Jenna McMahon | 

What Is the Walmart Return Policy? We Answered Everything

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There’s a lot to know about the Walmart return policy, especially beyond their standard rules that apply to most items you return.

Walmart is always on our list of stores with the best return policies. While you have 90 days to return most Walmart items, you have even more time and coverage for holiday returns, perishable food items, plants, and Walmart Private Brand purchases. However, some items have shorter return windows than the standard 90 days, like electronics, Marketplace items, and cell phones. But I’ll dive into all the details you need to know in this guide.

A big part of getting the best Walmart deals is knowing what you can and can’t do with returns, and considering the return process before you make a purchase. Like, can you make Walmart returns without a receipt? Are there items you can’t return to Walmart at all? And which items can only be exchanged if already opened?

While the basics of Walmart returns are pretty simple, reading all that fine print isn’t. So I did a deep dive into all the general rules, exceptions, and special conditions to make understanding Walmart’s return process easy.

Here’s the order of all the Walmart return info you’ll find in this post:

  1. What is the Walmart Return Policy?

  2. How Walmart Returns Work

  3. Walmart Items with Shorter Return Policies

  4. Walmart Items with Extended Return Policies

  5. Exceptions to Walmart’s Return Policy

  6. Walmart Returns Without a Receipt

  7. Walmart Gift Returns

  8. Coupon Returns at Walmart

  9. Walmart Refunds

  10. Other Major Return Policies to Know

What is the Walmart Return Policy?


The standard Walmart return policy gives you 90 days for returns, which covers most items at Walmart. With that said, Walmart does have shorter return policies for certain items. For example, the Walmart electronics return policy is only 30 days. But I’ll dive into all the shorter return windows, exceptions, and need-to-knows in this post.

A graphic showing how much time you have to return common Walmart items. Most items can be returned within 90 days, but electronics, Mark...

What can I return to Walmart?


Most clothing, shoes, accessories, household essentials, personal care, nonperishable groceries, toys, furniture, and home decor fall under the standard 90-day return policy. You can also return other Walmart items like electronics, cell phones, prescription glasses, and Marketplace purchases, but they aren’t covered by the standard return policy (so you have less than 90 days to return them).

What cannot be returned to Walmart?


Walmart has a list of non-returnable items, so you’ll want to think twice before you buy. You cannot return, replace, or get a refund for the following Walmart items (gift cards are a major one):

  • Firearms and Ammunition

  • Airsoft and Air Guns, BB Guns, Crossbows, Vertical/Archery Bows

  • Pepper Spray

  • Gas Powered Recreational Vehicles (e.g., Dirt Bikes, Mini-Bikes, Go-Carts, Scooters, Ride-Ons, UTVs & ATVs)

  • Used or Mounted Tires, Wheels, Rims, Snow Tires

  • Trading Cards (opened or unopened)

  • Gift Cards

  • Prepaid Cell Phone Cards

  • Prepaid Gaming Cards

  • Video Game Download Cards

  • Sim Cards

  • Video On Demand

  • RV Sewer Lines, Toilets, Toilet Bowls, and Urinals (used or installed)

  • Precious Metals (e.g., gold bars, silver coins, currency)

  • Sex Toys

  • Pregnancy Tests

  • Ovulation Tests

  • Home Diagnostic Tests (including COVID-19 Tests)

  • Prescription Medication and Devices

  • Items containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine

  • Diabetic Supplies (e.g., meters, strips, lancets, lancet devices, and syringes)

Are Walmart returns free?


Walmart returns are always free whether you make your return in-store, using Curbside, or by mail. For mailed returns, Walmart gives you a free return label (or return barcode), so you won’t have to pay for return shipping.

Can I return Walmart clearance items?


Walmart’s return policy for clearance items is no different than it is for regular items, so you have 90 days to return most clearance items. Keep in mind that some Walmart items have shorter return policies (electronics, Marketplace, etc.), and there are some items you can’t return to Walmart at all, regardless of clearance.

How Walmart Returns Work


Walmart gives you multiple options for returns, so for most items, you can choose whichever method works best for you. Walmart offers free returns in-store, curbside, or by mail. Only Walmart Plus members have the option to return items from home.

The easiest way to start your Walmart return is from your account on or in the Walmart app. They’ll walk you through each step of your return and provide a refund summary so you know exactly what you’re getting back.

