We are a return culture more than ever these days. Thanks to online shopping, we can order multiple sizes and styles and simply ship back (free of charge, hopefully) what doesn't work. We've grown accustomed to having the upper hand when it comes to returns. But most brick-and-mortar retailers don't work that way. A standard "30 days, with receipt" policy reigns supreme if you purchase something in store. When it comes to shopping in-store, retailers are hoping we'll keep all of our impulse purchases.
But not these 10 generous stores. These retailers make it easy to change your mind and get your money back, hassle-free, satisfaction-guaranteed, no questions asked. While we don't advocate taking advantage of them in any way, a flexible return policy does make shopping in person more appealing. You'll no longer be stuck with something that doesn't fit, doesn't match the shoes, the kids refused to wear, or just doesn't work with your decor.
Nordstrom has one of the most lenient return policies out there because, in truth, they don't actually have a return policy. The company states they take returns on a 'case by case' basis, and while they used to basically accept anything, from any time, in any condition, they've gotten a bit more stringent since the beginning of the year. Now, special occasion dresses need to have tags attached to be returned, and while they used to dole out cash for refunds, they've switched to an "original form of payment or store credit only" option.
That said, they're still very lenient in what they accept. Just take a look at their clearance rack and you'll see items that obviously appear worn or older. But don't abuse the policy…Nordstrom is now keeping track of returns and you might be denied if you've been returning items too frequently, or returning items for which they have no record of sale. That said, shopping at Nordstrom is easy if you're an honest shopper. There's a reason so many shoppers praise Nordstrom and its return policy. Doesn't fit? Return it. Changed your mind? Return it. Gift, and you really don't like it? Return it.
L.L. Bean considers their return policy a "handshake"—that is, you'll both be fair. And L.L. Bean certainly keeps up their end of the deal and stands behind their merchandise fully, with their 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed policy. IT's the same policy their founder implemented, and it's been that way for 100 years. This keeps L.L. Beans fans loyal for generations.
Duck boots get a dent in the leather? They'll repair them. Jacket tear at the seam? Get a replacement. Slippers splitting at the sole? Money back, no questions asked. Of course, they ask that you keep up your end of the deal by only returning genuine merchandise that you purchased directly from their stores or catalog, and not second-hand.
REI customers can get the most out of their outdoor gear with a full year's return policy in place at the store. When it comes to adventure gear, the most helpful part of the return policy here is actually the replacement policy. Should something not work properly or break on an adventure, you can exchange it in-store or via mail for a free replacement item.
If it was a manufacturing defect, there's no time limit at all. If it just didn't work well or you didn't like it, bring your receipt or packing slip for online orders to a store and they'll return it with no questions asked. You can also return items purchased from their Garage (outlet) stores. And if something goes on sale, they price adjust within 14 days.
This mega-retailer is very friendly to customers when it comes to returns. They take everything back at pretty much anytime, with a few exceptions, such as electronics and fine jewelry. Their corporate website keeps the policy vague "We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell and will refund your purchase price" which works in your favor.
And since everything is attached to your member card, you won't need a receipt to make your return, which is great for the scattered-brained or recycling-savvy shopper who ditches receipts as soon as they can. You can even return your Costco membership at any time for a full refund.
Walmart also has a friendly return policy, which is great because the megastore is ripe for impulse purchasing. In-store purchases can be returned or exchanged within 90 days, with or without a receipt. Another great perk? Walmart still offers price adjustments. If an item you paid full price for goes on sale, just bring your receipt back within 14 days and receive the price difference back.
With a receipt, Walmart refunds you in the original form of purchase. Items without a receipt require a valid government ID. Refunds without a receipt are granted in cash if the item value is under $25, and on a Walmart gift card if the value is over $25. Walmart also has their Fresh Guarantee, which covers stores that have fresh meat, bakery, deli and produce departments. This offers a 100% money-back guarantee on items, with a receipt, and you don't need to return the food product.
Keep in mind, Walmart tracks and verifies all returns, and retains the authority to reject any claims they feel are fraudulent. But if you decide to buy 5 candles, a watch, some wall art and new bath towels in a moment of shopping frenzy, and you later decide you really only need the watch and 2 candles, the rest can easily be returned within 3 months.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond is heaven when you're setting up a dorm room, apartment or new home. They have everything from fancy wine glasses to toaster ovens, and fish tanks to As Seen on TV gadgets. Some of these items will be needs, and some wants will find their way into your cart, to be sure. And if you decide you really don't need a marshmallow shooter or quesadilla maker? Bed Bath & Beyond has your back.
If you have your receipt, you're in for a super quick return. If you don't have your receipt, swipe your debit or credit card you used to purchase the item, and they'll be able to bring up the transaction. If they can't find it, they'll dock your return amount by 20%, because they've been a burned prior to adding this fee in 2015. But the thing that still makes Bed Bath & Beyond's return policy stand out is they have no time limit on returns. 30 days? Fine. 365 days? You're still golden. Ordered it online? No problem.
Kohls has what they call "hassle-free returns" and true to the name, it's easy to return something at this department store. If you have your receipt, you get the full price you paid at any time for your return. If you don't have a receipt, but they can look up your transaction, you also get the full amount.
If there's no way for them to track your purchase, you'll get the lowest sale price in the past 13 weeks. Keep in mind that Kohls cycles merchandise, especially clothing, through clearance pretty fast, so keep receipts to get your full purchase price or return within a reasonable amount of time before their clearance hits 70 or 90% off.
JC Penney is another department store with no time limit on returns, and they don't ask questions. If you have your receipt, the full purchase price is yours at any time. They'll refund you on your original method of payment. Transactions without a receipt are also accepted at any time, but you'll receive the lowest sale price in the last 45 days.
Returns without a receipt can receive payment only as store credit for the amount. But you'll never be turned away for a return, receipt or not.
The reason Target makes it so easy to return is they can track just about any purchase back to your account if you've paid with a debit or credit card, so receipts are unnecessary unless you paid cash. They'll have you swipe your card, see if you actually purchased the item, and give you your money back within 90 days. Target RED Card holders get an additional 30 days, bringing the total to 120 days or 4 months.
All Target-owned brand items can be returned within a full year for a full refund. There are 40 Target-owned brands covering everything from food to furniture and clothing, so chances are your refund period will actually be 365 days. Another bonus? Beauty products can be returned within 90 days even if they're opened.
Macy's return policy is similar to Nordstrom's, which means you can return pretty much anything that's still in "saleable condition" within a full year. If you have your receipt or they can track the purchase, you'll get a full refund on your original form of payment. If Macy's can't track your order, you'll receive the lowest sale price from the last 180 days in the form of store credit.
The good thing is Macy's return policy extends to items most other stores don't cover. Mattresses and bedding get a 60-day trial. Cosmetics can be returned in "gently used" condition…same with fragrances. And fine jewelry and watches can be returned, with tags attached, anytime within a year.
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