Brynne Conroy | 

Nordstrom's Return Policy Is One of the Best Around — Let Me Explain

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So you’ve found yourself needing to return some less-than-flattering sunglasses at Nordstrom, and you’re sweating bullets worrying if you’ll get your money back. Spoiler alert: Nordstrom is one of the stores with the best policies for returns — period. Their policy is loads better than Macy’s return policy. Heck, the Nordstrom return policy even beats the Nordstrom Rack policy for the amount of time you get for returns.

Not only can you return almost anything at any time to Nordstrom, but you can also make returns to its sister store, Nordstrom Rack. And if you purchased something at Nordstrom and then found it cheaper at another qualifying store, you’d better believe you can (and should) claim a Nordstrom price match to get a partial refund for the difference.

Let me break it all down for you right here.

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1. How long do I have to return an item to Nordstrom?

a person walking out of a nordstom store

The rumors are true — there is no time limit for Nordstrom returns. Nor is there a limit as to how many items can be returned. This is the case whether you’re buying shoes, yoga mats, swimwear, electronics, or (almost) anything else. You have forever to return them.

Why is Nordstrom’s return policy so lenient? Basically, they want to make you happy. They have a “customer-first” belief system, and that makes their “case-by-case” return policy very, very forgiving.


2. What do I need to return an item to Nordstrom?

a person shopping online at nordstrom rack on their macbook

You don’t need a whole lot to make a return at Nordstrom. In most cases, you don’t even need the tags attached. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, though, like special occasion dresses and some designer handbags (leave those tags on!).

They make it super easy to tell though — if removing the tag negates a return, they clearly will print that on the tag. So always read the tag before you bust out the scissors.

Ideally, you’ll also have your receipt when you make a Nordstrom return. But if you don’t, Nordstrom will still try to work with you.

TIP: Just want to wear a fancy dress once, without the tags? Try renting one instead!


What if I lost my Nordstrom receipt?

If you lost your receipt and made the purchase with a debit or credit card, Nordstrom associates can try to look up your purchase in their system. You’ll just need to tell them which month you made your purchase.

If they still can’t find the transaction in their system, all is not lost. They may allow you to make a return anyway. If they do, you’ll have to provide your government ID. Then, they’ll issue the refund via a Nordstrom gift card for the item’s current selling price.


3. Can I return an item that I used or wore?

a straight-on view of the shoe aisles at nordstrom rack

Maybe. It depends on the Nordstrom associate standing in front of you and exactly how worn the item is. While Nordstrom doesn’t rule out returns of used or worn items, they do ask that you treat them as “fairly” as they treat you. And with such a generous return policy, that’s an ask I can respect.

Sure, you can try to return that item that’s been through the wringer, but if it doesn’t look clean and in good condition, be prepared for rejection. And be prepared to handle it gracefully.

Related: Let me teach you how to save big at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale every summer.


4. Are there exceptions to the Nordstrom return policy?

There are a few items that have stricter rules than the general return policy allows. Here are the items to keep an eye on.


What is Nordstrom’s return policy for gift cards?

You can’t return gift cards at Nordstrom, per their official policy. But some states do require Nordstrom to give out a cash refund for gift cards, but only when it’s at a super low value. Those states include:

  • California: Balance of $10 or less (with an original balance above $10).
  • Colorado: Balance of $5 or less.
  • Maine: Balance of $5 or less.
  • Massachusetts: Balance of $5 or less (or after you’ve redeemed 90% of the gift card’s original value).
  • Montana: Balance of $5 or less.
  • New Jersey: Balance of $5 or less.
  • Oregon: Balance of $5 or less.
  • Puerto Rico: Balance of $5 or less.
  • Rhode Island: Balance of $1 or less.
  • Texas: Balance of $2.50 or less (with an original balance above $5).
  • Vermont: Balance of $1 or less.
  • Washington: Balance of $5 or less.


What is the Nordstrom jewelry return policy?

There are no time constraints on jewelry returns at Nordstrom; they fall under the standard “whenever” policy. However, there are some extra steps you’ll need to take if you’re returning your jewelry by mail. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Fill out the bottom portion (or the “return section”) of your original packing slip.
  2. Pack up your jewelry and mail it using the carrier of your choice.
  3. Be sure the carrier provides signature confirmation and insurance for your package.

TIP: If you want to make things a little simpler, take your jewelry to a Nordstrom store to make your return. The only stipulation is that the store must include a fine jewelry section.


What is the Nordstrom return policy for mattresses?

There are no special carveouts for mattresses in the Nordstrom return policy. However, if you purchase a Casper mattress or a Westin Heavenly mattress, you’ll have to call them to start your return. Here are the contact numbers:

  • Casper: 1-888-282-6060
  • Westin Heavenly: 1-877-399-9397


What is the return policy for Balsam Hill trees?

Did you know that outside of Balsam Hill’s outlet in the Bay Area, Nordstrom is the only place where you can buy Balsam Hill Christmas trees in person? Well, those trees do come with a stricter return policy at Nordstrom.

At Nordstrom, you have to return your Balsam Hill tree within 30 days of purchase — or by Dec. 25, whichever comes first. You won’t be able to make your return in person, though. Call 1-888-282-6060 to request a free shipping label to make your return.



5. Can I return an item that I bought online?

Someone holding delivery receipt with delivery box

Absolutely. You can return an item that you bought from by either taking it to your local Nordstrom store or by returning it via mail.

If you go the mail route, you’ll initiate the return by using their online form. Then, they’ll provide you with a QR code. Take it to either a USPS or FedEx location, and they’ll use the QR code to print your free return shipping label.

TIP: While Nordstrom does offer free return shipping, the shipping fee you paid when you first placed your order isn’t eligible for a refund.


6. Does Nordstrom do curbside returns?

There are actually three ways to return your unwanted item from Nordies: in-store, by mail, or by dropping off the item curbside, which can be pretty handy on busy days.

To use the curbside returns service, just drop your item off (excluding jewelry, designer, and baby items) and get your refund in 5 – 7 business days.


7. How will I get my refund?

Nordstrom typically refunds you via your original method of payment. So if you paid with a gift card, your refund would be issued via gift card.

There is one exception, though. If you paid for an online order with PayPal, your PayPal account will receive the refund — but only if you do your return via mail. If you make your return in person, your refund will be issued on a gift card rather than going back to your PayPal account.


How long does it take to get my refund?

You can expect to see your refund hit your credit card or checking account within 3 – 5 business days, depending on your bank. If you’re returning by mail, you’ll need to tack on an additional 10 – 14 business days for Nordstrom to receive and process your return. Then the 3 – 5 day window will start.

In real life, though, I tend to see my refund within a week of mailing in my Nordstrom returns, but your mileage may vary. Either way, the quickest method of getting your refund money is by making your return in-store.


8. Can I return a Nordstrom purchase to Nordstrom Rack?

A person's hand holding up a Nordstrom Rack bag in front of a Nordstrom Rack store front.

Yes! You can actually return Nordstrom and items to Nordstrom Rack, which makes their great return policy even better. (You can also make your Nordstrom returns at Nordstrom Local locations.)

I should warn you that there are a few items that aren’t eligible for these types of cross-store returns. The exceptions include fine jewelry purchases (these must be returned at a Nordstrom location with a fine jewelry section) and designer items, like handbags and shoes.

Related: Read more about the Nordstrom Rack return policy.

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