How do I start a Walmart return online?

You can save a lot of time by starting your Walmart return online, even if you plan on making your return in-store. For FedEx drop-off, curbside, and mailed returns, this is your only option for starting the return process.

  1. Sign into your account on or in the Walmart app.

  2. Visit your purchase history and select the items you want to return.

  3. Choose a return method — in-store, curbside, FedEx drop-off, or by mail.

  4. Review your refund summary and submit your return.

  5. Check your email for a return confirmation (or your Walmart app for a return barcode).

Can I return a purchase to the store?

You can return most online Walmart purchases to a Walmart store, except for oversized/heavy items (like large furniture), major appliances, and some Marketplace items (including luxury goods, perishables, and items with rechargeable batteries).

Do you have to return to the Walmart you bought from?

You don’t have to return your items to the same Walmart store you bought them from. The only exception is unopened tobacco and alcohol products, which must be returned to the original store of purchase.

Can you return something to Walmart without the box?

Walmart accepts returns without the box in some cases, but it depends on your return method and the items you’re returning. For example, your items don’t need to be packaged for Curbside returns. However, Walmart requires some items to be returned in their original packaging, like PC components, items that require assembly, and jewelry, gems, and luxury watches over $300.


How do I make a Walmart return in-store?

To return a Walmart item in-store, you can go straight to the store to have an associate start your return.

Or, you can get your return started online or in the Walmart app ahead of time. If you purchased your item online, select the items you’d like to return from the purchase history on your account. If you purchased your items in-store and have a paper receipt, use the scanner in the Walmart app to upload your receipt digitally. This will save time when you get to your local Walmart!

Along with the items you’d like to return in-store, bring your paper receipt, return barcode, order confirmation email, or the debit/credit card you paid with.

You cannot return the following Walmart items in-store:

  • Marketplace Items with a Rechargeable Battery

  • Freight/Oversized/Heavy Items

  • Major Appliances

  • Marketplace Perishables & Luxury Goods

How do I make a Walmart Curbside return?

Thanks to Curbside returns, you can bring your items to a Walmart store and return them without leaving your car. Start your return online or in the Walmart app and select “Curbside” as your return method. You don’t need to box or package your items for Walmart curbside returns.

  1. “Check-in” for your curbside return in the Walmart app (so the store knows you’re coming).

  2. Park in a designated Walmart pickup spot when you arrive.

  3. Tell an associate where to find you in the Walmart app (they’ll come out to your car).

  4. Show your return barcode to the associate and finalize your return.

You cannot return the following Walmart items via Curbside:

  • Marketplace Items with a Rechargeable Battery

  • Freight/Oversized/Heavy Items

  • Major Appliances

  • Marketplace Perishables & Luxury Goods

TIP: Always double-check the Walmart store assigned for your curbside return in the app and select “change” to pick a different location.

How do I mail a return back to Walmart?

You can either drop off your Walmart return at a FedEx location or bring your return package to your local post office. Either way, start your Walmart return online or in the app. You’ll get either a return barcode (to show when you drop off your package) or a free, printable return shipping label (to stick on your package).

  1. Start your Walmart return online or in the app.

  2. Select “Return by Mail” or “Drop off at FedEx Office Location” as your return method.

  3. Choose your refund method and submit your return.

  4. Repackage your items and print the free return label provided (or check your email for your return barcode).

  5. Bring your package to your local post office or FedEx drop-off location.

You cannot return the following Walmart items by mail:

  • Hazardous Materials

  • Items Shipped to Non-Contiguous U.S. States

  • Photo, Prints, Personalized Items, & Photo Products

  • Perishable Online Orders

  • Perennials, Shrubs, & Trees

How do I return Walmart items from home?

Only Walmart Plus members have the benefit of free Walmart returns from home. After you submit your return online, a delivery driver will come to your address and grab your return during your chosen time slot. You don’t even need a shipping box or a return label — just show your barcode, hand off your items, and wave goodbye.

  1. Start your return online or in the Walmart app.

  2. Select “Return from Home” as your return method.

  3. Select an available time slot and submit your return.

  4. Show your return barcode to the delivery driver when they arrive.

Place your items in their original packaging that same day and place them by your front door.

