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Buying home improvement stuff is like buying clothes for your house. . . and just like clothes shopping, you’re bound to need to make a return or two while doing a home improvement project.

And at Lowe’s, you can return just about anything — even if you don’t have a receipt.

Although Lowe’s spells out their policy online, nearly every rule they have can be broken at the discretion of a store manager. Below I’m going to walk you through Lowe’s return policy and spell out where I’ve been able to push the boundaries when making a return.

To keep up with all their sales, you can check out KCL’s Lowe’s Deals page, or download the KCL app and “favorite” Lowe’s to get deal alerts sent straight to your phone.


1. Lowe’s return policy lets you make most returns without a receipt.

Return counter at Lowes

Lowe’s has more than one way to verify whether something was bought in their store, which is why they’ll accept returns without a receipt for almost all items. The exceptions? You’ll need the original receipt for plants, water heaters, and highway trailers.

Assuming the item you’re returning is in like-new condition, I’ve gotten full refunds without ever needing a Lowe’s receipt. All you need is valid photo ID and one of the following:

  • 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
  • Your phone number, if you provided Lowe’s with it at the time of your purchase

If you don’t have any of those, then the best Lowe’s will do is 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.


2. Lowe’s return policy gives you 90 days to get a refund on most items.

A customer and Lowe's employee at checkout during COVID-19. A plexiglass sneeze guard is visible between them.

Lowe’s spells out in their return policy that equipment must be “new and unused” if shoppers are going to get a full refund within 90 days of receiving their item.

Lowe’s store managers have final say, though, and not surprisingly, some store managers are more lenient than others when it comes to giving out refunds. If your return window has passed or your item doesn’t look quite so new, give your local store a call and explain the situation to the store manager. You might get lucky.

There are, of course, some exceptions, and I’ll get to those below.


3. Lowe’s plant return policy gives you 90 – 365 days to make a return.

dead plant being held in front of 1 year guarantee sign

Like I said, plants are one of the few items for which you actually do need your receipt if you’re making a return. But holding on to that receipt is so worth it.

That’s because with a receipt, you’re allowed 365 days to return any tree, shrub, or perennial for either store credit (which will match the original purchase price) or a replacement plant. All other plants have a window of 90 days.

Oh, and if the plant you bought from Lowe’s dies within the first 30 days after your purchase, Lowe’s will still give you the option of replacing it or getting a full refund. Great news for the plant killers among us.


4. Lowe’s paint must be returned within 30 days for a refund.

A person holding a paint can in lowes

Although you don’t need your receipt to return paint, customers have to deal with a shorter return window: You have only 30 days for paint. On paper, the items must be returned in “like new” condition.

In practice? It’s up to the Lowe’s store manager. And employees I spoke with said each manager has a different approach. Some managers are fine with extending the return window if a customer can explain their situation, and some are willing to accept appliances that have clearly been used.


5. Lowe’s appliances must be returned within 48 hours for a full refund.

The clock starts ticking as soon as you’ve received your Lowe’s appliance. That means you gotta check your appliance out as soon as you get it, as you’ll need to start your return process within 48 hours in order to get a full refund.



6. Lowe’s return policy gives 90 days to return Craftsman and Black & Decker outdoor power tools.

hand pulling Craftsmen tool set off of store shelf

Most outdoor power equipment — like mowers, chainsaws, generators, blowers, and pressure washers — must be returned within 30 days of your purchase date in order to get a refund. But if you buy Craftsman or Black & Decker outdoor power tools, then that window jumps up to 90 days.

But even if you make it within the larger return window given to Craftsman and Black & Decker equipment, the products still need to look unused. You’ll have the best chance of getting a refund if you return the equipment in its original packaging.


7. Lowe’s return policy gives Lowe’s credit cardholders 365 days to make returns.

The same exceptions that apply to Lowe’s normal return policy also apply to Lowe’s credit cardholders (think: appliances, paint, and outdoor tools still get only 30 days for returns).

But for everything else you’ll have a full year to make any return. And because you’re a cardholder, Lowe’s will track all of your store purchases — so you won’t need your receipt.


8. Lowes.com offers free return shipping.

Lowes return screenshot

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.


9. But making Lowe’s returns in the store will get your money back faster.

lowes store front

It’s worth making the trek in store for your Lowe’s return. For one thing, your refund will process faster — refunds are usually processed within one week in stores, but I’ve waited over two weeks to get money back from a return I shipped back to Lowe’s.

Also, the only way you’ll be able to bend the rules is by going in store, where a store manager can override the rules and push through your return even if you missed your return window.



10. Lowe’s return policy gives you until Christmas to return any holiday purchase.

Given that Lowe’s was selling Christmas trees and decor as early as September in 2021, this is a policy worth taking advantage of. Lowe’s will accept holiday item returns through Christmas Day, even if you purchased them more than 90 days prior.

The exception is for holiday items that were purchased right after Christmas — think: Lowe’s post-Christmas clearance. Lowe’s marks those sales as final.

Let me know if you have any Lowe’s return policy questions in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Lowe's Return Policy Has Rules (But You Can Bend 'Em)