Most purchases that fall under the general Target return policy must be returned by March 26.
  • Most purchases made with RedCards must be returned by April 25.
  • Electronics and Entertainment items that carry a 30-day return window must be returned by Jan. 24.
  • Apple products (excluding phones) that carry a 15-day return window must be returned by Jan. 9.
  • Mobile phones that carry a 14-day return window must be returned by Jan. 8.


22. You may or may not get refunds for coupons.

A woman holding a pack of tide Pods with printed manufacture coupons in hand.

If you return an item you purchased with a manufacturer coupon, you may or may not be refunded for the value of that coupon. I’ve experienced it going both ways and there is no official policy.

The truth is that Target has likely already sent the coupon away to the manufacturer for reimbursement. So even though no one is seeking to defraud the manufacturer for the value of the coupon, if you return an item you used an MFR coupon to buy, that’s what’s happening whether Target hands you the money back or not.

As a best practice, I try to avoid returns when I’ve used a manufacturer coupon.

Related: Want to know more about using coupons at Target? Check out our guide to Target’s Coupon Policy.


23. Cancel your Target order before it’s processed and you won’t get charged.

A woman looking at a laptop computer with a target shopping cart filled with products on the screen.

If you’ve changed your mind about something you purchased on the Target app before the order’s been all the way processed, you can still cancel and not have to deal with returns at all.

But here’s the thing: the processing could take two minutes or two hours. So if you’re gonna change your mind, do it quick!


What’s been your experience with the Target return policy? Drop a comment below!

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