You cannot return the following Walmart items from home:

  • Marketplace Items

  • Freight/Oversized Items

Walmart Items with Shorter Return Policies

A roku sitting on the return counter at Walmart

The standard 90-day return policy doesn’t cover everything at Walmart, so while it’s a good rule of thumb, there are a few major exceptions to keep in mind. Electronics, Marketplace items, prescription glasses, and major appliances all have shorter return policies, so you have less time to return these items to Walmart.

Here’s what you need to know about those items and how much time you have to return them:

Prescription Glasses & Lenses: 60 days

Contact lenses, prescription glasses, and prescription contacts have a shorter 60-day return policy, and you’ll need your receipt to qualify for a return.

Electronics: 30 days

The Walmart electronics return policy is only 30 days as opposed to the standard 90-day return policy. That includes TVs, laptops, tablets, PCs, headphones, e-readers, camcorders, and other tech items at Walmart.

This is one of the biggest exceptions to Walmart’s standard return policy, especially since Walmart electronics deals are so popular.

What to keep in mind: PC components must be returned in their original packaging and you need a receipt for your return.

Marketplace Items: 30 days

Anything on that’s “sold and shipped by Walmart” falls under the standard return policy, so you have 90 days for returns (unless otherwise noted). However, other items shipped by third-party Marketplace sellers only have a 30-day return policy.

What to keep in mind: Most Marketplace returns require a receipt for a full refund.

Cell Phones: 14 days

Contrary to popular belief, cell phones don’t fall under the 30-day electronics return policy at Walmart. You only have 14 days to return cell phone purchases to Walmart — and you’ll need a receipt if you want a full refund.

What to keep in mind: Unlocked, opened cell phones can only be exchanged, not returned.

Marketplace Luxury Goods: 14 days

Even though most Marketplace items have a 30-day return policy, you only have 14 days to return Marketplace luxury goods to Walmart. That includes these items:

  • New and preowned apparel over $300

  • Fine art

  • Loose gems and gemstones

  • Jewelry and watches over $300

  • Collectibles (e.g., coins, stamps)

  • Memorabilia

You also won’t be able to return any of these without a receipt, as with most items from Walmart Marketplace sellers.

What to keep in mind: You have 90 days to return luxury goods directly fulfilled by Walmart (aka not from third-party Marketplace sellers). To me, this was one of the most confusing parts of Walmart’s fine print — but I confirmed with Kharen, a very kind online chat agent, that only Marketplace luxury items fell under the stricter 14-day return policy.

Major Appliances (Opened/Installed): 2 days

Technically, Walmart gives you 30 days to return major appliances — but under seriously strict guidelines. Your appliance must be unopened, uninstalled, undamaged, and in its original factory-sealed packaging. If those conditions aren’t met exactly (like if you tear even a small piece of the packaging), you only have two days to return your major appliance. This is super similar to Lowe’s return policy and Home Depot’s return policy for major appliances.

The two-day return window starts as soon as you accept your major appliance delivery, so be sure to carefully inspect it before the delivery person takes off.

What to keep in mind: Returning a major appliance from a Walmart Marketplace seller comes with a 20% restocking fee.

Walmart Items with Extended Return Policies

Pumpkin pie ingredients in a Walmart basket

Even though some Walmart items like electronics have shorter return policies, other Walmart items are covered by longer, more flexible return policies and guarantees. For example, Walmart is much more flexible when you return an item from one of their private brands compared to items that fall under the standard 90-day return policy.

Walmart Private Brands

Walmart has a more flexible return policy for their private brands (aka Walmart-owned brands), but they keep it short and vague for a reason. Here’s what their policy says verbatim:

“Not 100% Satisfied with a Walmart Private Brand Item? We’ll replace it or refund your money. All you need is the package.”

Walmart doesn’t set a given timeframe for private brand returns, but it’s hard to say whether these items are actually covered for life. Our best advice? Take your time with returning Walmart private brands, but don’t wait a decade. Keep it reasonable and you’ll be just fine.

These are some of Walmart’s private brands you might recognize:

  • Equate

  • Great Value

  • Mainstays

  • No Boundaries

  • Parent’s Choice

  • Pen + Gear

  • Terra & Sky

  • Time and True

  • Wonder Nation

Perishable Food Items

Under Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee, you can return perishable food items at any time with a receipt, including produce, fresh flowers, meat, bakery, deli, dairy, and frozen foods.

