Returns are just a part of doing home improvement projects. That’s why Lowe’s Returns Policy is probably one of the most inconsistent, loosey-goosey return policies out there. Nearly every rule they have can be broken at the discretion of a store employee or manager. I’m going to break it all down for you here.
1. You can return in-store purchases through the mail.
Let me say this again — you can return ship items you bought at your local Lowe’s physical store. Check the Lowe’s Return Policy is you don’t believe me. Nobody, and I mean nobody is doing this but Lowe’s.
To start the return shipping process for store purchases, call Lowe’s directly at (800) 445-6937 and they’ll email you the free shipping label. From there you just have to fill out your information, and then follow almost identical instructions to online returns to print, attach to the packaging, and ship your item.
2. Lowes.com offers free return shipping.
Mailing your returns to Lowe’s is pretty painless, and won’t cost you anything.
Just sign in to your MyLowes account, click “Order History,” and then select the item you’d like to return. You can print a return label, slap it on the box your stuff came in, and drop it off at the post office or hand it to your mail carrier.
3. … But not every online purchase can be shipped back.
I recently bought a cute “Thankful” metal wall decoration from Lowes.com. After I attempted to hang it on every available wall in my home and didn’t like it, I decided to send it back. But when I logged in to my MyLowes account, I found out return shipping was a no-go, so I had no other choice but to get myself off the couch and head to the store.
4. You can complete a Lowe’s return without a receipt.
Lowe’s let’s you return items for a full refund without a receipt if you can use one of these three:
- Your MyLowes Loyalty account (This keeps track of all your purchases, and customer service can look everything up.)
- Your Lowe’s Advantage credit card
- The debit or credit card you paid with
Otherwise, Lowe’s will give you store credit at the item’s current sale price.
PRO TIP: Be warned, though — if you try to return too many items without a receipt, Lowe’s may “blacklist” you from making returns without receipts in the future.
5. Return your online purchase in store to take advantage of the “discretion” rule.
If you just bought the item online, you don’t have to rely on the mercy of any employee to return in store. You just go into your MyLowes account, select what you want to return, and then print the item’s “Return Slip” to bring with you to the store.
When I decided I wasn’t in love with my “Thankful” metal wall decoration, I took it back to Lowe’s and — because it was unused and I had my printed return slip — I got a full refund.
But, what if you deleted your receipt or it’s outside the return window? Like I said, you can get more flexibility on the Lowe’s return policy from a store associate, as pretty much everything is up to their discretion.
In March, my cousin bought interior door hardware online but just now decided against using it. The hardware was still like new, so even though she was way past her 90-day window, Lowe’s looked up the transaction on her credit card and gave her the full refund anyway.
PRO TIP: Always look for Lowe’s deals on the KCL website before you shop.
6. If you return ship your item, be prepared to wait a long time for your refund.
Since Lowe’s pays your shipping fees to return your item, it’s a good way to go. But, it can sometimes take more than two weeks after Lowe’s has processed your return before you’ll see the credit hit your bank.
I recently bought some paint rollers online, but I ended up finding where my own had been hiding (of course), so I shipped them back, thinking it’d be quicker than driving to the store. It ended up taking seven days for my return to arrive back at Lowe’s and get processed and another ten days to see my refund back on my credit card. That’s 17 whole days!
7. It’s also up to the Lowe’s store if they’ll accept damaged or unboxed items.
This is where Lowe’s Return Policy seems to split into two directions. Technically, Lowe’s says you can’t return anything you damage or use, ever. But, at my local Lowe’s, I witnessed the guy in line in front of me return a fully assembled tool without a box or the manual for a full refund.
Once I saw what happened with that guy, I successfully negotiated with an employee from returns for a refund on my broken lamp that I (accidentally) damaged even more while trying to fix it.
Still seems too good to be true? I thought so too, so I asked why (after she accepted my return, of course). She said it’s up to them to accept or deny the return of any products (except big-ticket items like large appliances) without their original packaging, instructions, or manuals. So, there ya go. I’m not making this up.
8. Even Lowe’s paint return policy is a little looser than advertised.
While the Lowe’s Return Policy no longer explicitly states it, you can return unopened paint for a full refund 90 days (not 30) after your purchase.
9. Lowe’s plant returns policy gives you 30 – 365 days to bring it in.
When it comes to buying plants at Lowe’s, if any of them die within the first 30 days after your purchase, Lowe’s gives you the option of replacing them or getting a full refund.
Don’t worry — Lowe’s really doesn’t care how the plant died; all they want is your original receipt or to look up your purchase in one of those three ways I mentioned.
Oh wait! Did I forget to mention that Lowe’s also has a “1-Year Plant Guarantee?” Yup — 365 days after your purchase, if you aren’t loving your tree, shrub, or perennial plant (or it’s not loving you), Lowe’s will let you return it for a replacement or store credit.
10. Returns bought with gift cards get merchandise cards back.
If you return an item originally bought with a gift card, you’ll get a merchandise card in return. Basically, a merchandise card is a gift card that can only be used in-store.
If your gift card is stolen or lost, Lowe’s will give you a new gift card valued at the same amount you had on your old gift card. Just make sure you bring the original receipt, and the employee will use it to look up the remaining balance on your lost or stolen gift card.
11. Lowe’s holiday return policy can be generous.
If you’re planning on buying winter holiday season items at Lowe’s, you have until Dec. 31 to return them. That’s pretty nice — especially if you make your purchase in August when Lowe’s first starts putting holiday items out.