You can bring the perishable food item with you to show an associate what’s wrong with it, but they won’t actually take it back from you. They’ll just issue you a refund.

Trees, Shrubs, and Perennial Plants

Walmart gives you 365 days to return all trees, shrubs, and perennial plants, so you can return them a whole year later. Your plants don’t even need to be alive to qualify for a return.

But just like home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, you'll need some sort of proof of purchase to return your plants (a receipt, order confirmation, or some other way for Walmart to look up your original purchase).

Walmart Holiday Return Policy

Walmart extends their return policy during the holiday season, so you have longer than normal for returns. Most items purchased between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 are returnable through Jan. 31 of the next year.

However, the extended policy mainly applies to items sold and shipped by Walmart, not from third-party Marketplace sellers. Their participation in the extended policy varies, so be sure to double-check the online product page for each Marketplace item.

Exceptions to the Extended Holiday Return Policy:

  • Cell Phones

  • Protection Plans

  • Major Appliances

  • Dyson products

  • Select Luxury Goods

Exceptions to Walmart’s Return Policy

man putting a air mattress box in walmart cart

In addition to items with shorter return policies, Walmart also has items with special return conditions or restrictions. For example, you aren’t able to return some items if you’ve already opened them, so they will only be eligible for an exchange. Other items like luxury goods over $300 require additional documentation for your return.

Here’s what you need to know about the Walmart items with special return exceptions, conditions, or limitations:

Can I return something to Walmart if I opened it?

Walmart is pretty flexible with returning opened items, but there are several items you can only exchange, and not return if you open them:

  • Unlocked Cell Phones

  • Drones

  • Air Beds / Air Mattresses

  • Durable Medical Equipment

  • Damaged, Defective, or Unused Funeral Products

Many shoppers are surprised that they cannot return an air mattress to Walmart if they’ve opened it. But if you keep your air mattress packaged up and unopened, you have 90 days to return it for a full refund. Otherwise, you can only exchange it.

Does Walmart accept broken returns?

If you bought something from Walmart that arrived broken, damaged, or defective before you used it, Walmart will gladly accept your return and give you a full refund. Just be sure to return the item within its designated return timeframe.

If you’re responsible for the broken item and it wasn’t due to Walmart’s error, you’re a lot less likely to walk away with a full refund. However, the store manager has the final say. So you can try kindly explaining your situation to the manager to see what your options are.

What do I need to return jewelry, gems, and luxury watches over $300?

To return Walmart jewelry, gems, and luxury watches that cost more than $300, you’ll need to include all original documents, papers, grading, certificates of authenticity, and appraisals with your return. Also, Walmart requires you to return these items in their original packaging, so be sure to hold onto everything that comes along with your purchase.

How do I return Walmart items with hazardous materials?

Items with lithium-ion batteries, household chemicals, fuel-corrosive materials, and aerosols have restrictions for returns by mail.

If you don’t know whether your item contains hazardous materials, you can check the DOT guidelines to confirm.

How do I return Walmart items with rechargeable batteries?

Tools, drills, lawn equipment, laptops, and other items with rechargeable batteries must contain the original battery to qualify for a return.

Heads up — you can’t return Marketplace items with rechargeable batteries in-store, only by mail.

How do I return home and garden equipment to Walmart?

For items like AC units, lawnmowers, power washers, and other outdoor power tools, you must drain the gasoline and other flammable materials from the item before your return. Do not remove Freon from AC units.

If you bought your home and garden equipment on, double-check the product page to confirm it’s returnable by mail.

Can I return Walmart items I’ve already assembled?

Anything that needs to be assembled (like furniture, grills, bicycles, etc.), must be fully disassembled and re-packaged to qualify for a return.

Can I make a Walmart return without a receipt?


Walmart is pretty flexible about returns without a receipt — but not for everything, and they’ll catch on if you abuse their leniency. In most cases, they’ll accept your return without a receipt if there’s another way to verify your purchase. Walmart can use your credit or debit card number, phone number, or email to find your purchase if you don’t have a receipt or order confirmation.

What if I lost my receipt and have no proof of purchase?

If you don’t have a receipt and there’s no way for Walmart to look up or verify your purchase, you’ll need to show your government-issued ID to make your Walmart return. If Walmart approves your return without a receipt, you’ll have three options:

  1. Exchange your item

  2. Get refunded in cash if your item is less than $10

  3. Get refunded with store credit (a Walmart gift card) if your item is $10 or more

TIP: Want to avoid receiptless returns completely? Upload all your paper receipts to your Walmart app. In the app, select the scanner under your purchase history and scan each Walmart receipt to always have them with you.

Are there items I can’t return without a receipt?

You’ll need to show a valid receipt to return items like outdoor power tools, tires, photo prints, cell phones, electronics, and others. Here’s a full list of Walmart items you can’t return without a receipt:

  • Home & Garden Equipment (e.g., lawn mowers, line trimmers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, pressure washers)

  • Tires

  • Photo Prints, Personalized items & Photo Products (e.g., blankets, mugs, calendars)

  • Toilets & Urinals

  • Hearing Aids

  • Prescription Glasses and Contact Lenses

  • Most Marketplace Items

  • AppleCare+

  • Cooling & Heating (e.g., air conditioners, heaters, air purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, fans, indoor fireplaces)

  • Electronics

  • Electric Scooters & Hoverboards

  • PCs & PC Components

  • Verizon Postpaid Wireless Phones

  • Vacuums & Floor care

  • Walmart Protection Plans

  • Most Cell Phones

How can I get cash back without a receipt?

Remember, if Walmart is unable to verify your purchase without a receipt or proof of purchase, you’ll need your government-issued ID to make a receiptless return. It can take up to 10 business days to receive your refund without a receipt — unless your returned item is under $10 (in that case, you’ll get a cash refund on the spot).

Can Walmart reject a return without a receipt?

Walmart has the right to reject your return with or without a receipt if they see fit. Within Walmart’s return policy, here’s what the fine print says verbatim:

“Walmart reserves the right to limit or decline returns or exchanges regardless of whether the customer has a receipt. All non-receipt returns are subject to a refund verification process. All decisions regarding returns are subject to applicable laws. The Store Manager retains final authority to accept or decline any item that is eligible for return.”

My best advice is not to make a habit out of receiptless returns. Retailers (like Walmart) are cracking down on excessive returns, and every time you show your government ID for a return without a receipt, they track it in a system. Too many receiptless returns, and you might get banned.

Returning Gifts to Walmart

Walmart gift card held up in front of service center

If you need to return a gift from Walmart, they’ll give you a cash refund for items under $10. If your gift costs $10 or more, you have the following return options:

  1. Exchange the gift for a new item

  2. Get refunded to a Walmart gift card

  3. Send your refund back to the gifter’s original payment method (gift receipt required)

Can I return a gift to Walmart without a receipt?

It’s not the end of the world if you need to return a Walmart gift without a gift receipt. Head to a Walmart store near you to make your gift return. Without a receipt, you won’t be able to return your gift online (unless the original gifter does it for you).

Even without a gift receipt, Walmart gives you a cash refund for returned gifts under $10. You can exchange or get refunded to a Walmart gift card for items that cost $10 or more.

Walmart Coupon Returns

coupons held outside walmart

Unlike Target’s return policy, Walmart refunds you for coupons if you return a coupon purchase. So if you return an item you purchased using a manufacturer coupon, you’ll get refunded for the item, plus the value of the coupon you used.

This is one of a few recent Walmart coupon policy changes that happened, but it’s the only one that favors shoppers. Before 2023, Walmart didn’t include coupon values in your refund.

Walmart Refunds

Once your Walmart return is approved, you have several options for your refund. But the time it takes to receive it depends on your refund method. If you choose to get refunded via cash or check, your refund is immediate. But with a credit card or gift card refund, it can take up to 10 business days.

How long does it take to get my Walmart refund?

This is about how long it takes to receive your Walmart refund, depending on the payment method you choose:

If you made your purchase with a debit or credit card, your refund will go back to that same card. If you can’t provide your debit or credit card number at the time of your return (and it can’t be found by scanning your receipt), Walmart will refund you via a Walmart gift card.

how long it takes to get your walmart refund based on the refund method you choose: credit card, debit card, gift card, etc.

Other Major Return Policies to Know

If you need to make a return to another major retailer besides Walmart, check out these detailed guides to returning purchases at other top stores:

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